Category: Fallacies

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......

Reason in the Face of Public Opinion

As a site that promotes reason, we often find we are against popular public opinions. Even though we are atheists by one definition or another, it is often our fellow atheists we are trying to reason with. There are a lot of common opinions many people hold, and they seem to be ingrained within the online community. One of the biggest issues with memes is they are often taken as fact, especially when shared by someone you respect. Whilst atheism,......

In response to Ra’s ‘What is Atheism?’

I was invited on Cheshire’s live stream ‘A Goblin Reads’ with Dave as she had seen my discussion with Aron about his belief that ‘Rocks are atheist!’ who then wrote a post called ‘What is Atheism?‘ In planning for this, I started reading Aron’s article where he argues why his definition of atheism is the ‘correct’ one and how SEP got things ‘wrong’ and his definition is the ‘original’. Whilst his article has had a lot of effort put into......

Can you prove a negative?

I often hear my fellow atheists say things like ‘You can’t prove a negative!’ in a debate. This is often in response to either a theist trying to shift the burden of proof, or a misunderstanding of epistemic justification (aka burden of rationality or burden of proof on a belief position). I often respond to them, hoping to get them to consider their thoughts, ‘I think what you mean is; you cannot prove non-existence without a doubt’ and often following......

Is That Really a Fallacy?

On a recent podcast, I made a comment that most things that could be considered a fallacy could also not be fallacious. There are some that argue these things are always fallacious. This post hopes to explore a number of common fallacies and see if they are always fallacies, and also when folks might erroneously shout fallacy. Remember, a fallacy is essentially just an error in reasoning, it does not make the conclusion wrong, but the process to get to......

Bad Atheist Arguments – Vol: 03 – Philosophy and Fallacies

The 3rd in the Bad Atheist Arguments series is now here. Having covered the ‘Bible and Evidence‘ in volume 1, and ‘Beliefs and Propositional Logic‘ in volume 2, I felt it time to address philosophy, fallacies, and general errors in our reasoning. Whilst there are a number of common theistic fallacies, we atheists forget sometimes that we too are human and have errors in our logic. In fact, many disagree with the last article due to a lack of understanding......