Category: Logic

Misunderstanding The Null Hypothesis and Knowledge.

The null hypothesis is used in science, and we atheists tend to have a lot of respect for science, the scientific method, scientific and empirical evidence. We think of ourselves as logical and rational people. We feel we know a lot about the topics we discuss, especially when it comes to science. In conversations with religious folks, especially many young-earth creationists, we will correct their misrepresentation and misuse of terms like evolution and scientific theory and demand they “learn the......

Impossibly Possible – Logical and Metaphysical Possibility Explained

Something that comes up quite often in conversations is people saying things are logically impossible. This, at times, is used correctly however, there is often a misunderstanding over what is meant by logical and what it means by possible. Possibility When speaking of possibility we are talking about the likelihood something can happen. This is binary, Either something is possible, or not possible. If something is not possible it is impossible. If something is possible we then go into the......

Reason and the Reasoning Process

As a site that proclaims to have ‘Answers in Reason’ we have very few articles about what this actually means. When we speak of reason, we are speaking of the cognitive process of; actively thinking through a topic and coming to conclusions based on all available/known arguments and data. To summarise Plato, reason is the highest and most powerful human capacity. It allows us to rule over other passions and can direct us towards a virtuous life. Whilst reason is......

There Can Be Only ONE!

The repetitious nature of folks trying to prescribe a singular definition of atheism, and claiming that other definitions are, “talking about something else” or are “wrong”, seems to never die. What’s worse, these folks who take you saying that there are actually multiple uses of atheism claim that YOU are the one being prescriptive and restrictive, yet you’re the one saying there are multiple definitions… This article discusses some of the recent behaviours and examples of bad logic and mental......

Different Types of Not Believing & The Law of Excluded Middle

There are some people who like to oversimplify not believing a proposition. They will say things like “You either do believe or you don’t believe, there is no third option!” On the surface, this statement is correct. The problem is, it doesn’t actually fully capture the type of not believing. This is why conflations of suspending judgment and disbelief seem to appear, and other claims like, “atheism is the default position” or the dreaded “rocks are atheist” debacle. So, please......

The Problem With ‘Atheism is the Default Position’ Arguments

As an atheist, even one that doesn’t feel that in tune with many other atheists, I still want atheists to come from a position of strength. I want us to have good arguments, sound reasoning and solid logic. This is a big part of why I have the Bad atheist arguments series and the SciPhi Shortz videos and podcasts that address common misunderstandings and bad memes. Whether we like it or not, the behaviour of atheists reflects on us all.......

It Begs the Question…

Begging the question is a fallacy in which the premises of an argument assume the truth of the conclusion instead of supporting it. You may have also heard of this being called circular reasoning. The phrase begging the question originated in the 16th century as a mistranslation of the Latin petitio principii, which in turn was a mistranslation of the Greek for “assuming the conclusion”. The most common example of this we see on social media is variations of “It......

Claims, Propositions and Attitudes

A proposition is a bivalent statement (or claim) that expresses a judgement or opinion. It is truth-apt and, therefore, can be true or false. A claim is an assertion something is true (or false). There’s is propositional content in a claim but they are not exactly the same thing, at least not always. What’s the difference between a proposition and a claim? A proposition can be presented without the assertion it is true or false. This would be for the......

What Does it Mean to Be Logical?

Why should we be interested in logic? What does it mean to be logical? How does logic tie into rationality? Questions we should be thinking about, especially if we view ourselves as logical and/or rational people. What Does it Mean to Be Logical? Something is logical if it adheres to the rules of logic. There are different types of logic, as an example, for a syllogism* it would use syllogistic logic. Or more specifically it is a specific kind of......

Subjectively Wrong

When something is subjective, it is based on personal opinion*. We are saying that there is no real external truth value, just opinions. *The term subjective can mean different things, though they are mostly akin to this definition, and this is how it is being used in the article. Preferences and Standards We can see this reflected in music taste. Our personal preference is something that is true for us, and it wouldn’t make sense to say someone is wrong......