Beloved, I have to admit something that might gross some of you out, I love sushi. It’s literally my favorite food. Unfortunately I’m not just frugal, I’m a straight up cheapskate so I only get it on special occasions like birthdays or Mother’s Day. So, as we continue through our series on Logic with a discussion on the logical fallacy dubbed Red Herring, I’m going to use sushi as an example.
A Red Herring is when someone fallaciously ignores an argument by changing the subject. It would look a little something like this;
Me: We should go eat Sushi for dinner tonight because it’s delicious.
Husband: It’s going to rain tomorrow, so let’s BBQ today.
This is fallacious because my husband ignored my reasoning on sushi being delicious. However, if he had pointed out (as he often does) that I’m the only one that likes sushi, that it’s expensive, and that it causes gluttonous tendencies in me, then went on to suggest the BBQ it would not have been a Red Herring. Setting aside my beloved sushi (unwillingly) let me give you an example of how this plays out. A street preacher shares the Gospel with someone, calling them to repent of their sins. They will, from time to time, completely ignore what was said and bring up a Red Herring. It starts with a ‘what about’ and ends down a rabbit hole.
A Christian might say “God sent His only begotten Son to die in your place, so the sins you’ve committed have been paid for. You can be forgiven if you repent of your sins and put your faith in Christ’s finished works on the cross.”
Response, for example…
“Ok, what about evolution though?”
“What about all the other religions?”
If you’ve watched enough LivingWaters clips, or Way of the Master episodes, you’ve seen the steamrollers who plow over the pleas from Christians with the What Abouts. The mass majority of those What Abouts are Red Herrings. To avoid this fallacy, dear ones, simply address the question or point made then ask if you can make a point. If someone is using this fallacy with you, lovingly ask if you can come back to that after you’ve heard their response to what you’ve just said. Most people will ask you to repeat yourself, so it’s a bonus, as it gives you a second opportunity to share the Gospel. Remember, friends, when sharing the Gospel you never know who else is listening. I hope understanding these fallacy’s will be a blessing to you all, beloved brethren. As always, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.