Thursday, January 17, 2013

The "That's Your Interpretation" Fallacy

Oftentimes when someone quotes scripture to demonstrate their point, someone will contend it with the counterargument: "That's your interpretation." There are other versions of this, including "That's just your opinion" and similar wording. The problem is that if this is said simply as a blanket statement rather as the introduction to an argument which will demonstrate the point, then it is simply a fallacious response.

In my experience, the people who make such argumentation have one thing in common: they can never follow it up. They will tell you "That's just your interpretation" or "That's just how you see the verse," but when you ask them to demonstrate how you might be misrepresenting the verse, or you ask them to examine the verse, they almost always will refuse to do so.

Brothers and sisters, if anyone pulls this fallacy with you, do not permit it to them. If one wishes to suggest you have misused God's word, ask them to answer for it. Explain it. Demonstrate it. If they cannot, or they simply repeat themselves, or they present a very shallow response, then they will have shown themselves to be full of nothing but hot air. Stick to the word of God, show that the truth is there in the plain wording, and they will have nowhere else to go.