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Skeptic’s Package Deal Fallacy

April 27, 2011

There has to be a name for this fallacy of logic. One with a highfalutin Latin name would be nice, something like argumentum e contrario.  Perhaps something from a great work of logic like Apologia Pro Vita Sua would be nice. But, alas, I name it the Skeptic’s Package Deal.

It goes like this:

How ridiculous it is that people believe in things like the Loch Ness Monster, leprechauns, genies in bottles and imaginary friends like Jesus.

Now, if you are an Atheist you might say, “Well, yeah.” Jeff Schweitzer used the fallacy in a piece he wrote for the Huffington Post on April 8:

Without an ability to reason critically, people believe in weeping statues of the Virgin Mary, the existence of a carved face on Mars, out-of-body experiences, and Christ’s image captured on the Shroud of Turin. 

imageI was disappointed to see Michael Catt use it in the Baptist Press on April 25:

There are hundreds of cathedrals that claim to have the skull of Paul or Peter. There is a church in Ethiopia that claims to have the Ark of the Covenant. Such claims are too common to be believable.

Then there was the Shroud of Turin, which was supposedly the burial cloth of Jesus. Add to that statues that weep, the face of Jesus in a tortilla, and a host of other scams and aberrations and it becomes laughable.

I understand that his point was to criticize the documentary, "The Nails of the Cross." In fact, the argument that two nails found in Caiaphas’ tomb is an argument using the worst sort of fallacy. Here I agree with Catt:

Professor Israel Hershkowitz says in the documentary, "Based on the size, shape and condition of the nails, it is possible that these were used in crucifixion." True. Factual. BUT, notice "crucifixion" not "the crucifixion" of Christ. Thousands were crucified by the Romans. It was a common form of death penalty for criminals. There would have been hundreds of nails.

He says it’s "possible." Sure it is.

But why package these nails with a face of Jesus in a tortilla, which is ridiculous and the Shroud of Turin, which is not to a great number of scholars including scientists, historians and archeologists.

Categories: News & Views

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