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  #1  
Unread 11th February 2011, 06:52 AM
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Idea Common logical fallacies used by Atheists.

Hi Guys,

I was just thinking fairly recently about starting a thread which discusses logical fallacies committed by atheists (or even theists) in debates and arguments. So then readers could then perhaps pick up knowledge about detecting these arguments. And then perhaps include many examples of each fallacy, so that not only could apologists detect these fallacies committed by the atheist, but also avoid falling into the trap of committing them.

I'm going to list several fallacies that I am familiar with, please feel free to comment, perhaps list other fallacies not mentioned or give other examples or situations you have seen these fallacies being committed. If you have some spare time, also feel free to drop by my other two threads which discuss atheist arguments and their refutations.

Genetic Fallacy
~The attempt to invalidate a position or belief, merely by showing how the position or belief originated.
Example:"Christianity arose because people feared reality, because people were scared of death. Therefore Christianity is false."

Ad Hominem Fallacy
~An argument that attempts to counter another's claims or conclusions by attacking the person, rather than addressing the argument itself.
Example:"You're an Idiot, only gullible, ignorant fools believe in God."

Argument from Personal Incredulity
~An argument thats attempts to disprove or negate a position because the individual either does not understand and/or explain and/or imagine it.
Example: "God seems so illogical to me, he can't possibly exist."

Appeal to Ridicule
~A fallacy where ridicule or mockery is substituted for evidence in an argument.
Example:"You can claim that God exists all you want, the theistic position is still laughable and illogical."

The Masked Man Fallacy (Illicit Substitution of Identities)
~A fallacy where an assumption is made that because something is known under one perspective, that it must also be known under a different perspective.
Example:"Thousands of years ago people believed lightning, rain and droughts were caused by a/the God(s). This has been disproved by science. Therefore God played no role in the creation of the Universe."

Appeal to Pity
~The receiver is urged to accept arguments based off an appeal to emotions or sympathy."
Example:"How could you honestly believe in God when there are starving children in Africa?"

Guilt by Association
~Rejecting someone's argument because of the person's friends, religion, topic standing etc.
Example:"Why should I believe anything you say? You're a Christian after all!"

Now I have listed several, please feel free to post other fallacies you know of. Perhaps you can offer better examples and explanations than I can.
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  #2  
Unread 11th February 2011, 11:48 AM
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  #3  
Unread 11th February 2011, 12:28 PM
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. . .the same fallacies used by Christians?



But yes, this is a good list. Mostly you don't want to become a debate champion, but just learn to point these out when people use them. I've found that most "deflating" antiChristians comes when you can show them that they are arguing all wrong. Half the time you don't even have to argue.

But it takes awhile to learn all this and be able to spot it in conversations. Don't give up- it's for His glory.
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Unread 11th February 2011, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by beforHim View Post
. . .the same fallacies used by Christians?



But yes, this is a good list. Mostly you don't want to become a debate champion, but just learn to point these out when people use them. I've found that most "deflating" antiChristians comes when you can show them that they are arguing all wrong. Half the time you don't even have to argue.

But it takes awhile to learn all this and be able to spot it in conversations. Don't give up- it's for His glory.
Thanks for posting! Yes, i have noticed that merely by simply pointing out the fallacies committed by the atheist is much more effective and a time saving way of showing the inadequacy of their arguments and conclusions.

However it can be rather exasperating when one particular atheist I know disregards these logical fallacies, and once they are pointed out to him when he frequently commits them, he simply dismisses them as "fancy words" and "not a real argument"
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Unread 12th February 2011, 10:37 PM
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There is also simple denialism or cherry picking history. Many athiests will say that Christ never existed but they won't question the existence of other historical figures such as Ceasar. You can easily turn it around and ask them how do they know that Julius Ceasar wasn't just an urban legend or figment of historical imagination like King Arthur? If they respond by citing Roman historical record then they have just hung themself, which is what most athiests will do if you give them enough rope.
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Unread 12th February 2011, 11:32 PM
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Don't waste time refuting every point they bring up. That's seriously pointless. Like, honestly, that is the most pointless thing you can ever do. Instead, focus on pointing out how their entire position they're coming from is flawed. That right there does more than refuting point by point will ever do. Ravi Zacharias is a good example of that style of apologetica.
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Unread 12th February 2011, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Fibio12 View Post
Argument from Personal Incredulity
~An argument thats attempts to disprove or negate a position because the individual either does not understand and/or explain and/or imagine it.
Example: "God seems so illogical to me, he can't possibly exist."
I think that can apply to the "problem of evil" too. When they say that a good and powerful God is incompatible with the fact that there is suffering in the world, all they're really saying is that they can't understand how that situation could be possible, right?
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Unread 13th February 2011, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Fibio12 View Post
Hi Guys,
Example:"Thousands of years ago people believed lightning, rain and droughts were caused by a/the God(s). This has been disproved by science. Therefore God played no role in the creation of the Universe."
What disproved by science? Even this year: flood in Australia, drought in Russia, in China. No disaster was predicted by science. After the disaster starts we can pray only.
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Unread 16th February 2011, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Fibio12 View Post
Hi Guys,

I was just thinking fairly recently about starting a thread which discusses logical fallacies committed by atheists (or even theists) in debates and arguments. So then readers could then perhaps pick up knowledge about detecting these arguments. And then perhaps include many examples of each fallacy, so that not only could apologists detect these fallacies committed by the atheist, but also avoid falling into the trap of committing them.

I'm going to list several fallacies that I am familiar with, please feel free to comment, perhaps list other fallacies not mentioned or give other examples or situations you have seen these fallacies being committed. If you have some spare time, also feel free to drop by my other two threads which discuss atheist arguments and their refutations.

Genetic Fallacy
~The attempt to invalidate a position or belief, merely by showing how the position or belief originated.
Example:"Christianity arose because people feared reality, because people were scared of death. Therefore Christianity is false."

Ad Hominem Fallacy
~An argument that attempts to counter another's claims or conclusions by attacking the person, rather than addressing the argument itself.
Example:"You're an Idiot, only gullible, ignorant fools believe in God."

Argument from Personal Incredulity
~An argument thats attempts to disprove or negate a position because the individual either does not understand and/or explain and/or imagine it.
Example: "God seems so illogical to me, he can't possibly exist."

Appeal to Ridicule
~A fallacy where ridicule or mockery is substituted for evidence in an argument.
Example:"You can claim that God exists all you want, the theistic position is still laughable and illogical."

The Masked Man Fallacy (Illicit Substitution of Identities)
~A fallacy where an assumption is made that because something is known under one perspective, that it must also be known under a different perspective.
Example:"Thousands of years ago people believed lightning, rain and droughts were caused by a/the God(s). This has been disproved by science. Therefore God played no role in the creation of the Universe."

Appeal to Pity
~The receiver is urged to accept arguments based off an appeal to emotions or sympathy."
Example:"How could you honestly believe in God when there are starving children in Africa?"

Guilt by Association
~Rejecting someone's argument because of the person's friends, religion, topic standing etc.
Example:"Why should I believe anything you say? You're a Christian after all!"

Now I have listed several, please feel free to post other fallacies you know of. Perhaps you can offer better examples and explanations than I can.
You missed a biggie:
Inferential Fallacy
~believing that if proposition A is true that proposition B cannot be true because they are mutually exclusive when they are not
Example: Light and dark cannot exist in the same room (the light is in the room and the dark is in the box that is in the room)
Example: A loving God cannot allow that to happen

Of all the ones listed, I see inferential fallacy and ad hominem used the most; a loving God cannot let this happen and you can't believe him because he is a madman or idiot.
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Unread 16th February 2011, 06:07 AM
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Beware the Flying Spaghetti Monster! Although it's not necessarily a fallacy, it is definitely a mental trick atheists like to play on some naive Christians. They use the same basic ideas we use to support the existence of God to support the existence of the supposed Flying Spaghetti Monster. The Christian they are arguing with will of course deny the existence of this creature for it's incredulity (yes, the same fallacy mention in the OP) and put themselves in a very awkward position. The easiest way out is to simply respond along the lines of, "Yes, it is possible for the FSM to exist, but I honestly don't believe it." Such a statement is indeed true as no one has ever disproven that the FSM exists, not that we believe it exists either way. It's a stupid idea, but atheists love it. The best part is when they can't respond because you didn't fall for their trick!
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