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Logical Fallacy

Daniel Florien from Unreasonable Faith posted this video from John Piper. Piper addresses the question of women working outside the home from a biblical standpoint. Piper says:

It can be. It is like the alcohol question, it can be.

Having said it can be, I want to discourage it because mothering and homemaking are huge and glorious jobs. […]

And, just being able to focus on the home where ministry can happen—not being enslaved by anybody’s clock—you can say, “I want to work my tail off for king Jesus, but I don’t want anybody to pay me for it. I’m going to do it right here in this neighborhood with my husband’s connections and my connections. We’re going to lavish grace on people’s lives.”

So, I’m calling for ministry full-time when I say “don’t work full-time if you have a family.” Turn your family into ministry. Turn your family into a global dream for what this family might become, or what this man might be, or what we might be together as we are home.

Florien responds, “Is it okay for women to work outside the home? Of course! Is it okay for them to stay at home full-time? Of course! Is it okay for men to stay home full-time and have the wife work full-time? Of course!”

Anyone recognize the problem with Florien’s statements? Anyone?

He’s begging the question. Why is it okay for women to work outside the home? His statements are not self-evident, which means he’s not revealing some timeless truth. American society thinks that it’s okay for women to work full time outside the home, so it’s okay. Right? No problems with that logic.

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About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on July 1, 2010, in Bible Thoughts, Morality. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. The Bible is not a timeless book. It is an antiquated book that is irrelevant, and not of much value in the modern era. Piper takes a first century practice and applies it to 21st century life. Of course this is what Fundamentalists do. In Piper’s world, The Bible, as Jesus, is the same yesterday, today and forever.

    I would encourage you to read Hector Avalos’s book The End of Biblical Studies.

    Women work because they need to work. I can think of no moral or ethical reason for women not to work. As long as the home is maintained and the children provided for……….it is not John Piper, God, or anyone else’s business if a woman works (or a man stays at home).

    • The Bible is not a timeless book. It is an antiquated book that is irrelevant, and not of much value in the modern era.

      Naked assertion. No evidence. Funny how skeptics always demand evidence for just about everything, but constantly make assertions like this without providing evidence.

      Of course, I agree, and I hope that Piper would as well, that there are many 21st century reasons for a wife to work outside the home. It’s almost impossible to have a “typical” family where the husband works and the wife stays home to raise the kids. I heard somewhere that less than 2% of single income Americans make $50,000 per year or more, and it would take at least that (probably more) to provide for a family. That means that the wife has to work in order to provide for the basic needs of her family.

      Ideally, as Piper points out, the woman should stay home and work with her children. It is, after all, the responsibility of the parents to educate their children. Piper would like that to be the ministry of the wife. That’s all he’s saying.

      Of course, your comment falls prey to the same question-begging that I accused Florien of. You say that it is no one’s business if the woman works outside the home. Fine. Why? Because you say so? You haven’t said.

      Avalos’s book is on my reading list, by the way. The subject matter kind of intrigued me. But first I want to read Ten Philosophical Mistakes by Mortimer J. Adler, The Christian Delusion edited by John W. Loftus, The Shack by William Paul Young (perhaps write an e-book refutation?), Philosophy for Dummies by Tom Morris, and Teach Yourself Philosophy of Religion by Mel Thompson. That’s my list for the time being. I’ll try to get to Avalos after that.

      • “Naked assertion. No evidence. Funny how skeptics always demand evidence for just about everything, but constantly make assertions like this without providing evidence.”

        All one has to do is READ the Bible to see it is not timeless. It is self-evident. You must rely on all sorts of hermenuetical tricks to make the Bible relevant. Without them, the Bible is as written……..an old book that offers little for today.

        I can assert, and it is not a naked assertion, that your figure of 50,000.00 minimum to raise a family is not correct. Depends what is important. I do know my wife and I raised six children on much, much less, and even today, with three children still at home, do not come anywhere close to your 50,000.00 figure.

        Piper says, the Bible says. His authority is the Bible.

        I say,the Bible has no authority outside of the lives of individuals who choose to governed by its dictates. Thus…….it is no one’s business if my wife, or any other wife works outside the home.

      • All one has to do is READ the Bible to see it is not timeless. It is self-evident. You must rely on all sorts of hermenuetical tricks to make the Bible relevant. Without them, the Bible is as written……..an old book that offers little for today.

        Experiential evidence. Has no value according to most skeptics.

        Plus, it is certainly not self-evident that the Bible has no value. Apparently, your “fact” that the Bible is irrelevant to the modern age is either beyond the grasp of a significant portion of the world’s population, or your alleged fact is really just your opinion. In the book I mentioned earlier, Ten Philosophical Mistakes, Adler identifies confusing fact and opinion as one of the philosophical mistakes (chapter 4).

        Read the book of Proverbs again, and note how many expressions still in use today that it contains.

        Love your neighbor as yourself. What antiquated advice. We moderns can do much better than that. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Who thinks up crap like that? Everyone knows that no one spends money on stuff they like.

        I can assert, and it is not a naked assertion, that your figure of 50,000.00 minimum to raise a family is not correct. Depends what is important. I do know my wife and I raised six children on much, much less, and even today, with three children still at home, do not come anywhere close to your 50,000.00 figure.

        You caught me. I made that number up with no research. Sorry.

        Good budgeting (and maybe some state-funded programs like WIC and food stamps) could get you through with much less. It does depend on priorities. But why nitpick on that point at all? Was I not agreeing with your statement that there are 21st century reasons for women to work outside the home?

  2. “Why is it okay for women to work outside the home?”

    Because they might want more from life than being incubators and childminders?

    • Not the answer I was looking for. I mean why is it okay, other than their own personal preference? Is there some overarching moral standard that says it’s okay, one that I’m not aware of? Or is it just okay because our culture accepts it? No one has answered that question satisfactorily.

      Keep in mind I’m not disagreeing with the fact that it’s okay for women to work outside the home. My wife does. It’s necessary for us to have both incomes to support our children.

      • Well not trying to be funny but what overarching moral standard says it’s not okay?

        Shouldn’t freedoms be granted (ie, the freedom for a woman to choose her own path in life) unless there’s a good reason not to?

      • Well not trying to be funny but what overarching moral standard says it’s not okay?

        Shouldn’t freedoms be granted (ie, the freedom for a woman to choose her own path in life) unless there’s a good reason not to?

        I’m not arguing that there is any overarching moral standard that says it’s wrong for a woman to work outside the home. All I’m asking for is some overarching moral standard that says that it’s okay. You don’t have one. Yet, you’re trying to appeal to one to say that it’s perfectly fine for women to work outside the home, as if this is something that everyone should just accept.

        The reason that Bible skeptics are trying to vilify Piper is that he is saying it might not be okay in some situations for women to work outside the home. All these critics are doing is pointing to some “standard” by which it seems to be self-evident that it is fine for a woman to work outside the home and Piper is a moron. I’m questioning that “standard” you (and everyone else in this thread) is appealing to: I don’t see this “standard,” so I’m trying to understand what it is and where it comes from. Can you explain that to me?

      • Okay, I’m at work so can’t watch the original video. I do think the onus is on “not okay” to make their case though, given we’re talking control of people’s lives.

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