Being in the Air Force, we live and die by our checklists. We even have checklists for our checklists and checklists on how to make checklists. Why all this talk of checklists? They’re easy for people to memorize. So I’m providing the checklist I follow when doing argument analysis. Will the argument fly? Or will it crash and burn? This checklist also works well for Apologetics. Some of you may recognize it. If you do, then I hope you’re using it. The checklist focuses on 4 areas: Arbitrariness, Inconsistencies, Consequences, Intelligibility.
Argument Analysis Checklist
1. Is it Arbitrary?
Is it mere Opinion?
Is it Relativism?
Is it Ignorant Conjecture?
Is it Unargued Bias?
2. Is it Inconsistent?
Is it a Logical Fallacy?
Is it a Reductio Ad Absurdum?
Is its action speaking louder than its words?
Is it in Presuppositional Tension?
3. What are the Consequences?
What fruit does it produce?
Where does it lead?
What art does it produce?
What type of politics does it produce?
What type of ethics does it produce?
What type of lifestyle does it produce?
4. What are the preconditions of intelligibility of the argument?
What has to be true about the nature of reality to make sense of this argument?
What has to be true about the nature of knowledge to make sense of this argument?
What has to be true about the nature of ethics to make sense of this argument?
What are the preconditions of the intelligibility of ‘X’?
Over the next few days I will be taking each area and expanding it more fully. I hope to offer an entire series that will be on a separate page.
The proof of God’s existence is that without Him you couldn’t prove anything. God is the precondition of all lines of proof. Proof itself requires the existence of God to be intelligent. – Dr. Greg Bahnsen