This post over at De-Conversion, a blog for de-converting or former-Christians, has been at the top of the WordPress Most Read list for a couple of days now.
The premise of the post is this. There common assumption is that a holy book can somehow validate itself. Most Holy Books will tell you that God exists, that there is a right way and a wrong way and that if you don’t toe the line bad things may happen.
The author questions the authorship of the holy books. Who knows if God exists in the first place? The book makes the claim that God exists and then tells you to do live your life in a prescribed manner since “God said so.” That to him is circular reasoning.
I will not go into the merits of holy texts and whether God exists. Our president-in-waiting definitely thinks so. My post is on circular reasoning.
In many classrooms, young learners coming to grips with critical thinking and logical reasoning make this mistake.
e.g. Alcohol is injurious to health because it affects the body.
e.g. Rahul doesn’t like me. Why? Because He doesn’t share his Homework? Why doesn’t he do that? Because He doesn’t like Me.
Question of the day: How does one teach students to avoid Circular Reasoning? Any ideas?