Sunday, August 03, 2008

Begging the question?

“Begging the question” is a form of fallacy in logic.
Let’s go back to college Logic 101.
The Skeptic’s dictionary ( ) provides a good explanation of “begging the question”
“Begging the question” is what one does in an argument when one assumes what one claims to be proving, explains the Skeptic’s Dictionary.
A simple example of “begging the question” would be:
“John is attractive because he is handsome.”
The conclusion of this example is that “John is attractive”
The premise, or the supporting statement, is “he (John) is handsome”
The statement assumes that John is handsome.
That John is actually handsome has to be established by a certain objective criteria, not some subjective form of measurement.
Since the statement, “he is handsome” is merely an assumption, it needs to be proven.
Thus, to say that “John is attractive because he is handsome” is to “beg the question.”
At the heart of Meralco’s argument in supporting its contention that Justice Jose L. Sabio Jr., should dis-engage himself from the Meralco-GSIS case, is a procedural rule in the court of appeals.
There is a rule in the court of appeals which allows a justice to whom a case is assigned, and the other justices who participated in the deliberations, to remain handling the case.
Under this particular rule, a justice to whom a case is assigned and justices who participated in deliberations, can remain handling the case if certain events happen.
One of these events listed in the rule is when a preliminary injunction is issued.
According to Meralco, in the Meralco-GSIS case, there was no injunction issued (but only a T.R. O.)
Since there was no injunction, then under the rules, Justice Joe L. Sabio Jr., should have dis-engaged himself from the case, Meralco argues.
This argument seems alright, at first glance.
But if you look at the surrounding circumstances, the argument looses its hold.
The fact is that a decision was pre-emptively rendered in the case, before the lapse of the sixty-day T.R.O.
The decision was rendered when there was really no opportunity to decide whether an injunction was to be issued.
The issue of the issuance of an injunction was to be determined only when the sixty-day T.R.O. lapses
So, the basic question is, why would Meralco assume that no injunction was issued when the opportunity to decide such matter had not arisen yet?
How could Meralco assume that there would be no injunction?
Thus, the premise that “there was no injunction” to prove that Justice Sabio should dis-engage himself (from the case), is merely an assumption, that needs to be established.
Doesn’t Meralco’s argument beg the question?

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