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Thread: Absence of evidence IS evidence of absence

  1. Top | #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Is the notion of planting evidence also so colloquial that what’s planted is not evidence?
    If it is planted, then no, it can not be evidence. It is--once again--someone mistaking something to be evidence when in fact it is not. This is not a proposition from Wittgenstein.

    "Evidence" is conditional. A gum wrapper in and of itself is not evidence unless the gum wrapper can be tied directly to a crime (i.e., it has the suspect's DNA on it).

    No police officer picks up a gum wrapper and says, "Ah ha! This is evidence in the sense that it's been concluded to be evidence of a crime!" They would only at best consider it potential evidence until it has been thoroughly examined, but again, that's semantics. It doesn't become substantive until such time as the investigation of it is complete and concrete conclusions can be drawn.

    Iow, the determination that something is evidence of a crime (or evidence of an assertion; or evidence of a truth claim) is whether or not that something can be substantively tied to the conditions of the crime (or assertion or truth claim). Hence the question, does the evidence support the assertion?

    If it doesn't, then there is no point is labeling it "evidence" (strong or weak). It's just not evidence. It's a gum wrapper.

  2. Top | #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Is the notion of planting evidence also so colloquial that what’s planted is not evidence?
    If it is planted, then no, it can not be evidence. It is--once again--someone mistaking something to be evidence when in fact it is not. This is not a proposition from Wittgenstein.

    "Evidence" is conditional. A gum wrapper in and of itself is not evidence unless the gum wrapper can be tied directly to a crime (i.e., it has the suspect's DNA on it).

    No police officer picks up a gum wrapper and says, "Ah ha! This is evidence in the sense that it's been concluded to be evidence of a crime!" They would only at best consider it potential evidence until it has been thoroughly examined, but again, that's semantics. It doesn't become substantive until such time as the investigation of it is complete and concrete conclusions can be drawn.

    Iow, the determination that something is evidence of a crime (or evidence of an assertion; or evidence of a truth claim) is whether or not that something can be substantively tied to the conditions of the crime (or assertion or truth claim). Hence the question, does the evidence support the assertion?

    If it doesn't, then there is no point is labeling it "evidence" (strong or weak). It's just not evidence. It's a gum wrapper.
    Your view reminds me of an issue often confronted when discussing knowledge. If a person has very good reason to believe they have knowledge and then claims to have knowledge, that person upon later learning that what is believed is not true, they will rightly retract their claim of knowledge and admit they were mistaken and did not in fact have knowledge at all.

    If you (that would be you according to your view) hold that if you have good reason to think an item is evidence, you will contend that you were mistaken upon learning the item does not guarantee what you thought it did. You would thus retract labeling what you thought as evidence as not being evidence at all.

    I, on the other hand, do not hold that evidence of truth implies truth. Knowledge of truth does, but evidence of truth (in my view) does not.

    I believe your view of “support” is skewed and does not hold the implication you think it does.

  3. Top | #93
    Veteran Member Wiploc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post
    But I don't know of any evidence pointing to the existence of gods.
    Testimonial.

    That we cannot deduce from the testimony that the facts spoken are inarguably true ... .
    Once we consider the multivarious conflicting testimonies, all we can legitimately conclude is that testimony isn't trustworthy.

  4. Top | #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lion IRC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    The absence of evidence - where evidence should be found - is evidence for absence.
    This nuance isn't really the same as the unqualified "no evidence for X therefore Y" position we see in the Op. And it does help to avoid the principium tertii exclusi and/or the argument from silence fallacy.

    But I like it because it reminds me of an argument which atheists hate. Viz;

    The existence of hunger is evidence that a thing called food exists. Hunger is not wishful thinking.
    Thirst, therefore water.
    God-shaped hole in our heart.
    Etc etc.

    You expect to find a carton of milk in your fridge, but upon opening your fridge door you see no carton of milk where a carton should have been, you search throughout the fridge (it may have been misplaced), but find no milk in your fridge.

    There is no evidence of Milk in your fridge.

    Absence of evidence where evidence should be found is evidence of absence.

  5. Top | #95
    Veteran Member Lion IRC's Avatar
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    Yes, you said that already.
    But you're presuming the desired conclusion to your own argument.
    You presume what evidence ought to look like, where it ought to be found yet you simultaneously reject every other person''s evidence.

    They say here it is and you say that's not where you expect the evidence.

    They say it's evidence for God and you say that's not the evidence is expected to look like.

  6. Top | #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fast View Post
    Is the notion of planting evidence also so colloquial that what’s planted is not evidence?
    If it is planted, then no, it can not be evidence. It is--once again--someone mistaking something to be evidence when in fact it is not. This is not a proposition from Wittgenstein.

    "Evidence" is conditional. A gum wrapper in and of itself is not evidence unless the gum wrapper can be tied directly to a crime (i.e., it has the suspect's DNA on it).

    No police officer picks up a gum wrapper and says, "Ah ha! This is evidence in the sense that it's been concluded to be evidence of a crime!" They would only at best consider it potential evidence until it has been thoroughly examined, but again, that's semantics. It doesn't become substantive until such time as the investigation of it is complete and concrete conclusions can be drawn.

    Iow, the determination that something is evidence of a crime (or evidence of an assertion; or evidence of a truth claim) is whether or not that something can be substantively tied to the conditions of the crime (or assertion or truth claim). Hence the question, does the evidence support the assertion?

    If it doesn't, then there is no point is labeling it "evidence" (strong or weak). It's just not evidence. It's a gum wrapper.
    Your view reminds me of an issue often confronted when discussing knowledge.
    Fascinating. Now please actually address what I wrote instead of this pointless evasion.

    If you (that would be you according to your view) hold that if you have good reason to think an item is evidence, you will contend that you were mistaken upon learning the item does not guarantee what you thought it did. You would thus retract labeling what you thought as evidence as not being evidence at all.
    More word salad.

    I, on the other hand, do not hold that evidence of truth implies truth.
    Then you’re an idiot, because the entire purpose of calling something “evidence” is that, at the very least, it implies truth.

    I believe your view of “support” is skewed and does not hold the implication you think it does.
    See my previous sentence.

  7. Top | #97
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    It suggests truth. “Implies” is a technical term.

    If I say “blacks are dumb” that suggests racism, but the sentence lacks logical implication, so saying “blacks are dumb” does not imply racism —despite the derogatory nature of the statement.

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