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"You cannot prove a negative" Answered

It's commonly held that negative statements cannot be proven. The absence of something cannot be proven, and absence of evidence is not proof of absence.

For example, some people claim that NASA did not land men on the moon. NASA can offer proof that they did, which may be disputed, but it cannot be proven that they did not.

However, the statement "You cannot prove a negative" is also negative, and if it holds true it cannot be proven either.

Point: Taking this position doesn't amount to very much.

L

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user
ich bin ein pyro (author)2007-05-30

YES IT CAN! teacher says "prove this chair doesnt exist" i say "what chair?"

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lemonie (author)ich bin ein pyro2007-05-30

That's not proof. You're effectivly asking teacher to prove that it does.
Anyhow, I'm pointing out that the statement is unproven, I make no claims for it to be true.

L

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Punkguyta (author)2007-05-17

For heaven sakes, I'm not insane! My family seems to have reversed logic. I've tried to explain this very thing to my parents over certain situations where this applies and they might as well be brain dead.

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Punkguyta (author)Punkguyta2007-05-17

By the way, this is why Vulcans are better than humans! Lok Matgar!

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LasVegas (author)Punkguyta2007-05-18

Actually, this is a good example of a negitive that has been proven. It was once thought that a planet existed between Mercury and the Sun. That would explain why the orbit of Mercury seemed to deform as it circled the Sun. This planet had the name, "Vulcan." It wasn't until Einstein's theories proved that the Sun's gravity was bending light and distorting Mercury's appearance that Vulcan was proved to not exist.

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Punkguyta (author)LasVegas2007-05-18

Very interesting, it has nothing to do with vulcans though.

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lemonie (author)Punkguyta2007-05-17

Parents are often 'odd', but also fun. My dad was complaining that he lost two black shirts, looked everywhere, mystfied, 'gremlins; etc. Turned out they were in the wash-basket, but he hadn't thought of looking there. "There must have been 2 or 3 loads gone through the machine" - "Do you separate colours?"...

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Punkguyta (author)lemonie2007-05-18

Somehow my father keeps getting my clothes, ah but I never get any of my clothes or his. Rather odd. We seperate black/dark clothing from white and that's about it. A little F.F (Fun fact), I though the mold situation in my bathroom was cringing, a look behind my washing machine would piss any handyman off. The "carpenters" that we hired last year installed old taps for the washing machine. The old taps leaked, long story short, everything is a big solid white mass that will most likely have to be angle grinded apart this summer when we go to move it. Another thing my father neglected.

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VIRON (author)2007-05-12

Photographers have proof sheets of many negatives. :)

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lemonie (author)VIRON2007-05-12

Thanks for the comment. I'll remember that one! L

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