Thursday, February 05, 2009

And Just So That People Won't Say That I'm Being Unfair...

... here's a logical fallacy from the anti-frum side:

One Reason I'm an Atheist

What are the odds of a secular person killing their child for becoming religious?


Now what are the odds of a religious fanatic killing their child for becoming secular?

Not high, but there's a chance.

That's all I need to know.

Another twenty Wolf points to the person who spots it first.

The Wolf


ProfK said...

First major flaw is in equating secularism with atheism. One can be secular while still believing that God exists. Atheists do not believe that God exists. So, he cannot use statistics based on secularism as a reason for being atheistic. This also impinges on the bi-polar opposition he has set up: religious fanatic versus secularist--they aren't true opposites.

What kind of statistics are "not high, but there is a chance"? "Chance" is random and so could just as easily apply to the secular person. Since no source has been cited for the skewed statistics, why should anyone believe that they are true? No secular person has ever murdered a child that has become religious? Based on what comprehensive study? Legitimate studies based on solid, accepted statistical methodologies include a margin for error along with their figures. Because there is this margin for error the chance for the secular person committing such a murder is not zero but could be plus or minus 5 on either side. The same for the "religious fanatic." "Small" could also be "zero" when the margin for error is factored in.

BrooklynWolf said...


I normally don't delete comments, but I will not stand by while a commenter calls a specific blogger (even someone I disagree with) a potential child-killer.

Please don't post that sort of thing again.

The Wolf

Garnel Ironheart said...

ProfK, I don't know why you're applying intelligent thought to this gibberish. His post wasn't thought out or meant to provoke meaningful discussion. It was lash out hatefully at frum people. Why dignify him with a real response he won't understand?

Anonymous said...

Prof K. You state that "First major flaw is in equating secularism with atheism." That's true, but it I don't think it helps your argument because if he had said killing a child for becoming an atheist, instead of becoming secular, then the odds would be even higher.

How would you respond if the argument was that the odds of a religious person not reporting repeated molestation of their child because their rabbi/iman/priest etc. told them not to are far greater than a secular person or atheist not reporting the same crime because their hairdresser/accountant/best friend, Oprah, etc. said not to? (See today's story on VIN re: a frum family not reporting because rabbi said not to and the children continued to be molested).

BTW Wolf, Thanks for being fair and balanced.

Anonymous said...

Garnel seems to be taking this a bit personally. The post says nothing about frum people, or even jews. It refers to religous fanatics. Are you saying frummies are fanatics?

Baal Devarim said...

I suppose you mean the fallacy of argumentum ad consequentiam. However, that is only true if you interpret his statement to mean "Why I believe there is no God." If he meant something along the lines of "Why I choose to identify as an atheist" then this appeal may no longer be a logical fallacy, depending how he meant this likelihood applies to him directly (although the statement may still be factually -- or otherwise -- false).

Anonymous said...

The fallacy is that if the premise is true, the conclusion doesn't follow. The argument has nothing to do with whether God exists. It's simply a reason to reject a form of religious fanaticism, but it says nothing about whether God exists.

Also the writer doesn't seem to use the word "odds" correctly. It's not really a question of odds, but that's a matter of semantics, rather than logic.

Prof K, the instances of such killings are greater than you think. They happen from time to time in the Mid-East, and in European countries among the immigrant populations from those Mid-Eastern countries. And those are just the cases that make the papers.

Ichabod Chrain

aaron from L.A. said...

The word "fallacy" has been "assered" by the gedolim after a Kol koreh by chareidim who thought it was from the shoresh "phallus"