Thursday, February 23, 2017

Know Your Propaganda – 'Arguing from Ignorance' – What is it and where have we seen it?

Source - Discerning the Mystery

by Shem El-Jamal, February 2, 2017

Have you ever heard the statement, “There's no such thing as monsters”? What about, “It's impossible to travel through time”? Many of us have heard these statements, either from our parents at bedtime while they are trying to get us to go to sleep or from a closed-minded friend during conversations about the unknown. We've probably heard such statements lots of times, but what happens when we try to prove them true?

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When trying to prove any point, there are a number of things we may want to keep in mind, but for now we'll just talk about one. This is a fallacy called arguing from ignorance. To put it simply, this is when a person makes a solid claim simply because the opposite of the claim hasn't been proven. When a person claims universal nonexistence of UFOs—for example—simply because they don't know anyone who has seen one, they've just argued from ignorance. This is completely contradictory to elementary logical. Let's break this down a bit more. Here is the website, Logically Fallacious.
Argument from Ignorance

(also known as: appeal to ignorance, absence of evidence, argument from personal astonishment, argument from Incredulity)

Description: The assumption of a conclusion or fact based primarily on lack of evidence to the contrary. Usually best described by, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

Logical Form: X is true because you cannot prove that X is false.
X is false because you cannot prove that X is true.

Example #1: Although we have proven that the moon is not made of spare ribs, we have not proven that its core cannot be filled with them; therefore, the moon’s core is filled with spare ribs.

Explanation: There is an infinity of things we cannot prove -- the moon being filled with spare ribs is one of them. Now you might expect that any “reasonable” person would know that the moon can’t be filled with spare ribs, but you would be expecting too much. People make wild claims, and get away with them, simply on the fact that the converse cannot otherwise be proven.

We may note that the argument from ignorance applies to both universal existence and nonexistence. A positive statement such as the following applies: "You can't prove that Bigfoot doesn't exist. Therefore he does." This is also an example of an appeal to ignorance.

In essence, we learn that the universe is full of countless possibilities, and that making any universal claim based solely upon lack of evidence to the contrary is an irresponsible choice for us to make. Though such flawed claims may help a child go to sleep at night, or help shady politicians manipulate their audience, these claims are largely useless to those of us who are responsible and honest. So we know now that we can't make universally negative claims that we can't prove, but what if we did have proof?

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Proof Positive

If you caught that the question above was a trick question, pat yourself on the back and then listen to this. The fact is that in the tangible world, you cannot have negative proof. Now what does this mean?

It means that it is only possible for proof to add to our knowledge base. Proof can't take our knowledge away. This adds to the above principle that it is logically impossible to prove universal nonexistence in the physical universe. So when we say, “There is no such thing as monsters,” this is a flawed and irresponsible statement because it's impossible to prove. Again, it might work in putting a child to sleep (and often puts us to sleep as adults), but there is no way to prove it.

Stillness in the Storm Editor's note: Did you find a spelling error or grammar mistake? Do you think this article needs a correction or update? Or do you just have some feedback? Send us an email at sitsshow@gmail.comThank you for reading.

Question -- What is the goal of this website? Why do we share different sources of information that sometimes conflicts or might even be considered disinformation? 
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