Argumentum ad victus
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Revision as of 23:24, 23 November 2008
Argumentum ad victus ("argument from food") is not so much a logical fallacy as it is a growing trend of apologists to use food as part of their argument for the existence of god, or proof against evolution.
This line of thinking could possibly be related to 'victual pareidolia', in which images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, or the name "Allah" are seen in food items such as tortillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, and sliced fruit or vegetables.
Argumentum ad victus arguments can come in different forms, such as:
- This food item could not have happened by accident. - Therefore, God exists.
- This food item does not prove, on it's own, that evolution is a fact. - Therefore, God exists.
- This food item has an image on it that somewhat resembles the general shape of Jesus/the Virgin Mary. - Therefore, God exists.
Another is the peanut butter argument, which attempts to use commercial grade peanut butter as proof that evolution cannot happen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwsdLOmOxFw
Another example is the pickle demonstration, which uses an electrified pickle to demonstrate the alleged change that Jesus Christ will make in a person's life: http://www.youtube.com/v/7JYIJPjpCFc&hl=en
1. Ray Comfort's Banana argument is soundly defeated with the information that the banana was "created" by man. The modern banana was cultivated from wild bananas (similar to plantains), specifically to have the characteristics Ray describes. Wild bananas green, bland, and have large seeds.
2. The peanut butter argument is defeated by noting the "expiration date" on the jar. Even vacuum sealed, pasteurized jars contain minute amounts of bacteria, and given enough time, these bacteria will multiply to the point that they can be seen with the naked eye.
3. The electrified pickle scenario isn't an argument, but an attempt at a practical demonstration. Had the "experiment" continued, It would soon become an excellent analog for religion. The primary "argument" is that the electrified pickle (representing a true believer) produces light - However, the amount of light produced by this particular method required a tremendous amount of energy, produces at best a dim, flickering light, and would ultimately destroy the pickle, possible setting fire to the rest of the apparatus. Similarly, religion causes harm to the adherent in the form of a distorted world view, and causes harm to the rest of the world due to activities based on misperceptions of reality.
Extending the analogy, a religious viewpoint would consider that only an electrified pickle could produce light, and the only "proper" light would be that produced by the electrified pickle. However, science is not tied to this dogmatic viewpoint. Science is free to abandon pickles when it discovers a better alternative, such as a tungsten filament in a vacuum. Science can later abandon this concept too, in favor of various phosphorescent materials, (Fluorescent bulbs, neon lights, mercury vapor lamps, high-pressure sodium lamps) or even LEDs and lasers, all of which are far more efficient at producing light than the original electrified pickle.