Arguments are a collection of premises and a conclusion. It is made of one or more premises and a conclusion. Premises are statements whether true or false that support the claim made: conclusion. Arguments fall under deductive or inductive reasoning. Both types represent connected sequence of statements that are aimed at establishing a definite proposition.
The Professor uses good inductive arguments to support his existence of evil and as such God.
“God created everything that exists
God created evil”
The professor’s arguments in this case are good. The conclusion that he arrives at is fully supported by the premises. However, his premises are true but the conclusion is false. This is an inductive argument which on its own is a fallacy. The Professor goes on and argues that on the basis that our works define who we are,
“God created evil
God is evil”
The premise here does not fully support the conclusion he makes. This is not a good argument. This is flawed thinking. It represents an inductive fallacy.
The student’s argument of the existence of heat and non existence of cold is good. The student asserts that no words like coldness in existence rather the absence of another, heat, is what is referred to as coldness. He proves that heat exists when a body transmits energy. The student’s claim that in the absence of heat is coldness is true. However, his assertion that coldness doesn’t exist is invalid, because this leads us to the conclusion that in the absence of heat nothing exists. This is a factual fallacy. This is not true so in absence of heat coldness exist. So coldness exists.
Another argument by the student is on the existence of darkness. He claims that for darkness to exist light must be in absentia. He attests, in proving existence of light, we can study light but not darkness. This meant that light is real. The immeasurability of darkness forms a basis in the Students argument that darkness does not exist. The propositions used by the student leads to the conclusion. However, the fact that a factor can be studied and measured does not mean it exists. Darkness as well can be studied only that it has been neglected so this argument is invalid. This is an affirmation of the consequent. The student could have justified his point by looking at both sides of the argument: Light and darkness. Otherwise the student should have focused on darkness and not pecking his arguments on absence of light.
On the existence of evil, the student uses a quite different perspective from that of the professor. He proposes that evil exists where God does not exist. As such, in the absence of God evil prevails. He uses his prior arguments on light and evil to support his conclusion. According to him evil was not created but it’s a man’s creation to represent absence of God. He contrasts evil to faith and love. As such, he concludes that God exists when his love is present in the hearts of Man and evil in the converse. This argument is good as its premises leads to its conclusion that evil exists but was not created. It is sound in that evil is a man’s creation. As such the student does a good job in dismantling the reasoning of the Professor. The professor held that God created evil which was not valid though in a good argument. The student here makes a sound argument that where God is not there evil exists in the minds of men but not on itself.
The professor’s arguments are good but do not proof that evil was created and that God is evil. They serve as the basis of the students reasoning. In his argument, the student, he fails to justify the existence of darkness and coldness by their own. In that he claims they are only assumed and man’s creation in his mind that since something is absent, another is in existent. I consider this flawed reasoning. However, in the existence of evil he provides a sound reasoning hence dismantling the Professors argument.
Dell’Amico, M. (1991). The Nizkor Project. Retrieved 2010, from Fallacies: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/
Namwambah, T. (2004). Creative and Critical Thinking. Nairobi: MacMillan.