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# Can you prove a negative?

 Posts: 8 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/10/2016 2:41:59 AMPosted: 1 year agoThe sun is not cold.
 Posts: 4,116 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/10/2016 3:10:59 AMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/10/2016 2:41:59 AM, Sitar wrote:The sun is not cold.That's a conclusion reached through inductive reasoning. It's not logically necessary that the sun is not cold. The sun could possibly be cold. It's within the realm of metaphysical possibility that the sun is cold.On the other hand, something like "there are no square triangles" is necessarily true.
 Posts: 8 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/10/2016 3:18:06 AMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/10/2016 3:10:59 AM, Benshapiro wrote:At 8/10/2016 2:41:59 AM, Sitar wrote:The sun is not cold.That's a conclusion reached through inductive reasoning. It's not logically necessary that the sun is not cold. The sun could possibly be cold. It's within the realm of metaphysical possibility that the sun is cold.On the other hand, something like "there are no square triangles" is necessarily true.You have the right to your opinion. Using fancy words does not make you right. The fact remains that you can prove a negative.
 Posts: 2,691 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/10/2016 1:46:31 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/10/2016 2:41:59 AM, Sitar wrote:The sun is not cold.Hit the link then continue to the paper. Written by an ivy league graduate and philosophy prof.http://departments.bloomu.edu...
 Posts: 2,742 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/10/2016 2:17:18 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/10/2016 2:41:59 AM, Sitar wrote:The sun is not cold.I think that certain universal negative statements cannot be proven. For example, no unicorns ever existed. The paper that Skip provided gives an example regarding this in the form of a logical syllogism:P1) If unicorns had existed, then there is evidence in the fossil record.P2) There is no evidence of unicorns in the fossil recordC) Therefore, unicorns never existed.He then goes on to justify the acceptance of the asserted truth of the premises with an appeal to Ad Infinitum, which I wholly disagree with. In the case that a premise is not axiomatic and in which reasonable doubt can be presented, then the demand for support of the premise is warranted. Towards this example, two points of reasonable doubt towards P1 are: (a) not all species that existed are represented in the fossil record and (b) the existence of unicorns is not limited to Earth. Therefore, P1 can be disregarded, rendering the argument unsound.So, the proposition, "no unicorns ever existed", would require an absolutely complete knowledge of time and space in order to prove it to be true. To expand a little, I would say that universal synthetic statements cannot generally be proven, but universal analytic statements might be.http://plato.stanford.edu...
 Posts: 7,221 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/10/2016 2:21:57 PMPosted: 1 year agoIt would be interesting to discover how 'You can't prove a negative' ever got started, because it's so obviously not true. If ever there was something that the failed science of memetics would have been useful for it would be to uncover how 'YCPAN' became in many people's minds a law of deductive logic up there alongside the pons assinorum and the law of the excluded middle.Presumably it's because YCPAB is pithy and sounds a bit technical and plausible but a moment's thought reveals it's actually nonsense and has been known to be nonsense since - well, forever.The closest I can get is 'you can't prove a negative by an exhaustive search', meaning you can't - for example - prove there are no such things as unicorns by an exhaustive search because there is always somewhere you haven't looked, but that is really because an exhausive search is impossible, not about proving a negative is impossible.Will YCPAN ever be forgotten? It seems entrenched in our culture so I expect to see it around for a long time yet - but it really is an oddity.
 Posts: 529 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/10/2016 3:00:43 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/10/2016 2:41:59 AM, Sitar wrote:The sun is not cold.As far as I know, when people say "You can't prove a negative", they're not referring to any statement with a negation in it (at least not typically). Usually, they're referring to negative being, or non-existence.
 Posts: 105 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/10/2016 3:36:03 PMPosted: 1 year agoWhen everything I say is but a joke,None can make more fun of me than myself!Authenticity is the real issue,When knowledge and awareness define one another,When every negative can also be interpreted as a positive!Everything melting the Ugly Duckling becomes the Swan!Everything melting displaying Relativistic Horizon Effects!Is it a particle or a wave, hither, tither, or yonder!When the only thing I know is that I know nothing,Incapable of ever straying far from the path lost and alone.
 Posts: 8 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/10/2016 10:00:04 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/10/2016 3:00:43 PM, mrsatan wrote:At 8/10/2016 2:41:59 AM, Sitar wrote:The sun is not cold.As far as I know, when people say "You can't prove a negative", they're not referring to any statement with a negation in it (at least not typically). Usually, they're referring to negative being, or non-existence.Thank you, I understand now.
 Posts: 282 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/20/2016 12:28:31 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/10/2016 2:41:59 AM, Sitar wrote:The sun is not cold.I hope Sitar is still interested in this discussion.On - You can't prove a negative or, You can't prove non-existence.For many years now, I've attempted to discuss this statement with those who assert it.I've asked them for the evidence and reasoning they have to make such a claim. As yet I have had no satisfactory answer.Both statements are universal absolutes, ie, there are no negative statement that can be proven to be true and, if something does not exist then it cannot be proven to not exist.To those who assert these statements, I ask:Can you prove that it is impossible to prove a negative?Can you prove that it is impossible to prove the non-existence of something?To the counter argument; Can you prove that it is possible to prove a negative? The answer is Yes.To the counter argument; Can you prove that it is possible to prove the non-existence of something? The answer is Yes.Morality is doing what is right, regardless of what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told, regardless of what is right.
 Posts: 2,078 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/20/2016 3:30:50 PMPosted: 1 year agoEvery positive statement can just be inverted into a negative, so you can prove a negative just as much as it's possible to prove a positive proposition. For example, "the coin landed on heads" is just the inverse of "the coin landed on tails" so, given the fact that the coin landed at all, to prove the negative of one is equally possible as to prove the positive of the other.
 Posts: 5,180 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/20/2016 3:33:44 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/20/2016 3:30:50 PM, sdavio wrote:Every positive statement can just be inverted into a negative, so you can prove a negative just as much as it's possible to prove a positive proposition. For example, "the coin landed on heads" is just the inverse of "the coin landed on tails" so, given the fact that the coin landed at all, to prove the negative of one is equally possible as to prove the positive of the other.Not correct.
 Posts: 2,078 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/20/2016 3:34:20 PMPosted: 1 year agoExistence and non-existence come under the same principle. Non-existence may seem more tenuous but existence also involves a certain amount of induction and generalization. I see whatever colored shape in front of me and assume that it's an existing instance of whatever object, and not a mirage or some other object than the one I'm taking it for. I cannot get access to a totality of information in order to know that my opinion about existence is absolutely true, any more than I can access enough information to absolutely prove non-existence.
 Posts: 2,078 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/20/2016 3:34:40 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/20/2016 3:33:44 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:30:50 PM, sdavio wrote:Every positive statement can just be inverted into a negative, so you can prove a negative just as much as it's possible to prove a positive proposition. For example, "the coin landed on heads" is just the inverse of "the coin landed on tails" so, given the fact that the coin landed at all, to prove the negative of one is equally possible as to prove the positive of the other.Not correct.Oh, why is that?
 Posts: 2,078 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/20/2016 3:37:00 PMPosted: 1 year agoThe thing about inverting any positive statement is simply a fact about grammar. I can take any proposition of the english language and affix to the front of it, "It is not the case that..."
 Posts: 5,180 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/20/2016 3:39:55 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/20/2016 3:34:40 PM, sdavio wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:33:44 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:30:50 PM, sdavio wrote:Every positive statement can just be inverted into a negative, so you can prove a negative just as much as it's possible to prove a positive proposition. For example, "the coin landed on heads" is just the inverse of "the coin landed on tails" so, given the fact that the coin landed at all, to prove the negative of one is equally possible as to prove the positive of the other.Not correct.Oh, why is that?I wrote that in this forum 100 times over .For a week . I went thru 2 months of thinking about this , and every thing I give .Powww .And it's true . It's not proving a negative.Just look it up.
 Posts: 2,078 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/20/2016 3:42:09 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/20/2016 3:39:55 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:34:40 PM, sdavio wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:33:44 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:30:50 PM, sdavio wrote:Every positive statement can just be inverted into a negative, so you can prove a negative just as much as it's possible to prove a positive proposition. For example, "the coin landed on heads" is just the inverse of "the coin landed on tails" so, given the fact that the coin landed at all, to prove the negative of one is equally possible as to prove the positive of the other.Not correct.Oh, why is that?I wrote that in this forum 100 times over .For a week . I went thru 2 months of thinking about this , and every thing I give .Powww .And it's true . It's not proving a negative.Just look it up.Would you care to respond to the argument I provided above? Or to point me to where you have already addressed it? Btw, are you going to argue that it's less possible to prove a negative than it is to prove a positive? Or are you going to undermine the idea of any proof whatsoever?
 Posts: 5,180 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/20/2016 3:46:57 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/20/2016 3:42:09 PM, sdavio wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:39:55 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:34:40 PM, sdavio wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:33:44 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:30:50 PM, sdavio wrote:Every positive statement can just be inverted into a negative, so you can prove a negative just as much as it's possible to prove a positive proposition. For example, "the coin landed on heads" is just the inverse of "the coin landed on tails" so, given the fact that the coin landed at all, to prove the negative of one is equally possible as to prove the positive of the other.Not correct.Oh, why is that?I wrote that in this forum 100 times over .For a week . I went thru 2 months of thinking about this , and every thing I give .Powww .And it's true . It's not proving a negative.Just look it up.Would you care to respond to the argument I provided above? Or to point me to where you have already addressed it? Btw, are you going to argue that it's less possible to prove a negative than it is to prove a positive? Or are you going to undermine the idea of any proof whatsoever?I am going to undermine your work . As you can not prove a negative.Your heads and tails thing are dependent on each other.The statement .( I always lie ) IS better then that.
 Posts: 2,078 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 8/20/2016 3:48:58 PMPosted: 1 year agoAt 8/20/2016 3:46:57 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:42:09 PM, sdavio wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:39:55 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:34:40 PM, sdavio wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:33:44 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:At 8/20/2016 3:30:50 PM, sdavio wrote:Every positive statement can just be inverted into a negative, so you can prove a negative just as much as it's possible to prove a positive proposition. For example, "the coin landed on heads" is just the inverse of "the coin landed on tails" so, given the fact that the coin landed at all, to prove the negative of one is equally possible as to prove the positive of the other.Not correct.Oh, why is that?I wrote that in this forum 100 times over .For a week . I went thru 2 months of thinking about this , and every thing I give .Powww .And it's true . It's not proving a negative.Just look it up.Would you care to respond to the argument I provided above? Or to point me to where you have already addressed it? Btw, are you going to argue that it's less possible to prove a negative than it is to prove a positive? Or are you going to undermine the idea of any proof whatsoever?I am going to undermine your work . As you can not prove a negative.Your heads and tails thing are dependent on each other.The statement .( I always lie ) IS better then that.Can you prove a positive statement?