The Illogic of “Loaded Questions”

by Paul S. Taylor on December 4, 2006

The fast succession of irrelevant questions is a well-known logical fallacy known as a “loaded question.”

I was reading one of your articles, “Feedback: Why is the Genesis creation account authoritative and not just another myth?”. I noticed that some of the questions this guy asked you blatently dodged the question by making a statement about the way he asked the question.Why did you do that?I mean, if you want to be taken seriously shouldn’t you attempt to answer all serious questions and not only the ones you can answer? Doesn’t that make you a smug creationist? I’m not calling you smug, just giving you something to think about…


Hi J.B.,

Sorry you didn’t like my feedback article.

I would like to express my admiration and thankfulness to God, our amazing Creator, and to this serious but charming expositor. I have a great time watching the video’s about Lucy, and ear & eye. absolutely awesome and extremely creative presentation. I pray that God will sustain you for HIs Glory.

S.B., Argentina

I can’t even begin to tell Ken Ham or any of you guys at AiG how much I love visiting this site. It is the best creationist website on the net and I just love all the features. There is something for everyone. Just logging on your site boosts my faith. Please keep up the good work. And God bless all of you richly.


I suspect the questions you think I didn’t answer are:

And where exactly IS heaven? A place? Who or what is “god”? Male, female, both?

As I stated in the article, these are irrelevant questions. It was Richard Dawkins who once said that just because a question is asked does not mean it deserves an answer.

The method I used to reply was justified. The fast succession of irrelevant questions is a well-known logical fallacy known as a “loaded question,” and is of the same type as (for example), “Have you stopped beating your wife?” If the respondent answers either yes or no, he has admitted to beating his wife. If I were to answer the question “where exactly is heaven?” with a conjecture about where I think it might be, I would open myself to ridicule. Similarly, if I were to answer it by saying “I don’t know” I would also open myself to ridicule. In other words, the question is asked because all possible answers make the respondent sound idiotic. In both cases, I would be acknowledging that the question was relevant, though it is not. The Bible does not say where heaven is, but makes it clear that heaven is real. Such loaded questions (and illogical ones, such as “on what page of Hamlet is Shakespeare?”) are common from our critics, such as the original questioner, who avoid straightforward logic.

Your own message commits a similar logical fallacy, when you write, “[I]f you want to be taken seriously shouldn’t you attempt to answer all serious questions[?]” All serious questions were indeed answered. The question I have quoted was not serious.

Paul Taylor, AiG–UK

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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.