The Instigator
PointProven
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
GuitarSlinger
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Absence of evidence IS evidence of absence

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/7/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,248 times Debate No: 119383
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (26)
Votes (0)

 

PointProven

Pro

I've heard many religious people make the point that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", And I can explain how that is not true. Before I start, I just wanted to say that this is not a debate on whether or not a god or gods exist, It is just about how that argument is flawed. The con side is the one of someone who thinks it's valid.

Let's begin with the fact that the absence of evidence is the only way to indicate that something does not exist. If the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, Then what is? For an unfalsifiable hypothesis such as god, There is no real evidence that he doesn't exist other than the lack of evidence that he does exist. The same thing can be said about unicorns. If there is any reason to believe that unicorns don't exist, It is the lack of evidence to support that they do.

Say you were in my house for a visit, And then you went to use the bathroom. When you come back I say "Oh my gosh you just missed it! A huge elephant just walked through here! It left by smashing through the front door and it walked through my yard and onto the street! " You look around and nothing is out of order. There is no mess, The door isn't smashed, No fallen pictures, Nothing is knocked over, And no footprints are on my yard or in my house. That is all evidence that an elephant was never in my house, And I just made it up. Therefore, Absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence.
GuitarSlinger

Con

My argument is a simple: Lack of evidence simply means you do not have any evidence to prove something. If there is no evidence, You can"t make a definite claim either way. While I would agree that lack of evidence may point one in the direction of making it reasonable to believe it doesn"t exist, It doesn"t necessarily PROVE it doesn"t exist.
Here"s a simple illustration.
Consider X. Consider Y. I assert that X equals Y
If I have evidence that proves X equals Y, Then I can say with reasonable assurance that X does indeed equal Y.
If I do not have evidence to show that X equals Y, What does that mean? Does it mean X does not equal Y? No, It simply means I cannot show (prove, Say definitively, Etc) that X equals Y. X could very well still equal Y, But I just don"t have the capability to prove it. Does the fact that I can"t provide any evidence PROVE that X doesn"t equal Y? No. It just means I can"t provide evidence. Maybe the evidence is there, It just hasn"t been found yet.

Point 1 - Your whole argument begins with a false statement. It is NOT a fact that "the absence of evidence is the only way to indicate that something does not exist. " Here is why it's false (or perhaps misleading)
A) By stating this, You are already asserting that it is TRUE statement-- that the absence of evidence indicates something doesn't exist. Isn't this what you are trying to prove? You can't say "I'm going to show that X is true", And then start your argument by saying X is true, And ask the opponent to accept that.
B) Not only that, You are saying that this is the ONLY way to indicate something doesn't exist. I call this false or misleading because it includes a statement that has not been proven as FACT yet (see A above).

Point 2 -
refuting your example. Here is your example or analogy

Say you were in my house for a visit, And then you went to use the bathroom. When you come back I say "Oh my gosh you just missed it! A huge elephant just walked through here! It left by smashing through the front door and it walked through my yard and onto the street! "You look around and nothing is out of order. There is no mess, The door isn't smashed, No fallen pictures, Nothing is knocked over, And no footprints are on my yard or in my house. That is all evidence that an elephant was never in my house, And I just made it up. Therefore, Absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence.

My refutation: In your scenario you are confusing "existing" with "being present somewhere"
A)Your example proves my point. If that scenario happened, First thing I would do is this: I"d look around and say "Hmmmm, There is no evidence an elephant has been here. Does this prove elephants don"t exist? " I"m sure you"d respond "Well, No. This doesn"t prove elephants don"t exist. " And yet, Isn"t this what you are proposing in your argument.

B)What if instead of an elephant, It was a fly. I look around and I simply don"t see any evidence a fly was in the room. I then turn to you and say "Flies don"t exist! There is no evidence in here that flies exist! ". I"m sure you"d argue differently. But this is exactly what you are doing when you say "I don"t see any evidence, Therefore it must not exist! ".
Debate Round No. 1
PointProven

Pro

" Lack of evidence simply means you do not have any evidence to prove something. If there is no evidence, You can"t make a definite claim either way. "

That was a dumb statement. Let's go back to the example that I gave you. Once you return from using the bathroom while visiting me in my home and I tell you about the elephant that supposedly just walked through. You would think I was lying on account of the overwhelming lack of evidence to support what I said. Why is that? If absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, Would wouldn't you just believe every bit of nonsense that came out of my mouth? Heck, Why not believe in unicorns or dragons? Oh right, Because the lack of evidence leads us to believe that they don't exist. The difference is that people tend to have a double standard of evidence for god. Where someone won't believe in unicorns because there is no evidence, They are all to eager to use faith to believe in a deity.

"While I would agree that lack of evidence may point one in the direction of making it reasonable to believe it doesn"t exist"

Okay good. So we are on the same page?

"It doesn"t necessarily PROVE it doesn"t exist. "

Oh, I see what the problem is, You think proof and evidence are the same thing. Well, They're not. Evidence is usually described as facts that can indicate whether a belief is valid. For example, You can assume unicorns don't exist because we've never seen them. That exact LACK of evidence for unicorns to exist, Acts as evidence that they DON'T exist (meaning absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence). Proof on the other hand shows without a shadow of a doubt that something is true or valid. Proof requires evidence, But evidence does not require proof. If you wanted to make the point that "Absence of proof is not proof of absence", That statement would be true and you could very well make that argument. However we are not talking about proof, We are talking about evidence.

" Does it mean X does not equal Y? No, It simply means I cannot show (prove, Say definitively, Etc) that X equals Y. X could very well still equal Y, But I just don"t have the capability to prove it. "

Again, I am not talking about PROOF. I am talking about EVIDENCE. Something can have a lot of evidence without being proven, Like the big bang, For example. Just because we haven't PROVED the big bang doesn't mean that there isn't a ton of EVIDENCE to support it. This is a example of you being ignorant. You are only arguing with me because you got something wrong. Your ignorance is the only reason you are actually debating me right now, Because you honestly think that evidence means proof when it doesn't. You can assume that unicorns don't exist without proving that they don't. Do you understand? Do I have to explain this any further?

" By stating this, You are already asserting that it is TRUE statement-- that the absence of evidence indicates something doesn't exist. Isn't this what you are trying to prove? You can't say "I'm going to show that X is true", And then start your argument by saying X is true, And ask the opponent to accept that. "

WHAT? ! What are you saying even? What is your point? Can something please translate this gibberish for me? From what I read, It was just vacuous nonsense. I am 99% sure that this guy is a Jordan Peterson fan because he speaks in some code with no real point, And just disguises it with pretty words. The JP word salad at it's finest.

"Not only that, You are saying that this is the ONLY way to indicate something doesn't exist. I call this false or misleading "

Okay well I expect you to back up that claim. Oh look, You did no such thing. What a surprise.

" In your scenario you are confusing "existing" with "being present somewhere""

No, No I'm not. I'm talking about evidence. In the scenario I gave you, I provided no evidence to support my claim, And I stated that you wouldn't believe me for that reason. What you just said is in no way relevant.

" I"d look around and say "Hmmmm, There is no evidence an elephant has been here. Does this prove elephants don"t exist? " "

It's not about whether or not elephants exist, It's about whether or not there was one in my house based on the zero evidence to support that it was. Whether or not elephants exist is not the point, It's about whether or not I had evidence to support my claim. Not to mention, In the claim I made, I was insisting that elephants do indeed exist, Otherwise how would there be one IN MY FUKKING HOUSE? ! ? ! Ugh, You are a moron. I swear, It's harder to argue with idiots than it is with smart people. At least when you make a point to a smart person it doesn't just go in one ear and out the other.

")What if instead of an elephant, It was a fly. I look around and I simply don"t see any evidence a fly was in the room. I then turn to you and say "Flies don"t exist! There is no evidence in here that flies exist! ""

I would call you a moron.

" I"m sure you"d argue differently. But this is exactly what you are doing when you say "I don"t see any evidence, Therefore it must not exist! "

That's not what I'm saying you ignorant twat. For the last time, Evidence and proof are not the same thing. I am looking at a lack of evidence and saying that it's safe to assume that whatever thing does not exist, Or in the case of the elephant, It wasn't in my house. At no point did I say elephants or flies don't exist, I was talking about whether or not a FUKKING ELEPHANT WALKED THROUGH MY HOUSE! There was no reason to think so, So why would you. I dunno man, I guess I'm not surprised. People truly are retarded. I think your god did a terrible job designing our brains because there is no way a genius all knowing god would create something as stupid as you.
GuitarSlinger

Con

I still think your analogy is not comparable. The lack of evidence is showing that the object isn't there, But yet you are transferring this to the defense of the statement "lack of evidence shows that the object doesn't exist. " Regardless, We can play the game with your flawed analogy if you want. Now it boils down to why would I not believe you if you said any elephant was there. Well, It all depends on what type of evidence I would expect:
What type of evidence does one expect there to be for an elephant? Would I expect to find feathers strewn about? Would I expect to find raccoon tracks? No. Would I expect there to be deer scat? There is a specific type of evidence that I would expect from an elephant based on my experience with elephants.

The questions then become, What type of evidence are you looking for? How can you be so sure you are looking for the right evidence? For all I know, You could be looking for the wrong type of evidence. The evidence could be right in front of you, You just don"t see it. Perhaps you're looking for deer dung when you should be looking for elephant dung lol.

The fact that you don't see the evidence ("There is no evidence! ") could very well be explained by the following:
(a) you are looking for the wrong evidence
(b) you don"t know for sure what evidence to expect.
(c) you simply don't see the evidence right in front of you.

If one is not familiar with X, Then it is certainly possible that one may not know what evidence to expect from X. I can tell you with a high level of confidence what evidence a deer (and an elephant for that matter) leaves behind. I know them. I've been hunting deer my whole life. I take a newbie hunting and they look around and say "It doesn"t look like any deer have been here. " I just laugh and say "Dude, The evidence is all around you, You just don't see it! " (as they wipe the deer scat off their shoe). Sometimes I show them the tracks and they scoff and say "Those aren't deer tracks! "

So alas. My argument still stands. Until you can rule out (a), (b), (c) you can"t say for certainty absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

You say a lot of words on Proof vs Evidence. Is it sufficient to say then that you agree that evidence doesn"t necessarily PROVE? That's what your rebuttal suggest.

My response is pretty straightforward. You start off by saying "Absence of evidence is evidence of absence" and then you go onto make claims that supposedly support it. But the first claim you make is the same statement "absence of evidence is the only way to indicate something doesn"t exist. " Geez. Isn"t that what you are trying to show? That"s like saying: "X means Y doesn"t exist. I"ll show you why. X is the only way to indicate Y doesn"t exist. " That game doesn"t work, Chief.

Go ahead and curse and hurl insults. It"s the white flag of someone who can"t defend their own arguments. Usually insults and ridicule are the resort (sometimes the last resort, Often the first resort) of someone who can"t defend their position lol.
I've shown that your argument, And your defense of it, Isn"t solid and the only thing you have left is to try and ridicule and intimidate and insult. It ain"t gonna work. Do it all you want, All it does is weaken your position Lol.

It's easy to deduce unicorns don't exist? Why? Inferring what we know from other animals. If the unicorn is an animal, One would expect it to leave evidence like other animals-- things like bones, Tracks, Dung. So when one doesn't see this evidence it's reasonable to deduce Unicorns don't exist.

With God it's a different story. What evidence are you expecting to see? If you are looking for evidence or traces much like an animal would leave evidence, I'd ask "Why would you expect God to leave evidence like that for you? "

Your argument is this: absence of evidence for X is evidence of absence of X. The questions for you now become :

a) What sort of evidence are you expecting of X? Why-- what basis do you have for this?
b) how will you know evidence of X when you see it?
c) how do you know for sure that are simply not seeing the evidence in front of you (a rewording of (b) above?

Substitute X with elephant, Fly, Cow, Etc, And the questions are easy to answer. Substitute God for X and I would challenge you how are you able to answer a-c above.

You've painted yourself into a corner chief, On your first argument, No less. Lol. I usually don't see people paint themselves into a corner until well into the 3rd or 4th round, But you did it in your opening statement. You must have a paintbrush in both hands lol. I'd put one of them down if I were you. Like an angry dog cornered, Your only response is to angrily hurl insults. Lol.
Debate Round No. 2
PointProven

Pro

"I still think your analogy is not comparable. "

Well, It is. It is a perfect analogy, That of which you have yet to dispute. That kinda proves my point.

"you are transferring this to the defense of the statement "lack of evidence shows that the object doesn't exist. ""

No that is not what I said. I'm basically saying that a lack of evidence for something means it's safe to assume it doesn't exist. Or in the case of the elephant, It's safe to assume that I lied about it being in my house. What is so hard to understand about that?

"Now it boils down to why would I not believe you if you said any elephant was there. Well, It all depends on what type of evidence I would expect:"

Exactly! Now you're getting it! You would expect evidence, And without said evidence, You'd think I was lying. Very good. But why would you think I was lying? Just because there was no evidence, Doesn't PROVE that I lied, Right? Of course not, However you can ASSUME that I was lying, Because the evidence points to that. Meaning what, Exactly? That means that absence of evidence. . . . IS FUKKING EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE! Duh. . .

" Would I expect to find feathers strewn about? Would I expect to find raccoon tracks? No. Would I expect there to be deer scat? There is a specific type of evidence that I would expect from an elephant based on my experience with elephants. "

Yes, Of course, And I listed those pieces of evidence in my very first argument before you even accepted the debate. And of course, If all those pieces of evidence are missing, You would assume I was lying, Which proves my point.

"The questions then become, What type of evidence are you looking for? How can you be so sure you are looking for the right evidence? For all I know, You could be looking for the wrong type of evidence. "

Well that's easy. You'd look for knocked over objects, Maybe some pictures fallen off the wall, Perhaps some elephant tracks in the lawn etc. It's not like it takes a genius to detect these things. They are rather obvious and I even stated them in my opening argument.

"The fact that you don't see the evidence ("There is no evidence! ") could very well be explained by the following:
(a) you are looking for the wrong evidence
(b) you don"t know for sure what evidence to expect.
(c) you simply don't see the evidence right in front of you. "

That isn't what this is about! This debate isn't about whether the evidence is there or not, It's about the specific argument (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence) being a flawed argument. That's what this is about. It's in the title, It's in my opening argument, And literally every one of my points.

"So alas. My argument still stands. Until you can rule out (a), (b), (c) you can"t say for certainty absence of evidence is evidence of absence. "

HA! No. Incorrect. Go back and look at my first argument, That completely disproves the nonsense you are saying.

"You say a lot of words on Proof vs Evidence. Is it sufficient to say then that you agree that evidence doesn"t necessarily PROVE? That's what your rebuttal suggest. "

DING DING DING! That's correct! Good job! Evidence is not proof! You did it! You just made my points stronger!

"You start off by saying "Absence of evidence is evidence of absence" and then you go onto make claims that supposedly support it. "

When was that exactly? When did I make claims that counter my arguments? Go find them, And show me. You are a liar.

" But the first claim you make is the same statement "absence of evidence is the only way to indicate something doesn"t exist. " Geez. Isn"t that what you are trying to show? "

I am forced to repeat my points many different ways because people like you are unable to understand simple things. So yeah, I repeated my point, And I'll keep doing it until you are finally able to understand.

" That game doesn"t work, Chief. "

Listen guy, You haven't even adequately responded to over half my points. Once you do that, Then, And only then, Can you tell me how to debate.

"Go ahead and curse and hurl insults. It"s the white flag of someone who can"t defend their own arguments. "

Well you have yet you refute my most basic arguments so really I think THAT is a white flag of some who can't defend their own arguments. I get easily frustrated when I deal with people like you so yeah, Obviously I'm going to call you a dumbass. It's an accurate description.

" Usually insults and ridicule are the resort (sometimes the last resort, Often the first resort) of someone who can"t defend their position lol. "

Dude, You aren't winning this lol. You have been getting verbally annihilated every round by actual valid points. The amount of denial going through that head of yours is staggering. It's actually kinda of depressing when you think about it. Refute my most basic points and then you can make a claim like that.

"I've shown that your argument, And your defense of it, Isn"t solid "

Is that really you think happened? That's so sad. You've done nothing of the sort.

" the only thing you have left is to try and ridicule and intimidate and insult. "

It seems like that is the only language your dumbass understands so yeah, That's what it comes to sometimes.

" So when one doesn't see this evidence it's reasonable to deduce Unicorns don't exist. "

That proves my point. All the lack of evidence makes you think unicorns do not exist. So I will say it again: absence of evidence is in fact, Evidence of absence. Otherwise you would believe in unicorns because why not.

"With God it's a different story. What evidence are you expecting to see? "

Any evidence. Literally anything at this point. But that isn't what this debate is about. You still don't get that for some reason.

"Your argument is this: absence of evidence for X is evidence of absence of X. "

Correct. Again, That doesn't mean that absence of evidence PROVES that something doesn't exist, We can just assume it doesn't, Otherwise there would be some trace of evidence.

" The questions for you now become :

a) What sort of evidence are you expecting of X? Why-- what basis do you have for this?
b) how will you know evidence of X when you see it?
c) how do you know for sure that are simply not seeing the evidence in front of you (a rewording of (b) above? "

That all depends on what X is. And again, That has nothing, Not one bit, To do with whether or not a lack of evidence can be used to infer that something doesn't exist. It's not part of this debate, You see. Look at the title. That's what this debate is about, Nothing else. Not "Let's show evidence for something".

"Substitute X with elephant, Fly, Cow, Etc, And the questions are easy to answer. Substitute God for X and I would challenge you how are you able to answer a-c above. "

But this isn't about that. I've said it many times. If you'd like to debate about the existence of god, I'm 100% down for that. But that is not this debate. Please address my actual points.

"You've painted yourself into a corner chief, On your first argument, No less. "

Make a point, Please. I'm getting tired of this.

" Lol. I usually don't see people paint themselves into a corner until well into the 3rd or 4th round, But you did it in your opening statement. "

Quote me. You can't do it because your just making stuff up.

" You must have a paintbrush in both hands lol. I'd put one of them down if I were you. "

Dude what are you even talking about? Please make an actual point. What is this gibberish?

"Like an angry dog cornered, Your only response is to angrily hurl insults. Lol. "

No. You would know that isn't true if you would spend a second reading my arguments. Please do that and don't respond until you've actually addressed my points rather than just dismissing them without even truly reading and understanding them.
GuitarSlinger

Con

I'll restate my point. "Absence of evidence IS evidence of absence" is not a valid position. At best, All it does is state that there is no evidence to make a claim either way.

Here is how that statement (defense) is used. We'll leave out specifics. Really, It doesn't matter what you substitute for X and Y-- If it is a valid argument it shouldn't matter.

Person A states "X is Y".
Person B states "I do not believe X is Y. Please provide evidence. "
Person A states "There is no evidence to show that X is Y. "
Person B states "Therefore, X is not Y. "

Here is why it"s an invalid argument:

1. When you don"t have evidence, You can"t make a claim either way.
a. In the example above, Person A can"t say "X is Y". Likewise, The lack of evidence doesn"t necessarily mean "X is not Y". "X is Y" still could be true"perhaps Person A just hasn"t found the evidence yet. Therefore, Person B can not definitively say "X is not Y". At best, All they can say is "I do not believe X is Y because there is no evidence. Likewise, I do not believe X is not Y either. " IN other words, They are non-committal and can"t say definitively either way.
b. It"s akin to what the court system does when the render "innocent" or "not guilty"

2. Whoever utters "absence of evidence is evidence of absence" is capable of making mistakes:
a. The evidence could be right under the nose, But they do not see it. They may not recognize the evidence when they see it.
b. They could be expecting to see the wrong kind of evidence. As a simple example to help you understand this point, Someone looking for an elephant might be expecting to find feathers, So when they do come across bona fide elephant evidence they ignore it because they are expecting to find feathers. They expecting to see the wrong kind of evidence (feathers).

I realize everything I wrote after ""is not a valid position" might be considered "gibberish" or unrelated. Lol. But I take that as code for "I just don"t understand what you are saying. " Again, Calling it gibberish is just another way of waving the white flag when you don"t have an argument to put forth.
Debate Round No. 3
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by StardustyPsyche 3 years ago
StardustyPsyche
Hey GuitarSlinger, I was just poking around and found you over here too, Guess that horse of yours transports you far and wide :-)

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.
Presence of evidence is evidence of presence.
Absence of evidence is not proof of absence.
Presence of evidence is not proof of presence.
Evidence and proof are often conflated.

Proof is generally not available to human beings.
I can prove that something exists that thinks the things I think because I am self aware.
All else is subject to doubt.

A mathematical proof is not an absolute proof.
Mathematics is a closed system of reasoning that rests upon axioms that are not themselves proved, Only mutually agreed upon.
Since the foundation of this system of reasoning is not proved any proofs derived from them are provisional, Not absolute.

Evidence of presence is generally preferred if available. To gauge the strength of negative evidence we need some means to gauge the likelihood of some other positive case.

Consider an empty ordinary table. I don't see my wallet on the table. Therefore, I conclude my wallet is not on the table. The absence of evidence for my wallet on the table is strong evidence of absence, Since a wallet on the table would be clearly visible, So much so that I would accept in practical terms to a personal physical natural certainty that my wallet is not on the table.

I can speculate that an alien cloaking device is actually hiding the wallet on the table, Or any number of other such fanciful speculations, But the assertion of unknown forces or entities is generally considered weak to the point of absurdity, And all reasonable people conclude that the absence of evidence is sufficient to prove to a personal physical natural certainty that there is no wallet on the table.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 3 years ago
GuitarSlinger
@PointProven

Sorry just now getting back to this discussion.

The reason why I would believe you about shooting lasers, Is because I would be drawing upon my experience and knowledge of humans, Biology, And lasers, And applying that to the situation.

AGain, As I stated here and elsewhere.

I question your ability to see and recognize evidence of God. . .

I agree, Lack of evidence may lead one to assume that a claim is false. But before one even says "evidence is lacking", One must be pretty sure they know evidence is lacking for sure, Otherwise they could be wrong.

THAT is what I'm questioning. I am not confident that you are able to say "evidence is lacking" when it comes to God, Because, Quite honestly, I question your ability to be able to recognize something as evidence if it was presented to you.
Posted by PointProven 3 years ago
PointProven
Remember, Evidence is not proof.

I agree that absence of proof is not proof of absence. If you made that argument, I would completely agree with you. But we are talking about evidence here, Not proof.
Posted by PointProven 3 years ago
PointProven
Even if you're right and there IS evidence for god, Let's just say there isn't. That lack of evidence would lead you to believe that he simply doesn't exist.

We just have different ideas of what evidence is, And that is fine. It doesn't change my argument that a lack of evidence points in the direction that something is false.

In other words, Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Not proof, I'll give you that, But evidence.
Posted by PointProven 3 years ago
PointProven
You literally just repeated the things I said, But added your own idea of what evidence is. That proves me right!

You wouldn't believe such claims as "I can shoot fingers out of my hands when no one is looking. ", Because you can assume I'm lying on account of the lack of evidence.

Now take that, And apply it to anything else.

The lack of evidence to support my ability to shoot lasers out of my fingers would lead you to believe I am lying. Now just because we might have a different standard of evidence doesn't change the fact that absence of evidence can act as a form of evidence against the existence of something.

You wouldn't believe in unicorns or dragons for the same reason I don't believe in god. Now it is fine that you believe in god, But in my opinion, There is no evidence to support his existence.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 3 years ago
GuitarSlinger
** Yes you can! If I told you that I can shoot lasers out of my fingers, You would ask that I show you. I would say something like "it only works when no one is looking", And you'd say "well, I don't believe you. "

Why is that, If you can't make a claim either way? Of course you can. You might not be able to prove that I can't shoot lasers out of my fingers, But you can assume that I'm lying. **

Nope. Doesn't work. Here's why. I would draw on my experience and my reasonable expectations of "evidence. "

Here is some reasonable evidence I would expect:

1). I would expect other people to do the same. Why? Because your human, And if this is indeed a human experience, I would expect others to be able to do it.
2). I would expect you to to be able to show the effects of you shooting lasers (burn marks on table. . . Charred pieces of wood. . . . Roasted marshmallows. . . . Cooked hot dogs. . . You choose)
3) I would also dig much deeper and ask harder questions (How do you know no one is looking, Etc lol)

This is reasonable evidence I would expect. If one can't produce the reasonable evidence, Then I have reason to not believe you. Granted, I may not be able to prove you can't. But, I would expect there to be reasonable evidence to to support your claim if it were indeed true.

Now let's tie this back to God, Which I'm sure you're dying to do. What is the evidence you are expecting from GOd, And why? If you are expecting God to leave traces like footprints, Bones, Etc then I would say you're probably expecting the wrong evidence.

But hey. . . That's just me. . . .
Posted by GuitarSlinger 3 years ago
GuitarSlinger
**Tell me why you don't believe in unicorns then? "Can't say either way"? What? If zero evidence shows that unicorns exist, You can assume that they don't. Are you telling me that we can't say either way? If that is so, One can not say "I don't believe in unicorns". **

Simple explanation. What is a unicorn (or rather, What would a unicorn be) if it existed? It would be a four legged animal with one horn (uni-corn) very similar to a horse (sans horn).

a) So I have reason to believe that if a unicorn existed, There would be evidence similar to that of a horse, Such as (a) tracks, (b) remains/bones, (c) other evidence we'd expect from animals. Why would expect this kind of evidence? Well, Because it's said to be an animal.
b) I would expect there to be reliable accounts of people ever interacting with a unicorn, Seeing a unicorn, Owning a unicorn, Killing a unicorn, Etc

Without this evidence, It is reasonable to deduce that Unicorns don't exist. Is it possible unicorns exist and maybe, Just maybe, I'm missing the evidence. Sure. So technically, The lack of evidence doesn't PROVE unicorns do not exist. But I can say reasonable logic that Unicorns don't exist.

But wait. . . Before you interject, Look at what I began with-- I began with the basic question "what sort of evidence would I expect to find for unicorns and why? " (and the person better be able to back up the "why"). If my expectation of evidence of is off-base, Then my whole argument is off. What if, In my search for evidence, I'm looking for something that is not even totally related to a unicorn (like fangs, Or feathers). . . .

Before you start searching for evidence, Or saying evidence doesn't exist, One better first address the questions "What sort of evidence are you expecting to find and why (and again, Better be able to back up the "why")? "

Now people translate to this to God. But my question remains, How do you know what evidence to expect for God, And why do you expect that?
Posted by PointProven 3 years ago
PointProven
"Here is why it"s an invalid argument:

1. When you don"t have evidence, You can"t make a claim either way. "

Yes you can! If I told you that I can shoot lasers out of my fingers, You would ask that I show you. I would say something like "it only works when no one is looking", And you'd say "well, I don't believe you. "

Why is that, If you can't make a claim either way? Of course you can. You might not be able to prove that I can't shoot lasers out of my fingers, But you can assume that I'm lying.
Posted by PointProven 3 years ago
PointProven
"I'll restate my point. "Absence of evidence IS evidence of absence" is not a valid position. At best, All it does is state that there is no evidence to make a claim either way. "

Tell me why you don't believe in unicorns then? "Can't say either way"? What? If zero evidence shows that unicorns exist, You can assume that they don't. Are you telling me that we can't say either way? If that is so, One can not say "I don't believe in unicorns".

Please tell me how I can explain this better. No evidence = it's safe to assume something doesn't exist. Which means, Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. It's not the point that is bad, It's your ability to understand it.

If absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, How can you honestly say that unicorns don't exist?
Posted by GuitarSlinger 3 years ago
GuitarSlinger
lol. I'll respond how and when I want to, As I deem appropriate. Thanks for showing concern though, Chief.
No votes have been placed for this debate.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.