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Tuesday, February 03, 2004

JC11161-The Fallacy Exposed; the proper contrast maintained 

My reply to Rob follows where I document the Exegetical Fallacy he employed, what is called the Negative Inference. The post can be found at: Yahoo! Groups : evangelicals_and_jws Messages : Message 11161


What is Paul teaching at Galatians 1:1?


Galatians 1:1
Paul, an apostle, [C]
neither (OUK) from men nor through a man,
but (ALLA) through Jesus Christ and God the Father, [A and B]


Paul makes a logical statement. Since he was appointed an apostle through Jesus and God his apostleship real. This can be expressed as if A and B then C with the meaning of if Paul is appointed through God and Jesus then Paul is an apostle. However to assume that the reverse must be true is a logical fallacy. If (not A and B) then not C may be true, but would need to be proved elsewhere. He does not say that if his apostleship were through men or a man his apostleship would not be real.


On the other hand, the question as to whether Jesus and God are not men or a man is not derived from a negation (or reversal) of Paul's statement. Men or a man is being contrasted with the particle ALLA with what follows, Jesus and God.


Bauer-Danker-Arndt-Gingrich Greek Lexicon says that ALLA is a

"gener. adversative particle (orig. neut. pl. of ALLOS, otherwise) indicating a difference with or contrast to what precedes, in the case of individual clauses as well as whole sentences ... 1. after a negative or after MEN on the contrary, but, yet, rather ... a. introducing a contrast"
Galatians 1:1 fits the profile of a statement with a negative followed by the adversative particle. Therefore it is valid to make the same contrast that Paul makes between humans and Jesus or God because Paul directly makes that contrast.

However it is a fallacy to say that if A and B = C then if not A and not B then not C. Thus any inference that Peter or another apostle who was appointed before Jesus was resurrected and therefore a man has no bearing on what Paul teaches at Galatians 1:1.


To illustrate, there is an example that is controversial amongst evangelicals at Acts 2:38, which says, repent and be baptized to receive the holy spirit. This can be expressed as if (A and B) then C. But is the inverse true? Some say yes, some say no. The negation of if not (A and B) then not C cannot be logically proved because it is the inverse of what Scripture says. To do so would be a logical fallacy.


The same is true for Galatians 1:1.


Just me,
Jessica


Rob replies in post #11186 at Yahoo! Groups : evangelicals_and_jws Messages : Message 11186 with a hearty "Nice try--really!" and attempts to re-state his logical assertion in a way that on the surface appears to side-step the Negative Inference fallacy, but it still retains the essence of the fallacy. Rob defines his propostion as:

Paul is not saying simply that because he was sent from Jesus and the Father then his apostleship is real. He is saying that his apostleship is valid because he received his apostolic commission from Jesus and the Father as opposed to receiving it from men. The argument here actually would be formally represented as follows:


Let A = being sent by men.
Let B = being sent by Jesus and the Father.
Let C = an apostle.


Notice that Rob continues to invert the clause of the verse which he labels "A." At Galatians 1:1 Paul represents this phrase as a negative as in "not sent by men or a man." Rob, on the other hand inverts this (see above). However he inconsistently does not invert the second part of the clause. I however still attempt to reason with Rob and do not fuel the fire by bringing all of his mistakes to his attention all at once. In post#11192 I say:


Dear Rob,
You have shown that Galatians 1:1 can be diagrammed in more than one way but you have not addressed the point of my criticism. Paul describes specifically why he is really an apostle. It is because he was appointed by Jesus and God. My comment does not ignore the phrase neither from men or a man.

It is not the fact that Paul was not appointed by men or man that makes him a legitimate apostle. It is the fact that he was appointed by Jesus and God that makes him an apostle. Satan the Devil is not a man but if he appointed someone they would not be a legitimate apostle!

<>The only way to arrive at the conclusion that one cannot be appointed by a man to be an apostle from Galatians 1:1 is by a negative inference (i.e. since Paul was not appointed by men or a man and is an apostle then if someone is appointed by men or a man he cannot be an apostle.)

D.A. Carson in his Exegetical Fallacies on page 101 of his second edition discusses Negative inferences. He says that it is one form of improper syllogism. It does not necessarily follow that if a proposition is true, a negative inference from that proposition is also true.

<>You have focused on how Acts 2:38 is different than Galatians 1:1 and have not addressed the issue of the fallacy of the negative inference.

Your criticism of the view Dave presented does indeed rest on the fallacy of the negative inference.


Just me,
Jessica


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