There are systems of thought and belief which are seldom easily recognised as being a convoluted circular 'labyrinth'of ideas. The logical fallacy involved is circularity or self-contradiction, but this is not easily detected because of the complexity and extent of the idea-system or doctrine.

Belief systems employ reason - however well or badly - to explain whatever matters they would cover. Invariably they also explain and justify their own validity or supposed truth by reasoning. While no belief system can constitute genuine knowledge or lay valid claim to being tried and tested as true in any strict sense of the word, it may be a precursor of gaining knowledge, just as it may contrariwise be the forerunner of disillusion or defeat. With the labyrinth fallacy there are so many routes through the network of meanings created that one can form and re-form almost any conception more or less as one wishes. This is achieved by imprecise and generalised wording (i.e open to various and differing interpretations). Wherever a fairly large degree of uncertainty about what is or is not being stated, divined or predicted arises, the labyrinthine explanations required and the tortuous confusion of meanings mislead.

Theories exist and multiply on virtually every conceivable subject. Some kinds of subject lend themselves more to the Labyrinth Fallacy than others... some examples of the former areas include metaphysics, religion, politics, conspiracy, secret intelligence, criminality, inexplicable or imagined phenomena. The list could obviously be extended greatly. Other subjects are less prone nowadays to the Labyrinth Fallacy because they are less open to large scale and factually-unsupported speculation, such as the nature of the physical world as studied by the natural sciences, the data on subjects collected by governments, statisticians, engineers and other well-accepted kinds of major investigation. In short, systematic investigations carried out in the spirit of scientific reasoning on the principle of minimizing sufficient explanations (Occam's Razor) are least subject to the said fallacy.

The often-encountered urge to fit facts to match adopted theories or beliefs, rather than the opposite, invariably underpins the Labyrinth Fallacy. The fitting of facts to any 'Procrustean bed', when not done by outright falsification or neglect of negative instances or the like, mostly involves falsifications such as unreasonable de-contextualisation or reinterpretation of facts, obfuscation or other misrepresentation of the facts themselves or the methods by which they were obtained and so forth. Where a theory or belief-system provides - or else is open and prone to - a variety of alternative and loosely applicable approaches to the same fact or phenomenon, the ground is fertile for the Labyrinth Fallacy to complicate and confuse.

Sathya Sai Baba's extremely voluminous and most often hazy, generalising discourses are wide open to what I term the 'labyrinth fallacy'. His doctrine ('teachings') constantly refer to almost the whole range of ancient Indian scriptural ideas and beliefs, which are often mutually incompatible and have considerable depths of interpretation due to the complexity of languages, religious sentiments, beliefs and sub-beliefs. In this was Sathya Sai Baba leaves the field wide open for the Labyrinth Fallacy to operate on many levels. The many-sided and ecelectic doctrine is such that all one's perceptions have to be considered as a mirror of one's own mind. This creates what may well be calle a mental hall of distorting mirrors where great perspicacity is required so as to find the exit and liberate oneself from all the inherent fallacies!

 
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