Sep 8, 2011

Posted by in Fallacy of the Week | 0 Comments

Fallacy of the Week – Begging the Question

Begging the Question _ jumping to the conclusion of what someone is attempting to prove before they finalize their statement. (Petitio Principii)

Example:

“”If such actions were not illegal, then they would not be prohibited by the law.”

An argument begs the question when it assumes any controversial point not conceded by the other side.  This fallacy happens in an argument in which the conclusion occurs as one of the premises, or a chain of arguments in which the final conclusion is a premise of one of the earlier arguments in the chain.

It becomes circular in form as the point being made is derived from the assumed truth of the first premise. There is no objective authority or external evidence given to support the argument.

Circular reasoning:

“The layers of rock certainly date the fossils, but the fossils within them date the layers more accurately.”

 

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