Monday, July 29, 2013

Logical Fallacy: Begging the Question

"To beg the question is to assume the truth of the conclusion of an argument in the premises in order for the conclusion to follow. It is a type of circular reasoning and an informal fallacy, in which an arguer makes an argument that requires the desired conclusion to be true. This often occurs in an indirect way such that the fallacy's presence is hidden or at least not easily apparent.
The term "begging the question", as it is usually phrased, originated in the 16th century as a mistranslation of the Latin petitio principii, which actually translates to "assuming the initial point"."

"The original phrase used by Aristotle from which begging the question descends is: τὸ ἐξ ἀρχῆς (or sometimes ἐν ἀρχῇ) αἰτεῖν, "asking for the initial thing.""

- Wikipedia
"I remember what begs the question means by thinking that the argument raises a specific question--it begs *the* question--What's your support for that premise? OR  more informally, What does that have to do with anything? You use the phrase begs the question when people are hoping you won't notice that their reasons for coming to a conclusion aren't valid. They've made an argument based on a lame assumption. The question is What's your support for that premise?"

Quick and Dirty Tips: Begging the Question

Begging the question - assuming the base or principle the consequence is built on is true.

"The USonian war against Iraq is legal because the USonian government wouldn't do anything illegal." 
(Wouldn't they?)

"The charges of physical abuse are absolutely untrue because the police would never do something like that." 
(Wouldn't they?)

"Women have a right to choose whether to have an abortion or not, therefore abortion should be allowed." 
(Do they?)

"The abortion is immoral because the unborn have a right to life." 
(Does it?)

"Affirmative Action can never be fair or just. You cannot remedy one injustice by committing another." 
(But is it an injustice?)

"Paranormal activity is real because I have experienced what can only be described as paranormal activity."
(Can it?)
- Begging the Question at Logically Fallacious

"This whole abortion debate about when human life begins is ridiculous. We should be thinking about the rights of the baby."(Do "babies" have rights? When is a baby a baby?)

John: "Why didn't you include Lorena's poetry in the student publication?" 
Anne: "Because it was judged as not sufficiently worthy of publication."

Fallacy Definitions: Begging the Question

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