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|29th December 2004, 07:44 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2004
providing evidence of claims
Ok, so I am new here and I have found a few instances where I have been asked to prove a claim to be somewhat humorous.
Now, I am not at all new to debates or internet forums. I do understand that if one is debating and claims are asserted that some evidence is usually expected to be provided for claims that are controversial.
What I have noticed here (primarily) as well as elsewhere is that on forums which pride themselves as being forums for skeptics there seems to be this idea that all one has to do is say "you didn't provide proof of your assertion" and the point is assumed false.
In one case I made a statement that can be determined true via deductive logic alone. I was asked for proof. I declined to provide it because I perceived the request to be absurd and because I just didn't feel it necessary.
So, another poster goes ahead and provides a proof of my claim. The person who asked me for proof responds to that poster with a ancedote as refutation and doesn't address the proof at all.
In another thread I made some claims that anyone familiar with the subject matter being covered wouldn't require support for. The claims that I was making were very basic facts well understood by anyone familiar with the subject matter. A poster gave me friendly advice that I can't be taken seriously if I don't provide proof of my assertions (presumably that person was not familiar with the subject matter).
Elsewhere I have noticed that there are certain persons who will request support for pretty much anything that disagrees with the position they have taken in a debate no matter how basic the claim made is. They appear to be trying to wear their debate opponent down by forcing them to spend hours each day with google rather than doing *any* honest evaluation of the arguments themselves.
So, my question for you all is this: When is it necessary to provide proof for an assertion and when it is not?
If I say that 2+2=4 do I need to provide a link to an elementary math book or can I just assert it?
|30th December 2004, 03:12 PM||#2|
Join Date: Jan 2004
There is nothing in the forum rules demanding that anyone respond to such requests.
The forum is fairly open, and the internet has its share of trolls, historical revisionists, serial debaters and so on, who will demand evidence as a tactic (including demanding evidence of moon landings, evidence of the Holocaust, evidence that it was actually they who just posted what they posted, etc.).
Other posters will deny that you have met the burden of providing evidence, no matter what you post (also as a tactic).
And of course the demand that you prove something that you never intended to assert with your statements.
What makes it incumbent on anyone to waste their time and resources when the request is patently a tactical device?
If someone sincerely wants the information, there is usually nothing stopping them from doing some research for themselves, or from asking you for more information in a way likely to induce a positive response.
If you really want to try to impart factual information to people who refuse to be taught, there are places that will actually pay you to do that...like public schools.