Odd Things – Begging the Question

I keep hearing journalists and television people misuse the useful phrase “begging the question” and when i do I cannot take what they say seriously. If they can’t be bothered to use the language correctly why should I be bothered to try and figure out what they mean?

“Begging the question” means using the statement of a proposition as proof of that statement. In other words “question” does not mean the opposite of an answer, but a statement. Begging the question  gets you into a circular way of thinking which sends you round and round in circles, not on a journey, and thinking should be a step by step logical journey where you do not know the destination in advance.

If you know what statements “beg the question” and therefore interrupt your journey of thinking you may continue on your journey step by step advancing, and avoid going round in circles.

Begging the question is often misused to mean “asking the question” – as though the question was not a statement but an interrogative and “beg” is used in the sense of “ask”. This use (or abuse) does not involve thinking at all but involves the prejudice of believing something is true and using that belief to prove that the belief is true.

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