Logical Fallacies: Argument From Consequences

Since becoming a Christian apologist I’ve had my fair share of online debates with both skeptics and fellow believers. Although many were fruitful, we were committing many logical fallacies I was then unaware of. The first of these I will look at is the Argument From Consequences.

As its namesake implies, the Argument From Consequences is an argument that attempts to find truth by looking at the most favorable consequence to the anecdote. One speaks for or against the truth of a statement or argument by appealing to its consequences. In other words, if I chose to reject the consequences of an argument, it is fallacious to then claim that argument to be untrue.

For the Christian in a debate, we must avoid arguments such as, “God must be real because we cannot simply cease to exist when we die, ” or, “God must be real because there would be no hope without Him.” All objective truths come with their share of consequences, but we cannot find truth based on whether we like them or not. This fallacy can also be inherent in arguments against Christianity.

It’s important to note that this fallacy appeals exclusively to objective truth, not relative decisions. For example, it isn’t fallacious to ask, “If God is loving, why is there a Hell?” but it is to claim, “A loving God cannot exist because Hell exists.” It’s the difference between appealing to the consequences and finding why those consequences exist.