Arbitrary extraneous circular additions to definitions

I had a bit of a rant in another thread about using actual definitions to decide such things as who is post-modern, communist, or Christian. But there is something nearly as bad as making such determinations without any use of definitions and that is using definitions with arbitrary extraneous circular additions to make philosophical claims which frankly made rather empty of meaning because of these additions to their definitions. For example…

Good deeds are defined as something Christians do (Articles of Remonstrance).
Morality is defined by a theist’s response to the commands of God.
Intelligence is defined as something requiring consciousness.
Consciousness is defined by things which only species with a nervous system can do.

That way you can…
Disregard good deeds by those in other religions and equate being Christian to being a good person.
Equate atheism with being immoral.
Deny that artificial intelligence is really intelligence at all.
And look for the cause of consciousness in the function of the nervous system.

But to me this all looks like self deception.


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