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**NanaDee****Member**- Registered: 2009-02-11
- Posts: 8

Below I have listed 2 different postings by the same person (my brother) and my contention is that he is using a logical fallacy in his reasoning. However, since it was 20 years since I aced my symbolic logic class, I cannot seem to figure out the fallacy. If anyone can tell me the fallacy and the symbolic equation that fits, I would appreciate the help.

"I don't agree. By denying religion, the absense of religion then becomes a religion. It is similiar to the concept of zero. Is zero a number or the absense of numbers. If zero was the true absense of numbers, then numbers don't exist also. But since numbers do exist, then zero is a defacto number."

"Hence since the theism does exist, the absence of theism (atheism) then becomes a religion also. Look at it another way. One person promotes an position. In this case religion. Another person promotes a different position that is there is not religion.

So if you require the first person to adopt the ways of the second, then you are promoting the second persons view.

That is why in the presence of religion, the absense of religion is a form of religion. "

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**Ricky****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-12-04
- Posts: 3,791

There are several fallacies. First, is this whole thing with zero. It is a false analogy, in particular a non sequitur. No reason is given for why the case with 0 is even remotely similar to the case with religion. Indeed, it is not. Zero was never considered to be the absence of numbers. So your brother is basically saying "This statement is true, therefore my previous statement is true" without any connecting reasoning.

To make this more clear, you may use word replacement.

Is **atheism** a **religion** or the absense of **religion**. If **atheism** was the true absense of **religion**, then **religions** don't exist also. But since **religions** do exist, then **atheism** is a defacto **religion**.

Of course, the key statement is "If **atheism** was the true absense of **religion**, then **religions** don't exist also." Why is that the case? We have been given no justification for it.

Also

If zero was the true absense of numbers, then numbers don't exist also.

That just doesn't follow.

So if you require the first person to adopt the ways of the second, then you are promoting the second persons view.

It seems that your brother is also redefining the word "religion" to become synonymous with "view". Of course, under this definition, everyone has thousands of different religions from the color they like best to whether or not that enjoy water beds.

Ask your brother if he believes bald is a hair color.

"In the real world, this would be a problem. But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist. So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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**JaneFairfax****Member**- Registered: 2007-02-23
- Posts: 6,868

Ricky wrote:

Ask your brother if he believes bald is a hair color.

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**NanaDee****Member**- Registered: 2009-02-11
- Posts: 8

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, Ricky. Love your answer! It was just what I was looking for. I have sent him your reply. Since we are a family who prides themselves on being "buggers", I am sure he is going to send me a reply. He was always good with math, though maybe not with logic. I also think his politics may affect his ability to use logic successfully.

I am better with logic, not so good with math, esp. when we got past Algebra II. My HS trig teacher said it might be better if I stopped there. So when I did my Bachelor's in my mid-30's, I was hesitant to take the required calculus. However, I did well with it, maybe because it has some similarities to symbolic logic.

I will send you his reply. Thanks again.

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**Monox D. I-Fly****Member**- Registered: 2015-12-02
- Posts: 857

After 8 years I am curious how did he answer?

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