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"loop" logic


RyGuyFly
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I saw this religion section and I thought of a question I've had. I hope this is not inappropriate for the forum. I'm looking for a term that describes what I'm calling "loop logic" that I have observed in a religious setting. I think there is a word for it, perhaps a legal term, but I cant think of what it is. For some reason "plausible deniability" came to mind but I looked it up and it does not define what I am looking for. Personally, a year or two ago, I was ostracized from my religious community basically for failure to adhere to this "loop logic" mentality. I've seen it used in many different instances. I'm not sure what its called but I feel that there is word for it. And I know it does not sit well with me.

 

I'll try my best to explain with some examples.

 

In this community there are local leaders they call "elders" It is taught that basically these men are hand picked by God. It is taught that they basically represent God, they have his spirit, and what they teach is "Truth". It is taught that they have the ability to interpret the Bible. And that their interpretation is "Truth". Basically I have observed these men doing horrible things like abusing people, lying, being selfish etc. Things that are also taught to be "bad" by this religion. If one points out that their behavior is clearly inappropriate everyone will just point back to the initial teaching that "they are chosen by God" and ignore the wrong doings. So its like this loop that they can never be accused of doing anything wrong regardless of how bad it is. This is especially true if you are the victim of the wrong doing who is making the accusations.

 

Another example. Anything that is produced by this religious organization is regarded as absolute "Truth". If some obvious error or fallacy is pointed out they will just ignore it and point back to the teaching that the organization is "Truth" as a reason to ignore the erroneous teaching. So its like this loop that that use to get out of having to explain anything.

 

Another example is that it is taught that this religious organization is filled with great loving people, who are warm and welcoming. It is taught they are helpful too all. They are parents to those who have none, friends to those who have none etc. Personal experience has been quite the opposite. But if I point out that my experience is in stark contrast to what they are saying it will always be my fault, never them or their teachings that are wrong or untrue. They will say its because I don't want to be friends. They will say its because I am doing something wrong. Perhaps not praying enough or not reading the bible enough. The teaching is "Truth" and so anything that goes against is untrue. So it creates this like loop. Were they can never be accused of doing something wrong and anyone who doesn't agree is wrong. They are labeled a spiritually sick, essentially a heretic. They are shunned, kicked out, or excommunicated. They logic behind the shunning is that they will try to force you into believing lies by removing your support, friends, and community.

 

Another one is that I have stated plainly that if there is a God I do not believe his supports their inappropriate behavior and subsequent denial. I don't believe he would support this kind of "loop logic" or even "cult mentality". The response is always that the Devil is twisting me, destroying me, or that my attitude is from the Devil...

 

Is there a name for this type of logic and behavior?

 

Thanks.

Edited by Ryan1234
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YES. Circular Reasoning, that's exactly it. "X is true. The evidence for this claim is that X is true." That totally sums it up. I am so happy right now. lol Thanks a bunch you guys are awesome.

 

This circular reasoning has been driving me crazy. It got to the point were they were actually accusing me of being delusional and mentally ill because I failed to understand this circular reasoning.

 

Words cannot express how ecstatic I am to know that this phenomena that I have observed is a "thing" lol and that I can label it. From now on should I encounter this sort of thinking Ill know what it is and what to call it. Man I cant believe I've spent so many hours of my life stressing and thinking about this phenomena with out knowing what to call it or how to express it.

 

a million thanks.

Edited by Ryan1234
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While I agree completely with Pears that circular reasoning is the phrase you sought, there also appear to be elements of a tautology in the situation you describe. Perhaps another potential concept to explore.

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I just looked up tautology. I have to read about it more as its a little confusing. But at first glance it appears I would agree. It sounds like Tautology is just repeating a statement as if the repetition makes it more valid or something. I believe circular reasoning is one of the primary issues at play but I have definitely run into instances were I will clearly express valid logic and reasoning and they will just repeat a statement as if it is an answer to the logical problem or as if negates the logic.

 

Over time I have never found a way to use reason and logic in dealing with people of this mindset. Trying is just upsetting and I have tried so hard its made me physically sick. I guess for me the best solution is to just do my best stay away from people who choose not to use sound logic. Its all been very damaging to me. I think being able to label this phenomena is going to be a huge help in my recovery.

 

Thank you.

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Faith, almost by definition, is a position held absent and often even in direct opposition to logic and evidence. If a quality argument can successful alter the position of a faithful person, then that person could not have been accurately described as "faithful" in the first place. Faith is anathema to critical thinking and progress and should be abandoned as an acceptable approach to our modern world.

Edited by iNow
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I have definitely run into instances were I will clearly express valid logic and reasoning and they will just repeat a statement as if it is an answer to the logical problem or as if negates the logic.

 

This does not just apply to religion, of course. (You only have to look at the Speculations forum here for examples.) I heard an amazing example on a radio program discussing the safety of a new type of bus in London. One of the guests was arguing that they should be banned because they were so dangerous. The other countered with statistics showing that they were actually safer (the host confirmed this, "Yes, I'm looking at the data and that is what it shows"). At which point the other guest shouted, "I don't care about the evidence, these buses are obviously more dangerous".

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thank you for your responses. I'm trying to quote the replies but it does not seem to be working for me. anywho...

 

inow -> Its obvious that for many faith is exactly what you are describing. But its interesting because I have always had a different view of faith. To me faith was the assurance of a future outcome based on prior experience, logic and reason. Like I have faith the sun will rise in the morning, because it has every day and because I understand the earth is rotating and its likely to continue rotating tomorrow. Or like I can have faith a certain indivual will act a certain way because prior experience has shown him to act a certain way. I had no idea that other people had a different idea about faith, and it appears it is that idea that I have been fighting against my entire life.

 

strange -> I totally agree. This type of reasoning is not limited to the typical "religious". I feel its common among humans regardless of their beliefs or back ground. Based on my study of various sciences I believe I have seen it pop up all over the place. This is especially true when dealing with theories or things that maybe hard to study or prove. It seems like in some cases there will be the person who comes up with a theory and there will be followers who will stick to their beliefs in spite of contradictory proof, or they may listen to any theory that individual 'preaches'.

 

ajb -> I don't feel that I can say there is no creator. But I feel that if there is a creator he would value and be interested in truth, logic, reason, and natural laws as it would have been the creator who put them in place. I feel like he would not approve of things like circular reasoning. I feel fallacious ideas and teachings go against truth, logic etc. Such teachings do not sit well with me . I feel they do not promote good mental health.

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I have always had a different view of faith. To me faith was the assurance of a future outcome based on prior experience, logic and reason. Like I have faith the sun will rise in the morning, because it has every day and because I understand the earth is rotating and its likely to continue rotating tomorrow. Or like I can have faith a certain indivual will act a certain way because prior experience has shown him to act a certain way. I had no idea that other people had a different idea about faith, and it appears it is that idea that I have been fighting against my entire life.

Understood. This topic actually comes up a lot here. One of our members, Phi for All, handles it best, IMO.

 

The idea is that what you describe would be better labelled as trust or confidence based on evidence, but rarely is faith in a religious sense needed to expect the sun to rise in the morning. We trust that it will rise based on experience and confidence that past events will remain largely consistent. Faith, however, is accepting something as unquestionably true absent any (and often in direct contradiction to) the evidence available. A subtle, but IMO important difference. Trust is closer to what you mean.

 

ajb -> I don't feel that I can say there is no creator. But I feel that if there is a creator he would value and be interested in truth, logic, reason, and natural laws as it would have been the creator who put them in place. I feel like he would not approve of things like circular reasoning. I feel fallacious ideas and teachings go against truth, logic etc. Such teachings do not sit well with me . I feel they do not promote good mental health.

It is rather common (and sometimes downright necessary) in many religious groups to use these weak, fallacious, and illogical arguments to bolster their views. When all is said and done in context of theism, faith (in the sense I describe above) is all you really have to go on. Either that is good enough and you accept god(s) exist based on faith alone or it is not and you do not. It always gets distilled down to that one basic point, faith is the only "there" there and is itself rather specious, no matter which sect or group or religious tribe with whom you happen to associate and identify.

 

That said, choosing to become an atheist is not prerequisite to prioritizing evidence and logic. You might explore concepts like Humanism given your obvious struggles with your current "flock." Atheism not required (just recommended and allows for far fewer mental gymnastics and logical contortions and rationalizations and internal anguish).

Edited by iNow
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Thank you for your comments.

 

Yes I would say my definition of faith is basically synonymous with trust or confidence. To me the opposite of my view of faith would be called 'blind faith'. That is faith with out reason.

 

At the current time I prefer to not label myself as regards to my beliefs. After what I've been through recently with what I feel were vicious attacks and attempts at psychological manipulation and abuse its been really traumatic. At the very least I feel like having obtained a name for the phenomena circular reasoning is going to be a huge help to me. Its like I can finally put my finger on the problem I've been facing for years.

 

When I have to confront that logic in the future (which I undoubtedly will) I will know exactly what it is, why it is, and how to explain why I don't believe in it.

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Sorry it's been so difficult for you. That sort of thing is never fun. Hope you'll consider sticking around and interacting here regardless of what's happening in your personal life. The folks here are largely decent, intelligent beings with a desire to help and educate and share, regardless of the beliefs of the person on the other end of the screen. Good luck.

 

Oh... one clarification, too. Want to ensure you know that atheism is not synonymous with "an active or affirmative belief that there are no gods." Some people certainly feel that way, but in my experience most just don't find the god conjecture terribly compelling and so live life as if it's likely irrelevant to our daily lives or simply misguided/untrue.

 

Cheers. :)

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Appreciate what you are saying regarding atheism especially in view of the behavior of so many religious devotees. I do plan to stick around. I need to interact with people who value intelligent conversation. lol. (intelligence was lacking in my previous circles--- don't even get me started on that lol)

 

However I feel it should be noted that the Oxford definition of atheism is indeed "Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods" From French atheism and from greek atheos meaning without god.

 

Its also worthy to note that the oxford dictionary defines faith as "Complete trust or confidence in someone or something" Its synonyms as stated by oxford dictionaries are "trust, belief, confidence, conviction, optimism, hopefulness, hope"

 

So it would appear that faith is, according to the oxford dictionary at least, is synonymous with trust and confidence. Sometimes faith is baseless or based on untruth. However, based on this definition, it cannot be said that all faith is inherently baseless or based on untruth.

Edited by Ryan1234
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It's always good to get the right phrase to describe a phenomenon, especially a negative one. That's the power of words.

 

I'm sorry you've had such difficult experiences to deal with lately. That sounds painful.

 

Agree with everything you've said about faith.

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Circular reasoning/logic is definately exercised in religion however it is done knowingly. Faith (confidence or trust in a person or thing or a belief not based on proof) sets religion up a classic catch 22. One can not know or understand God until one has faith in god. To a religious person circular reasoning does not seem nonsensical because they have a key which straightens the loop; Faith. The idea that knowledge and insight follows belief rather than leads to it is the link in the chain that keeps the whole thing spinning.

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Though all of us are linked with God and Universe through different Logical Structures like Family Tree, Church and Community , Social Media and Forums like Science Forum God has definitely given a FREE WILL to each Living Entity [especially Man / Woman] and the best Relation with God is Direct and not through others.

 

We are all Instruments in God's Hand and He can use everyone of us as He pleases and Cause Each one or a Group to think and formulate a Plan / Action etc.

 

Having said this I can see all the Anguish and Logically Fallacious Situation you are facing and explaining about.

 

Always SEEK GOD and HIS HELP and do not get put off by others WHOEVER IT MAY BE !

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Are we? How do you know that?

 

Strange :

 

You think that you have every Right to be alive Tomorrow : Can you give me Proof and Evidence for it !

 

I think I will be alive only if it is God's Will ! That's all the difference.

 

We are in the same boat as far as EVIDENCE is concerned !

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Strange :

 

You think that you have every Right to be alive Tomorrow : Can you give me Proof and Evidence for it !

 

I think I will be alive only if it is God's Will ! That's all the difference.

 

We are in the same boat as far as EVIDENCE is concerned !

Strange (and myself) are alive. Whether or not we have the right to be is a meaningless sentiment. Does the Earth have the right to orbit the Sun?

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Strange :

 

You think that you have every Right to be alive Tomorrow : Can you give me Proof and Evidence for it !

 

I think I will be alive only if it is God's Will ! That's all the difference.

 

We are in the same boat as far as EVIDENCE is concerned !

 

What does that have to do with "all of us are linked with God" ?

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What does that have to do with "all of us are linked with God" ?

 

It all depends on what you think God is and what you think you yourself are ! Work it out from there !

Strange (and myself) are alive. Whether or not we have the right to be is a meaningless sentiment. Does the Earth have the right to orbit the Sun?

 

Don't get worked up !

Edited by Commander
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It all depends on what you think God is and what you think you yourself are ! Work it out from there !

 

Well, it was your (baseless and apparently untrue) assertion. I thought you might want to explain or justify it.

 

Don't get worked up !

 

Says the man who ends every sentence with an exclamation mark ...

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Well, it was your (baseless and apparently untrue) assertion. I thought you might want to explain or justify it.

 

 

Says the man who ends every sentence with an exclamation mark ...

 

OK let's take a fresh look :

 

What was baseless and what do you mean by base ?

 

What is 'apparently untrue' and how are you qualified to state that ?

 

Why you call it 'assertion' and what you call your own statements ?

 

Explanation about what and justification about what exactly - Please specify

 

Why does is irritate you whether I State, Assert or Exclaim ?

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