The Fool

I read this a while ago,saved it to my hard drive and think the day is appropriate to make it avaialble to everyone:

[quote=Occam’s Laser]When the psalmist makes it “clear” that atheists are fools, he (or she) commits at least eight logical fallacies in one verse. I wrote the following on Usenet about 15 years ago.

MINI-FAQ: Psalms 14:1

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.” (Psalms 14:1)

ad hominem fallacy: An argument is discounted based on attacking the character of the person making the argument. (“He is wrong when he says there is no God, because he is a fool.”)

strawman fallacy: Arguing against a position by creating a different, weaker, or irrelevant position and refuting that position instead of the original. (“There is no God” misrepresents “There isn’t sufficient evidence that God exists.”)

circular reasoning: The truth of the conclusion is assumed in order to justify the premises. (“The fool says there is no God, because anyone who says there is no God is a fool.”)

begging the question: The argument creates a secondary proposition that is related to the primary proposition, which requires a similar argument that is missing. (The existence of God is assumed, while addressing propositions of whether God exists.)

fallacy of inconsistency: The argument is inconsistent with other arguments within the same context.
In the Christian context, Jesus commands against the invective in Psalms 14:1, warning that “whoever says ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire” in Matthew 5:22.

special pleading: The inappropriate attribution of emotive functions to objects that do not have that capability. (Hearts are not capable of “knowing” or of feeling emotions.)

redundancy: Psalm 53 is identical to Psalm 14.

questionable premise: It is obviously not the case that all atheists do nothing but bad deeds. This premise is invalidated by a single example of an atheist doing a single charitable act.


Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. (2 Samuel 1:20)