Logical Theology

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Archive for the tag “logical fallacy”

Appeal to Nature Fallacy Part 2


Now that we better understand the appeal to nature fallacy, let us look at how this fallacy can be committed in Christian discourse.

Example 1:

Michael says, “Personally, I think that women should not teach men or have authority over them. Women should listen quietly in church and not take part in the discussion.”

Margaret asks,“Why do you believe that?”

Michael responds, “Besides what the Bible says, that is the way the natural world is. In the natural world, it is the female that is submissive and the male who dominates. The female raises the children, not the male. God made it that way; therefore, we should adhere to it.”

There are two problems with Michael’s response. First, he apparently does not know as much about the natural world as he thinks. Birds serve as a good example. For example, the male Cassowary bird is the one who sits on the eggs. The Mountain Plover male also incubates some of the laid eggs. Both the male and female Mourning Doves take turns sitting on the eggs and then feeding the chicks after they are hatched. Not only is Michael’s view of the natural world factually incorrect, but he has also committed the appeal to nature fallacy. Let us now look at how he made this mistake. Michael is assuming that if something is a feature of the natural world, it demonstrates how God intends for humans to live or interact. Think about that statement for a moment. Because God created animals with certain characteristics, humans were intended to have similar characteristics. There are multiple problems with that argument. However, I will use only two examples.

First, consider the Rhea bird. These birds are polygamous. The male bird has multiple females, sometimes as many as a dozen. Does this bird’s behavior legitimize polygamy? On the other hand, consider the Dunnocks. These birds are polyandrous, meaning that females mate with multiple males.

As can be seen, the natural world contains examples that contradict Michael’s view.  Even if it did not, that would not justify Michael’s conclusion. Just because animals behave a certain way does not mean that it is good for humans to do likewise. Thinking that it does commits the appeal to nature fallacy. This fallacy is not always as obvious as it was in Michael’s statement. Here is another example:

Example 2:

Jason says, “Personally, I do not support women wearing jewelry or makeup. I believe the Bible is clear on this matter, and nature further testifies that women should not wear jewelry or makeup.”

Sarah asks, “What do you mean when you say that nature testifies that women should not wear jewelry or makeup?”

Jason replies, “Look at the natural world. The females of animal species do not have the dramatic coloring or features that the males have. Nevertheless, they are still beautiful creations of the Lord. God obviously intended for females to have a modest, simply adorned appearance.”

Unfortunately for Jason, his argument is a logical fallacy. Attempting to legitimize or prohibit certain human behaviors solely based on the behavior or appearance of animals or the differences between male and female animals is logically fallacious. That is not to say that humans can learn nothing from the behavior of animals; for example, in the Bible, the hard-working ant is used as a lesson to teach people not to be lazy (Proverbs 6:6-11). This proverb provides an object lesson for humans, but it does not commit the appeal to nature fallacy, for the goodness and value of working hard is not derived from the behavior of ants. On the other hand, Jason’s assumption that differences between the sexes in animals tells us how God intends for humans to act does commit the appeal to nature fallacy.

The Bottom Line: While humans are similar to animals in multiple ways, the fact that a behavior is a part of the natural world does not automatically warrant concluding that humans should emulate this behavior. Just as certain foods and plants can be natural but unfit for human consumption, so certain behaviors can be natural but unnecessary or even wrong for humans to practice. In other words, being natural does not mean that is the way it should be for humans.

Tu Quoque Fallacy Part 2

Let us now look at a few examples of how the Tu Quoque fallacy can be committed within Christian dialogue:

Example 1: 

Michael says, “Mr. Smith claims that he is not an Anglican, nor does he wish to become one, for he does not agree with Anglican doctrine.  But wait a minute!  Didn’t Mr. Smith give a substantial donation to an Anglican church last year?  So he disagrees with Anglican doctrine and yet hypocritically supports an Anglican church with his finances. He certainly is inconsistent.”

While it may seem that Mr. Smith’s actions are hypocritical, the fact that a year has gone by since he donated the money to the church gives him more than enough time to change his mind. Even if he really did believe in Anglican doctrine a year ago, the fact that he has since changed his mind does not make him hypocritical.  However, let us suppose that he has always disagreed with Anglican doctrine, even when he supported the church with his finances. Would that make him a hypocrite?  Perhaps, but not necessarily.  If Mr. Smith gave his money to the church because the church was taking the money and using it to help people, such as feeding the poor and homeless and/or helping people get free from drug addiction, then he was not necessarily agreeing with the church’s doctrine.  He was simply supporting a good work.

Example 2: 

Jill says, “You should not go to my church because what they teach is wrong.  They are very dogmatic and rude towards those who disagree with them.”

Jennifer replies, “How can you say that??! You have been going to that church for 20 years and you still attend.” 

By Jill’s suggestion that Jennifer avoid the church which she herself still attends, it is tempting to conclude that Jill is being hypocritical. However, this may not necessarily be the case.  Perhaps Jill attends the church, not because she agrees with their doctrine, but because all her family and friends go there. She may in fact disagree with the church’s doctrine, but not want to sever her family relationships. While we may believe that she should still find a new church more in line with the doctrine she accepts, the fact that she continues to attend the church does not necessarily make her hypocritical.  In addition, even if she was being hypocritical, that alone does not make her statements about the church’s doctrine and atmosphere false.

Example 3: 

Stephen says, “I just finished listening to a lecture by professor Little. It is his opinion that the doctrine of the Trinity is mistaken.  I felt he has some good arguments to support his conclusions. What do you think about his beliefs?

Jason replies, “Professor Little is a serial adulterer who has been married four times and is not even married to the two women he lives with currently. Therefore, I reject his belief that trinitarianism is mistaken.”

While most would agree that it is not good that Professor Little has behaved the way he has, his personal misdeeds and failings have no bearing on whether his argument is true or false. If Jason is going to reject professor Little’s arguments, he must do so with good arguments of his own.  Rejecting professor Little’s position due to his personal faults is committing the Tu Quoque fallacy.

The Bottom Line:  Hypocrisy and inconsistency do not automatically negate an argument someone is making.  To assert that it does is a logical fallacy.

Tu Quoque Fallacy Part 1

A Tu Quoque (Latin for “you, also”) argument is an Ad Hominem which is committed when someone attempts to refute another person’s argument by pointing out that the person is being inconsistent with something he/she said or did, either recently or in the past.  In short, the fallacy is committed by wrongly arguing that a person’s hypocrisy invalidates their argument.

Hypocrisy can, in some limited cases, rebut someone’s argument, such as when a hyocritical and lying individual insists that they are a morally upright person.  However, when hypocrisy does not refute the argument being made, dismissing the argument solely because of the speaker’s hypocrisy is a logical fallacy. Consider the following examples:

Example 1: 

Bob says, “You really need to stop spending so much time playing video games. Your personal life is suffering because of it.” 

Tom replies, “No offense, but you play video games for eight hours a day, which is more than twice the amount of time that I play. There is nothing harmful with spending four hours a day playing video games and I will continue to do it, regardless of your opinion.”

Question: Does Tom’s response prove that spending great amounts of time playing video games is perfectly fine?

Answer: No, it does not.  Tom only accused Bob of hypocrisy. He did not present an argument in favor of his opinion. In addition, even if Bob is being hypocritical, that does not mean his argument can be dismissed. In fact, considering how much time Bob himself spends playing games, he might have just been warning Tom to not get so addicted to games because he knows from personal experience that it is unhealthy. If that is the case, then Bob would not be unreliable or hypocritical. Rather, it would mean that he wanted to help Tom avoid making the same mistake. However, even if Bob was being hypocritical, that does not disprove his argument.

Example 2:

Susan says, “I heard Mr. Smith say that we need to pass legislation that would require farming and meat companies to raise their animals in more humane ways. However, Mr. Smith used to work on the board of directors for a major meat producing company that has always kept its animals in appalling conditions.  Mr. Smith is a hypocrite, and we should not listen to anything he says.”

Question: Has Susan given us a good argument?

Answer: No. Susan’s argument was that because the past actions of Mr. Smith are inconsistent with his current statements, then Mr. Smith’s arguments should be dismissed.  This is fallacious for two reasons:

    1. Mr. Smith may have genuinely changed his mind. Not to allow someone to change their mind and to insist that people will perpetually believe and act the same is fallacious.
    2. As with the previous example, hypocrisy does not refute the argument being presented.

Now consider the following example which is not a logical fallacy:

Example 3:

Jason says, “Dorothy claims that she is a fine example of what it means to care for other people and to help the poor,  for she donates considerable money to the poor and works in a soup kitchen once a week.”

Gloria says, “While that is true, Dorothy also is the CEO of a major technology company which manufactures most of its goods and wares in Chinese factories. The working conditions at these factories are appalling, leading to many deaths.  In addition, the workers are paid so little, worked so hard, and treated so mercilessly that there have even been riots in these factories. Frankly, Dorothy’s acts of kindness to the poor are just a cover for who she really is–a greedy and selfish woman who abuses and takes advantage of the poor to enrich herself.”

Question: Is this an Ad Hominem Tu Quoque fallacy? 

Answer: No, it is not. The argument under consideration is not whether it is good to help the poor and to work in a soup kitchen. The argument was that Dorothy is a good example of what caring for the poor should look like.  However, as Gloria correctly pointed out, Dorothy’s other actions contradict her image as an caring person. Thus, Dorothy may appear to be a good example of what it means to care for the poor, but when we see her for who she truly is, she is a bad example indeed.

THE BOTTOM LINE: It is a mistake to think that hypocrisy automatically refutes a person’s argument. Hypocrisy can, in some cases, does discredit a person, make them unreliable, and possibly refute their claims. However, when hypocrisy does not refute the argument being made, to claim that it does, is a logical fallacy.

Poisoning the Well Part 2

Now that we better understand the Poisoning the Well fallacy, let us consider how this fallacy can be committed in Christian dialogue:

Example 1: Teresa says, “In a moment, Job will be here to talk to us about the theological subject of free will and God’s sovereignty. Job has been a teacher for 20 years at Fairbanks College, which is a very small Christian school in the small town of Ely.”

Why did Teresa need to mention that the college Job works at is small and that the town the college is in is also a small town?  Why not just say that Job has taught for 20 years at Fairbanks College in the town of Ely?  Could it be that Teresa is trying to imply that Job does not have the credentials to competently discuss the subject of free will and God’s sovereignty? Even if this was not Teresa’s intention, her statements could still be taken to imply that Job is somehow not qualified to talk about the subject under discussion because he’s from a small town college. Therefore, Teresa is poisoning the well against Job.  For all we know Job may have graduated from Oxford and just because he teaches at a small college in a small town does not necessarily mean that he had not received a quality education and/or that he can not competently discuss the issue.

Example 2: Linda says, “Tomorrow, Gloria is going to come to our church and give the sermon. She will be speaking about what the Bible says concerning baptism and what history teaches us about how the ancient Jews practiced baptism. Do you all remember what we talked about last week? Gloria is from Mission church down in the city of Greenwood. Keep that in mind when you listen to what she has to say.”

This can be an example of poisoning the well; however, it does not have to be. If Linda was reminding the people that Gloria was from a trusted and credible church and was calling to remembrance what the people had learned about baptism last week, then Linda’s statements are not an example of poisoning the well.  In this case, she was just stating that Gloria’s speech will be a continuation of what they had previously heard. However, what if the people at Linda’s church strongly disagree with the doctrine of Mission church, which is possible if Mission church is affiliated with another denomination.  If that is the case, then Linda was preparing her congregation to be very skeptical when Gloria arrives.

Someone may rightly ask, “what is wrong with being skeptical when someone advances a position different than your own?” Absolutely nothing!  People should judge and evaluate what other people say and not accept it uncritically. However, the problem with what Linda said is not that she wanted her people to critically evaluate Gloria’s argument, though that may have been her intention. The problem is that her statements were worded in such a way that it could bias her congregation against Gloria’s sermon so they would then not fairly consider and judge her message.

Even if Mission Church teaches error, it is still a mistake bias a crowd of people before a speaker has a chance to present his/her argument. You must allow someone to completely and freely present their argument before judging it. Therefore, Linda was poisoning the well against Gloria. Biasing a group of people against someone does not refute what the individual is going to say because, since they have not presented their argument, who can know specifically what they are going to present.  So how can it be judged beforehand?

In conclusion, arguments should be fairly evaluated based on the evidence for or against them. Attempting to poison the well before someone speaks does not negate their arguments, it only results in people being less likely to fairly evaluate them.


Poisoning the Well Part 1

Poisoning the Well is a fallacy which occurs when someone presents unfavorable information about another in order to influence people not to believe or not to take seriously what the person is about to say.

The reason this is fallacious is because negative facts about an individual do not necessarily disprove any arguments that the individual makes. Whether the presented information is true or false, preemptively using it to cause an audience not to take a speaker’s argument seriously is very often fallacious.

Let us consider a few examples to better understand this fallacy:

Example 1: Jack says, “Before we welcome Michael onto the show to discuss the proposed Senate bill, let us take a moment and remember that this individual is a convicted felon and perjurer.”

Notice how Jack is using the fact that Michael is a convicted felon and perjurer to bias us against anything he would say. This is fallacious because any argument Michael makes needs to be evaluated based on the evidence for or against it. While it is not good that Michael committed the crimes he did, it should have no bearing on the argument he will be making.

In some cases, negative information does have bearing on a person’s credibility. However, that depends on the argument being made. If Michael was arguing that he is a trustworthy man who would never lie, the fact that he was a perjurer and felon would naturally make us think otherwise. On the other hand, if Michael was arguing for the earth being round, his crimes have no bearing on that argument. Presenting the negative information before the individual presents their argument is still unacceptable because it is a mistake to dismiss someone’s argument before they even have an opportunity to let you know what it is and to present it.

Example 2: Rose says, “In a moment, Todd is going to present his argument in favor of position X.  However, let us remember that all arguments for position X have been proven false.”

Rose’s statement implies that because all previous arguments in favor of position X have been defeated, no strong argument can be given for position X. This is a fallacious statement because even if it were true that all the arguments in support of position X have been proven false, that does not mean one is justified in automatically rejecting what Todd has to say. If Todd is going to present a new argument in favor of position X, his argument will have to be tested on the basis of the evidence for and against it. The fact that all previous arguments for position X have failed does not automatically negate Todd’s argument. This is easily seen if one imagines that Todd is living during the time of Plato and Aristotle and is arguing for the heliocentric model as opposed to the geocentric model. Just because all previous arguments for heliocentrism have been defeated does not mean Todd can not give a good argument in favor of it.

In conclusion, attempting to bias an audience against what a speaker is about to say is a logical fallacy. When someone is going to present an argument, it is important to allow them to make their argument before you judge it. 


Logical Fallacy: Circumstantial Ad Hominem Part 2

Now that we better understand the Circumstantial Ad Hominem, let us consider how this fallacy can be committed within a Christian setting:

Example 1:

Mitch says, “In my opinion, position X provides the best framework from which to accurately interpret the Bible. I believe this to be true because of the large amount of evidence that supports position X.”

Rebecca replies, “It is not surprising that you accept position X, because you are employed at a Bible college which requires its faculty to accept that position.  Therefore, because you are simply saying what you are required to say, I will look for an unbiased presentation of position X before I decide whether or not to accept it.”

Understanding Rebecca’s mistake:

See how Rebecca is not rejecting position X but is in fact, rejecting Mitch’s presentation of it due to her perception of Mitch’s motives. As already stated, just because someone is required to believe something in order to hold their position, that does not make their arguments invalid, nor does it excuse you from having to look at and consider their argument. It is true that in some cases, we are justified in seeking an unbiased source, as in the case of Michael Jordan being paid to endorse Wheaties.  However, it is still fallacious to completely dismiss what someone is saying because of bias on their part. Refusing to consider an argument even if you know the speaker is biased, can be faulty logic as well.

Let us now see what specifically was wrong with Rebecca’s statement:

Just because Mitch is required to hold to a particular world-view in order to keep his position, this does not necessarily mean that he is biased and therefore can’t be trusted to give a fair analysis of the evidence for and against position X.  After all, it is a stereotype to think that people who attend groups and colleges with doctrinal statement can not be trusted to fairly present both sides of an argument. This stereotype is false because people can be required to accept a belief and still be fair in their analysis of the evidence. They can also be willing to change if shown to be wrong.

Example 2: 

Kimberly says, “I believe that the leadership of the Catholic Church is making some mistakes in how they govern their churches. For example…”

Kate interrupts: “You would think and say that, for your denomination disagrees strongly with what the Catholic Church teaches.”

Understanding Kate’s mistake:

Kate’s reply assumes that Kimberly’s denomination is teaching its people to think and talk negatively about the Catholic Church. In Kate’s mind, this negates what Kimberly is saying. This is a logical mistake because even if Kimberly’s denomination is teaching its people to view the Catholic Church negatively, that does not rebut Kimberly’s statement. It could very well be that Kimberly’s statement about the Catholic Church is true. If this in fact is the case, then her negative view of the Catholic Church is irrelevant.

Notice also how Kate rudely interrupted Kimberly and dismissed her argument before giving her a chance to defend herself. This too is fallacious.

In conclusion, it is a mistake to dismiss an individual’s argument simply because of perceived bias on their part.  Don’t interrupt them.  Give them a chance to present what could be a good argument. While you may prefer to hear it from an unbiased source, even the fact that someone is biased does not automatically mean you have a good reason to reject what they have to say.


Logical Fallacy: Circumstantial Ad Hominem Part 1

The Circumstantial Ad Hominem fallacy occurs when someone rejects an argument simply because of a perceived bias on that person’s part.

This is a mistake in logic because even if the arguer is biased towards accepting or rejecting an argument, that does not necessarily invalidate the argument itself. While it is true that in some cases, bias can discredit someone, that does not mean the argument itself has been refuted.

To better understand this common mistake, lets consider a few examples:

              Example 1:

  •  John argues, “Michael Jordan appeared in a commercial endorsing Wheaties breakfast cereal. Since he is a famous athlete, it is safe to conclude that he is endorsing Wheaties because he was paid a large sum of money to endorse the product. Therefore, the product is worthless because famous people would not be recommending products unless they were being paid to do so.”

Understanding John’s mistake:

Michael Jordan may well have said what he did about Wheaties only because he was paid to say it;  however, that does not mean he doesn’t eat Wheaties and enjoy them every day for breakfast.  It simply means that people should not accept Michael Jordan’s endorsement uncritically.

It is safe to assume that product advertisements are not usually going to give you logical reasons to purchase the product. In most cases they will attempt to motivate your emotional desires, wants, and needs, often using appeals to authority to close the sale. However, that fact alone does not prove that their products are “good” or bad for that matter.

Therefore, John’s argument must be seen as fallacious.

Example 2:

  •  Todd says, “I don’t believe that the gods of any of the world’s religions exist.”
  • Mary responds, “You disbelieve in any deities because, as president of the University Atheists Association, you are required to say that. Therefore, I am not listening to anything you have to say on this subject.”

Understanding Mary’s mistake:

Even if Todd was required to be an atheist in order to be the president of the University Atheists Association (as opposed merely to being non-religious or agnostic), would that automatically make him unable to provide an unbiased and reliable defense of atheism? Not any more than being the president of a Jewish university means that all your arguments in support of Judaism are unreliable. Just because someone is required to believe something in order to hold their position does not make their arguments invalid.

Example 3:

  • Steve says, “I just finished interviewing Bob, and he seems to be the perfect man for the job. What do you think?”
  • Sarah responds, “I think hiring him would be a big mistake. He claims to be a very honest and hard-working man. However, did he tell you that he was fired from his last three jobs for being disrespectful to his bosses? I think you should find someone else because he deliberately neglected to be honest about his past experiences.”

Did Sarah commit a Circumstantial Ad Hominem? 

No, she did not. In this case, the situation does affect Bob’s arguments. Bob argued that he is an honest, hard-working man; however, the reality is that his bad attitude got him fired three times already. Therefore, unless new information can be given which shows a change in Bob’s character, Steve would be justified in not hiring him. Thus, arguing that the situation rebuts an individual’s statements is not always fallacious, but because it can be, you must always think before you speak and make sure that the situation truly does rebut someone’s argument.

Logical Fallacy: Ad Hominem Part 2

Now that we understand what the Ad Hominem fallacy is, let us consider how the Ad Hominem fallacy can appear in Christian discourse. Consider the following example:

Example 1:  Thomas says, “I am not sure I agree with that denomination’s theology. I favor the belief that the Bible teaches ‘X’.”  Barbara responds, “So you don’t accept the plain teaching of the Bible?! Well, I don’t need to listen to anything you have to say about the scriptures!”

It would be a mistake to think that Barbara’s response provides a valid reason to reject what Thomas said. All Barbara did was to use a blatant Ad Hominem insult. Even if Thomas was rejecting what seems to be the plainest interpretation of the Bible, Barbara’s attitude was dismissive and rude. In essence, Barbara was stating that because Thomas does not interpret all the Scriptures in the same way as she does, none of his beliefs need to be given serious consideration.

This is BIG mistake for the following reasons:

  • Barbara has not offered a defense of her belief that the Scriptures always need to be interpreted in the plainest way. Because many theologians disagree with such an opinion, Barbara must offer a defense of this belief, which she did not.
  • Even if Barbara could convincingly demonstrate that her method of interpreting the Bible is best, she was rude and insulting. It is always a mistake not to take your opponent’s views seriously simply because you do not agree with them.
  • Even if Thomas’ acceptance of doctrine X is mistaken, it hardly follows that Thomas is unreliable in whatever else he says about the Bible.

Unfortunately, Ad Hominems are often used as a substitute for presenting a good argument because the individual using them does not want to deal with something that challenges his beliefs or forces him to question his own world view.  An insult is all too often used to shut down conversation because it’s much more convenient than actually evaluating and presenting a logical argument. You see this all the time when people resort to name-calling in religious discourse, using offensive labels such as “Papists,” “Legalists,” “Compromisers,” “Holy Rollers,” “Bible-Thumpers” and so on.

In conclusion, using Ad Hominems as a substitute for providing a good argument for your position is unacceptable; furthermore, an insulting and dismissive attitude does not promote open discussion.

Remember, if you sincerely respect your opponent’s arguments, it is much more likely that they will, in turn, respect (and be open to) yours.  


Logical Fallacy: Ad Hominem Part 1

The Abusive Ad Hominem is a very common logical fallacy. In essence, it is committed when someone wrongly argues that a personal fault or failing rebuts what an individual is saying. In other words, you are directing your argument against the person’s character instead of against their actual position.

It is fallacious to argue that a personal fault of someone defeats their argument when that is not the case. In the event that the personal character of someone actually does invalidate their argument, you have not committed this fallacy. Consider the following examples:

Example 1: Person A asks, “What do you think about Mr. X’s beliefs regarding the economy?”  Person B replies, “Mr. X is a liberal, pro-choice idiot. I wouldn’t listen to anything he has to say.”

The problem with this is that Person B is obviously dismissing Mr. X’s position on the basis of his perception of Mr. X’s character.  However, Mr. X can say true things despite his support for abortion.  What if Mr. X said that “The President of the United States is Barack Obama.”  This is in fact a true statement; however, Person B’s argument is wrong because he assumed that a perceived character flaw in Mr. X makes him unreliable in everything he says.  As you can see, Person B has substituted an insult for a good argument. Likewise, he presented no argument against Mr. X’s beliefs. He did not even demonstrate that he understood what those beliefs were.

Example 2: Person A states, “I believe that all those who support position Y are racists. Therefore, position Y is wrong.”

There are multiple fallacies with this statement, but let’s focus only on the Ad Hominem aspect of it.  The problem with this example is threefold:

  • First, Person A has not explained why people who believe in position Y are racists. He has simply asserted it as fact.
  • Secondly, the assumption that a group’s moral deficiency invalidates everything they believe is a mistake. This is easily seen if you make position Y the belief that the earth is round.
  • Thirdly, Person A gave no argument against position Y whatsoever. Rather, he used an insult to dismiss position Y, thereby delivering him from having to give an argument against the position.

Let us now consider an example that is not an Ad Hominem fallacy:

Example 3: Person A states, “Mr. X stated that he is a very honest man who can be trusted with the job. This is an outright lie. Mr. X is a habitual liar. He even spent five months in jail for perjury. Therefore, it would be a mistake to trust him with the job.”

If Person A is telling the truth about Mr. X’s character and actions, then it certainly would be a mistake to trust him. When the moral deficiency does rebut an individual’s claim or argument, the Ad Hominem fallacy has not been committed.

A moral deficiency or character flaw (real or perceived) in someone or some group does not necessarily make everything that they say or do false.  Usually these sorts of Ad Hominems are used to win arguments without having to provide a good basis for one’s position. Unfortunately, they are often very successful, partially due to the fact that many people are not schooled in logic and critical thinking and are easily led astray by bad arguments.

If your position is indeed correct, it can (and should) withstand the most intense scrutiny and testing. Therefore, let it be tested—tested with good arguments as opposed to bad ones.

One final thought…

Insulting someone, rather than discussing the issues, is often an easier way to win an argument. However, once you know what to look for, it becomes very easy to spot Ad Hominem arguments. When you do notice them, recognize them for what they are, and politely point out that you have not been given a good reason for rejecting someone’s position.

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