Offline supaluminus

  • *
  • Posts: 122
  • Hi. I'm supe.
    • View Profile
Appeal to a lack of contrary evidence
« on: February 07, 2018, 07:47:08 PM »
Consider the following:

"We cannot know how much we do not know, therefore we cannot truly know anything."

Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why/why not?

Another way to look at this is through the classic "brain-in-a-jar" existential Descartes du jour; "you can't prove that you're not a brain in a jar being fed sensory information, therefore you can't prove that you know anything true and real."

How far do you stray from "I think, therefore I am?" Or, do you not even go that far?

I see the appeal to ignorance, or argument from ignorance, crop up a lot in the flat earth circles I dwell most often (not including this forum). I wanted to gauge where everyone stands on this philosophical question.
When an honest man discovers that he is mistaken, either he will cease being mistaken...

... or he will cease being honest.

 - a loyal slave to reason and doubt


Re: Appeal to a lack of contrary evidence
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 04:21:04 AM »
I think that that assertion is a load of crap.

While, to the best of our understanding, nature is a probabilistic system, we can definitely assign >99.999999999999% probabilities to many events, which is good enough to "know" that they will happen. So the whole discussion is a waste of time and meaningless, just like you don't think of Kim Jong Un personally coming into your house and suffocating you in a wrestling match or you winning the lottery 5 times in a row.

I know with >99% probability that the Earth is round, that 2+2 = 4, that space is mostly straight, etc... Appeal to ignorance is fallacious.


Offline Ghost Spaghetti

  • *
  • Posts: 908
  • Don't look in that mirror. It's absolutely furious
    • View Profile
Re: Appeal to a lack of contrary evidence
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 03:26:17 PM »
Hard solipsism isn't useful. We might not have any evidence that we're not brains-in-a-jar, but assuming that we are does not have any useful benefit in terms of helping us navigate the world.


Offline Lord Dave

  • *
  • Posts: 6620
  • Grumpy old man.
    • View Profile
Re: Appeal to a lack of contrary evidence
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 03:39:06 PM »
Even if we were brains in a jar connected to a VR system of a fictional universe.... it's still our universe.  It's our reality.

Maybe we can only see the shadows on the wall, but since we have no way of seeing beyond the shadows, the shadows are our reality.  So it is our truth, even if there is more truth out there.
If you are going to DebOOonK an expert then you have to at least provide a source with credentials of equal or greater relevance. Even then, it merely shows that some experts disagree with each other.