Pretzel Logic

Pretzel Logic

As atheists and skeptics, we’re often confronted by people making claims that are just not provable by the person making the claim. We often come up against theists that claim God exists, but when we ask for proof, they tend to try and turn the argument around and ask us to prove God doesn’t exist. Proving a negative isn’t possible, that’s why claimants that provide no evidence are usually waved off by most people.

I actually like the show, Ancient Aliens. When I tell others that, they look at me with amazement. It’s not that I find any of their claims believable – I don’t – it’s the idea that they believe what they say without being able to provide a scintilla of scientific evidence. It’s entertaining to watch these presenters use pretzel logic to establish their claims.

There are those, though, that no matter the evidence – or lack thereof – will ever change their mind . If that person claims to be a skeptic, it’s worse. When any of us decide truth based on nothing more than how we feel about something, or possibly pressure from those we align with politically or socially, it’s no longer about using reason. We may as well become flat-earthers because at that point, that’s the level of credibility we will have.

Mob rule isn’t rule; It’s anarchy and it doesn’t matter whether it’s political, social, scientific, or religious in nature. Lack of independent thinking, or fear of ostracism has lead us to come to conclusions before there are any facts presented.

That’s exactly backwards. It’s the reason I mentioned Ancient Aliens above. People that have already come to a conclusion (aliens did it) and then run around the world trying to find evidence for their conclusion. It maps directly into our daily lives, doesn’t it?

We need to start thinking for ourselves and not allow other people to sway our thinking by unsubstantiated beliefs.  We should be disavowing those using pretzel logic and stand for facts, not feelings.

4 thoughts on “Pretzel Logic

  1. Even apologists will manipulate words or redefine them only to employ exceptions to the argument. Then the conversation becomes an argument about the argument instead of a discussion about the substance.

    In the end all they are saying is :

    ” I haven’t researched this. But its obvious to me because I place value on it, so I’m demanding that it be obvious to you. I am also putting the responsibility on you because I can’t prove my case, so now I’m going say that you have the burden of proof to prove its not obvious. ”

    Its a lazy tactic

    • It’s lazy thinking and at some point, we all fall into that trap based on whatever it is we’re passionate about. We refuse to listen to evidence that may be contrary to ours and have a fatal flaw in that we tend to dismiss those with that evidence as kooks or deniers instead of having a reasonable debate of evidence.

  2. The Ancient Aliens stuff is fun and reminds me of all the rest of the unexplained/paranormal stuff (e.g., Bigfoot, ghost hunting). It seems to come down to “something happened that we can’t explained and so we’re going to promote our theory of what is going on.” A little thing like evidence shouldn’t get in the way! Religious belief has paved the way for lots of people to buy this stuff uncritically.

    • It’s the same with many atheists/skeptics. Willing to believe something is true without any evidence. We’ve been seeing this recently, haven’t we?

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