Begging the Question – Guest Post by David Preston

Note: Begging the Question is nearly always misunderstood by people who use the term. It doesn’t mean inviting a question, it means assuming as proven that which was to be decided by argument.

The meme I’ve included here is one-stop shopping for question-begging statements. Most or all of these “don’t” statements here beg the question, but let’s take the abortion one, because it’s the most vivid example. In that case, the question is: Does abortion destroy an innocent human life? –And that is a very important question, because if abortion does destroy a human life, then a woman has no moral right to do it, whether she has a legal right or not.

I’m not saying abortion does or doesn’t destroy a life . . . but if you try to summarize the case by saying, in effect: “It’s none of your business whether I have an abortion,” you are ignoring the original question and thus “begging” it to return.

If we take the “it’s none of your business what I do” logic to its absurd conclusions, then the fallacy becomes clear. Examples:
►Don’t like slavery? Don’t own a slave.
►Don’t like polygamy? Don’t be a Mormon.
►Don’t like sweatshops? Don’t apply for work in one.

And so on . . .

Oh yeah. Heh-heh. Almost forget the most important one of all . . .

Don’t agree with my opinion? Then shut the hell up!

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