Sunday, June 08, 2008

God is Imaginary: #12 See the Magic

See the Magic.

See the mockery.

Do you see the logical error in their argument? This is categorical logic, but instead of using the classic syllogism, all A are B, all B are C, therefore, all A are C, they're using a fallacious form. By contrast, their argument runs: All A are B. All C are B. Therefore all A are C. In word form:

All A (religions) are B (infused with magical elements).
All C (fairy tales) are B (infused with magical elements).
Therefore, all religions are fairy tales.

If you're really bored, you can spend some quality time with a Venn Diagram to demonstrate that this argument is fallacious.

Back to Fifty Reasons.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Noumenon said...

It could be good logic with a question-begging premise:

All stories that contain magic are fairy tales.
The creation story uses magic.
Therefore the creation story is a fairy tale.

Bad logic or not, "Look at it -- it's a fairy tale" seems obviously true to me. It's not the kind of argument there's any logic behind, that I can take and tell to someone else, but it's just what it is.

Don't forget, the people who first told the fairy tales really believed in fairies.

1:31 AM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

Don't forget, the people who first told the fairy tales really believed in fairies.

What you read on in whim,
In the Brother's Grimm,
It ain't necessarily so.

Actually, the earliest versions of most legends and fairy tales are quite realistic. Dragon legends, for example, usually begin describing realistic beasts with realistic behaviors. As time goes by, the stories are inflated with more mythical elements, such as hoarding gold, telling riddles, etc. Stories become more mythic with age unless they have some means of reverting to the original, which is what the written record of Scripture has done at least since the time of Moses, very possibly since shortly after the Flood, and perhaps since Adam.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Noumenon said...

What you read on in whim,
In the Brother's Grimm,
It ain't necessarily so.


I couldn't google it... so I don't get it.

at least since the time of Moses

The Who Wrote the Bible timeline has them start to be written down about 1000 BC under King David. They seem to think even the detailed lists of priestly rules and regulations were handed down by oral tradition only until 700 BC.

Having a look at Wikipedia for fairy tale, any attempt to call the Bible or the Bhagavad Gita a fairy tale is a total misclassification of genre, so I'll have to argue with Bixby a little next time he says that.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

I couldn't google it... so I don't get it.

It's a play on the famous line from Porgy and Bess: "Those things that you're liable, to read in the Bible, it ain't necessarily so."

The Who Wrote the Bible timeline has them start to be written down about 1000 BC under King David.

To use a linguistic argument, the book of Job is chock full of Hebrew archaisms, so unless it was deliberately written "old," it would predate that by quite a bit. Not that I have the Hebrew background to verify that, but that is what I've heard.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Noumenon said...

I know nothing:

Scholarly opinion holds that the book of Job was probably written by at least two authors, one who wrote a prose prologue and epilogue that are likely quite old (say from 1000 BC or so), and one who wrote a poetic middle section, perhaps before 600 BC. There were later additions and revision of the poetry, perhaps as late as the 4th century BC. Ezekiel (prophesizing around 580 BC) mentions Job, but we do not know whether Ezekiel meant the folk-story or the scroll that we have today, or some other Job. --straightdope.com

So they must not even think it looks older than Genesis. I wonder if the archaisms are in the poetry section, like how our poems start with "O Avalon."

8:55 AM  

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