Reading some stuff recently, I stumbled upon a really interesting argument for the justification of religion, it went:
1. The Belief in God gives Practical Benefits
2. All Beliefs giving Practical Benefits are Pragmatically Justifiable
3. The Belief in God is Pragmatically Justifiable
Now, this is an example where the argument, is neither, sound, nor valid. Breaking down the syllogism, The Belief in God is (A) or The Subject Term, Practical Benefits is (B) or The Middle Term, and Pragmatically Justifiable is (C) or The Predicate Term.
But, breaking down the syllogism, we can find that the syllogism is potentially valid, because believing in God could possibly give Practical Benefits, and All Beliefs that are practical are justifiable.
However, where this syllogism falls short, is that it commits 3 major fallacies, Relevance, Ambiguity, and Presumption.
First, let’s break apart the first premise, “The Belief in God gives Practical Benefits”, this has 2 main problems first, it presumes that believing in God gives Practical Benefits, because as far as I know, it isn’t backed up by scientific or experimental data, and fact. Secondly, it falls short, because it is ambiguous, Practical Benefits is a highly ambiguous term, it could mean a multitudinous amount of things. It could be practically beneficial in the realm of giving power to the Church, it could be practically beneficial for health and etc.
But, where the entire argument collapses like a house of cards is because it is simply irrelevant. Note, how statement 1 states that Belief in God is Practical, but going around full circle, Statement 3 states that Belief in God is Pragmatic. Looking, at the definition, and connotation of Pragmatic, we can conclude that Pragmatic, and Practical are the same thing. So, therefore, Statement 3 = Statement 1, and (C) = (A), and it makes a huge show out of actually getting nowhere at all.