Know Your Fallacies

There was a man of the pharisees, names Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto [H]im, Rabbi, we know that [T]hou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that [T]hou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto [H]im, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit…..Nicodemus answered and said unto [H]im, How can these things be?  John 3:1-6,9.

It has been said by wise men that one should know one’s enemies. It is said by St. Paul the Apostle that anyone that adds anything to the Christ’s finished work is an enemy of the Cross.

One of the great enemies to logic and fair minded and sound arguments is the fallacy. What is a fallacy? I define fallacy in simple politically incorrectness terms. A fallacy is a trick one uses when one is fully aware that their point or argument is weak and is not supported by truth, evidence fact.A fallacy is also used to get attention diverted from one’s self.

One of the most commonly used fallacies is the laugh and roll of the eyes. We are all familiar with this. I know a sociopath that uses this one like some fallacy company is paying him.

We will list (DV) some of the more common fallacies with little explanation as they will be understood. We will (DV) give an example here and there of what one might say if one uses the trick.

Many fallacies have Latin names but we will use everyday language.

A fallacy may appeal                                                                                                                                    Authority – “Well,….the president said……”                                                                                          Experience – “Look youngster, I’ve been doing this since you were in diapers…”                      Fear – “If we do not get this done we are doomed”                                                                                Righteousness – “The pope said……so it must be true…”                                                                  Attack the person, his character or his past, etc.                                                                                    Straw man – Misrepresent an opponent’s view, point, or argument.                                              Demonize an opponents argument while making their’s appear saintly.                                      Evade questions                                                                                                                                                Ingratiate self and or flatter opponent and hearers.                                                                            Ignore evidence and facts.                                                                                                                             Be veRY LOUD.                                                                                                                                                     Generalize – “All Christ-ians  are……. All Calvinists……No Arminians……All Americans…  Reductionist – oversimplify                                                                                                                           Red Herrings – “WwwwwhhhhaaaatttteeeVerrrr, what we should be talking about is this….”                                                                                                                                                                    Am appeal to humour.

 

In our text we find Nicodemus appealing to humour and trying to flatter the Lord. He does this in order to ingratiate himself to Christ as well as trying to take Him off His guard. We see Christ’s method and therefore what our method should be in the face of a fallacy. His method is to simply ignore the fallacy and to go to the heart of the matter…”Verily, verily I say unto thee, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” If you do deal with the fallacy all you should do is to point out the deceitful behaviour.

Application(s) 1. Always have support for your views, points, and argument. 2. Make certain that your support is honest and pure. 3. Take time to examine your stands and points of views. 4. Look to Scripture to find life’s answers as well as help for everyday life.

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