No Need for Circular Reasoning

Circular Reasoning

 
Some prominent Christians defend circular reasoning. Some say that all reasoning is circular but some circular reasoning is not OK and other circular reasoning isn’t OK. The fact is that not all reasoning in circular. If I tell you I know my wife exists because I’m with her right now, that’s not circular. If I tell you I know God exists because I’m with Him right now, that’s not circular. If I tell you I know the Bible is God’s word because the Holy Spirit is telling me that right now, that’s not circular. And yet, Christians sometimes use circular reasoning. They never have to.
 
<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
Circular reasoning starts with infinite regression. The difference is circular logic loops back into itself eventually, yet we can’t always easily recognize circular reasoning since persuaders have ways to hide the fallacy. For instance, circular reasoning can have as few as two steps, but it often has many steps, making it seem reasonable since we seldom check logic back more than a step or two. As a concrete illustration, let’s look at one of the most widely used examples of circular reasoning.
 
Ungodly thinkers love to make fun of Christians and accuse us of circular reasoning. And, sometimes, we’re guilty as charged.
 
Christian: “The Bible is the word of God without error.”
 
Questioner: “But what makes you think the Bible is God’s word?”
 
Christian: “The Bible tells us it’s the word of God without error.”
 
Questioner: “But why believe what the Bible says?”
 
Christian: “The Bible is infallible.”
 
Questioner: “But how do you know it’s infallible?”
 
Christian: “The Bible is the word of God without error.”
 
The Christian completes the circle of reasoning. The premise and conclusion are the same: “The Bible is God’s word without error,” so this reasoning reaches this conclusion using a circular reasoning fallacy. However, another choice exists to reach this conclusion. We can reach this conclusion sanely using sound reasoning. While some Christians choose to use a circular reasoning fallacy instead of being rational, it’s never necessary for Christians to be irrational. Later, we’ll look at rational Christian reasoning for concluding that the Bible is God’s word without error. But, for now, we’ll continue explaining the circular reasoning fallacy with another example of circular reasoning using ungodly thinking:
 
The skeptic says, “God doesn’t exist because there’s no evidence for God because any evidence for God isn’t evidence because God doesn’t exist.” That’s one way that ungodly thinkers use to claim that God doesn’t exist, but they have other ways since they can obviously resort to other fallacies to avoid circular reasoning. However, they’ll still commit fallacies. Indeed, they can’t reason without fallacies. They base every conclusion on fallacies. Sadly, ungodly thinkers have no way to reason other than by being irrational. On the other hand, those who follow Christ have a way to think rationally, and God wants us to choose the rational way more often than we do.
 
We can see why circular reasoning doesn’t prove anything.
 
Circular defense of the Bible: “I know the Bible is God’s word because the Bible is God’s word.”
 
Circular defense of the Atheism: “I know God doesn’t exist because God doesn’t exist.”
 
Dr. Jason Lisle brings up some logic that’s circular but not the circular reasoning fallacy.
 
“Without laws of logic, we could not make an argument. We can make an argument. Therefore, there must be laws of logic.”
 
Dr. Lisle points out that this logic isn’t a circular reasoning fallacy, but there’s repetition, so we could call it circular. Here’s why it repeats. It mentions “an argument,” which assumes a logical argument, and it also mentions “laws of logic.” But “laws of logic” and “logical argument” refer to the same thing since laws of logic govern a logical argument. The laws of logic define what a logical argument permits, but Dr. Lisle’s entire logic centers on two points: “laws of logic” and “argument.” We can’t separate laws of logic from logical argument, so it’s circular, but, as Dr. Lisle points out, it’s not a circular reasoning fallacy. If Dr. Lisle’s point seems hard to understand, we’ll look at a simple illustration using a bicycle.
 
“If bicycles didn’t exist, I couldn’t ride a bicycle. I’m riding a bicycle. Therefore, bicycles exist.”
 
If we call this reasoning “circular,” we run the risk of confusing the fallacy of circular reasoning with the nature of reality. Reality always proves reality. Reality is a true premise since reality is truth. Circular reasoning does something different from that. Circular reasoning dresses up an unproven premise and pretends it’s a proved premise.
 
As a side note, neither of these two arguments proves that reality exists. We had discovered earlier that God reveals that reality exists. Therefore, divine revelation proves that reality exists. Once we know that reality exists, we can talk about bicycles existing.
</end quote>
 
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Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.
 
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Infinite Regression of a Deep Thinker

Infinite Regression of a Deep Thinker

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

So we meet a deep thinker, and we try to find out how many layers of his infinite regression he can articulate. But it makes no difference because stacking up unknowns doesn’t create truth. He doesn’t gain any intellectual “friction” to make the unknowns true. The more cogent he is, the more deceptive he is.

Consider a man who had received some teaching that sounded good. Let’s call him Sandy. Sandy had taken this reasoning to its logical end, which was destroying his wife and children. And yet, people would sit at Sandy’s feet to listen to him teach his theology and philosophy. One student of philosophy decided to test him by searching for root causes, so he asked Sandy for the cause five times. After this test, the student declared that Sandy had a well-reasoned philosophy.

One day, God gave Sandy a vision of a huge mansion. This mansion was as large as a city, and half of it stood on a rock. The rock was massive like a mountain and extended down past what Sandy could see. However, that city also extended over the edge of the cliff and out over the abyss. It was cantilevered over nothing. It’s not that it was unsupported, though. Under the city, a hodgepodge of two-by-fours braced it up from the bottom. They were at odd angles, and many of them were fastened together to share the load. Charlie followed the structure down and found that each two-by-four rested on supporting two-by-fours, and those two-by-fours rested on other two-by-fours. This amazing structure continued down until the final two-by-fours rested on nothing at all. They just hung over the abyss. Sandy didn’t understand. Then, a voice said, “That’s how you think.”

Someone may think that many layers of unproven proofs will eventually build up “intellectual friction,” but it doesn’t work that way. Many unknowns don’t eventually lead to truth any more than many empty propane tanks can cook the burgers on your grill.

</end quote>

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Most Important Book You Can Read Outside The Bible

Reader Review on Amazon

If you take the time to read just one book, make this the one. I’ve read many inspirational and theological Christian books. This book is not one of those, although what is taught is inspiring and helps to form your theology.

I don’t personally know the author. However, I feel like I know him at a very deep level as a brother in Christ. His love of the Lord and Jesus’ love itself just oozes from his every word. I have no doubt that he has a strong relationship with His Lord and Savior, which makes the reader want that same relationship.

The book has deepened my relationship with God in ways most books could never do. It leads YOU to seek the Lord in new and deeper ways… ways you may not have known were possible or had only hoped for. The title of the book is about the creation and evolution debate. But the deeper truths found within the series of books leads you to so much more!

If I could give this book a higher rating, I would. It’s more than worth your time to read. It can change your whole view on the Christian walk.

Want to know what Jesus meant when He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life”? Read this book! ~ Brenda

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Infinite Regression of Citations

Infinite Regression of Citations

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

How do we know that an academic intellectual’s claims are true? We see the citations that reference the claims of other academic intellectuals. How do we know that those claims are true? We see that they base their claims on citations that reference the claims of still other academic intellectuals. But how do we know about those claims? They cite others who cite others who cite others to infinity. We never get to anything we can call “the truth.”

</end quote>

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Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

You can BUY  it on Amazon, but you can get your FREE copy of Real Faith & Reason, which shows the intersection of faith, reason, truth, and sanity.

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Christ is the Only Foundation

Without a foundation for reason, we can’t know anything.

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

Without a foundation for reason, we can’t know anything. So, we create a strong illusion of knowing and defend this illusion until we’re dogmatically closed-minded. Thinking this way, we can’t have precise and accurate knowledge of truth with certainty. We can’t have knowledge because we’re rationalizing instead of reasoning rationally. And though we can observe reality around us, how do we reason from those observations to a conclusion?

</end quote>

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11

Notice the Foundation.

Is it human reason?

Is it science?

Is it philosophy?

Is it religion?

Is it doctrine?

Is it theology?

Is it a denomination?

Is it the Bible?

That’s not to put down any of these, but none of these is a god we’re supposed to worship. Jesus is the Foundation of the Bible, true theology, true doctrine, true religion, true philosophy, true science, and true religion.

#RealFaith&Reason

Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

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Infinite Regression: Phantom Proof

Infinite Regression Image

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
Infinite Regression

Here’s an example of how infinite regression works. Sandy makes a bare claim. Rocky asks for proof. Sandy says, “The proof is . . .” and makes another bare claim as proof, without proving the so-called “proof.” Then Rocky asks for proof of the so-called proof. So Sandy says, “The proof is . . .” and makes another bare claim as proof. Sandy has an unsolvable problem. When Sandy tries to prove his claim, he uses proof, but he has no proof for his proof other than yet another unproven claim. So he can never prove any proof. He can’t rationally draw any conclusion. With infinite regression, showing unproven proof continues to infinity. Therefore, Sandy never shows real proof for anything, and every statement of supposed proof is just one more bare assertion.

Since Sandy never decisively proves any proof, he only creates the illusion of proof. Sandy never has proof and never has certainty, and because of this problem in thinking, Sandy can never prove any conclusion true. Therefore, Sandy can’t know anything by infinite regression. Consider a conversation between another Sandy and Rocky.

Sandy, a dedicated atheist, challenged Rocky, a Christian co-worker, to a Creation-evolution debate, and though Rocky said he didn’t want to debate, he said he’d be glad to have lunch with Sandy. At the restaurant, they sat at a small corner table. Sandy immediately gave Rocky what he considered evidence for molecules-to-humankind evolution. Rocky tried to understand what Sandy was saying instead of arguing. He asked, “What makes you think your claim is true?” Sandy enthusiastically answered with a rationalization to support his “evidence.” Rocky asked, “You probably have a reason for believing that this statement supports your proposition; would you mind explaining your reasoning to me?”

Rocky continually probed. He was looking for substance. He was looking for some proof that didn’t need further proof. He was looking for definite proof. Sandy continually answered with a confident tone, even bravado. After about an hour, Rocky considered ending the conversation since it wasn’t moving toward any solid point. Sandy had presented an infinite regression of proofs. Not one so-called “proof” was conclusive. Each so-called “proof” was unproven.

Rather than cut off the conversation, Rocky decided to be patient. He’d see what Sandy would say. Sandy confidently gave one more bit of “proof.” Rocky once again asked for the proof of the proof. Sandy, who had been so bold and sure of himself, suddenly got a startled look on his face. He said, “I guess I’m making the whole thing up.” Time stopped for a moment. Then both men laughed.

As Sandy and Rocky began to walk back to the office where they worked, Sandy suddenly stopped and turned to Rocky as if remembering something, “Wait! You have to prove God’s existence to me.” The answer from Rocky came as a prophecy. “Why would you listen to me, Sandy? You don’t listen to God, and He’s speaking to you all the time.” After a moment of shock, both men laughed again.

Someone here lost touch with reality. If we lose touch with reality, we’re insane, but if we know the difference between good versus evil, truth versus error, or reality versus make-believe we’re sane.

The next week was hard for Sandy. When he discovered he was basing all his beliefs on made-up stuff, it shook his self-confidence. He even stopped himself in mid-sentence while speaking to a group about how a piece of software works and admitted he was just making up the whole thing. He didn’t really know. Time passed. Memories faded. Sandy returned to his old self. He again had full confidence in his atheistic worldview, unhindered by his discovery because he forgot what he had discovered.

In this scenario, Sandy finally realized that he was basing all his thinking on made-up stuff. Even so, he fell back into his old ways of thinking within a few weeks. He decided that he prefers life without God despite knowing that he’s stuck making up stuff and calling the made-up stuff real.
</end quote>

#RealFaith&Reason

Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

You can BUY it on Amazon, but you can get your FREE copy of Real Faith & Reason, which shows the intersection of faith, reason, truth, and sanity.
http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf

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Few Options for Godless Thinking

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
Now that we understand the three horns of the trilemma, what’s the scope? For scope, this trilemma applies to any claim, but we must be aware that ungodly thinkers have developed mindless pat answers to this problem. Mostly, they say the trilemma only applies to absolute knowledge. To state it another way, they claim that, without knowing Jesus Christ, humans can know truth but not absolutely. But that’s also a bare claim. It’s an axiomatic thinking fallacy. It fails because of one of the horns of the trilemma.

They can’t escape the trilemma that way. So they say that we’re just supposed to believe them when they say, “Humans can know truth, just not absolutely.” And we’re not supposed to question this claim. However, it’s a lie to claim that the trilemma only applies to absolute knowledge. It applies to all knowledge since all knowledge is either absolute or just opinion masquerading as knowledge. (We’re defining “knowledge” as “knowledge of truth” rather than “knowledge of lies.” We find that no one can name an ungodly conclusion about anything that couldn’t have a different explanation, yet ungodly thinkers argue absolutely for their made-up stuff. Therefore, we can’t have knowledge of any kind if we don’t base our thinking on divine revelation. The trilemma destroys rational thought for ungodly thinkers.

Nevertheless, we can know things, but we know them because God reveals them. We don’t know them because we make up stuff and call the made-up stuff true. Just because ungodly thinkers refuse to thank God and give Him glory for what He reveals to them, the fact that they reject God doesn’t mean that no one can know anything.

Even though they deny Him, God mercifully reveals reality to them and gives them everything else they need for survival because if God didn’t show mercy to them, they wouldn’t survive. And Apostle Paul explained this truth to the Greeks on Mars Hill. Ungodly thinkers receive divine revelation, but they refuse to acknowledge God, so they can’t tell the difference between what they base on made-up stuff and what they base on God’s revelation. As a result, they lose the distinction between good versus evil, truth versus error, or reality versus make-believe. For this reason, they defend lies with the same enthusiasm they defend truth because they can’t tell the difference between truth and lies.

Also, God has given each of us a brute-beast mind. With this mind, we can react to our senses as we’ve already discovered. The trilemma notes that we can’t know that a real world exists unless Christ reveals this fact to us. We can’t know that our senses aren’t fooling us. We can’t know that we aren’t in a dream. We can’t know that logic and reason are of any value at all. While we can stay alive for a while by responding to our senses, we can’t know truth by responding to our senses alone. Responding to our senses isn’t always reliable, but it’s pragmatic.

Ungodly thinkers try to reason beyond their senses without divine revelation, but they become irrational every time they do that. When they try to reason about history, God, morality, ontology, epistemology, or anything else that they can’t sense, they’re irrational. They can define concepts and opinions, but concepts and opinions aren’t part of reality.

So obviously, none of the three choices of the trilemma can create knowledge of truth. All three choices result in not knowing. With these three choices, ungodly thinkers can’t know that anything is true, nor can they know that anything is false. Even when they’re feeling self-confident, they can’t even “sort of” know anything using any of these three fallacies. They can only think pragmatically. They can’t go beyond their immediate sensations. Well, they can go beyond their immediate sensations, but not rationally. The more they extrapolate, the more errors they make.

The trilemma affects the starting point for thinking. It claims that no one has a rational starting point. It asserts a universal negative, and we would need infinite knowledge to assert a universal negative. That means the trilemma is self-refuting since it’s claiming to have infinite knowledge to claim to have zero knowledge. Still, we can see that the trilemma limits knowledge to divine revelation and divine revelation alone. We see this truth by divine revelation, and we’ll further explore why the trilemma limits ungodly thinking as we proceed.

Ungodly thinkers observe the problem of the trilemma. They see it in their own lives and in the lives of everyone they observe. Then they assert a universal negative beyond their sensory experience. That’s irrational.

When we merely think that something is true, we can’t say, “We know,” and still be rational. Of course, we can have our opinions, but they’re just opinions, and opinions are vapor. By experience, we find that ungodly thinkers almost always deal with this problem in one of two ways. Some will go to skepticism and say no one can know anything, but this skepticism refutes itself as we’ve already discovered. Others will just make bare claims without proof to assert that the trilemma isn’t a problem for them, but that’s irrational. In every case, they use the fallacies of the trilemma to assert their opinions. That means they’re proving their problem with the trilemma while denying their problem with the trilemma.

There we have the ungodly thinking fallacy. Without divine revelation, we have three possible foundations for thought. In naturalistic thinking, we’re limited to axiomatic thinking fallacies, circular reasoning, or infinite regression. Without Christ, we can make up stuff (axioms), use circular reasoning, or lose our minds in an infinite regression of unproved proofs. Without Christ, we have no rational choices for concluding anything.

This trilemma leaves no rational starting point for thought, and no one can be rational without an absolute starting point for thought. As the top ungodly thinkers freely admit, having no absolute starting point for thought would destroy science, logic, reason, and evidence as we’ve already seen. Here’s the most insane part: ungodly thinkers claim to use science, logic, reason, and evidence, but their ungodly worldview excludes all of these.

So we have the three horns of the trilemma: (1) infinite regression, (2) circular reasoning, and (3) axiomatic thinking. Simply put, infinite regression and circular reasoning are smokescreens for axiomatic thinking fallacies. That means the first two horns are ways to fog up the third horn. The first two horns make it seem sane when we make up stuff and call the made-up stuff “true.” In the next leg of this trip, we examine each of these three horns in more depth as promised.
</end quote>
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Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

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A Quick Tour of the Ungodly Thinking Trilemma

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

A Quick Tour of the Trilemma

The logical fallacy of infinite regression:

When someone tries to prove a conclusion C using proof P but has no proof for the proof, this person ends in infinite regression. Infinite regression is a problem with the premise, the proof P.

Form:

P proves C. P1 proves P. P2 proves P1. P3 proves P2. (Continue infinitely)

Each P is a premise (proof). C is the conclusion.

This regression of unproven proofs goes on infinitely with no real proof for the proof.

Example:

An ungodly thinker says we can trust his reasoning. How does he know? He states an argument to support his reasoning using a premise, but how does he know his premise is true? He has to create a second logical argument to prove his original premise, the premise he used to support his claim that we can trust his reasoning. Of course, he hasn’t gotten anywhere since his second logical argument also has a premise that he must prove. He can then try to prove that premise with another logical argument, but this chain of unproven reasoning goes on forever. Well, not forever, but until he runs out of time. So, he never finds solid ground and never has sound reasoning because not one of his claims can stand on its own. Therefore, he knows nothing since he needs further proof for every claim he makes.

The logical fallacy of circular reasoning:

A persuader starts with what looks like infinite regression, but the infinite regression hooks up to itself in a circle of reasoning. With circular reasoning, the proof for one of the premises is one of the previous premises. Circular reasoning hides the problem of the unproven premise.

Form:

P proves C and C proves P.

C proves P, P1 proves P, and C proves P1.

Example:

An ungodly thinker says we should trust her reasoning. But how does she know? She uses her reasoning to try to convince us to trust her reasoning, but using her reasoning to prove we can trust her reasoning is circular reasoning.

The logical fallacy of axiomatic thinking:

Axiomatic thinking is just making up stuff and calling it true.

Form:

X is true. It just is.

Example:

An ungodly thinker says, “I take the validity of my reasoning ability as an axiom.” While we can ask for proof, we won’t get any. The ungodly thinker says, “It’s self-evident, and I don’t need to prove it because it’s an axiom.”

</end quote>

#RealFaith&Reason

Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

You can BUY  it on Amazon, but you can get your FREE copy of Real Faith & Reason, which shows the intersection of faith, reason, truth, and sanity.

http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf

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We Call It the Ungodly Thinking Trilemma

The following quote is referring to the Münchausen Trilemma. We call it the Ungodly Thinking Trilemma because it only affects us when we try to think without the influence of the Holy Spirit. At this point in the book, we’re exposing the fact that the trilemma has flaws.

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

Even though the trilemma has real implications for ungodly thinking, it’s an illusion since the trilemma presents three choices when we have at least five choices. The trilemma eliminates two choices, so it’s a false trilemma. But even though it’s not real, it acts as a trilemma for ungodly thinkers because of its assumption of naturalism, and naturalism allows only three choices rather than five. The trilemma keeps all ungodly thinkers from thinking rationally about anything unless they would be willing to lift their self-imposed limitation of naturalism.

</end quote>

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Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

 

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Most People Don’t Understand Logic or How to Know What’s True.

It’s really about truth. How can we know the truth? The truth will set us free. Lies put us into bondage. Most people don’t know how to tell the difference between truth and untruth. That’s a problem.

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

According to the rules of deductive logic the premise must be true or it proves nothing. If the premise is true and the form is valid, the conclusion follows from the premise. Then the logic is sound, and the conclusion is true. So a true premise and valid form are necessary for truth, but the trilemma doesn’t allow a true premise without divine revelation. Therefore, the trilemma is a terrible problem for ungodly thinkers, and this problem results in the inability to be rational while thinking without God.

Baron Münchausen said he had pulled himself out of the swamp by his beard. Of course, he was using humor to make his point that the human mind, by itself, has no way to reach logical conclusions under its own power. While something outside of the Baron could pull him out of the swamp by his beard, he couldn’t pull himself out by his beard. In the same way, logical conclusions need something outside one’s self since truth only comes from a person who knows all things and who can’t lie.

</end quote>

#RealFaith&Reason

Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

You can BUY  it on Amazon, but you can get your FREE copy of Real Faith & Reason, which shows the intersection of faith, reason, truth, and sanity.

http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf

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