Lessons I learned from this interaction
(image courtesy Clipart Library)
By Spencer Gear PhD
It is acceptable to send rugby league, ice hockey and basketball players to the SIN BIN when they violate certain rules of the code. To talk about all people committing SIN and needing punishment invites hisses from opponents.
Some of the articles in ‘Truth Challenge’ are generated by my discussion of issues with people. This topic is one of them.
1. The White Australia Policy is not the solution
A person had the cheek to sing the praises of The White Australia Policy: He (I think he’s male) claimed human beings were tribal and territorial. What held societies together were shared beliefs and values of what constitutes right and wrong?
Therefore, it is a ‘cultural universal’ to want to live among one’s own kind of people. The ghettoes of ‘suburban enclaves’ in Australia demonstrate that multiculturalism has failed. It never works, he stated.
What do these “multicultural” states have in common?
Lebanon, Fiji, Cyprus, Georgia, Afghanistan, Biafra, Rhodesia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Liberia, Kashmir, Punjab, Sudan, Nigeria, Bougainville, East Timor, Yugoslavia, Kurdistan, New Zealand, Bhutan, Angola, Burma, Chechnya, Guadalcanal, Aden, Malaya, Oman, Congo, Northern Ireland, Palestine/Israel, Czechoslovakia, Yemen, Mexico, East Timor, Thailand and recently, Ukraine.
Why do you want Australia to emulate their failed societies?
Then there was this king hit from him: ‘If Australia had kept the White Australia Policy, this country would now be a stronger, more prosperous and a safer country than it is now’.
Instead we have ‘diversity bollards’ on our streets, teachers not wanting to teach in troubled schools with Muslim and African students. He gave many other examples of how he sees multiculturalism’s failures.
He tackled another person who he claimed thought that ‘racism is bad. ‘Anything associated with racism must not even be thought about or considered in any way. Turn off brain. Bask in the reflected glory of your shining moral virtue’.
He continued to extol the virtues of the White Australia Policy, which he claimed would have made Australia ‘a stronger, more prosperous and a safer country than it is now’.
Is a return to The White Australia Policy a decent step towards progress in immigration in Australia?
2. A major error of his analysis
The problem with this assessment is that it avoids a fundamental problem with the human race, including the Caucasian race.
Exalting the White Australia Policy and dumbing down on multiculturalism misses a critical factor that is present in all people.
2.1 ‘Whites’ have the same contamination
Sin (breaking God’s laws) infects all of us, no matter what the colour. I’ve addressed some of this problem in my On Line Opinion article: ‘Cricket ball-tampering disease in all of us‘.
Here’s an example of a rugby league referee giving a “sin bin” penalty against a player, signifying the ten minutes that the offender must spend off the field (photo courtesy Wikipedia). Ice hockey calls it the ‘penalty box’. A similar action applies to other sports where the violation was not serious enough to ban for the rest of the game.
Sin is a good word to describe the corruption all of us suffer from. We have no problem sending rugby league and rugby union players to the Sin Bin when they violate rules of the game.
Many non-Christians will reject this diagnosis, but we see it all over Australia in examples from the Sexual Abuse Royal Commission, the Banking Royal Commission, and the crime and violence we see on the nightly TV news. I know we all have to battle with lying, stealing, deceit, evil thoughts, sexual immorality, etc (and that includes me, a ‘white’ person).
You do remember Hitler & the Nazi Holocaust, Mussolini’s killing brigade, the Soviet Gulag and the European-Communist problem? Resorting to a White Australia Policy focusses on one group that is supposed to be better than other races. The truth is that ALL races are infected with the same sinful disease as the rest of humanity. Europeans and Russian people have as much contamination as people from all races with different coloured skins.
This is what this fellow’s analysis demonstrated. In my view, his conclusions are wrong but I couldn’t imagine he would recognise the problem and be open to the solution.
2.2 Claims with illogical reasoning
This person’s reply did not deal with the issues I raised by the all-encompassing influence of sin. Take a read of his comeback:
I gather from your article that you are a Christian? OK, I don’t have a problem with Christianity because it is part of western culture, and the moral code that Christianity imparted is the reason why western societies are much more peaceful and honest than cultures based upon other religions. But I reject the idea that all people are equal. Even God discriminates between those who worship him and those who do not.
Exactly what you are inferring in the rest of your reply is unclear. You seem to associate racism with sin, Hitler and genocide. Your inference seems to be, that even thinking that there might be some validity in racism is sinful and therefore unthinkable. You have set yourself an intellectual boundary that you refuse to think past, because you think it must lead to Nazism and genocide.
So he considers in what I’ve written above that:
He ‘reject(s) the idea that all people are equal’.
He can express his worldview of God discriminating against those who don’t worship Him.
I seem to associate racism with sin, Hitler and genocide.
I think racism must lead to Nazism and genocide.
Of these points, there is only one with which I agree: Racism is sin. How do I know? The Scriptures tell me so:
Gal 3:28 (NIV), ‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’.
James 2:5-7 (NIRV),
5 My dear brothers and sisters, listen to me. Hasn’t God chosen those who are poor in the world’s eyes to be rich in faith? Hasn’t he chosen them to receive the kingdom? Hasn’t he promised it to those who love him? 6 But you have disrespected poor people. Aren’t rich people taking advantage of you? Aren’t they dragging you into court? 7 Aren’t they speaking evil things against the worthy name of Jesus? Remember, you belong to him.
In 1993, Billy Graham wrote his message on ‘the sin of racism’. Part of what he wrote was:
Racism is a sin precisely because it keeps us from obeying God’s command to love our neighbor, and because it has its roots in pride and arrogance. Christians who harbor racism in their attitudes or actions are not following their Lord at this point, for Christ came to bring reconciliation—reconciliation between us and God, and reconciliation between each other. He came to accept us as we are, whoever we are, “from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9) [Billy Graham on Racism, 2018].
2.2.1 Nature of illogical reasoning
This was how he dished it up to me: 
Thinking my way was pursuing the thoughts of …
Christians who refused to consider the validity of the Earth not being the centre of the universe, or whether the earth was round, or whether evolution was a fact. Because to even think about any of these concepts meant that you were denying the holy scriptures, and therefore committing heresy.
He came down on me as one who
may even believe that the earth is the centre of the universe, that the earth is flat, and a committed “intelligent design” believer? But if you are smart enough to realise that those concepts are clearly wrong, and that believing the opposite does not mean that you are renouncing God, then for God’s sake do the same with racism.
He proceeded to goad me: If I considered that racism had some validity, it doesn’t mean I’ve resigned from the human race. He put forward two racist ideas in the western world:
‘White western people are cause of all the world’s problems and they are vilest race on Earth’.
‘The reason why some ethnicities are always successful and why some are always dysfunctional may have a lot to do with genetics’.
He asked: Which idea is correct?
What is he trying to do with this kind of response which imposes his non-Christian views about Christianity on what I wrote? Is he using a particular tactic that avoids dealing with the matters I raised? Read on!
3. The human heart is desperately wicked
Please read my post again at: OzSpen, Saturday, 6 October 2018 6:31:33 AM.
At no point did I suggest any of the red herring logical fallacies you raised in your last post.
What I emphasised was your favouring the White Australia Policy when the whites are as contaminated with sin like all others – whether black, white or brindle.
The prophet Jeremiah nailed it: ‘The human heart [inner part] is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?’ (Jer 17:9).
The next verse affirms that the Lord God ‘searches all hearts and examines secret motives’. The human race has had this sinful nature problem since the beginning of time (Genesis 3).
You claim: ‘But I reject the idea that all people are equal’.
The Scriptures contradict you (and so do I). Scriptures support the equality of all human beings. When God made the first human beings, ‘God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us’’ (Genesis 1:26). Equality among all human beings is God’s design.
You stated: “Even God discriminates between those who worship him and those who do not”.
That might be how you see it, but when God says, ‘You shall have no other gods before me’ (Ex 20:3), he is demonstrating who He is in the context of the Israelites coming out of Egypt and crossing the Red Sea into Canaan. Exodus 15:11 states ‘Who is like you among the gods, O LORD—glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, performing great wonders?’
This is not discrimination but stating facts:
In the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, the miracle of Yahweh allowed them to cross the water on dry land, while Pharaoh and his armies were drowned.
Israel saw God’s great power against the Egyptians in their deliverance.
Therefore, the Israelites exalted the one true God. Who is like Jehovah among the gods? No other god compares.
We see evidence all around us of human depravity – from individuals, corporations, church organisations and governments. I urge you to quit inventing things I didn’t write in my post.
4. Refusal to debate if biblical texts used
To the above, this person only had this to say:
I debate using reason and logic. If you wish to use religious texts to justify your amazing worldview, then let’s just call it a day. I will note your name and I will not address posts to you again.
This assumes my quoting from the Bible (religious texts) to support my ‘amazing worldview’ is not of sufficient value to continue the discussion and he won’t address posts by me again
Let’s see if he can live up to that claim or will he be dishonest and continue to interact with me?
4.1 Is the Bible a reliable source?
When I use biblical texts, I’m quoting from documents that are reliable and trustworthy, even on a purely historical basis. Take a read of this article from the secular, The Huffington Post, “2,500 Year Old Jewish Tablets Discovered in Iraq” (2015).
(Image courtesy The Huffington Post Australia)
What does this non-Christian source conclude about this discovery? “This discovery is a remarkable confirmation of the historical reliability of the Biblical text”.
See also my articles:
Can you trust the Bible? Part 1
Can you trust the Bible? Part 2
Can you trust the Bible? Part 3
Can you trust the Bible? Part 4
My “amazing worldview” is rooted in aletheia (truth) which means,
(a) ‘truthfulness, dependability, uprightness in thought and deed’ (Rom 3:7; 15:8);
(b) ‘truth as the opposite of false’ (Mk 5:33; 1 Tim 2:7);
(c) ‘reality as opposed to mere appearance’ (Rom 2:2; Phil 1:18) [from Bauer, Arndt & Gingrich 1957:35-36].
In the future, you state you [LEGO] will avoid posts by Toni and me. Are you afraid to debate alternate views with reason, logic and truthfulness?
When addressing ‘runner’, you dumped your worldview on the readers, “Mothers of Gods, etc.” without explanation.
As for eternal life or eternal damnation, one minute after your last breath you’ll wish you had discussed this further with us, instead of resorting to your Ad Hominem (Abusive) logical fallacy of “compulsive psychological need” and “even stars die”.
Don’t you get it that human beings are not stars?
4.2 Avoiding the issues: The errors of his ways
Take a read of how LEGO replied to the above response. 
He wrote of ‘pseudo liberals’, left wing people who think they are intelligent, progressives who don’t denounce free speech, freedom of association, and evidence-based logic.
His claim was that leftist activists are social conservatives trying to shut up criticism of their failed ideologies of socialism and multiculturalism. The public no longer trusts the pseudo liberal media to tell the truth. (Note: He does acknowledge there is ‘truth’ but what is truth to him? Where would he fit in the above definitions?)
His next discussion was
the farcical, fake news furore over the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice in the USA. By any application of reasoned logic, it is obvious that the charges of sexual misconduct leveled at Trump’s appointee by politically partisan activists is a frame up. When the pseudo liberals demanded the FBI investigate, it did so and found nothing. No witnesses, no corroboration, and odd memory lapses and strange behaviour by the accusers. Then the pseudo liberals claimed the FBI was biased.
Those are not my words but those of LEGO, to whom I responded.
He compared the pseudo liberal media with its fake news to the Korean War Chinese propaganda where some US pilots were forced to admit the cruel capitalist masters forced them to commit inhumane germ warfare on the ‘peace loving socialist people’.
What did he do with that kind of response to what I wrote?
4.2.1 Failing to address the issues
My retort will demonstrate the errors I saw in his post.
In my previous reply to him, I mentioned …
Your illogical use of an Appeal to Ridicule logical fallacy;
Your failure to write a logical sentence when you misspelled ‘psuedo’;
When I quote from the Bible, I’m referring to reliable and trustworthy texts and I gave one example.
My Christian worldview is rooted in aletheia (NT Greek for truth);
I asked: Are you afraid to debate Toni (another poster) and OzSpen when you stated you would avoid posts by us?
You dumped your worldview on ‘runner’ (another poster).
You committed an Ad Hominem (Abusive) logical fallacy in your comment about those who seek eternal life.
There was not one sentence in his reply that addressed the specifics of what I wrote.
He gave his rationalisation about Tony vs Toni and then called Toni he, him and his. How does he know Toni is a male?
Instead of addressing my issues with his reply post, he was off and running with his own agenda of …
• today’s left wing people;
• leftist activist class;
• new Supreme Court judge in the USA, and
• pseudo liberal media.
When he avoids the topics I raised, creating his own content, he gave us another logical fallacy, the Red Herring.
(also known as: beside the point, misdirection [form of], changing the subject, false emphasis,… irrelevant conclusion, irrelevant thesis, clouding the issue, ignorance of refutation)
Description: Attempting to redirect the argument to another issue to which the person doing the redirecting can better respond. While it is similar to the avoiding the issue fallacy, the red herring is a deliberate diversion of attention with the intention of trying to abandon the original argument (Source: Logically Fallacious).
He doesn’t seem to understand how his claim of using logic and reason is wrecked by his use of logical fallacies, which amount to erroneous reasoning.
I urged him to address the issues I raised and give us the agenda with which he is more comfortable debating. We can’t have a rational debate when he uses irrational tactics – logical fallacies.
4.3 How logical fallacies destroy meaningful debates or discussions
Dr L Kip Wheeler, assistant professor at Carson-Newman University, Tennessee USA, provided this assessment of logical fallacies for his students in composition and literature:
Fallacies are statements that might sound reasonable or superficially true but are actually flawed or dishonest. When readers detect them, these logical fallacies backfire by making the audience think the writer is (a) unintelligent or (b) deceptive. It is important to avoid them in your own arguments, and it is also important to be able to spot them in others’ arguments so a false line of reasoning won’t fool you (Logical Fallacies Handlist).
The Future Team at the University of Auckland stated:
One reason they’re [logical fallacies] common is that they can be quite effective! But if we offer or are convinced by a fallacious argument we will not be acting as good logical and critical thinkers (Common Fallacies).
4.3.1 Lessons I’ve learned from conversation with LEGO
I have to be honest and say that I failed in my approach with him, particularly with the naming of his logical fallacies. Josh Brahm paraphrased what his friend and colleague, Trent Horn, said about identifying logical fallacies:
I would encourage people to not say ‘you committed X fallacy’ because it’s terribly presumptuous and arrogant and most people don’t appreciate talking to someone who points out every little fallacy they make. Instead you should follow Greg Koukl’s tactics and Justice For All’s training and ask, “why do you think that?” And then continue to ask follow up questions.
As Trent suggests, you could ask whether a bad person could be right about something. That’s so much better than accusing them of making an ad hominem fallacy!
Confession time: it was only a few months ago that I responded to somebody who posted a comment on my Facebook profile by telling them that it appeared they were committing the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc and included this link so they could educate themselves and not make that mistake anymore.
I’m cringing as I write this. Yeah, I really did that.
If you’re using Latin during a debate, you probably sound like a jerk.
You know what would have been better? I could have said something like this: “I want to understand your argument, but I’m not sure I do. What it sounds like you’re saying is that because this thing happened after this other thing that the first thing caused it. Am I misunderstanding you? I don’t want to put words in your mouth.”
Do you see the difference? It’s not easy though. Easy is naming the fallacy. Hard, but better, is being able to think to yourself, “I believe he just committed the genetic fallacy,” and then thinking of questions to ask with an open heart that will help the person see the problem with their reasoning. You could ask, “I want to understand you. Can I ask a clarification question? It sounds like you’re implying that because this person is biased, their argument must be wrong. Is that what you’re saying?”
But to do that you really need to understand what the fallacies are, because that will better prepare you to ask the right kinds of questions when a fallacy is committed (The Best Way to Expose Logical Fallacies: Don’t Call Them by Name).
I have learned a big lesson from this discussion / debate with LEGO. I must ask probing questions instead of labelling his logical fallacies by name.
Throughout this interchange, I saw my blind spots concerning biblical teachings
(a) There was an acknowledgement that ‘I don’t have a problem with Christianity because it is part of western culture, and the moral code that Christianity imparted is the reason why western societies are much more peaceful and honest than cultures based upon other religions’.
However, there was a failure to pursue this to deal with the foundation of Christianity in the Judeo-Christian God with whom there is no parallel.
(b) If Christianity is so valuable, why dumb down on the nature of the biblical texts (Scripture) and treat them as unreliable or irrelevant.
(c) One of his major problems is violating the law of non-contradiction, which can be described in these ways:
Bill Pratt has explained the law of non-contradiction this way:
What is the law of non-contradiction? There are at least three ways to state it:
1. A thing cannot both be A and not-A at the same time and in the same sense.
2. A thing cannot both exist and not exist at the same time and in the same sense.
3. A statement cannot both be true and not true at the same time and in the same sense
LEGO was assuring us that he used ‘reason and logic’ and then committed illogical actions in his use of logical fallacies, which amount to erroneous reasoning. Thus, his view was: I believe in logic and not-logic (logical fallacies).
To maintain rational existence, we must live by the law of non-contradiction.
(d) He refused to respond when I called him for the logical fallacies he committed. Instead he would go into what he wanted to talk about, thus committing another logical fallacy, the Red Herring.
(e) I learned much from this encounter: I should never give the proper name to the logical fallacy, but to use questions that try to get to the heart of what I see as the fallacy committed. I’ll never name logical fallacies in further posts online or those that make it from blogs to an article on my homepage, ‘Truth Challenge’.
(Image courtesy Cognitive World)
6. Works consulted
Arndt, W F & Gingrich, F W [from an earlier work by W Bauer] 1957. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press (limited edition licensed to Zondervan Publishing House).
 Comment to Spencer Gear’s article, Fake News! The Senator Fraser Anning saga, 3 October, 2018, On Line Opinion, (online). Posted by LEGO, Friday, 5 October 2018 1:53:49 PM. Available at: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=19972&page=3 (Accessed 8 October 2018).
 Ibid., Posted by OzSpen [Spencer Gear], Saturday, 6 October 2018 6:31:33 AM, available at: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=19972&page=4 (Accessed 8 October 2018).
 Ibid., Posted by LEGO, Saturday, 6 October 2018 9:12:43 AM, Available at: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=19972&page=5 (Accessed 8 October 2018).
 Ibid., Posted by OzSpen, Saturday, 6 October 2018 1:16:27 PM. Available at: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=19972&page=5 (Accessed 8 October 2018).
 Ibid., Posted by LEGO, Sunday, 7 October 2018 3:49:28 AM.
 Ibid., Posted by OzSpen, Sunday, 7 October 2018 7:58:51 AM.
 Ibid., Posted by LEGO, Sunday, 7 October 2018 10:43:28 AM.
 Ibid., Posted by OzSpen, Monday, 8 October 2018 8:05:23 AM,
Copyright © 2020 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 21 March 2020.