(also known as: assuming the initial point, assuming the answer, chicken and the egg argument, circulus in probando, circular reasoning [form of], vicious circle)
Description: Any form of argument where the conclusion is assumed in one of the premises. Many people use the phrase “begging the question” incorrectly when they use it to mean, “prompts one to ask the question”. That is NOT the correct usage. Begging the question is a form of circular reasoning.
Claim X assumes X is true.
Claim X is therefore true.
Paranormal activity is real because I have experienced what can only be described as paranormal activity.
Explanation: The claim, “paranormal activity is real” is supported by the premise, “I have experienced what can only be described as paranormal activity.” The premise presupposes, or assumes, that the claim, “paranormal activity is real” is already true.
God exists because we exist. The only way we could exist is if God created us.
Explanation: The claim, “God exists” has two supporting premises: 1) “we exist”, which everyone should agree to, and 2) “the only way we could exist is if God created us”, which assumes the conclusion, “God exists”, therefore begs the question.
Exception: Some assumptions that are universally accepted could pass as not being fallacious.
People like to eat because we are biologically influenced to eat.