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Walstib
Apr 20th 2009, 03:16 PM
How do we set our standard for the ethics we use talking with each other here?

I have been involved in message board debate for a few years now. I don't know how many conversations I have read or mistakes I have made myself when posting. More than once I used a "when did you stop beating your wife" type of question to put someone in a corner.

Not a fair way to treat a fellow child of God though, poor taste but something I learned from. I do see examples of this often though, and other traps laid for people in words and circular reasoning. Still fail myself sometimes.

So the purpose for the thread would be to share examples of things an honest ethic would have us avoid. How do we love each other better in our approach to each other.

What are some other examples of unfair logical fallacies?

Unwritten etiquette that is a newbie can learn from? like Shouting

Scriptures that could give us some advice or example.?


Here is one I think fits.

Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?" But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money." So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, "Whose image and inscription is this?" They said to Him, "Caesar's." And He said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way. (Mat 22:15-22 NKJV)

moonglow
Apr 20th 2009, 03:48 PM
How about instead of trying to 'lay traps' or use logical fallacies, we just state what we believe? I believe such and such...then let others respond with scriptures and why they don't believe whatever it is I do. And how about not reading into a post. Don't insert in a reply what you think the poster means...far too many times those inserted words are undermining and cruel...then half the thread is left too the original poster saying I never said that..in which they didn't.. its fine to ask...'do you mean this?'...I do that alot because I am having trouble understanding something they said. Jumping to conclusions though usually only comes back to haunt you..

I have so many of my posts ruined because the first person to reply misunderstood or read into what I said...and everyone replies to what that person wrote...not what I wrote, so I spend the whole thread trying to get back on track and clear up the misunderstanding and never get whatever answer I was seeking...:( Its very upsetting too because it leaves me feeling half the board thinks I believe whatever the first replier said! :cry:

I truly wish people just wouldn't get SO upset over some of these topics. You would think their very life was on the line in convincing people they are right. If a topic is going to upset you that much, just avoid it.

James 3:4-6
4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

God bless

grit
Apr 20th 2009, 04:06 PM
Even a quick perusal of a common list of fallacies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies) (Wikipedia) puts one in an understanding of just how difficult it can be to converse, let alone debate without wandering into some fallacy or other – we all do it. This medium also lends itself to misreading the intentions of a poster, and especially in debate one is likely to frame those of differing perspective in an adversarial role of evil intent.

The first hurdle has to be in neutralizing this natural animosity – in distinguishing an alternative or even opposing view as separate from the person presenting it. This is often quite difficult for all sides in a debate, and especially where religious, moral, and theological values are involved – often as somewhat core to our relationship with God and His creation.

Another of the most common fallacies I encounter, especially in published works where both sides are represented, is in constructing a straw man (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man). We tend to reinterpret an opponents position in such a way as to make it either implausible or easier to deconstructed as erroneous. Often there’s so much misdirection that the misdirection itself overwhelms the debate, so that sorting through the primary differences initially being debated is lost to the attitude of debate itself as a quarrel.

We should always be mindful of what earlier Christians have faced (cf. 1 Corinthians (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%201:10-13;3:3,4;11:18,19)), and both the pitfalls and value of debate (cf. 1 Cor. 11:19 (http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/11-19.htm), YLT: “for it behoveth sects also to be among you, that those approved may become manifest among you;”).

There's a very popular Christian maxim that well illustrates our challenge. It's not without a sort of joyful yet humourous unity that it's been officially supported by Catholic popes, championed as a hallmark of the Lutheran Reformation, and fondly hailed by Wesley. It's been mostly attributed to St. Augustine without a source document, but somewhat sourced to German Lutheran theologian, Rupertus Meldenius, of the Augustinian confession:

In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas - Unity in necessary things; liberty in doubtful things; charity in all things.

markedward
Apr 20th 2009, 06:20 PM
Unfortunately, the number one fallacy I encounter is when other people tell me what I believe, as if they know more about my beliefs than I do. Instead of asking me what I believe, or asking me to clarify something, they launch into a strawman argument. And then when I try to correct their mistaken assumptions, the most stubborn individuals will still insist otherwise. This isn't a verbatim conversation, but the essence of it actually happened:

Me: "I'm a preterist."
Guy: "So you don't believe in the resurrection?"
Me: "No... I do believe in the resurrection."
Guy: "No you don't, you're a preterist. Preterists don't believe in the resurrection."
Me: "Preterists do believe in the resurrection."
Guy: "No they don't."

And this happens often. Not always on this forum, but it has happened here. I try to keep a rule on this sort of thing: if a person insists that they know more about my beliefs than I do, and if I'm up to three posts trying to explain that they are mistaken about what it is I believe, I just leave the conversation.

This is why I am constantly asking people, "So are you saying..." to make sure I'm understanding them correctly. Admittedly, I sometimes forget to do this, but I sure as heck try my hardest to ask first what a person believes instead of telling them what they believe.

apothanein kerdos
Apr 20th 2009, 06:27 PM
I'll be honest - it's difficult to converse without falling into some type of fallacy. As someone who has most of the fallacies memorized, I STILL find myself accidentally wording a question in a fallacious manner.

I think when it does happen, if we don't catch it, but the person comes out and says, "Neither," we should accept it instead of trying to keep the person in a corner. I think Mark provides a great example of how that often occurs.

It's a willingness to let the other person explain his or her belief rather than assigning your perception of the belief onto the person. It's difficult to do, especially if the person ignores the logical implications of his belief, but it has to be done.

I also think it's okay to bold statements, so long as you preface is with "this is for emphasis, not yelling."

Great topic though!

Bex4Jesus
Apr 20th 2009, 06:32 PM
I guess its frustrating for me sometimes when people 'wiggle around' and don't really answer a question. I think its easier to do that on message boards as compared to real life, where if you wiggled around, you would look silly or dishonest.

I've asked hard questions to my former youth minister and he answered as best he could...he never ducked them.

teddyv
Apr 20th 2009, 06:48 PM
I think it is easy to get in a debate versus a discussion. A debate is to be won, and the use of logical fallacies are a tool to sway one side to yours if they are not discovered or refuted. Everyone loves to win an argument.

Bex4Jesus
Apr 20th 2009, 07:06 PM
I think you're right about that! Maybe people are afraid to be totally honest about their feelings because they think it will be used against them in some way.

Walstib
Apr 20th 2009, 07:16 PM
Cool stuff so far!

Part of this can be venting I think, that and confession. In a spirit of reconciliation rather than condemnation. No one need feel picked upon. :)

I have often thought it is amazing two people ever manage to communicate. We all have to learn how to think on our own, have our own intentions with the way we use words.

Reading into others words is a touchy thing for sure. I myself sometimes have hours worth of thought between my words and hope people get half of it. Other times are just a straight up. Some of the best post I have read were one thought long but with broad implications. I agree asking for clarification before exploring a disagreement is a good practice.


An example of something I see as unfair is the "you make God/Jesus a liar" statements. The accusation is unnecessary for discussion and pins the other person in a corner.

moonglow
Apr 20th 2009, 08:18 PM
Cool stuff so far!

Part of this can be venting I think, that and confession. In a spirit of reconciliation rather than condemnation. No one need feel picked upon. :)

I have often thought it is amazing two people ever manage to communicate. We all have to learn how to think on our own, have our own intentions with the way we use words.

Reading into others words is a touchy thing for sure. I myself sometimes have hours worth of thought between my words and hope people get half of it. Other times are just a straight up. Some of the best post I have read were one thought long but with broad implications. I agree asking for clarification before exploring a disagreement is a good practice.


An example of something I see as unfair is the "you make God/Jesus a liar" statements. The accusation is unnecessary for discussion and pins the other person in a corner.

Oh yes, I so dislike the 'so Jesus lied'...'so Jesus is a liar' type of statements.
No one is saying they think Jesus lied on here! And the person saying that, knows it too. Its dishonest. Just because someone doesn't agree with your view on something Jesus said...doesn't mean they think Jesus lied. (not talking to you personally here Walstib but in general). It sounds just horrible to use these words "Jesus lied" in any sentence! Even if the intent is to make it sound as if the other person is saying that...it comes off sounding like "Jesus lied" and who would dare say such a thing on here of all places? That comes up on search engines too...:(

We all know Jesus told the truth in everything..that He IS the truth...so phrasing it a better way would be 'so you have a different understanding of what Jesus meant?' That would be much nicer and more honest.

God bless

teddyv
Apr 20th 2009, 10:22 PM
Cool stuff so far!

Part of this can be venting I think, that and confession. In a spirit of reconciliation rather than condemnation. No one need feel picked upon. :)

I have often thought it is amazing two people ever manage to communicate. We all have to learn how to think on our own, have our own intentions with the way we use words.

Reading into others words is a touchy thing for sure. I myself sometimes have hours worth of thought between my words and hope people get half of it. Other times are just a straight up. Some of the best post I have read were one thought long but with broad implications. I agree asking for clarification before exploring a disagreement is a good practice.


An example of something I see as unfair is the "you make God/Jesus a liar" statements. The accusation is unnecessary for discussion and pins the other person in a corner.
The other one I've come across is the "how can you call yourself a Christian if you believe ______?"

Reading tone and style is so hard in written communication, even with liberal use of emoticons. And trying to limit sarcasm is probably my biggest challenge. My wife recently read over a post I composed and suggested I moderate it to just stick to the point. Ah, a wise women!

moonglow
Apr 20th 2009, 10:54 PM
I think we all have to realize several things too that would make our conversations much nicer on here...

1) Not everyone is at the same level on their bible knowledge or spiritual maturity. And that is ok. Its an ongoing process...

2) Those still needing milk should not be crushed or mocked by those that know more:1 Corinthians 8:11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer for whom Christ died will be destroyed.


3) If someone doesn't seem to 'get it', they may not be ready...its not always because they are 'stubborn' or 'refuse to see the truth' of whatever we might say, but simply God hasn't brought them that far yet...give them time and back off.

4) You cannot argue, debate, spite anyone into believing the same way you do. Let the Holy Spirit do this....

and lastly:

5) Relax! I tell you from some of the posts I read on here I think the poster is going to give themselves a stroke! You can just feel the fuming going on some posts...the intense anger. I really wonder about some's blood pressure...:(

I have finally learned (only took how many years?) that if I am in a heated debate...and I know the person is probably going to post something that will make me angry...that I should log out...wait a bit...read it while still logged out (so I am not tempted to just hit reply), right before I have to go do something else so I have no time to reply because I will reply in anger.

Then I go do whatever I needed to do and it gives me time to cool down and use my brain and think and not just 'act' with emotions. If I post in anger, I always, always regret it. All I do is embarrass myself. :blush: And make a poor witness. And sometimes even though their post made me angry...they are right! But I can't see that until I cool off. Once I am cooled off then I can say...you know what, you are right.

Its ok to be wrong. And its ok to say, I am sorry.

Image Jesus sitting next to you intensely watching every word you type on here...and else where...

God bless

Butch5
Apr 20th 2009, 11:44 PM
How about instead of trying to 'lay traps' or use logical fallacies, we just state what we believe? I believe such and such...then let others respond with scriptures and why they don't believe whatever it is I do. And how about not reading into a post. Don't insert in a reply what you think the poster means...far too many times those inserted words are undermining and cruel...then half the thread is left too the original poster saying I never said that..in which they didn't.. its fine to ask...'do you mean this?'...I do that alot because I am having trouble understanding something they said. Jumping to conclusions though usually only comes back to haunt you..

I have so many of my posts ruined because the first person to reply misunderstood or read into what I said...and everyone replies to what that person wrote...not what I wrote, so I spend the whole thread trying to get back on track and clear up the misunderstanding and never get whatever answer I was seeking...:( Its very upsetting too because it leaves me feeling half the board thinks I believe whatever the first replier said! :cry:

I truly wish people just wouldn't get SO upset over some of these topics. You would think their very life was on the line in convincing people they are right. If a topic is going to upset you that much, just avoid it.

James 3:4-6
4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

God bless

Agreed, I have spent an enormous amount of time telling people what I didn't say.

Butch5
Apr 20th 2009, 11:51 PM
How do we set our standard for the ethics we use talking with each other here?

I have been involved in message board debate for a few years now. I don't know how many conversations I have read or mistakes I have made myself when posting. More than once I used a "when did you stop beating your wife" type of question to put someone in a corner.

Not a fair way to treat a fellow child of God though, poor taste but something I learned from. I do see examples of this often though, and other traps laid for people in words and circular reasoning. Still fail myself sometimes.

So the purpose for the thread would be to share examples of things an honest ethic would have us avoid. How do we love each other better in our approach to each other.

What are some other examples of unfair logical fallacies?

Unwritten etiquette that is a newbie can learn from? like Shouting

Scriptures that could give us some advice or example.?


Here is one I think fits.


I think one way would be to point out logical fallacies when you encounter them in posts. On a different forum, where they don't worry about any one's feelings, logical fallacies are pointed out. I don't point them out because some people may think I am trying to put them down. However I think if it could be done in a caring way it would help many people who probably do not realize they are doing so. Hear is one that I here a lot.

If a person falls away they were never saved, because if they
were they would not fall away.

Can you say circular reasoning?

TrustGzus
Apr 20th 2009, 11:59 PM
Not a fair way to treat a fellow child of God though, poor taste but something I learned from.
This is a good topic as AK said. I would add to your quote above that it's not a fair way to treat anybody, child of God or not a child of God.

In fact, we probably should be even more careful with the non-believers as "we may be the only Bible they ever read" as many teachers have said.

moonglow
Apr 21st 2009, 03:02 AM
Agreed, I have spent an enormous amount of time telling people what I didn't say.

So you are saying you like to repeat what you didn't say alot then? ;)

:lol:

Sorry I couldn't help myself...lol


Yes its very frustrating...very...

Another one is people taking giant leaps of what they see as the logical conclusion to your beliefs without first telling you that they have done that to start with or how they came to that conclusion to arrive at what they suddenly 'think' you are saying...

Sure if you believe certain things and follow through on that line of thinking it will lead to a conclusion...that many times people really haven't thought though.

If for instance someone thinks only tiny little dogs should live and all the others not allowed to continue on...they see only a world full of cute tiny little dogs that could never hurt anyone...not looking the end result of this. No more dogs leading the blind for instance (this could get really complicated but since I am just using this as an example I will keep it simple). They don't see the logical conclusion of their tiny dog theory...

Then a poster comes along and says..."You mean old nasty person!!! You must HATE blind people! How dare you! What kind of wicked heartless person are you?!"

The tiny dog fan is going...huh? And has no choice but to defend their view on tiny dogs not understand this sudden change to them not liking blind people...which they do of course. To them this comes out of left field and they are upset and confused and hurt that anyone would think they didn't like blind people. The other person never bothers explaining how they came to this conclusion...even if they are correct! They have the tiny dog person on the defense, upset and confused by all these accusation. The conversation gets worse and worse and finally the tiny dog person gives up...never understanding what blind people have to do with anything...

So people explain yourself before throwing out accusation ...

That would be helpful...

God bless

kay-gee
Apr 21st 2009, 12:42 PM
We must take into account emotion. Religion is highly emotionally charged. There are few other topics that go to the very root of people as religion, politics being close. I think this is why these topics are frowned upon in a public arena. We were forbidden to discuss them at the dinner table to keep fisticuffs to a minimum!
I am by nature a fairly relaxed easy to get along with guy, but I find my patience with others deteriorating in Bible discussions sometims. It is something I personally need growth in.
It is probably easier to be nasty over the net because there is the sense of anonymity.
Sarcasm and humour are sometimes useful tools in expressing a point. My goal is always to make a person think for themselves, not from a pre-concieved notion.
My pet peeves are people that ask the same things over and over even after the issues have been dealt with at length. There has to be a point where resolution is made and a decision to believe or not believe.
I hate it when people mis-use Gods word! That is taking things out of context or twisting passages to prove points.
The Johnny come lately's hop in at the end of a 300 post thread and start with stuff that has already been addressed. I think many don't even bother to read posts or skim to through to see what a thread is about.
I guess I need to work on the concept that people aren't always going to "get" things. Bible teaching being clear as a bell on issues dosen't even matter. People didn't always "get" Christ Himself wen He taught. (so who am I?) The Jews for example, were so grounded in their own doctrines they could not see outside of the box. They had their proof texts also, and they were sticking to them.
I try to do all things in love but I know sometimes it comes out wrong. Please correct me when you see me acting that way. I can handle criticism. It is all part of the growth process.

all the best...

Walstib
Apr 21st 2009, 04:59 PM
I think it is easy to get in a debate versus a discussion. A debate is to be won, and the use of logical fallacies are a tool to sway one side to yours if they are not discovered or refuted. Everyone loves to win an argument.

I hear you, this got me thinking of things and some questions for everyone. :)

I tend to enjoy a discussion more myself but see worth in a healthy debate. Part of the intent here was to speak specifically about debate as this this forum is a place for it. In the same spirit the apostles had when they gathered I would hope.


The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, ............ Act 15:6-7 NASB)

There are a two main ways people enter into a debate here I think.

the desire to prove your beliefs are right or wrong;


Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.(Act 17:11 NASB)
the desire to defend what you believe is the truth;

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. (2Ti 4:2 NKJV)

There is a season for both ways I think. Yet a danger in both of letting the flesh get a foothold in the debate. Doing either for the wrong reasons that is. What our motives are when we begin will have the most impact on the outcome I think.

One still needs to take a stand on any specific point, and it is good to do on disputable matters personally.


For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (2Co 7:10-11 NKJV)

'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.(Rev 3:15-16 NASB)

Taking all of Romans 14 into this.....

How do we debate with each other within this advice? Where do we draw our line for what to keep between ourselves and God?

Should teaching be a part of debating in this format?

teddyv
Apr 21st 2009, 05:59 PM
Some muddled thoughts.

I agree that debate is important and in general there are enough people involved in a forum like this with a good grip on the Bible and the various logical fallacies that will in general keep people honest. The difficulty (to my mind) arises in determining what is a legitimate point of debate. Obviously matters of a salvific nature need to be scrutinized closely and backed up Biblically.

I would again reiterate that this form of communication just does not lend itself well to a true debate format. Body language, facial expression, tone of voice just cannot be rendered in written text despite the best smilies.

These fora are excellent in the ability to present evidence and facts in ways that people may be able to read over it in their own time and hopefully come to a reasoned conclusion.


How do we debate with each other within this advice? Where do we draw our line for what to keep between ourselves and God?
Having the wisdom to figure out what can be edifying to those around us and what will only cause division is something we need the Holy Spirit to impart. Something I need continually. I know this is not really an answer but I don't know if a general rule can be applied.


Should teaching be a part of debating in this format?
I'm not sure if I am reading this one correctly. Teaching is not debating. But maybe I getting into semantics. There is an implicit trust of the teacher by the one being taught. This is why teachers and preachers are held to higher account. This does not stop people from asking questions but need to be done with respect.

Walstib
Apr 21st 2009, 06:26 PM
On a different forum, where they don't worry about any one's feelings, logical fallacies are pointed out. I don't point them out because some people may think I am trying to put them down. However I think if it could be done in a caring way it would help many people who probably do not realize they are doing so.

Thanks butch, I agree with you here.

It was interesting to consider your comment on not worrying about peoples feelings. That has so much to do with this topic I think. As others have suggested these topics are often close to our heart. As family I think it is good to have concern for each others feelings here. Like I have learned relatively recently a happy wife is a happy life.

Part of what I was originally thinking was that we should hold ourselves to a higher standard than the world having even our debate grounded in selfless love. That love can be found in hurting others feelings, which does make it difficult to find the balance.


On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.(1Co 12:22-25 NASB)


Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. (Rom 12:14-18 NASB)


What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.(1Co 9:18-23 NASB)

shepherdsword
Apr 22nd 2009, 01:51 AM
I think the biggest problem with debate in this kind of environment is the motive of our heart. Are we having a discussion to search out the truth or are we just setting up a podium to proclaim our own pet beliefs? I confess that most of the time I am not really looking for truth. It seems as if I am only attempting to win the argument. I attempt to mount a superior defense of my position while attacking the other's position. If I am successful I then assume that I have the truth. I have been examining myself to see how open and teachable I really am. My intellectual pride is based on this: "Few really know or understand the word like I do. After all I have most of the bible memorized and I personally do not know anyone who knows it better.'' While I can readily detect this type of arrogance in others I seem to be blinded to it when I base my attitude in a discussion on it. I thank God that I do have some close personal friends who challenge me when I get like this. While I can overwhelm them with loads of information I have memorized I cannot deny the simple words of truth they speak. They point out my prideful attitude. It seems like God has anointed their words with a penetrating power I would be a fool to deny.

The only way I can change is to hear what they say and accept the correction.


I think many of the brightest here are in the same boat I'm in. It also seems to me like most of the posters here have my motive as well.
We aren't really looking to learn or search for the truth. We are looking to prove that we already have the truth. I will say this though,If someone proves my position wrong I will abandon it. That is another rare commodity around here. ;) I see many that keep clinging to their position even when it has been proven wrong by overwhelming evidence. I think that is even a worse form of pride than what I am afflicted with.Now I am sure I will get hit with all kinds of denials by those who think that they have the purest of motives in their quest for truth. However, the proof is in the pudding. I am not slamming this forum. It's the same everywhere. The issue is rooted in the prideful nature of the carnal man.

kay-gee
Apr 22nd 2009, 02:08 AM
Wondering. What is a logical fallacie?

all the best...

SIG
Apr 22nd 2009, 04:34 AM
Some guidelines I try to follow:

Avoid using the word "you." I'm looking for truth, not trying to be right.

Always assume I may be wrong (which is of no importance). I'm not trying to be right or prove someone else wrong. God is all right; we are just seeking.

Always try to post in the Spirit, never the flesh.

If someone misunderstands me, don't take it personally. Human communication is seriously flawed. Plus--I have nothing to defend, and God can surely defend Himself.

Remember that we are all in a very tiny boat on a very big ocean. We need to be kind.

Etc...

SIG
Apr 22nd 2009, 04:36 AM
kay-gee--Here is an article on logical fallacies:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

I guess you could call them faulty reasoning or flawed logic...and all the best to you!

kay-gee
Apr 22nd 2009, 12:29 PM
I read the article. Wow...you gotta be an English professor to understand that.

all the best...

TrustGzus
Apr 22nd 2009, 03:25 PM
I think the biggest problem with debate in this kind of environment is the motive of our heart. Are we having a discussion to search out the truth or are we just setting up a podium to proclaim our own pet beliefs? I confess that most of the time I am not really looking for truth. It seems as if I am only attempting to win the argument. I attempt to mount a superior defense of my position while attacking the other's position. If I am successful I then assume that I have the truth. I have been examining myself to see how open and teachable I really am. My intellectual pride is based on this: "Few really know or understand the word like I do. After all I have most of the bible memorized and I personally do not know anyone who knows it better.'' While I can readily detect this type of arrogance in others I seem to be blinded to it when I base my attitude in a discussion on it. I thank God that I do have some close personal friends who challenge me when I get like this. While I can overwhelm them with loads of information I have memorized I cannot deny the simple words of truth they speak. They point out my prideful attitude. It seems like God has anointed their words with a penetrating power I would be a fool to deny.

The only way I can change is to hear what they say and accept the correction.


I think many of the brightest here are in the same boat I'm in. It also seems to me like most of the posters here have my motive as well.
We aren't really looking to learn or search for the truth. We are looking to prove that we already have the truth. I will say this though,If someone proves my position wrong I will abandon it. That is another rare commodity around here. ;) I see many that keep clinging to their position even when it has been proven wrong by overwhelming evidence. I think that is even a worse form of pride than what I am afflicted with.Now I am sure I will get hit with all kinds of denials by those who think that they have the purest of motives in their quest for truth. However, the proof is in the pudding. I am not slamming this forum. It's the same everywhere. The issue is rooted in the prideful nature of the carnal man.Good post, shepherdsword, I have to spread more reps around to rep you, so I couldn't right now.

Your second paragraph almost sounds like a different person than the first paragraph.

It sounds like you've been a Christian for a while. I've been a Christian for 23 years. I really don't have a problem putting my views on the table to be challenged -- though it is hard to admit being wrong. Like you, when my view takes fatal hits, I let it go. I used to be a Roman Catholic. When I got saved I changed my choice of one "infallible" human authority and made certain protestant pastors or authors my new "infallible" authority. I basically exchanged popes.

However, as I adopted my new popes' views, sometimes other people punched holes in some of those popes' stances. What I did was get pretty set on what is essential doctrine and I hold on loosely to the rest. But even the essentials I gladly put on the table because I think they are so grounded in fact that I have no problem allowing others to take shots at them. The chance of them proving them wrong are less than 1% in my mind.

I agree with your assessment of people. I find it interesting that sometimes the less informed a person is, the prouder they are about their stance. I was the same. When I knew less, I clung with more tenacity to positions and fought harder and was more prone to "hit below the belt" to hold to my view. Now . . . I'll allow my view to be a punching bag and I say hit me with your best shot.

Interested in your thoughts and how much you parallel my approach.

Grace & peace,

Joe

Butch5
Apr 22nd 2009, 11:11 PM
So you are saying you like to repeat what you didn't say alot then? ;)

:lol:

Sorry I couldn't help myself...lol


Yes its very frustrating...very...

Another one is people taking giant leaps of what they see as the logical conclusion to your beliefs without first telling you that they have done that to start with or how they came to that conclusion to arrive at what they suddenly 'think' you are saying...

Sure if you believe certain things and follow through on that line of thinking it will lead to a conclusion...that many times people really haven't thought though.

If for instance someone thinks only tiny little dogs should live and all the others not allowed to continue on...they see only a world full of cute tiny little dogs that could never hurt anyone...not looking the end result of this. No more dogs leading the blind for instance (this could get really complicated but since I am just using this as an example I will keep it simple). They don't see the logical conclusion of their tiny dog theory...

Then a poster comes along and says..."You mean old nasty person!!! You must HATE blind people! How dare you! What kind of wicked heartless person are you?!"

The tiny dog fan is going...huh? And has no choice but to defend their view on tiny dogs not understand this sudden change to them not liking blind people...which they do of course. To them this comes out of left field and they are upset and confused and hurt that anyone would think they didn't like blind people. The other person never bothers explaining how they came to this conclusion...even if they are correct! They have the tiny dog person on the defense, upset and confused by all these accusation. The conversation gets worse and worse and finally the tiny dog person gives up...never understanding what blind people have to do with anything...

So people explain yourself before throwing out accusation ...

That would be helpful...

God bless

Well said my friend, well said.

Butch5
Apr 22nd 2009, 11:30 PM
Thanks butch, I agree with you here.

It was interesting to consider your comment on not worrying about peoples feelings. That has so much to do with this topic I think. As others have suggested these topics are often close to our heart. As family I think it is good to have concern for each others feelings here. Like I have learned relatively recently a happy wife is a happy life.

Part of what I was originally thinking was that we should hold ourselves to a higher standard than the world having even our debate grounded in selfless love. That love can be found in hurting others feelings, which does make it difficult to find the balance.




I agree, that other forum that I spoke of can get very heated, because many people don't like to be shown when they are wrong. If I am wrong I want someone to show me. I was in a Church and following two pastors that I trusted and thought they were leading me in the truth. However, the more I listened to the Scriptures the more I realized what they were saying was not lining up with Scripture. After a while I had many questions that they could not answer, so I put everything I believed on the table and began to compare it to Scripture. I wound up throwing out a lot of what I had been taught. Now I compare all teaching to Scripture, I am very teachable "if" you can show me from Scripture that what you say is true. One thing I find difficult is that many will post a verse or two and think they have shown that what they said is correct, however it very well may be out of context. That is one reason many of my posts are so long, because I use a lot of Scripture to try to show context, I also try to show a pattern in Scripture as opposed to just a verse or two.

fuzzi
Apr 22nd 2009, 11:37 PM
Briefly, what I find disheartening in online forums:

People who 'show off' their 'education' and assume that others can't possibly understand the wonderful revelations they have received through their superior intelligence and training.

People who use Ad hominem (personal attacks).

People who try to portray someone with a contrary position in a negative light, so others will discount their beliefs based on what they 'know' about the person.

People who won't just agree to disagree.

Whoever said they give up after about three attempts is correct, Scripturally, imho. When someone doesn't appear to want to understand my position, I just let it go and go on...'shake the dust', so to speak.

Good thread, btw.

Walstib
Apr 23rd 2009, 03:36 AM
This is a good topic as AK said. I would add to your quote above that it's not a fair way to treat anybody, child of God or not a child of God.

In fact, we probably should be even more careful with the non-believers as "we may be the only Bible they ever read" as many teachers have said.

Good word bro,

It got me thinking how our witness should cause us to appear like a peculiar people set apart from the world.


In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Tit 2:7-14 KJV)That and how much this is like family. I am the youngest of nine, family dynamics are interesting to say the least. Often it seems like it is easier to treat strangers with more respect than family. But there should be understanding and forgiveness inherent in family that allow for being less careful with each other. I see lots of parallels in this comparison.


Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.(Gal 6:7-10 KJV)Peace,
Joe

apothanein kerdos
Apr 24th 2009, 02:58 PM
Now that I have some time:

I want to list what I perceive to be some of the most common fallacies on message boards. It's from my own read and my commitment to committing these fallacies. :) I've seen it too many times in my own arguments, so I'm quite well acquainted with them.


Ad hominem - in general, this fallacy deals with focusing on the person and not the argument. It's generally when we look to the person's profession. Such as a debate between William Lane Craig and Bart Ehrman. Craig made an amazing historical defense for the Resurrection, but Ehrman cast it aside by saying, "Craig teaches at a seminary, he's a Christian, so of course he's going to say it's historical." Or it is the equivalent of someone saying, "Of course the Pope is against abortion, he's Catholic." It doesn't deal with the arguments presented, it simply looks to why a person might support an argument.

This doesn't work because it doesn't deal with the truth presented. A mathematician will support the claim that 2+2=4, but he'll support it because it's true, not because it's a mathematician.

Now, not all ad hominem attacks are abusive or wrong. If someone claims something, but that person is known to be a habitual liar, then it's okay to question what was said. Even so, a habitual liar might speak the truth once in a while, so it's best to just look at the claim itself.

From a Christian perspective, all of these arguments focus on the person rather than on the contention being made. It attacks the person and completely ignores the point being made. Biblically, though persons are often attacked, it is for the beliefs they hold. Because they hold false beliefs, they are then attacked - it is never the other way around.

The ad hominem argument breaks down into three [main] categories:

1) Ad hominem tu quoque - this fallacy is committed when we assume a person's claim is false because the person contradicts his claim. Though it is true that we can often contradict our beliefs, this makes us hypocrites, but it doesn't necessarily mean our claims are false. For example:

Jack tells Stacy that smoking is unhealthy. He then lights up and begins to smoke. Stacy concludes that smoking must not be bad (Jack's claim is false) because Jack smokes.

Or...

Frank tells Jim that Christ loves everyone and everyone is made in the image of God. Frank procedes to beat up a child. Jim concludes that Frank's premise is false because Jim acts in the opposite manner.

The person's actions don't prove anything (other than one of the two propositions - the person's claims or the person's actions - are true [or both false]). At best it proves that the person making the claim is inconsistent, but it says little to the truth of the person's claim.

The only way around it is to show that no one can live consistently with the claim made, but this has much more to do with correspondance to reality rather than hypocrisy.

2) Abusive ad hominem - this is done with the person making the claim is simply mocked for the belief.

Jim claims that God exists. Richard says that Jim is delusional for such a belief, therefore the belief is wrong.

All this does is place a direct attack upon the character of Jim. It doesn't say anything to Jim's claim that "God exists." It does nothing except attack Jim.

3) Circumstantial ad hominem - This fallacy is when we look to the circumstances of why a person might support an argument rather than with the argument itself.

This is akin to the examples I used in describing ad hominem, but another example would be:

Jim only believes in the Virgin Birth because it's in his interest to do so.

Or...

Jim only believes drinking alcohol isn't a sin because Jim likes to have a beer once a week.

Neither argument deals with the claims that Jim makes; instead, it trys to apply a motive to Jim. As I stated, mathematicians support 2+2=4 because it's true, not because they're mathematicians.

The Genetic Fallacy - The genetic fallacy is quite common because sometimes we must look to the origins of something in order to evaluate whether or not it's true. However, it occurs when we look to the origins of something and say that beacuse of its origins, it simply cannot be true today. An example:

The current pope was in the Hitler Youth as a child, thus all of his policies today reflect his time in the Hitler Youth.

This doesn't really make a lot of sense. From a logical perspective, it's entirely possible that he has changed his mind since being in the Hitler youth. From a Christian perspective, it is entirely possible he's been redeemed and therefore his origins do not matter.

Poisoning the Well - This is done when the credibility of the person is called into question in private without giving the person a chance to respond. For example,

Jim: "Jacob is arrogant, so arrogant that anything he says must be wrong."
Susy: "I agree."

Jacob makes the claim that the Civil War was about slavery.

Jim: "See? He must be wrong because he's too arrogant, he's simply worshiping himself."

It doesn't follow. Jacob very well might be arrogant and might worship himself - it doesn't do anything to the fact of what he is saying though. However, this fallacy is an attempt to discredit a person before he ever speaks.

From a Christian point of view, this deals directly with gossiping and backbiting. It deals with spreading rumors about other people. Of all the fallacies, this is probably the one we should avoid the most.


There are many others, but I'll leave these here for now. I'll probably post some more later.

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