The Burden of Proof
Something that has annoyed me for quite sometime is a common strategy used in many debates. “Prove me wrong.” This I feel is entirely incorrect and takes a very immature and utterly pointless road on the journey to intellectual enlightenment.
There are any number of statements that someone can safely make and by the logic of “Prove me wrong” herein called “PMW” you create a difficult situation that does nothing constructive. Some of life’s greatest questions have been defended with this view. What people fail to recognize is the conundrum they place themselves or at the very least their views in. As stated in a previous article it is the case that all knowledge is either from the outside world or previous information gathered from the outside world. Any and all debates should take this into account and consider any information not in this outside world superfluous.
You might ask why such a bold suggestion would be made. However it comes to pass that if you are willing to accept information with no outside support because it ‘feels’ right you essentially can say absolutely anything and it becomes true (at least to you). Example below:
(1) There are invisible creatures circling the earth generating absolutely no information that could aid any other entity in detecting them.
You can easily defend this argument with PMW but does that accomplish anything but superficially making you ‘win’ (one of the poorer reasons to debate). The PMW is another example of something that explains everything and because of this it explains absolutely nothing. It is not a proper response to support absolutely any argument. It’s highly popular because of its simplicity. Essentially the person making this defense is saying the following:
“All things that cannot be explained at current time can justly be explained with any answer.”
For me the burden of certainty lies upon information. If I am not willing to require solid information then why am I trying to learn? It seems to me asinine to scour the world for knowledge and then toss it aside when it doesn’t sparkle with your beliefs. (Kudos to those that get the joke in that last line)
So that’s it, this goes also for any posts in the future that will inevitably link me to linking back to here. In all cases within this Universe (unless you are willing to negate all Knowledge and thusly the entire discussion in the first place) the burden of proof lies upon all things that are not currently understood. If there is no evidence to support a belief then that belief is unfounded and likewise a piss poor citation.
A final note, an equally poor response to evidence is saying “I don’t believe it.” Instead one must say “I don’t believe it because…” and remember not to fall back upon hokey support discussed above.