Sunday, November 20, 2011

Logical fallacies- the core of anti-catholic debate.

Recently, a an anti-catholic accused me of circular reasoning. Since the person provided no example of this, we can be reasonably sure that he knows it is a false charge as well as we do. In fact, it can be ascertained with a pretty high degree of confidence that he likely has no real concept of what the term means.

For your benefit, I will explain circular reasoning and other common logical fallacies and how anti-catholics are permanently bonded to them.

  1. Circular Reasoning. In a circular argument, the conclusion is placed in the premise. Protestants often use circular arguments to support Sola Scriptura for example. "The Bible is the Word of God because it says it is the Word of God and we know that statement is factual because the Bible; the Word of God tells us so". Of course, Catholics believe that the Bible is the Word of God but we support that conclusion empirically, rather than by circular device.
  2. The strawman. Protestants employ this type of fallacious argument routinely. The strawman replaces the opponents actual position with a false position so that the detractor then attempts to discredit the opponent by means of discrediting the false position. For example, protestants will claim that Catholics believe in a re-sacrifice of Christ in the Mass. Catholics believe no such thing.
  3. The False Dilemma. This is presenting an argument in such a way that there are only two possible positions. "Have you stopped beating your wife?" One argument Protestants use in defending their absurd imputation theology is by asking whether or not Christ's death was sufficient to remove all sin. In so doing, they are implying that Christ's death was either fully materially and practically sufficient or it was not sufficient at all. The true option is option "C". It was materially sufficient but not practically sufficient because it necessarily requires an appropriate response.
  4. The Ad Hominem attack. In this case, the protestant anti-catholic attempts to discredit the Catholic through personal attacks.... they are nearly endless... Romanist, Papist, Pagan, Idol-worshipper...etc
  5. The Juxtaposition fallacy. The protestant attempts to juxtapose Catholics against some historical figure who supposedly believed what we do- Hitler, the Spanish Inquisitors etc.. This device is intended to prove us unworthy of being heard.
  6. Parade of Horribles. Similar to #5, this notion is that we are to be discredited by some obscene and historically untenable number (usually created out of thin air) of crimes our kind were purported to have committed during history.
  7. The Non Sequiter. This means "it does not follow". Protestant claims that Christ's words "It is finished" nullify cooperative grace is a classic non-sequiter. Also, their claim that the torn veil in the temple abolished the Priesthood. These are unsupported logical leaps.
  8. Greedy Reductionism. In this way, one simply ignores empirical evidence by reducing the argument to a desired end. For example, "I have a Bible because God wanted me to have one" allows the protestant to ignore the irrefutable historical proof that the Catholic church was the instrument God used to give us the Bible.
By means of these, and other logic fallacies, anti-catholics run from genuine debate.

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