What is logic?
It can be defined as a system of reasoning, or a way of thinking,
in order to arrive at a correct conclusion.
What is apologetics?
Apologetics is the establishment and defense of the claims of the Christian faith.
Logic is very important to the study and practice of apologetics. The idea is to remove all of the intellectual barriers that hinder people from a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, apologetics can be used to help answer the objections raised by those individuals who are sincerely seeking truth. Logic and apologetics are important in the context of evangelism, but I must stress that it is impossible for me, or anyone else, to argue someone into the kingdom of God. That only happens by the will of God to those whom he has elected. Our job, as Christians, is to proclaim the Name and leave the conversion up to God. At the same time, we should use our minds and other things God has given us such as logic, reason, and evidence when witnessing to someone and defending the faith.
Logic has basically three laws. These undeniable laws are foundational to all reason and thinking.
1) The Law of Identity
Example: God is God, not something else.
2) The Law of Non-Contradiction
Example: God cannot be both personal and impersonal.
3) The Law of Excluded Middle
Example: God either exists or God doesn't exist.
What are logical fallacies? A fallacy is simply an error in thinking or reasoning. There are some common fallacies that are committed over and over again and therefore have been given certain identifiable names. Let's take a look at some of the more popular fallacies.
1) Ad Hominem - Attacking the person, instead of the argument
Example: You're ugly, so you can't possibly be telling the truth.
2) Appeal to Authority - Citing an authority in an area, doesn't make it true
Example: Stephen Hawking, a noted physicist, said something regarding physics, so it must be true.
3) Appeal to Consequences - Not liking the consequences of holding a belief doesn't make it false.
Example: Hell can't exist, because it's unpleasant to think about.
4) Appeal to Pity - Urging the hearer to accept the argument based upon an appeal to emotions or sympathy.
Example: You have to believe me, because I only have 6 months to live.
5) Appeal to the Popularity - Accepting a position simply because a majority of people hold to it.
Example: Everybody thinks that way, so it must be right.
6) Appeal to Ridicule - Making fun of a claim doesn't make it untrue
Example: God speaking the universe into existence is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
7) Appeal to Tradition - Trying to get someone to accept something because it has been done or believed for a long time.
Example: This is the way it's always been done, therefore it must be right.
8) Argument From Ignorance - Saying since something hasn't been proven false, it is therefore true.
Example: Since you can't prove UFOs don't exist, then they must exist.
9) Begging the Question - The conclusion is assumed in one of the premises
Example: God exists because the Bible says so, and it can be trusted because God wrote it.
10) Category Error - Attributing a property to something that couldn't possibly have that property
Example: Blue sleeps faster than Wednesday.
11) Division - Assuming something that is true for the whole is true for the parts
Example: Your family is weird, therefore you are weird.
12) Equivocation - The same word is used with two different meanings
Example: The sign said, "Fine For Parking Here", and since it was fine, I parked there.
13) False Dilemma - Giving two choices when in actuality there could be more choices possible.
Example: Do you still beat your wife?
14) Genetic Fallacy - Rejecting a claim because of where it originated
Example: You're only a Christian because you were born in America.
15) Guilt by Association - Rejecting an argument because the person making it is associated with an unfavorable person or group
Example: All Christians are jerks, because some of them spew hate.
16) Non-Sequitor - Thoughts that don't logically follow
Example: It rained this afternoon, because I washed my car this morning.
17) Poisoning the Well - Presenting negative information about a person before he/she speaks, as to discredit them.
Example: Bob is a pompous windbag, now let's hear what he has to say.
18) Red Herring - Bringing up a unrelated topic
Example: I didn't do my homework, my teacher doesn't like me anyway.
19) Special Pleading - Applying a different standard
Example: You can't know anything about baseball, because you never played the game.
20) Straw-man - Attacking a misrepresentation of an argument
Example: God is mean because He tortures people in hell.