Analysis of the Argument Underlying “Why God Hates Fags”

 

Conclusion: There are actually two things going on here. The first is an argument that homosexuals should abstain from homosexual sexual behaviors. There also appears to be a sub-argument that the only lawful sexual connection is the marriage bed. The “better” overall conclusion is probably the former.

 

Premise 1: God has absolute sovereignty.

Evidence: Cited scriptures from the bible.

 

Premise 2: God Hates homosexual behavior.

Evidence: Cited scriptures from the bible.

 

Premise 3: Homosexual activity will  lead to “going to hell” with certainty.

Evidence: The only lawful sexual connection is the marriage bed. Cited scriptures from the bible.

 

Argument Evaluation:

 

Purpose: There are probably two purposes tied to this argument from the writer’s perspective. The first purpose is to encourage homosexuals to refrain from engaging in homosexual sexual behaviors. However, it is probable that there is also a deeper purpose to support and advocate the Baptist perspective concerning this issue.

 

Question at Issue: The question at issue is how to persuade homosexuals to adopt the Baptist perspective on appropriate sexual activity.

 

InformationThe Empirical Dimension of Reasoning: The only empirical(?) evidence offered by the author is the citation of scriptures from the bible.

 

Inferences: This is a question of logic. IF God is omnipotent, hates homosexual activity, and will send partakers to hell upon their death, then there appears to be is a logical progression of thought herein. However, there are a number of unspoken assumptions that underlie this argument that a reader must accept for this argument to contain logic.

 

The Conceptual Dimension of Reasoning: Here we identify the concepts in play in the argument. Such concepts might include “God,” “sovereignty,” the appropriate version of the ”bible,”  “Hell,” and perhaps most importantly the definition of “marriage.”

 

Assumptions: This argument is replete with assumptions, including

  1. God exists.
  2. There is only one God, and he’s of the Christian variety.
  3. The bible is the true “word of God.
  4. The bible can be interpreted literally.
  5. The Baptist interpretation of the bible is correct.

 

Implications and Consequences: It is uncertain whether or not the author has considered the implications/consequences of their argument. It may be that they have a sincere desire to “help” homosexuals avoid going to hell. It is equally as possible that societal-wide moral considerations underlie this argument (i.e., they are trying to combat the moral decay of America). It is also possible that they must advocate this position in order to maintain their own particular religious beliefs (for reasons of personal commitment and/or theocratical power).

 

Point of View of Frame of Reference: The audiences for this argument include homosexuals, other religious people, and people in society at large (such as politicians).

 

Summary

 

So, is this a good argument? The answer is NO from a critical thinking perspective. While the argument may be persuasive for Baptist believers, the argument appears to be unconvincing to others for at least two reasons. First, it has a strong reliance on a set of assumptions that one must adopt for this to make sense. Second, there is NO empirical evidence supporting the argument. That is, there is no way to falsify the argument as it cannot be proven that God even exists, much less has provided written instructions to live via the “bible.”

 

This is why religious arguments often cannot be critically evaluated. They rely on faith, which by definition is the absence of empirical evidence. It is important to recognize that we are not challenging individual’s faith in this exercise. It is simply true that religious arguments are one of a very few domains that cannot be addressed through critical thinking. Therefore, in this class, religious arguments based on the absence of empirical evidence cannot be used as components of argument construction or evaluation (i.e., “It’s in the bible – look it up!”). The value of critical thinking lies in your own personal ability to recognize and construct convincing arguments in business settings. That is where we will focus our activities this semester.