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Appeal to Consequences of a Belief

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This argument is based on holding that what a person "wishes" to be true, must be true, because the alternative is too undesirable to consider.

Let's examine the illogic of this claim. A useful tool for uncovering the fallacious nature of an argument is through substituting new premises into the form of the argument:

A parachute offering me an escape from the horrible fall I am now experiencing after being tossed from the empire state building must exist; because if it doesn't, what will happen to me when I hit the ground?

Clearly, our own hopes and desires for a thing does not make it so.

Here is a classic example of this fallacy:

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, then we are to be pitied more than all men." (1 Corinthians 15:13-19, NIV)

In other words, if you don't believe Christ was raised from the dead, then we must face the painful reality that the dead are merely dead.

Copi, I. M, Cohen, C., (2001), "Introduction to Logic", 11th Edition.


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