An Example of Christians using faulty Deductive Logical Reasoning. Anyone see a Problem?

Copied from this Christian website:  Weslyan Theology

 
   
 
Following is a brief argument for the inerrancy of Scripture:
 
Premise A: Every utterance of God is perfect, and thus free from error.

Premise B: All the truth claims of the Bible writers are the utterances of God.

Conclusion: All the truth claims of the Bible writers are free from error.

Premise A is supported by the teaching that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and that He knows everything (I John 3:2). God cannot say anything contrary to the way things really are. He is morally perfect and will not lead anyone astray, especially since He is omniscient. Bible writers declare that the words of God are pure (Psalm 12:6, Prov. 30:5). Paul calls Scripture the “word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). According to Romans 9:1, the truth excludes the possibility of lying. There is nothing spoken by God that is contrary to what is really real.

Premise B is supported by II Timothy 3:16 (“All Scripture is God-breathed”), and other scriptures that refer to the words of Moses and the prophets as actual words of God (Romans 3:2, Acts 28:25).

That is the deductive argument for inerrancy. If Premise A and B are true, then the conclusion (that all of the truth claims of the Bible writers are free from error) must be true. If the conclusion is true, then we must approach Scripture from the stance of faith, trusting that when properly interpreted there will be found no error in Scripture, no matter how small. Nothing will be stated as a fact (by the Bible writers themselves, not necessarily those they quote) that does not correspond to the way things really are.

Gary:

Let’s substitute a few words in this argument:

Premise A: Every utterance of Allah is perfect, and thus free from error.

Premise B: All the truth claims of the writer of the Koran are the utterances of Allah.

Conclusion: All the truth claims of the writer of the Koran are free from error.

Gary’s conclusion:  Holy Cat Whiskers!  With this irrefutable deductive logical argument, I had better convert to Islam!

 

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9 thoughts on “An Example of Christians using faulty Deductive Logical Reasoning. Anyone see a Problem?

  1. What you managed to do is show how the logical form of deduction works. What you are looking at is a valid argument but that doesn't guarantee the truth of the conclusion.

    What I have just iterated is nothing new or controversial. For example here is a valid logical form:

    If P then Q
    If Q then R
    Therefore, if P then R.

    You can substitute any words you want for the variables but that doesn't change the valid form of the syllogism.

    If cats can read then dogs can fly.
    If dogs can fly then pigs can water-ski.
    Therefore, if cats can read then pigs can water-ski.

    The above form follows the law of transitivity. If A =B and B=C then A=C.

    The point here is that a valid logical form in deduction only guarantee that of the premises of the argument are true, then the conclusion is necessarily true.

    Don't convert to Islam quite yet!

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  2. I want to add to my explanation that the deductive argument for inerrancy in the OP is not a good argument for those who contend the Biblical proof offered by the writer. For those who accept the scriptures he/she provided as being true, then the conclusion necessarily follows. I suspect the argument that was presented was not meant as a proof to non-Christians.

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  3. Yes, I see your point, however, I am happy to hear that you agree that this Christian theologian's argument is poor. I don't pretend to be an expert in logic but in any productive discussion or debate, the participants must agree on the validity of the premises for them to reach an agreed upon conclusion.

    This is why pro-life and pro-choice opponents will never come to an agreement on the issue of abortion.

    Premise A: killing babies is murder and should be illegal
    Premise B: unborn babies are babies
    Conclusion: killing unborn babies (abortion) is murder and should be illegal

    The two parties have a different definition of “babies” so they are not in agreement on the second premise therefore they can never reach consensus on a conclusion.

    And of course the two premises by the Christian above are begging the question, even if debating a liberal Christian who believes in some form that the Bible is God's Word.

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  4. “I don't pretend to be an expert in logic but in any productive discussion or debate, the participants must agree on the validity of the premises for them to reach an agreed upon conclusion.”

    No, what must be agreed upon is the *truth* of the premises. The form of an argument is 'valid' or not. A premise is either true or false. I can provide you with a perfectly valid ontological argument for the existence of God (ala Alvin Plantinga) but the atheist will NEVER accept the truth of the premises of such an argument and will not therefore be convinced the conclusion of such an argument is true. This is one reason why I think philosophical debates are useless at the end of the day.

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  5. So you see no way that a conservative Christian and an (agnostic) skeptic like myself can have premises that they can agree upon as true? It seems to me in my discussion that conservative Christians and skeptics have two very different definitions of reality, and that is why they can never look at the “evidence” and reach agreement.

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  6. Thank you for the correction.

    Now, why don't you give us a deductive argument for why we should believe that a dead man walked out of his grave 2,000 years ago.

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