How about disproof rather than proof?

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posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 09:02 PM
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When it comes to the existence of aliens, UFO's, ghosts, psionic abilities and other non-mainstream ideas, everyone is always after proof that these things are real. Due to the subjective nature of much of these topics and the fact that they do not conform to mainstream ideas, even when proof is provided it is often ignored or ridiculed. Rather than a requirement to prove that these things exist to the non-believer, how about proving that they don't?

[edit on 14/2/06 by mytym]




posted on Feb, 14 2006 @ 09:11 PM
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You cant prove a negative.



Non-fallacious ways to prove something include the use of logical syllogisms and/or the incorporation of empirical observations. But it is not logical to argue that something exists simply because there is no proof to the contrary; one cannot say, "No one has proven that aliens do not exist. Therefore, based on that alone, they must exist, notwithstanding that I have no evidence that they do exist". Given (as it is above) that it was not proven that aliens do not exist, they might exist, but this alone does not prove them to exist.

Another common example is that, "A supernatural force must exist because there is no proof that it does not exist". However, the converse is also true, according to the Argument from Ignorance: One also cannot say that, "I have not seen proof that something supernatural exists, therefore a supernatural force cannot exist". Also, similar to the aliens in the above example, since no proof is available that this does not exist, it might exist, but this alone does not prove it to exist.

en.wikipedia.org...

Hope that helps..

[edit on 2/14/2006 by QuietSoul]



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 02:20 AM
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Thanks for your input and research, but it doesn't prove that they don't either.



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 10:35 AM
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Originally posted by mytym
Thanks for your input and research, but it doesn't prove that they don't either.


What QuietSoul was saying is that you CAN'T prove that aliens don't exist. Same with most things. You can't prove a negative.

Let's say you want to prove that aliens DON'T exist. So, you somehow have the technology to search the entire galaxy with microscopic tools and you don't find any aliens or any evidence of any aliens. Does that prove they don't exist? No, because they could be beyond the galaxy. They could be moving around.

The only way you can prove that they don't exist is to somehow do an extensive search of the entire universe (which we don't even fully understand, much less have the ability to search). And for now, anyway, that's impossible.

Asking to prove aliens don't exist is like asking to prove angels don't exist. You might be able to prove they do, but you can't prove they don't.

The burden of proof lies with those who make the claim that something exists. That can be proven. By a body, a ship, a picture, technology...

We don't have any proof that pink elephants don't exist. Should we just assume they do and ask that people prove they don't? The burden of proof lies with the person claiming that they do.



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 11:01 AM
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It's gunna be many moons from now till we, or if we ever discover other intelligent being's in this galaxy. I'm sure other life, possibly intelligent life does exist, but we just don't know for sure yet.

Psionic abilities are abit funny ... Any stage magician can perform the same trick's. But when it come's down to being tested in a controlled scientific labratory, those who claimed to have psionic abilities either could perform due to 'preassure' or were found to be fake's.

Every supernatural claim, when it come's down to being studied by science, it's always failed ... There's a reason for that. It doesn't exist.



posted on Feb, 15 2006 @ 01:56 PM
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Not to mention the fact that the burden of proof is on those who are trying to prove something exists. Those who say it doesnt dont have to prove a thing. Its how our court system works, and its why the Prosecution has such a tough job. All the defense has to do is to cast doubt that whoever tehy are representing did the crime and they go free. Sorry to get a bit off topic, but its the best analogy I could come up with.



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 02:05 AM
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Some very valid points have been made here, however I have a number of questions:

1. How does one distinguish a negative from a positive?

2. A statement like, "We will never be visited by aliens", can never be proven to true, agreed, so it is incorrect to say such a thing. Why is there a double standard that requires proof that aliens have visited us, but no requirement to prove that they won't?

3. If a believer has experienced something "paranormal", then to that person it is proof, thus the non-believer should have to disprove the believers comments, not require more proof. How many people need to be shown proof before it is sufficient?

I suppose my point is, that we should not assume that these things aren't real, (including pink elephants), until they are proven as such. There is no place for absolute comments that are not based on fact.

[edit on 16/2/06 by mytym]



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 05:57 AM
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To answer your question's...

1) I'll repost the wikipedia link that QuietSoul posted ... think you missed it
en.wikipedia.org...

2)How can one prove they won't visit us? We're not mind reader's of alien intention's
But when someone say's I've been visited by alien's, of course we'd like proof this is true, wouldn't you?

3)In the case of supernatural thing's ... Say ghost's. There's a show on scifi TAPS I think. People claim they're house is haunted and these guy's go in, set up a crap load of equipment and most the time, turn's out is was something rather mundane and not a "ghost". Might seem like "proof" to the experiencer, but really it's just a mental aspect and not an actual event.

Your point is rather ... silly? When someone claim's something's, people usually do try and see if the claim is true. They don't actually go out and try to "disprove" it right off the bat. It's due to checking out the claim that actually disprove's the claim.

As many people said ... You claim a pink elephant is real, then the burden of proof lies on you, not anyone else.



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by mytym
1. How does one distinguish a negative from a positive?


IN MOST CASES:

A negative contains a negative word (don't, not, etc) and indicates the absence of something.
Examples:
Aliens DON'T exist.
She did NOT graduate

A positive does not contain those words and indicates the presence of something.
Examples:
Aliens exist. (proof required: pictures, ship, etc)
She graduated (proof required: graduation certificate)



2. A statement like, "We will never be visited by aliens", can never be proven to true, agreed, so it is incorrect to say such a thing. Why is there a double standard that requires proof that aliens have visited us, but no requirement to prove that they won't?


This example not only cantains a negative, it attempts to predict the future. To make it fit this model, you must remove that factor.

"We have never been visited by aliens." That ALSO cannot be proven. It's a negative. How can one prove that they haven't been here?
"We have been visited by aliens" on the other hand, CAN be proven. If it's true. We can prove this with pictures or or other proof.



3. If a believer has experienced something "paranormal", then to that person it is proof, thus the non-believer should have to disprove the believers comments, not require more proof.


If you wish other people to believe it, then you must show proof. Not just have proof in your head. No one is obligated to believe what you say.



I suppose my point is, that we should not assume that these things aren't real, (including pink elephants), until they are proven as such.


That can work as a personal belief, but in scientific terms or logical thought or critical thinking, it doesn't work.



There is no place for absolute comments that are not based on fact.


Like "aliens exist"?

Just so you know, I believe they DO exist even though I've never seen proof. I believe in possibilities and probabilities. But there's a big difference in believing something and proving that it's true.

Proof requires evidence. That's all there is to it. Nobody is required to prove that something doesn't exist just because you say it does. You can believe, but until you can prove it, all you have is your opinion.



[edit on 16-2-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 02:19 PM
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Hmmm...you make a lot of sense. I see your point. This seemed like such a good topic when I posted it, too.

Just one thing. The statement "Aliens exist" is only an absolute comment that isn't based on fact, if the person making it has not witnessed Aliens.

Anyhow, thanks for your input. Much appreciated.



posted on Feb, 16 2006 @ 02:27 PM
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You see, this is how the church gets away with fleecing the people!

"Well you can't disprove that God came down and pissed on the planet making the oceans and lakes and rivers so it must be true! You can't disprove that dinosaur fossils were planted by !SATAN! to test the believers so it must be true!"

It isn't, it's BS, but hey, one would think the church would be more worried about all the nuns they rape, and little boys they rape, and...

And before anyone jumps on me for what I said, here are links...

Pregnant Nuns in Africa(Used that term in Google)
WASHINGTON - As U. S. Catholic priests returned from the Vatican in Rome recently to discuss the problem of sexual abuse of children by priests, little attention is being paid to reports of sexual exploitation of nuns in Africa by the church's clergy.
www.sacobserver.com...

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican (news - web sites) acknowledged
Tuesday a damning report that some priests and missionaries were forcing
nuns to have sex with them, and were in some cases committing rape and
forcing the victims to have abortions.
members.tripod.com...

VATICAN ADMITS
PRIESTS RAPED NUNS,
FORCED ABORTIONS
mikeblume.com...

More...
www.natcath.com...
www.calltoaccountability.org...
www.priestsofdarkness.com...

And cover up of little boy raping
www.denverpost.com...
www.boston.com...
www.snapnetwork.org...
www.rickross.com...
www.boston.com...
www.toledotalk.com...
www.azcentral.com...



posted on Apr, 18 2006 @ 06:45 AM
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I suppose the point I was really trying to make with this thread was that, whilst a good proportion of us here believe in things such as the paranormal and aliens, we don't seem to be willing to accept any personal accounts of experience with these areas without first requiring proof.





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