Begging The Question: Definition & Examples of Begging The Question Fallacy

What is the begging the question fallacy? There are numerous types of the fallacy which are used within the English language and each one of them serves their own purpose and is used in its own particular way. In this article, we will be focusing on the begging the question fallacy which is one that is used frequently. In order to be able to recognise it, we must have an understanding of how it works and we will be looking into this as well as taking a look at a variety of examples in order to gain an even deeper understanding of the concept.

Begging The Question

Begging The Question Definition

What Is Begging The Question Fallacy?

The concept of the begging the question fallacy is used as a way to create an argument in which the conclusion is assumed true through the premise of the claim. The begging the question fallacy is actually a form of circular reasoning since the claim does not provide a logical or new conclusion based on the information within it. You might think of it as argument 1 assumes that argument 1 is correct making argument 1 correct.

When making an argument using begging the question fallacies, the speaker or writer will be making a claim which begins with the conclusion being assumed to be true and therefore is not creating any sort of argument at all due to the lack of supporting evidence.

The concept originally came from the Greek philosopher, Aristotle who named it petitio principii which translated as ‘assuming the conclusion.’ However, this was later changed in its translation to English and we ended up with the term ‘begging the question.’

Begging The Question Examples

Now that we fully understand the idea of the begging the question fallacy, we are going to take a look at some examples to further demonstrate how it functions.

  • I am sure that God is real as it tells us so in the Bible. And this is a book of God’s word.” We can clearly see in this example that the speaker is not backing up their claim with any evidence but is simply relying on the claim itself to provide back up, giving the assumption that the claim is already true.
  • The iPhone from Apple is the best smartphone on the planet because there isn’t a company that makes phones as well as Apple,” The speaker here is already assuming that the claim is true and is only backing it up with a similar claim, not providing any evidence of this.
  • “Supernatural activity is undoubtedly real because I have experienced things which can only be described as being supernatural activity.” The person speaking in this example is already assuming that the supernatural is fact and does not deliver any data to back this up to other than their own experience which is biased due to them already believing the claim.
  • The reason that all the children want the new Barbie doll is because it is the most wanted new toy on the market.” There is no evidence here to show why the original claim is true, only that the speaker assumes it to be so.

Conclusion

Begging the question is a form of the fallacy which uses the assumption of belief to back up a claim or argument. It is one which is very commonly sued in the English language and can be recognised by the backing up of a claim with the speakers own beliefs or another claim which is very similar in nature that doesn’t provide any facts to back it up.

Begging The Question Fallacy Infographic

Begging The Question Fallacy: Definition and Useful Examples of Begging The Question Fallacy

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