Monday, November 12, 2012
Some atheistic logical fallacies
"They aren't fools because they say, 'there is no God.' They say there is no God because they're fools."
At its core, atheism is a logical fallacy called, "denying the antecedent". Denying the antecedent proceeds like this: A. If God exists then I would see Him. B. I do not see Him. C. Therefore, God does not exist. This isn't to say that many religious people don't embrace philosophical fallacies themselves, most do, but ALL atheists do.
Though atheists like to posture as paragons of reason and intellect, the truth is very different: they think irrationally and often childishly.
Tautologies: While not a logical error per se, a tautology is an explanation that contains no real information. A tautological statement merely references itself: most, if not all atheists are darwinists. The darwinian principle is: "Survival of the fittest!" Who survives? The most fit. Who are the most fit? Those who survive!
Bare assertion fallacy: The atheist will say something with no evidence, let alone proof, to support it.
Shifting the goal posts: The atheist demands evidence for God. When you give him the evidence the atheist will dismiss it out of hand as inadequate, then demand "better" proof.
Begging the question fallacy: The atheist says, "there is no evidence for God." You might reply, "Why do you say there's no evidence for God?" The atheist has the answer: "Because there is no God!"
Ad hominem fallacy: "You're a Christian idiot!"
Guilt by association fallacy: "You're a Christian, so you're an idiot!"
Masked man fallacy: "People once believed that thunder meant the Gods were speaking. This has been disproved by science. Therefore, science shows there is no God."
Genetic fallacy: "Religion began because people were afraid of nature. Nature had to be appeased; and this appeasement of nature eventually turned into deification."
Argumentum ad ignorantiam (argument from ignorance) fallacy: "There is no scientific evidence for God. Therefore, there is no reason for believing in God."
Fallacy of the undistributed middle: "Theists are stupid. Tom is stupid. Therefore, Tom must be a theist."
Argumentum verbosium: The arguer uses verbosity and/or a plethora of complex words to make himself appear highly intelligent and informed. The opponent struggles to understand what is being said, while the audience is swayed in the arguer's favor because they won't admit they don't know what he's talking about. A favored tactic of neo-atheist, Christopher Hitchens.
Circular reasoning fallacy (akin to begging the question): "There is no God because there is no proof of God; and there is no proof of God because there is no God.
Denying the antecedent fallacy: "If God were good there would be no suffering. There is suffering. Therefore, God cannot be good."
Straw man fallacy - disregarding what someone says and answering according to one's own spin: Christian: "Christianity has been beneficial to me!" Atheist: "If Christianity is so beneficial then why do Christians go to war and kill one another - and others? So, Christianity is hardly beneficial!"
Red herring fallacy: "Christianity is beneficial!" "Not for the slaves that Christians owned."
Appeal to pity fallacy: "Many Christians were slave owners who bought and sold human beings like they were potatoes. So, is it any wonder many people reject it?"
Fallacious appeal to authority. Not all appeals to authority are fallacious, but atheists often use it fallaciously: "Of course, Einstein was an atheist - as well as a genius."
Argument from fallacy, fallacy: Theist: "Tom is good and Tom believes in God. Therefore, God is good." Atheist: "No! And you just committed an affirming the consequent logical fallacy. Tom is NOT good. Therefore, God is not good."
The tu quoque (you're another) fallacy. Similar to a red herring fallacy: "Oh, don't tell me Darwin was a hypocrite! Look at Jimmy Swaggert!"
Shifting the burden of proof: Theist: "Can you prove there is no God?" Atheist: "No, it's up to you to prove there IS a God." When debating atheists you'll learn this response is VERY common . I've debated hundreds of them at this point in time and none have ever straightly admitted that they cannot prove there is no God. Saying, "There is NO God." is a logical assertion - no less than saying, "There IS a God." Logical assertions require some substantiation. But the atheist dodges the question and attempts to put the ball back in the theist's court - thinking he can win by default. They might as well argue that it's up to others to prove that George Washington lived, not for to them to prove otherwise. It is very important that theists keep on them and not let atheists dodge this question - as it exposes their core bankruptcy.
Question dodging/evasion: The atheist won't respond to a question with a relevant answer.
Kettle logic fallacy: Using multiple, inconsistent conclusions in order to prove a point.
These are some of the fallacies you'll encounter when debating with atheists. You can see how logical fallacies will often overlap with others, e.g., tu quoque's with red herrings, circular reasoning fallacies with straw man fallacies. Begging the question with tautologies. False analogies with appeals to pity....