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Maybe "begging the question"?

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  • rlbaty@webtv.net
    ... And then I noted, in relevant part, after mathewmaury pointed out the ... After browsing back through the book I found what I was thinking about ... I
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2003
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      I noted earlier James' question:

      > Robert, would you support this

      > (A) The Holy Ghost descended upon
      > the people after the gospel was
      > preached.

      > (B) I am preaching tomorrow.

      > (C) The Holy Ghost will descend
      > upon the people after I preach.

      > Robert, the argument is valid, its
      > form is good, WILL YOU SUPPORT

      And then I noted, in relevant part, after "mathewmaury" pointed out the
      above argument isn't valid to begin with:

      > I think I saw something in my critical
      > thinking textbook that pointed out the
      > clever fault in James' question.

      After browsing back through the book I found what I was thinking about
      on page 261ff:

      > And that is how complex questions
      > "beg" the question: They embed
      > assumptions within a question. By
      > answering the question you seem
      > to grant the embedded assumption.

      > The shrewd attorney asks the
      > villanous defendant: "Why did you
      > leave behind the diamond neck-
      > lace when you robbed Lady Big
      > Bucks' country estate?"

      > "I didn't see a diamond necklace,"
      > replies the hapless defendant,
      > thereby admitting that he indeed
      > is the thief.

      > Complex questions are only too
      > common in everyday life. When
      > they escape detection they
      > insidiously control thought.

      > So be wary of complex questions:
      > They may control discussion and
      > control the range of possibilities
      > considered. Don't be in such
      > haste to get to the answer that
      > you overlook dangerous
      > assumptions concealed in the
      > question.

      I guess we owe a debt of gratitude to our own "mathewmaury" for helping
      us identify James' complex question that does appear to contain a
      dangerous and false assumption about the validity of the argument

      Robert Baty
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