NOT A GOOD ARGUMENT

What is not a good argument? Cognitive Dissonance (notablequotesnsuch.wordpress.com). Consider how the post starts.

The statement above is ad hominem. Against who? That the post does not say. Should we assume the author has in mind someone who disagrees with her about something? Seems pointless to write if she doesn’t.

Is the statement above true? Yes. Upon reflection virtually all of us will admit we have had this sort of problem. Who has not eventually changed his mind after stubbornly refusing to do so? Who has not been the victim of a bias he stubbornly refused to relinquish until it became too obviously ridiculous to persist?

We all have had our blind spots. At times we are all willfully blind. Given that, we should know enough to be wary of still having a blind spot or two or three, or four…..

So, what is wrong with the observation that our debate opponents suffer Cognitive Dissonance? We know that they do, right? Even though that observation that our opponent suffers from Cognitive Dissonance may be perfectly true, it fails to demonstrate whose argument in a debate is true and whose is false. With respect to the topic at hand, who in the debate is suffering from Cognitive Dissonance? We don’t know. The charge of Cognitive Dissonance does not prove anything. Could be no one. Could be just one or both parties. That is why ad hominem is a logical fallacy. It doesn’t prove anything.

How do we ascertain who is right and who is wrong? We must rely upon logic. Unfortunately for the writer of Cognitive Dissonance, their post promotes a logical fallacy, not a logical proof. Cognitive Dissonance? Could be. đŸ€” Does it matter? How?

What should we learn from this? If we take the time to think about it, we should realize name calling or ad hominem is something we do when we don’t have the capacity to logically support our position with respect to an issue. Therefore, when we hear a politician constantly calling his opponent names instead of making an argument for what he wants to do, we should refuse to vote for that politician. That is a politician who either doesn’t understand basic logic or doesn’t believe he can logically defend his own position.

Similarly, if we hear a clergyman constantly denigrating other faiths instead of promoting his own, we should refuse to listen to that clergyman. That is a clergyman who either doesn’t understand basic logic or doesn’t believe he can logically defend his own religious beliefs.

Isaiah 1:18-20 New American Standard Bible

Invitation to Debate


18 “Come now, and let us debate your case,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They shall become as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
You will eat the best of the land;
20 But if you refuse and rebel,
You will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

19 thoughts on “NOT A GOOD ARGUMENT

Add yours

  1. Ton – You stated’

    “When we speak of other faiths, we don’t have ridicule or make fun of anyone, we just need to explain why Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

    I agree with your above statement.

    Reality is there are numerous religions and cultures faiths in existence for thousands of years. How to coexist is a conundrum of logic to prove which religious teachings are true or false?.’

    In my opinion, one test is to discern is this following statement link, which provides a logical test to determine a true or false prophet or cleric’s statements or arguments..

    https://www.christiantoday.com/article/pope-francis-all-true-religion-leads-to-peace/76350.htm

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    1. After giving the matter some thought, I decided to make a couple of observations.

      Jesus promised us peace.
      John 14:27 New American Standard Bible

      27 Peace I leave you, My peace I give you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor fearful.

      Jesus also said He came with a sword.

      Matthew 10:34-36 New American Standard Bible

      34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to turn a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a person’s enemies will be the members of his household.

      Jesus promised us peace with God, not world peace. Should we strive for world peace? Yes. Nevertheless, the only way we will get religious peace with the followers of most religions is when they are in the minority.

      Does Pope Francis know that? What is Poper Francis thinking when he says this?

      Every authentic practice of religion cannot fail to promote peace.

      I don’t know. đŸ€”

      Consider this quote.

      But if politics had never called in the aid of religion, had the conquering party never adopted the tenets of one sect more than those of another when it had gained the victory, it would probably have dealt equally and impartially with all the different sects, and have allowed every man to choose his own priest and his own religion as he thought proper. There would in this case, no doubt have been a great multitude of religious sects. Almost every different congregation might probably have made a little sect by itself, or have entertained some peculiar tenets of its own. Each teacher would no doubt have felt himself under the necessity of making the utmost exertion and of using every art both to preserve and to increase the number of his disciples. But as every other teacher would have felt himself under the same necessity, the success of no one teacher, or sect of teachers, could have been very great. The interested and active zeal of religious teachers can be dangerous and troublesome only where there is either but one sect tolerated in the society, or where the whole of a large society is divided into two or three great sects; the teachers of each
      *143 acting by concert, and under a regular discipline and subordination. But that zeal must be altogether innocent where the society is divided into two or three hundred, or perhaps into as many thousand small sects, of which no one could be considerable enough to disturb the public tranquility. The teachers of each sect, seeing themselves surrounded on all sides with more adversaries than friends, would be obliged to learn that candour and moderation which is so seldom to be found among the teachers of those great sects whose tenets, being supported by the civil magistrate, are held in veneration by almost all the inhabitants of extensive kingdoms and empires, and who therefore see nothing round them but followers, disciples, and humble admirers. The teachers of each little sect, finding themselves almost alone, would be obliged to respect those of almost every other sect, and the concessions which they would mutually find it both convenient and agreeable to make to one another, might in time probably reduce the doctrine of the greater part of them to that pure and rational religion, free from every mixture of absurdity, imposture, or fanaticism, such as wise men have in all ages of the world wished to see established; but such as positive law has perhaps never yet established, and probably never will establish, in any country: because, with regard to religion, positive law always has been, and probably always will be, more or less influenced by popular superstition and enthusiasm. This plan of ecclesiastical government, or more properly of no ecclesiastical government, was what the sect called Independents, a sect no doubt of very wild enthusiasts, proposed to establish in England towards the end of the civil war. If it had been established, though of a very unphilosophical origin, it would probably by this time have been productive of the most philosophical good temper and moderation with regard to every sort of religious principle. It has been established in Pennsylvania, where, though the Quakers happen to be the most numerous,
      *144 the law in reality favours no one sect more than another, and it is there said to have been productive of this philosophical good temper and moderation. (https://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html?chapter_num=35#book-reader)

      1. Tom

        You questioned

        “Does Pope Francis know that? What is Pope Francis thinking when he says this?

        Every authentic practice of religion cannot fail to promote peace.”

        Reality is no one can define or prove what is a true or a false religion.

        The best answer, in my opinion, is to discern which religious doctrines lead to peace among men.

        Sadly, the reality of history is the failure of humans to make wise choice to discern the differences between a religion that is in effect a political entity to attract followers, similar to the same goal of politician to obtain votes.

        I wrote a series of posts on the USA Supreme Court reluctance to define what is a religion or a political entity.
        Seems no one in government even though titled, a Supreme Court, can provide a definition or answer to this conundrum.

        I believe the Pope understands this conundrum and his statement was intended to promote a common goal for every faith believer to seek peace instead of war.

        As for Adam Smith, if we study his biography and philosophy and thoughts, he too, never found or stated which religion if true or false. Add that today as well as in his time, we are still experiencing the same economic conundrums he identified and experienced, same as what King Solomon observed in Ecclesiastes.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Smith
        Regard and goodwill blogging.

  2. Your final paragraph is interesting, as an Apologists, we are often accused of constantly denigrating other faiths when it comes to pointing out the Biblical errors of other faiths or denominations. The world fails to see the difference between one hurling insults and lies and one speaking truths.

    Also, your response to Sherry is spot on. C.H. Spurgeon (maybe the greatest preacher ever) wrote much in opposition to “Christmas” but never in opposition to celebrating the Birth of our Lord and Saviour.

    1. Certainly have nothing against C. H. Spurgeon or Sherry. I just don’t care if someone wants to celebrate Christmas so long as they are celebrating Jesus. If we get upset over every difference between us, then how can we worship together or fellowship in the love of our Lord?

      What about pointing to the errors in other faiths? Should we? Yes, but the purpose is important. Our object should be to show that Jesus is better.

      When we speak of other faiths, we don’t have ridicule or make fun of anyone, we just need to explain why Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus gives us the gift of salvation. Salvation is something we know in our hearts that we have no capacity to earn, but we can be grateful for a gift. We can love the Giver.

  3. In college we studied the topic.. decades ago…anyway, the Book by Festinger “When Prophecy Fails: is fascinating. It studied a group who believed the world was coming to an end… what they did to keep the belief going…why it was necessary in their belief system and what happened when it didn’t. Bottom line, once committed to a belief it is extremely hard to change for a variety of reasons which makes the book so fascinating.

    1. The problem with a belief comes when we say “I believe.” Objectivity vanishes at that point, and it is not easily recovered. I guess the best we can do is to strive to see everything from God’s point of view.

      1. I just checked and there actually is a pdf of it online.. the first pages I think you may find of interest. Its been at least 40 years since I read it, but was an interesting premise.

  4. Unfortunately for the writer of Cognitive Dissonance, their post promotes a logical fallacy, not a logical proof.

    Too many “analysts,” professional and amateur, don’t recognize that fact!

    Training in policy debate — true policy debate, instead of the typically-emphasized Lincoln-Douglas Debate Method — in high school and college would help to fix the problem you cited.

    1. Agreed! When I was getting my degree and sending my own children to public school, I was astonished by the ignorance of some teachers. We need to get our citizens out of such schools. We spend too much money to put up with such awful results.

  5. Jesus is fully God and has no birthday, but He is fully man and does (though God has not told us the day). When someone celebrates Jesus’ birth imitating the heathen in celebrating their sun god’s birth, which God hates, Deut. 12, they are only celebrating the full man of Jesus and denying He is fully God. And they put Him in the class of these heathen gods, which are no gods. Think about it, please.

    1. Angels, shepherds, and magi celebrated the birth of Jesus. I have no idea what is wrong with imitating their example.

      God is the Creator. Satan cannot create anything. Anything Satan does is a copy which he warps in perversity. So, we need to focus on God and ignore Satan’s copies, that is, an idol of some sort.

      Unfortunately, what you are suggesting turns the mere act of worshiping God at Christmas or Easter into a sin. That is silly.

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