Posts Tagged “begging the question”

This post isn’t about religion or atheism. It is, however, about the twisted thinking that many people engage in. Illogic in the U.S. is so pervasive and insidious, that you can find it in even the most innocuous “celebrity news” items. Since this is such a brilliant example of the phenomenon, I thought it worth remarking on. Hopefully you will be able to use this example to see other kinds of illogic in other places.

Perhaps Jerry Lewis was on his way to Dennis Farina’s house.

The original Nutty Professor was briefly detained Friday at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport after trying to board a flight to Detroit with an unloaded gun in his carry-on luggage.

Police confiscated the .22-caliber Beretta, and Lewis was cited for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. …

[A]ccording to his manager, the so-called weapon was actually a hollowed-out prop gun that wasn’t capable of firing.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police spokesman Officer Bill Cassell said, however, if it had really been a shell of a gun, “it wouldn’t be a weapon, and we couldn’t cite him for carrying a weapon.”

There, did you catch it? The illogic here comes in the form of circular reasoning and is in the police spokesman’s comment. He’s denying the gun could have been a non-functional prop, since if it had been one, it wouldn’t have been an actionable offense; since action had been taken, we know it cannot have been a prop gun.

Casell’s comment is so stunningly asinine that I find it difficult to believe a professional spokesman said it — but there it is, a shining example of brazen illogic and fallacy.

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