Quote# 88132

We agree that presuppositional apologetics is the ultimate biblical approach to apologetics. The common accusation that the presuppositionalist uses circular reasoning is actually true. In fact, everyone uses some degree of circular reasoning when defending his ultimate standard (though not everyone realizes this fact). Yet if used properly, this use of circular reasoning is not arbitrary and, therefore, not fallacious.

Contrary to what your non-Christian friend said, circular reasoning is surprisingly a valid argument. The conclusion does follow from the premises. Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy only when it is arbitrary, proving nothing beyond what it assumes.

[Emphasis added]

Darius and Karin Viet, Answers In Genesis 75 Comments [7/3/2012 3:43:27 AM]
Fundie Index: 92
Submitted By: Night Jaguar

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"My logical fallacy isn't a fallacy because it's the same as your logical fallacy but (and this is the important bit) it's mine, not yours."

7/3/2012 4:02:53 AM


um, dude, logic would like to have a word or two with you...

7/3/2012 4:09:45 AM


"Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy only when it is arbitrary, proving nothing beyond what it assumes."

Circular reasoning is always arbitrary and never proves anything.

7/3/2012 4:19:22 AM

Filin De Blanc

It's hard to rebut this because I can't figure out what the hell they're saying.

7/3/2012 4:21:52 AM

Its circular reasoning because it proves nothing beyond what it assumes.

7/3/2012 4:32:18 AM


It doesn't even prove what it assumes.

7/3/2012 4:34:59 AM

Mister Spak

"Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy only when it is arbitrary, proving nothing beyond what it assumes. "

Someone wants to talk to you about logic

7/3/2012 5:07:16 AM


This surprises me not at all.

7/3/2012 5:07:23 AM

Brendan Rizzo

This, my friends, is why reasoning with fundamentalists is impossible. They outright dispense with logic. Truly, there is no hope that enough fundies will leave their cult of ignorance for any positive change to happen in America. Negative change, however, is not only possible, but likely.

7/3/2012 5:08:21 AM


Just when you thought it wasn't possible the average IQ at AIG actually nosedives lower.

7/3/2012 5:17:00 AM

Table Rock

The conclusion does follow from the premises.

True, but when the only validity for your premises is your conclusion... then you have a problem.

7/3/2012 5:23:31 AM

Doctor Whom

Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy only when it isn't used to "prove" what I want to believe.

7/3/2012 5:27:49 AM

Philbert McAdamia

Circular reasoning is valid because circular reasoning is valid.

7/3/2012 5:35:04 AM

I do agree, though, that everyone uses circular reasoning as the basis for their values. I've noticed this before, and it seems unavoidable.

For example, my goal in life is to be as happy as possible. Why? Because happiness feels good. Its circular.

Its like how, if you go as far back in creation as possible, you always end up with some event that just happened (big bang) for no explainable reason. That first illogical event is necessary to explain everything else.

7/3/2012 5:45:32 AM

Doubting Thomas

At least they're finally admitting they're using circular reasoning, but it is never valid and is always fallacious, because a circular argument relies on itself to be true to be true. Circular reasoning is like that cartoon where Bugs Bunny pulls himself out of a magician's hat by the ears.

7/3/2012 5:48:14 AM


The conclusion does follow from the premises.

The premises, however, are not grounded in reality, so the conclusion can not be accepted as truth.

7/3/2012 6:03:38 AM


It's hard to blame them for getting it wrong, see what an easy mistake it is?:

We know Darius and Karin are arseholes, because arseholes act like Darius and Karin.

7/3/2012 6:39:05 AM


Oops, double post.Sorry.

7/3/2012 6:40:48 AM


You're an idiot. And that's a valid argument because I have declared that ad hominems are now a valid argument therefore you are wrong. QED.

7/3/2012 6:50:07 AM

David B.

It's not merely circular, presuppositional arguments are routinely of the form "if God then X, X, therefore God."

This is affirming the consequent, a formal fallacy that leads to incoherence. If it's a tiger it will be stripey, it's stripey, so it's a tiger...


The simple counter to presupp appologetics is that you can presuppose the opposite and generate equally 'valid' (and equally circular) conclusions. So the presupp argument is worthless without additional reasons to presuppose a god over presupposing no god.

In otherwords unless they can justify their assumption of God's existence, there is nothing (bar Occam's razor) to distinguish their argument from one assuming he doesn't.

Hence they have proved nothing, but merely made a bare assertion, and "begged the question" that we take them at their word and accept their subsequent conclusions without inspection or consideration.

Presuppositional apologetics is simply an obfuscated call to "have faith."

7/3/2012 6:51:43 AM


"Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy only when it is arbitrary, proving nothing beyond what it assumes."

The last time I looked, that was pretty much the definition of circular reasoning.

7/3/2012 6:54:12 AM


Yeah yeah yeah, Frame says he'd rather reason in a circle than not reason at all when talking about Bahnsen, but then when asked how he "knows" about god he says, he can "know without knowing how we know."

Where in the bible does Paul address systematic theology?

7/3/2012 7:09:12 AM


The problem with circular reasoning is that it basically comes down to arguing "A=B; therefore A=B" You can disguise this by putting up a long, elaborate smokescreen of intermediate steps between the semicolon and the "therefore" so the nonsense is not so obvious, but it still reduces to the same worthless argument.

7/3/2012 7:09:47 AM


Nope! Circular reasoning is always a logical fallacy no matter the circumstances. And anyone who has to resort to it is only demonstrating the weakness of their claims.

7/3/2012 7:43:40 AM

Raised by Horses

"Hey, I just realized I can't win by these rules. These rules suck!"

7/3/2012 7:48:37 AM

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