Logic and the Message
This article is one in a series of studies on the reasoning and the Message - you are currently on the page that is in bold:
Likewise, a Christian does not have to suspend logic or reason to arrive at a position of faith. Rather, logic or reason are often the reason for faith. For example, Message Believers believe faithfully in a man they consider to be a vindicated prophet. But take away the proof of vindication (or the reason for faith) and faith begins to crumble.
Listed below are a number of statements that have been made about this website, each of which is an illogical attack. Most of these statements were made by ministers to keep their congregations in the dark.
Attempts to counter an opponent’s claims by attacking the opponent, rather than addressing the argument itself. “poisoning the well” is a form of ad hominem.
Not only is this a logical fallacy that addresses none of the issues that have been raised, but also lumps all ex message believers into a very narrow, very negative stereotype that is, by its very generality, reckless, irresponsible, and false.
Equivocation is an informal logical fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). It generally occurs with words or phrases that have multiple meanings.
In this case, "truth" is used to refer to William Branham's message when, in fact, whether or not the message is truth is the issue that is being disputed.
False dilemma or false dichotomy
Artificially reducing a set of possibilities to two, usually while casting one of the two in such a negative light that the “obvious” choice is the other one.
This is a manipulative favorite when speaking to bible believing Christians. The pastor knows they believe the Bible and aren’t going to throw it away, therefore many will make a decision that they are also, not going to leave the message, for no reason at all! The apparent contradictions in the Bible can and have been logically explained, while many questions about the message cannot.
Moving the Goalposts
The method of moving the criteria for “proof” out of the range of whatever evidence currently exists. If new evidence comes to light meeting the prior criteria, the goalpost is pushed further back. Sometimes impossible criteria are set up at the start for the purpose of denying an undesirable conclusion.
Since we can’t go back in time and “be there” there is no possible way to prove it didn’t happen as William Branham said, though the evidence in this particular case is so strong, you could actually argue not only for an overwhelming inductive case, but also for an empirical, deductive refutation of his claim, because of the law of non-contradiction.
While there can be truth in a lie, there can be no lie in the truth.
The Red Herring
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A red herring is an issue or fact that is introduced to deliberately mislead or distract a person from the actual concern that is being questioned. A red herring is a logical fallacy that leads people towards a false conclusion. A red herring might be intentionally used as part of a rhetorical strategy (i.e. there are no real arguments against the position being put forward), or it could be inadvertently used during argumentation as a result of poor logic.
Voice of God Recordings explanation of why William Branham's failed prophecies are not important relies totally on red herring arguments:
In this case, attacks on the Bible are equated to attacks on William Branham and his message, even though they are entirely different. The problem is that each issue, all of those related to the Bible and each of those related to William Branham and his message, must be dealt with on their own merits. As a result, the issues relating to William Branham - the accuracy of his prophecies, his credibility and whether his teachings are in agreement with scripture - must be looked at independently and not confused or tied to the completely unrelated issue of Biblical accuracy. We dealt with the so-called "biblical inaccuracies" in another article and show that they are not what Voice of God Recordings stated that they were.
Reductio ad absurdum
Reducing the premise in an argument so that it leads to an absurd conclusion.
The premise has been artificially reduced to ‘you don’t believe because you didn’t see it’. In reality there is a mountain of inductive evidence for the existence of your brain and God, and a mountain of inductive evidence to refute many message claims.
Argues that to accept A means that you must accept B, or Z, or some other extreme.
Do I really have to explain why this is stupid? Which fallacy do I address first, the illogical connection between looking at a website and being an enemy of God, or the assertion that a website contains the “devil’s lies” without a single shred of evidence to back up such a monstrous claim?
Attempts to counter a position by attacking a different position than the one his opponent actually holds, one that is easier to refute.
This is not the position of any message critic that I am aware of. The truth is simply that people in the message are following a false prophet and therefore are in a false system. Where they go when they leave is a matter of prayerful consideration, and is inherently individual. By the way, equating all churches with harlots and slop for the simple fact that they belong to a denomination is also fallacious, in case common sense didn’t kick in there automatically, as it should.