The Mormon Apogee of Affirming the Consequent
Affirming the consequent, sometimes called converse error or fallacy of the converse, is a formal fallacy of inferring the converse from the original statement. The corresponding argument has the general form:
- If P, then Q.
- Therefore, P.
An argument of this form is invalid, i.e., the conclusion can be false even when statements 1 and 2 are true. Since P was never asserted as the only sufficient condition for Q, other factors could account for Q (while P was false).
If you understand the above, now read the following and try to convince me that it is not a textbook case of affirming the consequent:
Moroni 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
In proposition form:
- If you ask god if the Book of Mormon is true, god will confirm it through a feeling.
- You feel something.
- The Book of Mormon is true.
Could your feeling be due to virtually infinite alternative causes? Absolutely.
And if you don’t feel something? You did it wrong.
The irony of this just struck me: the core logic of the missionary message is a logical fallacy. :)