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Spiritual Fallacy*

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(also known as: spiritual excuse)

Description: Insisting that something meant to be literal is actually “spiritual” in as an explanation or justification for something that otherwise would not fit in an explanation.

Logical Form:

X makes no sense, therefore, X was meant in a “spiritual” sense.

Example #1:

Of course the Koran is not a history or science book, but each and every story in it does contain a spiritual truth.

Explanation: Because we cannot define or prove a “spiritual truth”, anything can be a spiritual truth.

Example #2:

Harold Camping, the preacher who predicted the rapture in 2011, said that the rapture actually did come, but it was a "spiritual" rapture.  Of course, there is no way to demonstrate this.

Explanation: We can’t use “spiritual” as a get-out-of-jail-free card to cover up an apparent contradiction.

Exception: It is not a fallacy when it is specifically referred to as “spiritual”.

“and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” (1 Cor 10:4)

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