Intro to faulty dilemmas

"Yes or no: does your mother know that you're stupid?"

This is an example of a faulty dilemma (if you're not stupid).

These often come up in our conversations about the Hope that we have. We talked about this a little bit at the last Large Group. "If God is good, why is there evil?" can be rephrased "Is God powerful, but not good or good, but not powerful?"

In talking about our Hope, we want to serve people by answering meaningful questions. Occasionally, people will ask questions that they think are meaningful, but rest on faulty assumptions. An answer to the question, then, will have to connect at the level of the assumptions.

In other words, you can't just answer "Yes" or "No" (unless you are confident that you're stupid, in which case your answer may not be reliable); you have to ask something like "Why do you think I'm stupid?" or "I'll answer your question if you answer mine. Yes or no: does your mother know that you use philosophy to be a bully?"

Tomorrow morning, I'll put some stuff up on two contemporary examples of faulty dilemmas. G'night.

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