“That’s the way we’ve always done it!” This is the logical fallacy of the appeal to tradition (Latin: argumentum ad antiquitatem). In family, business, and even church circles, you see this phrase used ad nauseum when it comes to setting a direction or even considering changing course. I have already posted some on this subject, stating that this is a lazy and unproductive way to lead an institution because it requires no thought. I’ll go a step further: it’s lazy because it exclusively borrows the thinking of someone else without question—especially if it’s brought about the desired results.
Both sides of the religion argument employ this:
A: I believe in God.
A: People have believed in the existence of God for thousands of years. A belief like that would last that long if it was wrong, right? [Source]
I know there are legitimate reasons to believe in the existence of God, mind you. But this appeal to tradition is a flimsy argument when much better arguments could be made (this is for a later time).
In church circles, this can happen:
A: Mom, why do we have a service on …read more