How To Sniff Out Bad Arguments – Part 2
by Josh Fults
When it comes to having discussions with people about beliefs, worldviews, and ideas, we can often miss poorly constructed arguments and poor thinking without realizing it. We know that ideas come in many shapes and sizes. Some of the arguments, or cases that people present, stink, while others are formed with much precision and consideration. Part of the Christians calling in sharing the Gospel is looking for poor ways of thinking, including our own.
When it comes to arguments we must constantly work to make sure the other party stays on task. Often, irrelevant matters are smuggled into a discussion to win an argument. It happens all the time. We have to learn to spot these fallacies when they are employed.
Some people try to dodge the issue under discussion by attacking their opponent. They try to bully people into buying into their ideas. Logic goes out the window and threats are used. Often people will attack a person’s character in an attempt to win the argument or because they have not thought
|‘Like’ The Poached Egg on Facebook!||Follow @ThePoachedEgg||Join the TPE Support Team!|
through their position well. For example, in court a lawyer might try to persuade a jury to throw out the testimony of a witness because he is a drunk. The fact that a person drinks does not necessarily damage what he witnessed while sober. Just because a minister had a sinful past does not mean he is not dedicated to the Lord’s work in the present. Some people will attack a person’s argument based on circumstances surrounding them. I once had an individual tell me that we should not employ the apologetics of C.S. Lewis because he studied Norse (pagan) mythology. This is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Some people bypass logical principles by trying to argue from ignorance. This is where people hold to an idea until it is proven false. In other words, ignorance is bliss. This is a land where closed minds are grown and thrive. Ignorance doesn’t prove anything. We must look at the evidence. I have heard atheist argue, “God doesn’t exist because I have never seen any evidence for him.” Then Christians are just as guilty, “God must exist because no one can prove he doesn’t.” Both of these arguments lack any substance. We must examine the positive evidence and weigh it.
RECOMMENDED APOLOGETICS RESOURCES FOR FURTHER READING:
You can also help support TPE by shopping at Amazon through this link here.