"Begging the question"?

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,184 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

What does "begging the question" mean?

A student recently wrote, "The current oil crisis begs the question of whether we should use more renewable energies."

This is wrong! The student should have written, "The current oil crisis raises the question of whether we should use more renewable energies."

Begging the question means answering the question in the sentence. For example, "those clubs are very popular because everyone wants to get into them." 

In this case, "very popular" means the same as "everyone wants to get into them". So the argument is simply a circle, begging the question.

Be careful not to use this expression as a synonym for "raise the question"!

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