Begging the question

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Begging the question requires two or more ideas. Each of these ideas may or may not be true. The speaker of these ideas tries to show that one idea is true by saying a second idea proves it, but the second idea is only true if the first idea is true already.

Begging the question is commonly known as circular reasoning, though they are not exactly the same.

Begging the question is a fallacy.

Examples[change | edit source]

  • "If such actions were not illegal, then they would not be prohibited by the law."[1] (The sentence means "If that wasn't okay, then it wouldn't be okay.")
  • "We know God exists because we can see the perfect order of His Creation, an order which demonstrates supernatural intelligence in its design."[2] ("We know god exists because god created us" wouldn't be true, because god couldn't create us if god didn't exist")

Modern usage[change | edit source]

"This begs the question" has recently been used to mean "this raises the question." This usage is often criticized as inappropriate.

References[change | edit source]