Monday, November 30, 2015

Logical Fallacies - Part 1

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." - John 13:34-35 ESV

I'm going to start a series of posts on logical fallacies. It is what I'm studying these days and it may go on for a while. I am floating a few 'series' these days... 'Loving Dangerous People' is another one. If you lose track or want to go back and see the previous post I try to always put the parts as clear as possible in the index of the blog page. Sometimes it takes awhile to unpack an idea. By God's grace I endeavor to finish each series I start... it just might take awhile. {smile}

The truth sets people free. Truth is always logical. The foundation may be hidden but the structure is ordered. Many times people are in bondage because of illogical biases. The great thing about truth is that it stands up to scrutiny.

THE STRAWMAN FALLACY - Over simplifying an argument or making it two dimensional to make it easier to attack. Don't we see people do this all the time? I look at people's lives and see great complexity. It's true that many things are made overly complicated but isn't it love that simplifies matters. By oversimplifying someones believe system even if it is full of holes we are disrespecting people. When Jesus is presented as He Is He is so 'real' and 'true' that my illusions become transparent in His precedence. I never want to jam the truth down someones throat and demean their experience. I need to see Jesus and His love. It makes me sad and sometimes mad to see people set up a Islamic strawman just so that they can knock it down or an atheist one or a political one. No. I want the real opponents to face one another. The Gospel doesn't need to dumb down everything else in order to win. The cross is lifted up high than the crowd so it can be seen. Jesus' love is unparalleled. His work is unmatched. People try to fictionalize it but the proof is there. It is historically recorded and any honest man must come to the conclusion if he or she looks at the evidence that God's love was expressed on Easter morning in a profound way.

THE SLIPPERY SLOPE - The 'If this happens then that must happen' argument uses cause and effect against someone to try and win them. I love how grace disarms the the slippery slope. Not that I'm endorsing bad decisions but I know so many people who have made bad decisions and are living good lives and vice versa. Karma is fife with loopholes because God is sovereign and has a complex plan. Things don't always add up. Sure there are some real documented consequences to actions and declarations that God makes in the scriptures but if our thinking and reasoning is slippery slope reasoning then we will live out of a deficit motivation and ask others to do so also. If we weigh every decision to heavily on the bad thing that might happen we are being steered by fear and not love. Love is the only thing that will get us where we want to go. Not our love... God's love. We need to know God has a plan and to base our decisions on the content of that plan. God can redeem and He is an expert at it.

I want to be thinking clearly.

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.' " - John 8:31-32 ESV

Yes. That means thinking that is free from restraint and not arguments that are struggling to climb a hill that they lack the energy to climb.

Hey! Let's love one another. Let's love the people we agree with and those we don't agree with.

"Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?" - Proverbs 6:27-28 ESV

Lies are going to burn people. We don't want to embrace them but lets be the people who have a salve to sooth the pain of those burns so they can heal and not the folks who pour salt on a wound.


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