No True *insert here* fallacy

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PaulSacramento
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No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby PaulSacramento » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:50 am

Every so often we come across this fallacy, originally know as the "no true scotsman" fallacy developed by Anthony Flew:

The term was coined by Antony Flew, who gave an example of a Scotsman who sees a newspaper article about a series of sex crimes taking place in Brighton, and responds that "no Scotsman would do such a thing."
When later confronted with evidence of another Scotsman doing even worse acts, his response is that "no true Scotsman would do such a thing," thus disavowing membership in the group "Scotsman" to the criminal on the basis that the commission of the crime is evidence for not being a Scotsman.
However, this reasoning is fallacious, as there exists no premise in the definition of "Scotsman" which makes such acts impossible (or even unlikely). The term "No True Scotsman" has since expanded to refer to anyone who attempts to disown or distance themselves from wayward members of a group by excluding them from it.


The issue with this, that which makes it a fallacy is because there is NO premise in the DEFINITION of a scotsman that makes certain acts impossible.

In other words, if, by definition, a TRUE scotsman would never wear a kilt below his knees then anyone wearing a kilt below his knees would NOT be a TRUE scotsman.

In short:

Exceptions to its use
Noteworthy is that the fallacy does not occur if there is a clear and well understood definition of what membership in a group requires, and it is that definition which is broken (e.g., "no honest man would lie" or "no theist can be an atheist" and so on). Thus, the NTS fallacy only occurs when the group is later redefined for no valid reason.[5]
It is also important to understand that the NTS places no restrictions on whether a definition is sensible or not; it only concerns if a definition is applied consistently or not.


Now, when this comes to religion things tend to get a bit more complicated BUT only if there is no defined description of what it means to be "A" OR the doctrine of those following "A".

EX: A christian is a person that follows Christ.
That is ONE definition of a Christian.
So, any person that follows Christ is a Christian REGARDLESS of how the behave IF the ONLY definition of being a Christian is being a follower of Christ.
Based on the above definition ALONE, the "non true christian" comment would be a fallacy like the no true scotsman one.

The problem is, of course, that Christianity DOES have established defining characteristics BEYOND just believing in Christ.

EX:
We can use the "no true catholic" argument and it NOT be a fallacy because the RCC has a established set of rule and doctrines that define a catholic and an example would be someone that does not believe in the Trinity would NOT be atruc Catholic since to be a true catholic as defined BY the Catholic doctrine one must believe in the Trinity.


Point being that the "no true scotsman" fallacy is ONLY valid when there isn't a definition of a true "anything".

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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby RickD » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:32 am

And this comes up quite a bit when people who claim to be Christians, commit a crime like murder.

They say, "if Mr. Smith killed someone, that means he wasn't a Christian."

Which is what you're talking about, Paul.

The fallacy is used by Christians to defend Christians and Christianity to unbelievers. A common argument would be when an unbeliever would say that Christianity is wrong because Christians commit evil acts. Then some Christians would respond with the No True Scotsman fallacy, by saying, "They must not be Christians if they committed those crimes."
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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby PaulSacramento » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:00 am

RickD wrote:And this comes up quite a bit when people who claim to be Christians, commit a crime like murder.

They say, "if Mr. Smith killed someone, that means he wasn't a Christian."

Which is what you're talking about, Paul.

The fallacy is used by Christians to defend Christians and Christianity to unbelievers. A common argument would be when an unbeliever would say that Christianity is wrong because Christians commit evil acts. Then some Christians would respond with the No True Scotsman fallacy, by saying, "They must not be Christians if they committed those crimes."


Yes but it needs to be quantified and this is why:
Committing a crime is against the teachings of Christ IF the crime committed goes against an explicit statement of Christ ( tax evasion for example since Christ make sit clear to give to Caesar, what is Caesar's) BUT the issue is that nowhere do you find any doctrines or even any explicit statement from Christ that those that believe in Him would be perfect, faultless and never do any wrong. On the contrary actually.

So, would saying that a tax evader that believes in Christ is not a true christian, be correct?
Yes, for the SPECIFIC deed ( no true Christian would commit tax evasion ) but NO for DEFINING what was done as defining that person as NOT being a true Christian.
That is why it is so tricky and we shouldn't use that "no true Christian" argument UNLESS we are dealing with something thot goes against a concrete and explicit statement of Christ and/or doctrine, but even then we end up in the area of denominations and different views on doctrines.

To say that someone that doesn't believe in Original sin like the RCC does is not a true christian is wrong BUT to say that this person is not a try Roman Catholic MAY be argued to be correct ( though no denomination stands upon ONE piece of doctrine only).

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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby RickD » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:34 am

Paul,

I'm not sure I'm following you.

The fallacy is a fallacy, no matter who is using it.

Isn't the fallacy talking about actions, not beliefs?
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby IceMobster » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:54 am

PaulSacramento wrote:We can use the "no true catholic" argument and it NOT be a fallacy because the RCC has a established set of rule and doctrines that define a catholic and an example would be someone that does not believe in the Trinity would NOT be atruc Catholic since to be a true catholic as defined BY the Catholic doctrine one must believe in the Trinity.


Point being that the "no true scotsman" fallacy is ONLY valid when there isn't a definition of a true "anything".

If you do not believe in the Trinity, doesn't that make you a polytheist?

On topic: I do not think it is correct to call this argument a fallacy. It depends on one thing: the definition (as Paul concluded).
So, if you truly follow Christ, you would try to behave as He did, no? That is where the argument comes from when it comes to religion (in this case Christianity).
Following Christ doesn't just mean you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Well, depends on denomination, but it is kinda dumb since you can go around and be immoral, do evil deeds(etc), but still be saved?
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGOXMf6yDCU

Fecisti nos ad te, Domine, et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te!

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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby PaulSacramento » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:46 pm

RickD wrote:Paul,

I'm not sure I'm following you.

The fallacy is a fallacy, no matter who is using it.

Isn't the fallacy talking about actions, not beliefs?


The "no true" fallacy one works when there isn't a concrete definition of something.
If a true scotsman is defined as one that is from Scotland and wears a kilt then it is correct to say of a person that is from scotland and does NOT wear a kilt as NOt being a true scotsman.

In other words that argument CAN actual be correct BUT only if one is defending an defined description of something.

Exceptions to its use
Noteworthy is that the fallacy does not occur if there is a clear and well understood definition of what membership in a group requires, and it is that definition which is broken (e.g., "no honest man would lie" or "no theist can be an atheist" and so on). Thus, the NTS fallacy only occurs when the group is later redefined for no valid reason.[5]
It is also important to understand that the NTS places no restrictions on whether a definition is sensible or not; it only concerns if a definition is applied consistently or not.

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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby PaulSacramento » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:48 pm

IceMobster wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:We can use the "no true catholic" argument and it NOT be a fallacy because the RCC has a established set of rule and doctrines that define a catholic and an example would be someone that does not believe in the Trinity would NOT be atruc Catholic since to be a true catholic as defined BY the Catholic doctrine one must believe in the Trinity.


Point being that the "no true scotsman" fallacy is ONLY valid when there isn't a definition of a true "anything".

If you do not believe in the Trinity, doesn't that make you a polytheist?

On topic: I do not think it is correct to call this argument a fallacy. It depends on one thing: the definition (as Paul concluded).
So, if you truly follow Christ, you would try to behave as He did, no? That is where the argument comes from when it comes to religion (in this case Christianity).
Following Christ doesn't just mean you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Well, depends on denomination, but it is kinda dumb since you can go around and be immoral, do evil deeds(etc), but still be saved?



The reason it is used to many times to counter religious arguments is because religions tend to NOT be well defined.
EX:
A muslim saying that extremists muslims are not true muslims because Muslims don't go around killing people.
The issue is that there is no defined TRUE MUSLIM.

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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby IceMobster » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:38 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:
IceMobster wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:We can use the "no true catholic" argument and it NOT be a fallacy because the RCC has a established set of rule and doctrines that define a catholic and an example would be someone that does not believe in the Trinity would NOT be atruc Catholic since to be a true catholic as defined BY the Catholic doctrine one must believe in the Trinity.


Point being that the "no true scotsman" fallacy is ONLY valid when there isn't a definition of a true "anything".

If you do not believe in the Trinity, doesn't that make you a polytheist?

On topic: I do not think it is correct to call this argument a fallacy. It depends on one thing: the definition (as Paul concluded).
So, if you truly follow Christ, you would try to behave as He did, no? That is where the argument comes from when it comes to religion (in this case Christianity).
Following Christ doesn't just mean you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Well, depends on denomination, but it is kinda dumb since you can go around and be immoral, do evil deeds(etc), but still be saved?



The reason it is used to many times to counter religious arguments is because religions tend to NOT be well defined.
EX:
A muslim saying that extremists muslims are not true muslims because Muslims don't go around killing people.
The issue is that there is no defined TRUE MUSLIM.

What? I've only seen this argument used FOR religious argument - not to counter them.

Indeed, different people have different interpretation of what, or rather, who a "true Muslim" is.

But my point still stands: "Following Christ doesn't just mean you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Well, depends on denomination, but it is kinda dumb since you can go around and be immoral, do evil deeds(etc), but still be saved?"


Also, if you do not believe in the Trinity, doesn't that make you a polytheist?
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGOXMf6yDCU

Fecisti nos ad te, Domine, et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te!

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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby RickD » Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:05 pm

IceMobster wrote:

Also, if you do not believe in the Trinity, doesn't that make you a polytheist?

No, not necessarily. Many Christians don't understand the Trinity enough to say they believe in it. That doesn't make them polytheists.

Maybe you need to explain why you think that one who doesn't believe in the Trinity, has to be a polytheist.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby IceMobster » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:28 pm

RickD wrote:
IceMobster wrote:

Also, if you do not believe in the Trinity, doesn't that make you a polytheist?

No, not necessarily. Many Christians don't understand the Trinity enough to say they believe in it. That doesn't make them polytheists.

Maybe you need to explain why you think that one who doesn't believe in the Trinity, has to be a polytheist.

I don't know. Take a look at Mormons?
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGOXMf6yDCU

Fecisti nos ad te, Domine, et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te!

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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby RickD » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:53 pm

IceMobster wrote:
RickD wrote:
IceMobster wrote:

Also, if you do not believe in the Trinity, doesn't that make you a polytheist?

No, not necessarily. Many Christians don't understand the Trinity enough to say they believe in it. That doesn't make them polytheists.

Maybe you need to explain why you think that one who doesn't believe in the Trinity, has to be a polytheist.

I don't know. Take a look at Mormons?

Muslims and Jews don't believe in the Trinity, and they're not polytheists.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby IceMobster » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:46 pm

RickD wrote:
IceMobster wrote:
RickD wrote:
IceMobster wrote:

Also, if you do not believe in the Trinity, doesn't that make you a polytheist?

No, not necessarily. Many Christians don't understand the Trinity enough to say they believe in it. That doesn't make them polytheists.

Maybe you need to explain why you think that one who doesn't believe in the Trinity, has to be a polytheist.

I don't know. Take a look at Mormons?

Muslims and Jews don't believe in the Trinity, and they're not polytheists.

Meh, I kinda thought we are talking about Christians only. Idk, lol. :whee:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGOXMf6yDCU

Fecisti nos ad te, Domine, et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te!

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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby RickD » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:18 pm

IceMobster wrote:
RickD wrote:
IceMobster wrote:
RickD wrote:
IceMobster wrote:

Also, if you do not believe in the Trinity, doesn't that make you a polytheist?

No, not necessarily. Many Christians don't understand the Trinity enough to say they believe in it. That doesn't make them polytheists.

Maybe you need to explain why you think that one who doesn't believe in the Trinity, has to be a polytheist.

I don't know. Take a look at Mormons?

Muslims and Jews don't believe in the Trinity, and they're not polytheists.

Meh, I kinda thought we are talking about Christians only. Idk, lol. :whee:

If we were talking about Christians only, then why did you mention Mormons?
You took it outside Christianity when you mentioned a religion outside Christianity.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby Kurieuo » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:52 am

That's right, no true Scots... err.. Christian would be Mormon... or is it no true Mormon would be Christian y:-? :econfused:
Oh, forget I said anything I don't know what I'm talking about. Really. I don't.
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Re: No True *insert here* fallacy

Postby RickD » Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:53 am

Kurieuo wrote:That's right, no true Scots... err.. Christian would be Mormon... or is it no true Mormon would be Christian y:-? :econfused:
Oh, forget I said anything I don't know what I'm talking about. Really. I don't.

Exactly! Kinda...sorta...
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony


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