is a choice between only two options: If not 1, then 2. Sometimes syllogisms are valid. For instance, either you are male (XY) or female (XX). No other options exist.
An either/or fallacy
is a choice between only two options when other options exist. "What is 1+2? Choose either 1 or 2 as your answer." The fallacy here is that the one correct answer, 3, is not given as an option. You are either a Republican or a Democrat. if one is a Libertarian, however, the either/or fallacy is exposed.
You also present a cause/effect fallacy
. One example would be saying that the rooster crowing every morning is the cause of the sun rising, when in actuality, the prescience of the later event causes the rooster to crow.
AMbomb wrote:Christians, let's say you were studying a religion of another planet. Now let's say that there was a story about a character in this religion. Let's say that the story takes place within the context of an actual period of this planet's history. It contains actual figures from the planet's history and events in the story can be pinpointed to specific dates in the planet's history. But, let's say it turns out that this story was actually first propogated thousands of years before it supposedly took place according to the belief of the religion you're studying. This means, of course, that if the story was true, it would've had to have come true thousands of years after it was first propogated. Would you believe that story was true or simply that it was a retelling of the original story from thousands of years earlier?
Your either or fallacy is as follows: The Gospel story is either true or it is a [fictional] retelling of the original story from thousands of years earlier.
Your syllogism is an either/or fallacy for many reasons. Here are just two.
First, the fact that two stories are similar does not make them the "same story." If the historical event had the unique aspect of eyewitness testimony, then not only does that make it a different story, but I would be bound to believe it too. In a court of law, eyewitness testimony is enough to convict someone of a crime. Historians use the same criteria to judge the factual nature of a person or event.
Second, the story that was propagated thousands of years before does not have the same weight and cannot really be the same story, no matter the similarities, because it lacks reliable witnesses and the ring of authenticity.
A wider variety of options must logically exhaust all the possibilites that exist.
There is an ancient myth that predates Christianity and tells the story of a pagan deity who died and was resurrected. What does this mean?
1. This myth was an influence on the story of Jesus which is therefore also a myth despite the claims of first century eyewitnesses. Both stories are false.
2. Both stories are true. History repeats itself.
3. The myth was false, but the Gospel story is true.
4. The myth is true and the Gospel story is a counterfeit of the original.
5. Both stories arose independently and were influenced by the preexistent truth of the idea of a resurrection or simply by man's desire to know whether there is life after death.
6. While the ancient myth contains some
aspects of truth, the Gospel story is the
Truth (with a capital "T" ) and is the record of actual historical events.
Most thinking people would dismiss "1" through "4" as too generalized or simplistic, but would readily accept "5" and might be open to "6" if there were evidence to back it up.
But here is the correct answer:
7. The eternal truth of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is prefigured in the ancient myths in question and was actually the cause of all similar myths on the planet.
Jesus is the sun to your rooster myths.