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InvisibleDiploidM
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You Can't Prove A Negative
    #3242360 - 10/11/04 11:33 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

You can't prove something does not exist, and claiming that something does exist because nobody has ever proved it doesn't is an example of flawed reasoning.

Prove me wrong.


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Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: Diploid]
    #3242373 - 10/11/04 11:40 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

True.


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"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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Offlinetomk
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: Diploid]
    #3242382 - 10/11/04 11:45 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Here is a sound argument for a negative existential.

To prove: It is not the case that there exists a ball that is both entirely red and entirely green.

Necessarily, if something is entirely red then it is not entirely green.
Assume (toward indirect proof) that there exists something that is both entirely red, and entirely green.
If there is something that is both entirely red and entirely green, then there is something that is entirely red.
If there is something that is entirely red, then it is not entirely green.
So, if there exists something that is both entirely red and entirely green, then there exists something that is both entirely green and not entirely green.
However, this is a contradiction.
So, Indirect proof closed, it's not the case that there exists something that is entirely red and entirely green.
So, it is not the case that there exists an entirely green and entirely red ball.

That is a sound proof for a negative existential.

The second part of your claim is true.


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: tomk]
    #3242403 - 10/11/04 11:56 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

That's only true within the internally complete and consistent framework upon which your indirect proof is based. It's not irrefutably true outside that framework.

Even Piano's Axioms are not necessarily true in all frameworks. :wink:


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Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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Offlinedeff
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: Diploid]
    #3242418 - 10/11/04 12:04 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Proof is evidence of the positive.

You can't prove a negative, but you can prove the doubt of the proof of a negative :smile: (not that this is absolute in anyway)


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: deff]
    #3242446 - 10/11/04 12:13 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

but you can prove the doubt of the proof of a negative

But you can't prove a negative so you can't prove doubt of proof of a negative.

My point is this. When someone makes some illogical demand for proof of the non-existence of something, supernatural powers like levitation for example, and claims that those powers exist because I can't prove they don't, I follow up with this:

"Assuming that supernatural levitation really does *NOT* exist, then give me an example of something I could show you that would constitute proof to you that supernatural levitation does not exist."

No one can give me an example of what they would accept as proof that supernatural levitation does not exist.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: Diploid]
    #3242459 - 10/11/04 12:20 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Nonsense. I can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I'm not 7 feet tall. I can prove that 1+1 is not equal to 200,000. I can prove that I'm not standing right in front of you right now. There's plenty of negatives that can be proven.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: silversoul7]
    #3242463 - 10/11/04 12:22 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I'm not 7 feet tall.

Resonable doubt; that's not proof.

I can prove that 1+1 is not equal to 200,000.

Nope. You can prove that within a certain internally consistent and complete set of axioms only.

See Kurt G?del's Incompleteness Theorem.

I can prove that I'm not standing right in front of you right now.

OK, prove it. :grin:

There's plenty of negatives that can be proven.

For example?  :wink:



--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: Diploid]
    #3242484 - 10/11/04 12:31 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Diploid said:
I can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I'm not 7 feet tall.

Resonable doubt; that's not proof.



Yes it is. There are different standards of proof, and reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof that can be realistically achieved. Beyond that is absolute proof, which is impossible. If you're going by that standard of proof, then you can't prove a positive either.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: silversoul7]
    #3242498 - 10/11/04 12:37 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

What would you accept as proof that the Tooth Fairy does not exist?


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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Offlinedeff
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: silversoul7]
    #3242500 - 10/11/04 12:37 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

"But you can't prove a negative so you can't prove doubt of proof of a negative."

By this I meant you can prove the proof of a conflicting observation, making the one in question appear to not be true (within a reasonable doubt of course :wink:) This requires a first proof connecting the two opposite posibilities.

For example, if we first agree that there are only apples and oranges in a basket and not some hybrid fruits, then it is safe to say that an apple is not an orange and an orange is not an apple. Now if I pick a random fruit, to prove it is not an apple all I have to do is prove that it is an orange, which can be done.

So to prove a negative, you have to prove the positive value of the opposite assumption. Or something like that.

Anyways there will always be doubt, even with proving positives.


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Offlinedeff
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: deff]
    #3242505 - 10/11/04 12:38 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

"Beyond that is absolute proof, which is impossible. If you're going by that standard of proof, then you can't prove a positive either."

Exactly :smile:


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: Diploid]
    #3242508 - 10/11/04 12:39 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Diploid said:
What would you accept as proof that the Tooth Fairy does not exist?



Nothing. But just because some negatives can't be proven doesn't mean none of them can.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlinedeff
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: deff]
    #3242513 - 10/11/04 12:41 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

"What would you accept as proof that the Tooth Fairy does not exist?"

Proving that the source of tooth fairy lore was conceived as a fictious entity. Of course this doesn't prove that such an entity cannot exist outside of this accepted realm of fictional tooth fairyness, but the same can be true with proving positives. I can "prove" that lions exist, whereas really it may just be an illusion due to the lack of optical precision in identifying the atoms that create the "lion".

I mean, we can take this as far as we want, but what's the point? :smile:


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Offlinedeff
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: deff]
    #3242516 - 10/11/04 12:43 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

To add to this, the paradox of proving that you can't prove negatives arises. I mean, proving that we are not able to prove negatives, is in turn proving a negative :laugh:


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: silversoul7]
    #3242527 - 10/11/04 12:46 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

What would you accept as proof that [fill in the blank] does not exist? Not evidence suggesting it doesn't exist, not a resonable argument that it doesn't exist, but proof that it doesn't exist.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: Diploid]
    #3242539 - 10/11/04 12:52 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

*sigh* This is going nowhere. As I said before, the highest degree to which you can prove something is beyond a reasonable doubt. If you disagree, please prove to me that you exist.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineGomp
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: Diploid]
    #3242541 - 10/11/04 12:52 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

proving anything, is imposible :P


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: silversoul7]
    #3242549 - 10/11/04 12:55 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Diploid:

"You can't prove something does not exist"

No, but you can demonstrate that something is so unlikely as to be nonexistant. How about saying that creatures constructed of water ice are not likely to live on the surface of the Sun. I don't think anyone would argue against that unlikleyhood.


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"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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OfflineGomp
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Re: You Can't Prove A Negative [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #3242567 - 10/11/04 12:59 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I would :P think again :wink:  :thumbup:


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