Thursday, May 08, 2008

Christian Logic?

I'm checking out Christian Logic. Their list of fallacies is sound and thorough enough. I'll have to check out the rest of the site.

8 comments:

  1. I've added the book from which this list is taken to my Amazon cart (despite it being a book by/for the Christian homeschool crowd).

    I do have a couple small issues with the list. A very minor one is that they define "Ad Hominem" as an attack against someone's character, whereas in fact "Ad Hominem" can also include arguments from a person's positive character traits as well (it's any argument that is an appeal "to the person").

    A somewhat more troubling example is the definition of "Faulty Appeal to Authority: Where someone appeals to the authority of someone who has no special knowledge in the area they are discussing." Appeal to authority includes authorities that do have special knowledge in the area under discussion (as you yourself have of course pointed out from time to time). If you don't personally have sufficient knowledge to evaluate the arguments of a claim, then trusting the judgment of someone with expertise over someone who lacks it is quite rational; but it doesn't substitute for a logical argument.

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  2. Micah, you're correct. It's still pretty good for a basic list, and accurately covers fallacies seen all too often in some Christians' arguments.

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  3. the_observer5/8/08, 6:06 PM

    "I've added the book from which this list is taken to my Amazon cart "

    For what its worth "Thinking from A to Z" by Nigel Warburton is the fallacy dictionary recommended to us on my philosophy course. If you were looking for something non-Christian.

    Question to the bum: You ever come across any of Isaiah Berlin writings?

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  4. You ever come across any of Isaiah Berlin writings?

    Not specifically (I'm a lousy scholar), but I'm familiar with — and have considerable agreement with — the concepts of positive and negative liberty.

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  5. the_observer: is that book appropriate for children, though? This particular book is clearly geared for kids, which is the primary reason I was interested in it (for my own kids). I do expect to have to revise some of it, but I haven't seen something like this around before now (though, I'll confess, I hadn't been actively searching for it, though I very much wished to find such a thing).

    barefoot: "accurately covers fallacies seen all too often in some Christians' arguments"... I know! How ironic that I plan to employ this "for Christians/by Christians" tool in helping to protect my children from superstitious nonsense. :)

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  6. You know... it occurs to me, though I somewhat doubt it, that it's just possible that the narrowed definition of "Appeal to Authority" was quite deliberate. After all, conceding that all appeals to authority are fallacious, necessitates abandonment of the "Because God Says So" argument. So instead, they distinguish "Faulty" Appeal to Authority from "Reasonable" Appeal to Authority.

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  7. the_observer5/9/08, 4:28 PM

    @Micah Cowan
    Ahh I didn't realize you wanted it for your kids. In that case, its probably not what you are looking for.

    Stephen Law's 'The Philosophy files' is aimed at age tens and upward. I haven't read it but most of Stephen books are well written. Amazon uk has book extracts up.
    http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/

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  8. You know... it occurs to me, though I somewhat doubt it, that it's just possible that the narrowed definition of "Appeal to Authority" was quite deliberate. After all, conceding that all appeals to authority are fallacious, necessitates abandonment of the "Because God Says So" argument. So instead, they distinguish "Faulty" Appeal to Authority from "Reasonable" Appeal to Authority.

    Elsewhere on the site they mention being Reformed Evangelicals. Given that this entails a belief in the inerrancy of the Bible, they doubtless see God-via-the-Bible as a "Reasonable" authority.

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