Misuse of the No True Scotsman Fallacy
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20-08-2015, 04:06 AM
Misuse of the No True Scotsman Fallacy
There continues to be misunderstanding of the application of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy at TTA:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

A logical fallacy does not exist in a vacuum. There must be a logical truth the fallacy is pitted (in error) against. In the NTS case on Wikipedia, there are two conflicting definitions, one stated, one implied:

False: All Scottish people avoid sugar on their porridge

True (not supplied by Wikipedia, but obvious): All Scottish people were born in Scotland

The problem of misapplication is how NTS is applied by TTA members to Christian definitions. It is wholly incorrect to claim that the informal logic rule known as the NTS fallacy supports this concept: that no person may apply any definition as to who are the members of the complete set of Christians in the world. Indeed, this in itself is an example of the NTS fallacy (no true logician may define what a Christian is). Here are two such examples of false definitions I've heard used at TTA, and frequently:

False: All persons who are born as Christians are Christians

True: All persons who trust Jesus's atoning death and resurrection to take their sin, guilt and shame--in hope of Heaven--are Christians

In the example above, if all persons born Christian are Christians, most TTA members who identify as skeptics are now... still... Christians.

False: All persons who profess to be Christian are Christians

True: All persons who trust Jesus's atoning death and resurrection to take their sin, guilt and shame--in hope of Heaven--are Christians

In the example above, another definition is supported that is unsustainable via the application of simple logic. Atheists believe that reincarnation is a false belief as it involves the sustaining of a person's id after death followed by total or partial metempsychosis. Are all persons presently in mental hospitals who claim to actually be Napoleon Bonaparte truly him? Are all persons in the general population who claim to be the reincarnation of Napoleon Bonaparte truly him? The answer from any atheist must be an absolute no in both cases, but only as far as they are willing to accept the true definition: Napoleon Bonaparte was a deceased historical figure who was emperor over a French empire. Likewise, it must follow logically that not all persons who say they are Christians must be Christians--even if many of them are Christians. Simple deductive logic tells us that a murderer hoping for clemency, for example, will claim to have found religion while on trial or in prison--some have, some really have not.

I personally agree with the TTA members that the NTS fallacy is a true logical fallacy, yet clearly we disagree not on the operation of the fallacy itself but on the definition of what a Christian is. One has to know that a true Scotsman is born in the country of Scotland to be able to say with impunity that sugar on one's porridge is not the real defining issue.

Likewise, there is a current thread where several people are avoiding entering the Boxing Ring with me to debate the existence of God as it is claimed that no true definition of God can exist. This is the kind of sophistry that frustrates those Christians who wish to debate atheists. You cannot logically hold both of the following positions simultaneously:

1. No god exists

2. No one can sufficiently define what a god is

Unless that is, there are no atheists, only agnostics (which would allow for #2 above, but still not offer conclusive proof for #1 above).

I am open to learn more, and I relish the opportunity to test my ideas here at TTA. I welcome your comments and pledge to read them with an open mind. Thank you.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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20-08-2015, 06:06 AM (This post was last modified: 20-08-2015 06:35 AM by Popeye's Pappy.)
RE: Misuse of the No True Scotsman Fallacy
Bolded below is a example of the No True Scotsman fallacy as used by Protestants. It was posted in response to a Facebook post by the governor of Texas.

"Abbott posted a commemoration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, marking Catholic belief that Mary was brought into heaven body and soul.

“The Virgin Mary is exalted above the choirs of angels. Blessed is the Lord who has raised her up,” Abbott wrote to accompany a sketch of Mary above the clouds. The sketch included a notation that it was a political ad by Texans for Greg Abbott.

The Facebook post drew more than 900 comments, with some praising Abbott for his reverence and talking about their own devotion to Mary. Others, however, harshly took him to task.

“So you’re Catholic Mr. Abbott? So what? You worship idols; not something I’d be telling everyone,” said one. Agreed another, “This is nothing more than idol worship.”

Another said, with generous punctuation, “Jesus is The Blessed and Holy One!!! Were you hacked??????” Another, who said he voted for Abbott, expressed disappointment and said, “Another reason Catholics are Catholics and not Christians.”"

http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/ar...449077.php

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20-08-2015, 06:18 AM
RE: Misuse of the No True Scotsman Fallacy
(20-08-2015 04:06 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  There continues to be misunderstanding of the application of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy at TTA:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

A logical fallacy does not exist in a vacuum. There must be a logical truth the fallacy is pitted (in error) against. In the NTS case on Wikipedia, there are two conflicting definitions, one stated, one implied:

False: All Scottish people avoid sugar on their porridge

True (not supplied by Wikipedia, but obvious): All Scottish people were born in Scotland

The problem of misapplication is how NTS is applied by TTA members to Christian definitions. It is wholly incorrect to claim that the informal logic rule known as the NTS fallacy supports this concept: that no person may apply any definition as to who are the members of the complete set of Christians in the world. Indeed, this in itself is an example of the NTS fallacy (no true logician may define what a Christian is). Here are two such examples of false definitions I've heard used at TTA, and frequently:

False: All persons who are born as Christians are Christians

True: All persons who trust Jesus's atoning death and resurrection to take their sin, guilt and shame--in hope of Heaven--are Christians

In the example above, if all persons born Christian are Christians, most TTA members who identify as skeptics are now... still... Christians.

False: All persons who profess to be Christian are Christians

True: All persons who trust Jesus's atoning death and resurrection to take their sin, guilt and shame--in hope of Heaven--are Christians

In the example above, another definition is supported that is unsustainable via the application of simple logic. Atheists believe that reincarnation is a false belief as it involves the sustaining of a person's id after death followed by total or partial metempsychosis. Are all persons presently in mental hospitals who claim to actually be Napoleon Bonaparte truly him? Are all persons in the general population who claim to be the reincarnation of Napoleon Bonaparte truly him? The answer from any atheist must be an absolute no in both cases, but only as far as they are willing to accept the true definition: Napoleon Bonaparte was a deceased historical figure who was emperor over a French empire. Likewise, it must follow logically that not all persons who say they are Christians must be Christians--even if many of them are Christians. Simple deductive logic tells us that a murderer hoping for clemency, for example, will claim to have found religion while on trial or in prison--some have, some really have not.

I personally agree with the TTA members that the NTS fallacy is a true logical fallacy, yet clearly we disagree not on the operation of the fallacy itself but on the definition of what a Christian is. One has to know that a true Scotsman is born in the country of Scotland to be able to say with impunity that sugar on one's porridge is not the real defining issue.

Likewise, there is a current thread where several people are avoiding entering the Boxing Ring with me to debate the existence of God as it is claimed that no true definition of God can exist. This is the kind of sophistry that frustrates those Christians who wish to debate atheists. You cannot logically hold both of the following positions simultaneously:

1. No god exists

2. No one can sufficiently define what a god is

Unless that is, there are no atheists, only agnostics (which would allow for #2 above, but still not offer conclusive proof for #1 above).

I am open to learn more, and I relish the opportunity to test my ideas here at TTA. I welcome your comments and pledge to read them with an open mind. Thank you.

My friend was born in Germany of two Scottish parents, he holds a UK passport and now lives in Aberdeen, he considers himself a Scotsman.

There's always one...

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20-08-2015, 06:20 AM
RE: Misuse of the No True Scotsman Fallacy
Well Q, since you're the expert, I guess it's fine that you made the thread.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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20-08-2015, 06:30 AM
RE: Misuse of the No True Scotsman Fallacy
(20-08-2015 04:06 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  A logical fallacy does not exist in a vacuum. There must be a logical truth the fallacy is pitted (in error) against.

Not entirely sure what you mean by that. Employing a logical fallacy is like having a division by zero error in your math. You may get a result but it isn't valid.

Quote:True (not supplied by Wikipedia, but obvious): All Scottish people were born in Scotland

Not only not obvious but also not true

Quote:False: All persons who profess to be Christian are Christians

True: All persons who trust Jesus's atoning death and resurrection to take their sin, guilt and shame--in hope of Heaven--are Christians

No, that may be your definition but it is not how everybody who claims to be Christian defines it. That's kind of the point. There is no objective yardstick to measure your claim of what is required to be a "true" christian against anybody else's. All it means when one person calls another NTC is that they disagree and that isn't a response to the argument.

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20-08-2015, 06:39 AM
RE: Misuse of the No True Scotsman Fallacy
(20-08-2015 06:30 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(20-08-2015 04:06 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  A logical fallacy does not exist in a vacuum. There must be a logical truth the fallacy is pitted (in error) against.


No, that may be your definition but it is not how everybody who claims to be Christian defines it. That's kind of the point. There is no objective yardstick to measure your claim of what is required to be a "true" christian against anybody else's. All it means when one person calls another NTC is that they disagree and that isn't a response to the argument.

Correctamundo Unflogged. The christians will explain that the holy bible is the yardstick for what a true christian is, but then we enter the slippery slope of one person's translation of scripture over another. If this was not the case, there would be no need for a gazillion different denominations. Granted, that not all christians consider others in another denomination to not be xians, but some yes. Especially when you pit fundy against catholic, or some dogmatic baptist sects that adhere to the belief that baptism is essential for salvation (sorry thief on the cross). When you stir enough various shit around in a pot together, it all ends up looking the same after awhile . .

(22-08-2015 07:30 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  It is by will alone I set my brows in motion it is by the conditioner of avocado that the brows acquire volume the skin acquires spots the spots become a warning. It is by will alone I set my brows in motion.
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20-08-2015, 06:47 AM
RE: Misuse of the No True Scotsman Fallacy
(20-08-2015 04:06 AM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  False: All Scottish people avoid sugar on their porridge

True (not supplied by Wikipedia, but obvious): All Scottish people were born in Scotland

The problem of misapplication is how NTS is applied by TTA members to Christian definitions. It is wholly incorrect to claim that the informal logic rule known as the NTS fallacy supports this concept: that no person may apply any definition as to who are the members of the complete set of Christians in the world. Indeed, this in itself is an example of the NTS fallacy (no true logician may define what a Christian is). Here are two such examples of false definitions I've heard used at TTA, and frequently:

False: All persons who are born as Christians are Christians

True: All persons who trust Jesus's atoning death and resurrection to take their sin, guilt and shame--in hope of Heaven--are Christians

In the example above, if all persons born Christian are Christians, most TTA members who identify as skeptics are now... still... Christians.

False: All persons who profess to be Christian are Christians

True: All persons who trust Jesus's atoning death and resurrection to take their sin, guilt and shame--in hope of Heaven--are Christians

Hey, guess what? In complaining about one fallacy, you committed another!

The Scotland example above works because we all work with a uniform definition of what Scotland is and what a Scotsman is. The same is not true with Christianity. See, if there were a thousand different "sects" of Scotland, you'd have a better analogy.

Stop equivocating. Your sect has never been able to prove its correctness, just like all the others. I guess there is one thing in common between them...
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20-08-2015, 06:56 AM
RE: Misuse of the No True Scotsman Fallacy
Hey now! Mormons are Christians too!

And they don't need the bible to back that claim because they have the prophet Joseph Smith, not the deluded Paul to back up their claim.

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20-08-2015, 06:58 AM
RE: Misuse of the No True Scotsman Fallacy
(20-08-2015 06:39 AM)Octapulse Wrote:  Correctamundo Unflogged.

I make no statements regarding if or when I have ever been flogged!
Laugh out load

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20-08-2015, 07:05 AM
RE: Misuse of the No True Scotsman Fallacy
(20-08-2015 06:58 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(20-08-2015 06:39 AM)Octapulse Wrote:  Correctamundo Unflogged.

I make no statements regarding if or when I have ever been flogged!
Laugh out load

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(22-08-2015 07:30 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  It is by will alone I set my brows in motion it is by the conditioner of avocado that the brows acquire volume the skin acquires spots the spots become a warning. It is by will alone I set my brows in motion.
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