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False Dilemma. Also called false dichotomy. Presents a limited number of options and assumes that no other options can exist. “Faith and reason are irreconcilable. Either you are a person of faith or you are rational.”

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false dilemma
False Dilemma

Also called false dichotomy. Presents a limited number of options and assumes that no other options can exist.

“Faith and reason are irreconcilable. Either you are a person of faith or you are rational.”

  • Problem – “Faith” and “reason” are not opposites. The opposite of “faith” is “doubt”. There are more than 2 options available when dealing with the relationship between “faith” and “reason”.
false cause
False Cause

Also called “post hoc”, a faulty reasoning that confuses timing with causation.

  • “A” happened before “B”, therefore B happened because of A.
false cause1
False Cause

“Other ancient religions that predate Christianity have figures that experienced death and resurrection in their own myths – Osiris and Adonis are examples. The death-resurrection account of Jesus is not unique and is likely the Jewish manifestation of this same myth.”

  • Problem: There is no evidence that the writers of the NT were influenced by other ancient religions. They were Jews. The death-resurrection of Christ was foretold in OT prophecies and was not spontaneously invented by Christians.
many others
Many Others…

For every right way to think, there is a wrong way to think!

study tips exercises
Study Tips & Exercises
  • Review the slides
  • Convert slide material to 3x5 inch index cards and quiz yourself
  • “Come Let Us Reason” (Geisler& Brooks), Chapter 6
  • Next 3 slides – Can you identify logical fallacies in the following statements?
exercise 1
Exercise 1

Although Jesus probably existed, reputable Bible scholars do not in general regard the NT (and obviously not the OT) as a reliable record of what actually happened in history, and I shall not consider the Bible further as evidence for any kind of deity. In the farsighted word of Thomas Jefferson…’The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus…will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.’”

-Richard Dawkins, “The God Delusion”

exercise 2
Exercise 2

“The claim that I am an atheist because I don’t understand ‘love’ is particularly ironic. I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I can never again be a Christian. Love is not self-denial. Love is not blood and suffering. Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people to eternal torture because they have offended your fragile ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience, conformity or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being.”

-Dan Barker, “godless”

exercise 3
Exercise 3

Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as ‘the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not see’. Read in the right way, this passage seems to render faith entirely self-justifying: perhaps the very fact that one believes in something which has not yet come to pass (‘things hoped for’) or for which one has no evidence (‘things not seen’) constitutes evidence for its actuality (‘assurance’). Let’s see how this works: I feel a certain, rather thrilling ‘conviction’ that Nicole Kidman is in love with me. As we have never met, my feeling is my only evidence of her infatuation. I reason thus: my feelings suggest that Nicole and I must have a special, even metaphysical, connection – otherwise, how could I have this feeling in the first place? I decide to set up camp outside her house to make the necessary introductions; clearly, this sort of faith is tricky business.

-Sam Harris, “End of Faith”