Let’s start off the new month right and non-fallaciously with, Begging the Question:
Begging The Question
(a.k.a. Assuming the initial point)
As all we’ve reviewed so far have been, this is an informal fallacy. One that occurs when the conclusion of the argument is based on a premise that is also part of the claim itself. This is form of circular logic, and only with some fancy footwork can it be concealed.
Example: 1) I claim X, which tells us that claim X is true. 2) Therefore, claim X is true
Real World Example:
“Paranormal activity is real because I have experienced what can only be described as paranormal activity.” (Source)
“If such actions were not illegal, then they would not be prohibited by the law.” (Source)
Indicator: These fallacies usually stand out like a sore thumb; but when they get tricky, they can get very tricky. What helps me is to always keep a mental “tree” of an argument or debate, watch where the points and counterpoints go. Then if/when they start making circles (or polygons), you’ve likely got a ‘Begging the Question’ fallacy on your hands.
Next week: Equivocation
Last week: Moving The Goalposts