theolog shmeolog

A fine example of “begging the question” or petitio principii

Quote from a commenter at Mark Snoeberger’s weblog “Systematic Theology Matters: ” The difference [between Reformed-influenced views of sanctification and Keswick views of sanctification] simply boils down to an ‘inevitable’ view of faith versus a responsible faith.”

This is a fine example of the logical fallacy of petitio principii or “begging the question.” In order to garner support and sympathy for one’s own argument, he resorts to labeling his own argument with superior terms–in this case the word “responsible” was chosen. Thus in this case, the opponent’s argument whatever it is, is not the “responsible” or more desirable view. At this point, the author’s argument itself should lose credibility in the reader’s mind because he cannot properly defend his own POV, nor fairly label his opponent’s argument.

The value of our own statements and arguments depend upon our willingness to be honest brokers in our discussions.


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