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? Â Absolutely.
And if you don’t feel something? Â You did it wrong.
The irony of this just struck me: the core logic of the missionary message is a logical fallacy. Â 🙂