Begging the question is a logical fallacy in which a conclusion is based on an assumption that is as much in need of proof as the premise. Because that phrase is out there, and because many people are unfamiliar with the fallacy, beg the question is widely used to mean raise the question. This use of beg the question is a common peeve among people who care about English usage, but the phenomenon is so widespread that we should probably just accept that begging the question has multiple meanings.
And for those of us who care about fallacies, it might be a good idea to simply use a different term for begging the question. The Latin term petitio principii (which means assuming the initial point) is a traditional alternative to begging to question, but an English alternative would be better. Let us know if you have any suggestions.
When these writers use the phrase beg the question, it has nothing to do with the fallacy:
As more consumers turn to Internet listings, such as Zillow, and Web services, such as Redfin, it begs the question: What about the human aspect? [Washington Post]
I personally hated “Black Swan” with a passion, but Portman’s incredible acting in that movie might beg the question: what is a 2011 Golden Globes award-winner doing in a movie like this? [Campus Times]
But such a compromise begs the question of whether or not Senate Republicans can be trusted to keep their word. [Care2]