Understanding Fallacies and how Apologists and Creationists use them

Another great piece by Rosa Rubincondor… nice to see smart people putting out valid tangible information that isn’t just the usual heathen bitching and moaning. 

Understanding Fallacies

Common fallacies used by religious apologists to make it look as though they have a valid argument or sound reasoning behind their claims.

The Teleological Fallacy or Paley’s Broken Watch. Why the appearance of design in living things is superficial and not evidence for a designer.

Fundamentalists Have a Problem With Numbers. The argument that something must be right because a lot of people believe it.

The Finely Tuned Fallacy. The fallacy of the finely-tuned Universe with highly unlikely parameters which, so the Intelligent Design industry claims, means it was created especially to allow intelligent (i.e. Human) life by an intelligent designer. Exposed as bogus, based on bad science often deliberately misleading and relying on a high level of general ignorance of the higher maths and physics involved. In reality, the argument from personal incredulity, the god of the gaps fallacy and the false dichotomy fallacies which rely on the general ignorance and parochial arrogance of the target marks. Explains why a ‘fine tuned’ Universe, if such existed, would be an argument against an omnipotent god, not for one.

The Argument from Incredulity. A surprisingly common fallacy where the argument is that a given proposition can’t be right because the opposer doesn’t believe it. A fallacy often employed by charlatans and religious apologists who invite their audience to laugh as such a ‘stupid idea’ and wonder how anyone can believe such nonsense. Includes the idea that scientists must be mad if that’s what they believe, or the science or scientific method must be wrong because it disagrees with me.

A Favourite Fallacious Fallacy. The so-called ‘Taxi-cab Fallacy’ as used by apologists to get around the problem of a book they claim to be inerrant having errors and contradictions in it. Basically, the argument is that you can’t use the errors in the Bible/Qur’an to prove they have errors in them. No! Really!

Favourite Fallacies – Pascal’s Blunder. Pascal’s Wager depends on a priori acceptance of a god, an after-life and what that assumed after-life will be like.

Favourite Fallacies – The Ontological Argument. A medieval construction which basically argues that, if we can conceive of a god that god must exist. Clearly invented and accepted by parochial people who had only heard of one particular god.

Favourite Fallacies – The Kalâm Cosmological Argument. Basically, the First Cause, the Argument From Ignorance and the God of the Gaps all rolled into one evidence-free assertion. Can be used with equal validity to argue for any daft notion you wish.

The God of Personal Necessity. The common curious argument that somehow there must be a god, and that god must be a particular one, because the alternative wouldn’t be acceptable.

Confirmation Bias. Not so much a fallacious argument as a fallacious conclusion drawn from evidence which has been given far more weight than it deserves or which simply doesn’t provide the support claimed. Appeals particularly to children and immature adults, like claiming Christmas presents are proof of Santa.

Favourite Fallacies – The Straw Man. Constructing a patently absurd parody of the thing being attacked and then attacking that instead of the real thing. Commonly used by apologists and Creationists to attack science, especially Evolution. Betrays the fact that the perpetrator is either ignorant, or dishonest with a hidden agenda.



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