Logical Fallacies (That I’ve Invented)July 21, 2010
These fallacies are ones I have personally made up. They address some of the assumptions I’ve heard after dialoging with countless atheists and “naturalists”.
1. The promissory note fallacy:
Thank Richard Dawkins for this stupid one. Usually when he’s presented with evidence that goes against “naturalism” he’ll reply in his British accent by saying “we’re still working on it”. So how does “naturalism” account for free-will, the origin of life, and DNA coding? “We’re still working on it”. In other words, what he’s really saying is “naturalists” are working on being able to explain these thing with “natural” explanations.
Just because you say “naturalists” are working on providing “naturalistic” explanations for something, doesn’t do anything but assume “naturalism”. I could give my promissory note that “naturalism” wont ever account for these things and that we’ll find more evidence that only God can account for them. Congratulations. I’ve heard many atheists say this now, and they probably got it from Dawkins. *sigh* Bless their hearts.
2. The Nietzsche-an fallacy:
This fallacy is very similar to the promissory note fallacy. Perhaps you’re familiar with Nietzsche’s famous quote, “God is dead”. Why did Nietzsche say that “God is dead”? He said this because he believed we have now entered into an age whereby we have intellectually satisfying reasons to deny God’s existence. Why did he believe we have arrived at this point? Probably because after the Enlightenment, The Age of Reason, the Scientific Revolution, and the Age of Empiricism (coming out of the Dark Ages all the way up to the present), we have discovered many things and have had many scientific breakthroughs.
Among them were: a round earth, helio-centrism, a universe of multiple galaxies, no longer any conceivable center of the universe, mathematical laws which easily describe the uniformity of nature, the theory of Evolution, supposed philosophical explanations for things like morality, etc.
All this is what Nietzsche would have had before him up until the late 1900’s when he died. All these things which we once attributed to God could now be explained by scientific discovery and reasoning.
So what is the fallacy? It’s simple. Just because we know more about “how” the world works, doesn’t preclude a “Who” behind it all. And just because there is a “Who” behind it all, doesn’t preclude us from knowing more about “how” the world works! The thinking is “people once believed in God and science got squelched, therefore, only naturalism advances science and thus, naturalism is true.” But Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton were all Deists (a form of theism), and it didn’t stop them. Even Einstein believed in Spinoza’s god (or something similar). The point is, either theism or naturalism can squelch science. It depends if one’s false interpretations (of Scripture or evidence) and traditions (unfounded/unchallenged assumptions) get in the way.
Nevertheless, the illogical, un-warranted leap in thinking is that just because we now understand more of “how” the universe works that somehow this necessarily precludes a “Who” behind it all. Imagine this scenario, God is holding your very being together while you find out more about his universe. The sun is really the center of our solar system, therefore God doesn’t exist? No. God could still be holding your being together while you discover that the sun is really the center of our solar system. It’s so simple.
3. The science = “naturalism” fallacy:
This one is simple. It’s the fallacy that there can only be “naturalistic” explanations for things. But since no one knows what ultimate reality is even comprised of, “nature” = “?”. “Naturalists” don’t know what “nature” is but they do conclude that it can’t be upheld by an eternal God. Therefore, to the “naturalist”, “naturalism” = “a reality with no God”. That’s what they really mean.
4. The “what happens” = “what should happen” fallacy:
A lot of times I’ll ask naturalistic atheists how they account for why only sentient human beings have a pre-commitment to rationality, as opposed to non-rationality. In other words, why we always, 100% of the time, expect ourselves and others to make sense, rather then talk gibberish or be irrational. They’ll say “because it’s conducive to our survival”.
Arguing that it’s conducive to our human survival is assuming that we “should” or “ought” to survive, as opposed to not survive. They see organisms and species surviving, thus they assume we “ought” to survive. But just because “nature” has something happen, doesn’t mean that equals “what SHOULD happen”, or “what OUGHT to happen”! “What is” doesn’t = “what should be”! “What is” only tell us “what is”, period. What “should” be is a meta-physical claim. Oops!
NOW PLEASE TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS!!!