You Might Be Illogical If…

Many times Christians get in arguments with others who may fall a bit short when it comes to logical rigor. So, with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy (who?) and to Micah

You might be illogical if:

  • You believe the phrase “there is no absolute truth” is absolutely true.
  • You think the phrase “truth is relative” is true for everybody.
  • You are intolerant of intolerant people, prejudiced against prejudiced people, hate people who hate, and judge people who are judgmental.
  • You do not keep an open mind about closed-minded people.
  • You believe everyone is morally obligated to not impose their morality on others.
  • You think it is wrong to believe in “right vs. wrong.”
  • You, admittedly not omniscient, think that you are qualified to determine whether an omniscient being exists.
  • You think that agnosticism is an acceptable answer to the unavoidably binary question of whether God exists.
  • You would protect a nest of Bald Eagle eggs but are pro-choice.
  • You hate America for once considering African-Americans to be three-fifths of a person, but are pro-choice (i.e. the unborn are zero-fifths of a person).
  • You think people who respect a woman’s natural fertility are fighting a “war on women.”
  • You think that suppressing a woman’s natural fertility so that she can behave more like a man, or so that men can behave more like beasts, is not sexist.
  • You try to reason with a child below the age of reason.
  • You think that blog readers will care about the rantings of a curmudgeonly economist.

Granted, some of these are technically hypocritical rather than illogical. So sue me.

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5 Comments

  1. Love this post!!

  2. Mike in KC, MO /

    OH! I’ve got one!

    You might be illogical if:
    You think posting a jpg meme on Facebook means you have officially refuted the entirety of Thomas Aquinas.

  3. Andrew J /

    I think you claim,”You might be illogical if: You think that agnosticism is an acceptable answer to the unavoidably binary question of whether God exists.” is false.

    Agnosticism is usually (and etymologically) an epistemic position regarding one’s justification, or lack thereof, for believing God exists. Most agnostics will say there surely is an answer to whether God exist, it’s just that we do not have enough evidence to *know* either way. That attitude towards the question of whether God exists does seem like a rational attitude (although I think there is enough evidence).

    Just as MANY mathematicians are both agnostics about whether Goldbach’s conjecture (Every even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes) is true or not, AND they think it has to be either true or false.

    Agnosticism doesn’t attempt to address the question of truth! It address the question of justification! There are perhaps good reasons for thinking there isn’t enough evidence to discern the truth-value to a question, without denying that there is a truth-value to it! It seems like you straw-manned the agnostic position.

    • Tim Shaughnessy /

      Agreed, most agnostics I’ve talked to claim that it is impossible to know (a-gnosis) whether God exists. However, I don’t think I’ve met one who seems to really take seriously the possibility that God could exist. It seems that they default to practical atheism because they think there is no answer. So, in terms of day-to-day living, they seem to me to be indistinguishable from the atheist.

      • Andrew J /

        Right… So, here is the general claim: One is acting irrational/illogical if one infers a false answer to a question from that fact that one doesn’t know the answer to that question.

        I think we agree on that. Thinking you know the answer when you claim you don’t know the answer is irrational. But, there are some (like Antony Flew’s classical paper “The Presumption of Atheism”) that hold there is a *presumption* towards not believing something exists when confronted with agnosticism. It’s like saying, if you can’t prove to me X exists, I won’t believe it does. Why would someone believe this? Many do because they say that even if we can’t prove that there are no teapots out in deep space, we can still act/believe as though there aren’t…Unless we can prove otherwise, we should not add entities into the world. And since the agnostic doesn’t think we can prove God exists, they seem to be rational in believing He does not exist.

        [Note: I think the presumption of atheism is mistaken...but that is a different story.]