Prove me wrong or prove me right

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posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 05:58 PM
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The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines proof as:

the cogency of evidence that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact

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or

the process or an instance of establishing the validity of a statement especially by derivation from other statements in accordance with principles of reasoning

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or

something that induces certainty or establishes validity

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Why do I care? Because that means that proof is in the mind of the skeptic.

In other words, it is impossible to prove something to me that I do not accept as fact. All of the evidence can point to a conclusion you want me to accept, but the subject is still not proven until I, as skeptic, state it is.

For example, take one one of my pet subjects, the dangers of smoking. A non-smoker can tell me all day long that smoking will kill me. They have not proven their point until I accept their premise that smoking is dangerous. They can tell me about tests that have been done, and I can find flaws with the tests. They can tell me how many doctors agree on the subject and I can dismiss the doctors' statements as opinion. In short, no one can force their proof upon anyone else.

In this forum (ATS as a whole), I see posts every day that contain the word 'proof'. "I have proof of ____", "I can prove _____", "Here's proof that ____". They have evidence, not proof, because proof cannot exist without skeptics being convinced.

I realize that common usage of 'proof' tends to include 'evidence'. But in reality, proof is still in the eyes of the skeptic. I want to know what everyone here thinks about this, and this forum seems to me to be tailor-made for this discussion. What could not be proven to you? What would you consider good, reliable evidence to prove something to you? Or what can you not be convinced of, regardless of evidence, and therefore cannot be proven?

And, perhaps more importantly, when should we as society force acceptance of a concept upon those who have not yet accepted our proof?

TheRedneck


[edit on 19-6-2008 by TheRedneck]




posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 06:19 PM
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very well spoken and very true. if i were owner of a site such as this one, i would make this a "sticky thread" for sure.



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 06:20 PM
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Your argument rests on the acceptance that reality is entirely perception. However, you are overlooking the fact that perception is shared at times. We choose to do so.

Absolute proof of something is possible.

For example, I have proof that I typed this post. It exists.

Note I am not saying I have proof of the identity of the person who posted it just that it was posted. There is a record of it which is objective.

There is proof that smoking CAN cause cancer. That is not the same as saying there is proof that smoking is dangerous for you. So, you are wrong to say there is no proof that smoking can cause cancer simply because you think it is not dangerous for you.

See the difference?

[edit on 19-6-2008 by Marsrising]



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 06:27 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck


Why do I care? Because that means that proof is in the mind of the skeptic.

In other words, it is impossible to prove something to me that I do not accept as fact. All of the evidence can point to a conclusion you want me to accept, but the subject is still not proven until I, as skeptic, state it is.


This is something that people can relate to on a daily basis, I believe. For example, living in Louisiana people are constantly after me to try mud bugs, aka crawfish. People rave about how tasty the little buggers are in all kinds of dishes. I for the life of me cannot believe that something like that can be delicious when I used to catch them up north and keep them as pets. Do I believe other people when they say they taste good? No way. I will never know until I actually try one I suppose.

For another example, who here has ever experienced a broken heart from a failed relationship? As much as you try to describe to somebody how bad it hurts, people will never understand and will be a skeptic to your woes until they actually experience something like that for themselves.


For example, take one one of my pet subjects, the dangers of smoking. A non-smoker can tell me all day long that smoking will kill me. They have not proven their point until I accept their premise that smoking is dangerous. They can tell me about tests that have been done, and I can find flaws with the tests. They can tell me how many doctors agree on the subject and I can dismiss the doctors' statements as opinion. In short, no one can force their proof upon anyone else.


I know how near and dear this subject is to you. I can only say that I hope you never get proof positive of what people try to warn you about. This is something that you will, in your case have to experience for yourself, I believe.


What could not be proven to you?


That crawfish taste good.


What would you consider good, reliable evidence to prove something to you? Or what can you not be convinced of, regardless of evidence, and therefore cannot be proven?


Evidence would be in my trying them for myself, but I don't see that happening..so it will never be proven one way or another.


And, perhaps more importantly, when should we as society force acceptance of a concept upon those who have not yet accepted our proof?


I would never force anybody to eat crawfish.



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 06:32 PM
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reply to post by Marsrising
 


your post reminds me very much of the topic of "E-Prime". it is a subset of the english language that removes all forms of the verb "to be". in other words, you cannot say that a thing IS or IS NOT such and such.

it is a scientifically valid way of looking at things and clears up many problems in the way of Proof.

an example:


lA. The electron is a wave.
lB. The electron appears as a wave when measured with instrument-l.
2A. The electron is a particle.
2B. The electron appears as a particle when measured with instrument-2.
3A. John is lethargic and unhappy.
3B. John appears lethargic and unhappy in the office.


more about e-prime



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneckIn this forum (ATS as a whole), I see posts every day that contain the word 'proof'. "I have proof of ____", "I can prove _____", "Here's proof that ____". They have evidence, not proof, because proof cannot exist without skeptics being convinced.

I realize that common usage of 'proof' tends to include 'evidence'. But in reality, proof is still in the eyes of the skeptic. I want to know what everyone here thinks about this, and this forum seems to me to be tailor-made for this discussion.


I agree with you completely. I see many of the same types of posts, and many of them cannot seem to even provide evidence, much less proof of their claims.


Originally posted by TheRedneckWhat could not be proven to you?


Here's a few things that nobody has been able to prove to me:
George Bush is not functionally retarded.
The Phoenix Lander never went to Mars.
The Masons are just a bunch of harmless retirees who do fundraisers for charity.


Originally posted by TheRedneckWhat would you consider good, reliable evidence to prove something to you?


Scientific data that has been tested and verified by several different independent sources.
Photographic/video evidence that has been vetted and verified by experts.
Eyewitness accounts from multiple independent witnesses of good standing.
An actual physical manifestation of the Lord God in all his glory appearing in public to declare that something is real.
Possibly some other things as well, but I'd have to evaluate their value and validity on a case-by-case basis.


Originally posted by TheRedneckOr what can you not be convinced of, regardless of evidence, and therefore cannot be proven?


Here's a selection of my favorites:
Dick Cheney is not evil.
The government has our best interests at heart.
John McCain is the best choice for the next POTUS.


Originally posted by TheRedneckAnd, perhaps more importantly, when should we as society force acceptance of a concept upon those who have not yet accepted our proof?


I don't think we ever should. I don't think anyone should ever be refused the right to question, even when it makes them look crazy.



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 01:17 PM
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reply to post by PsychoHazard
LMAO @ you and EntralledFan!

BTW, I am just curious as to exactly what POTUS stands for... You mentioned McCain, so I'm guessing Politically Obsessed Tyrant of the United States?

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 



Well TheRedneck everything comes from deductions of personal opinions after accepting or disagreeing with what called experts bring as facts.

Facts that comes from studies, that shows statistics and have evidence.

But as usual opinions are like butt holes everybody have one and what they do with them is their personal choice.

That is why you can state your opinion with what you consider facts and evidence but you can not force others to accept it.

And that is one of the problems you see in ATS, when some wants others to accept what they are offering as prof.

Many people do not understand that if we humans were of a collective mind life will be very boring and debates will be none existent.


Great topic


[edit on 20-6-2008 by marg6043]



posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 01:32 PM
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Glad to see that humor is alive and well in this forum!


Seriously though, I have to agree with Marsrising, that all things presented to frame an argument can only be viewed as a matter of perspective. What one individual may regard as a truth, may be seen by another as a fallacy.



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 02:04 PM
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Life - a game of advertising for different views. Myself, Im not that keen on convincing others of anything - its exhausting and rarely yields results. All I can do is offer a way to see things. Vice-versa (what could not be proven to me?) I wont listen to anyone who tries to push their views on me. But set in the right tone someone could probably convince me of anything.

Please continue the topic you started here.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Generally there is no proof of anything. Even scientific laws can tend to be the facts mis interpreted. Science is overturned and rewritten daily as new facts become available. Most people generally take the witness of several people of sound mind and good history to be fact. Lets go back to the illusion show though. A tiger appears from nowhere. This is fact witnessed by many. The show is advertised as illusion and we blindly accept this as fact. Magic tricks are just that. everyone knows that. But, and here is the but part, what if the magician was sourcing the entire crowd for energy to actually do half or even part of the illusions for real? I always assumed there was a clever trick or mechanical means behind everything, but in some cases, and I can elaborate offline there is not. In those cases reality is packaged and sold as illusion.......

Think on that for a bit.

A car runs on gas.
A car may move uphill on gas.
A car may move downhill with no gas.
A car may move without gas.



posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 01:31 AM
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haha cute. some proofs are irrefutable, and some proofs are intuitive, mostly proof should be used for mathematics when discussing closed axiom theorems.

I am in agreement with Skyfloating when they say that in every day life proof is very much subject to the person doing the proving and the person being proved to.

Using this logic though- let's say I don't accept your definitions of proof AND I don't accept that proof itself subjective. How can you prove to me proof is subjective when you just said proof is subjective? My contarianism towards proof becomes a proof of proof in itself. And that's a nice proof in itself.





posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 09:02 PM
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"I think, therefore I am" I know this to be a fact but I cant prove it



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 03:13 PM
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I think somebody is inter-changing and mixing "proof" with "opinion" and "fact". "Do you believe in gravity?" is an invalid question and not a belief, for example. I can believe in gravity as much as I can believe that I can fly like superman. But the fact is that I cannot fly like superman. I can provide "proof" of that by jumping off a building and free-falling to my death as a result of the 9.8m/s^2 pull of one G the earth has on me.

When somebody states facts they are not providing "proof". The proof itself would be to confirm or deny the fact claimed. All facts must have standards. There are scientific facts (like the laws of physics, as it applies in our space), "well-known" facts (e.g., war leads to casualties), and the plain old logical fact (|1| < |2|).

As for society itself, she doesn't need proof. She simply needs to feel right about it. One society's proof is another society's joke. I feel it's difficult to provide explicit examples of this without offending somebody, so I'll pass on that.

[edit on 10-7-2008 by Lucidliving]

[edit on 10-7-2008 by Lucidliving]



posted on Jul, 10 2008 @ 04:08 PM
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Redneck, IMO, what you say is true. There is no way to prove anything at all. Charismatic people may get many to believe what he/she is saying and then find more and more evidence and this is considered proof, but there may be many from, say, another culture or who have had a different upbringing or who was raised in a different social structure who would call it nonsense.
Truth and/or belief is in the mind of the believer.





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