Seems like there’s a lot of arguing like an idiot going on lately. Flip around the cable news channels and you’ll find many nightly shows devoted to it. Fortunately for us, ScribblePreach.com provides handy tips on how to avoid the 15 most common logical fallacies:
6. Argument from Authority. I need to be careful here, because I believe ultimately, all of us argue from authority – whether it’s the authority of logic, experience, emotions, tradition, or the Bible. But still, we are to avoid arguments purely from authority; I must have a reason why I believe my authority is authoritative! Maybe a better way to say it is: “Argument from human authority”. After all, if our premise that God is omniscient and omnipotent is accurate, He doesn’t need to give us premises. That’s the whole point of the book of Job. We would do well to recognize as well that the reformation debate was over whether humans could claim Divine authority, with the assumption that Divine authority dictates truth.
11. Meaningless Question: Assuming that all questions are logical, aka: “Can God create a rock so big he can’t lift it?” That’s like asking, “Can God create a lakjnsdfnj?” The question itself is illogical. God can do the impossible, but he cannot do anything illogical. I recently had someone ask me a meaningless question about my interpretation of a text, to which I replied, “What if I asked you the same question about a different verse of the Bible?” The question was the problem, not my befuddled inability to answer!
Disclaimer: Avoid logical fallacies all you like; it will probably still not help you if you find yourself on a cable talk show. Remember, this is “how not to argue like an idiot,” not “how not to argue with an idiot,” which will be a completely different post.