Russell and Duenes

Just to Learn to Identify Question Begging

with one comment

detective“Most people are not intellectually sophisticated enough to understand how they have been manipulated.” – Kevin Williamson

Reason number 5,342 for why Christians should begin withdrawing their children from government schools and their churches should start establishing Christian schools: So that the Christian student can learn how to spot question-begging statements coming from the various voices within our cultural authorities. Statements such as,

“Science and reason are the only bases for real knowledge.”

“Science is based on reason and facts, but religion is just based on faith, that is, opinion.”

“Science explains everything important to human life.”

“Marriage is not something that comes from God, it’s something we humans invented and which we can change as we see fit.”

“Secular schools do not favor of disfavor any particular religion, nor do they favor irreligion over religion. They are neutral.”

“Sexual behavior is not really a moral issue. It’s just something we’re born with and we act on.”

“The unborn are not full human beings”

“Men and women are virtually the same with the exception of the few physical differences.”

“We cannot really have moral knowledge because people disagree about morals. It’s just opinions”

“Diversity is a basic good, and secular pluralism is the best kind of culture”

“All families are the same, none better than the other”

“Sexual orientation is the same thing as race”

“We all descended from monkeys”

“There’s no such thing as absolute right and wrong”

“A text can mean whatever you, the reader, want it to mean.”

“All religions are basically the same”

To name just a few examples. The response to these statements, and many others, should be: “And you know this because…?” Or “The basis for your assertion is…?” The answer to which, from the secularist, will often also beg the question. But where our kids are educated in government schools, where the above are largely accepted as axioms not to be questioned, how will our students learn to see that they are question-begging statements? How will Christian students come to understand that every position is ultimately a faith position, and that when secularists assert stuff, assuming that it’s “what everyone knows,” then they need to be thoroughly questioned. As Frank Turk says, when someone in authority over them insinuates that they might be bigoted for, say, not subscribing to gay marriage, the Christian student might respond with, “Why, because I don’t agree with you?”

I don’t think they are learning this in Sunday School youth group. And having been in a secular law school now, I see how important it is for robust public discourse to be able to recognize question-begging statements, and to call them out. This stuff plays, and plays well.



Written by Michael Duenes

December 8, 2012 at 6:51 am

Posted in Duenes, Education

One Response

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  1. Ha! I really agree with this. Identifying question-begging would have to be in the top three of “skills that will keep you from being sucked into dumb beliefs”.


    December 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm

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