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Debate Info

11
16
No. Yes.
Debate Score:27
Arguments:24
Total Votes:28
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 No. (9)
 
 Yes. (11)

Debate Creator

SitaraMusica(536) pic



Can you prove a negative?

I always thought that the burden of proof is on the one making the positive claim.

No.

Side Score: 11
VS.

Yes.

Side Score: 16
Atrag(5556) Banned
1 point

Exactly.

If I say things like:

"createdebate.com does not exist"

"the world is not round"

"God is not false"

"I did not post this argument"

"men are not equal to woman"

"a feotus is not a human being"

"Sitara does not want this site to be shut down"

I don't have a burden of proof for any of them and we all have to assume they are true unless someone can prove me wrong because I used the word 'not'. It is like a magic trick to win any debate.

Side: No.
1 point

Lets say:

I believe in unicorn

I believe in flying dutchmen

I believe in aliens

I believe in vampire

Now, you'd probably say, "if you think they're real,prove it!"

I'll say "Well you cant prove that unicorn,flying dutchmen,aliens and vampire dont exist,therefore they DO exist"

Ridiculous right? So no, u cant prove a negative

Side: No.
3 points

Burden of proof is a silly argument to have. Everyone stating anything should be stating it with proof, no matter where their starting point is.

As for proving a negative, it is only possible if a positive is known. For instance I can prove that the sky is not brown, because it is known that the sky is blue.

What this debate is referencing, proving or disproving God, has one flaw from making that argument valid. An atheists can not prove that God does not exist, because no proof exists that he does exist either. In other words, their is no positive to disprove the negative and vice versa.

I'll go on to say, the argument "you can't prove he isn't real" is a silly one in my opinion, because for one those saying it can't prove he is real, for two the evidence we have of what they used to use as proof, we are steadily disproving more and more as the days go by. To put that simply we are proving some negatives, in disproving the false positives they put forth.

In conclusion in reference to the debate's source topic, we can't and probably will never disprove God as a whole, but any time any information is presented, we will prove what that information actually means. If it points to God, then fine, if it does not then that is also fine.

Side: Yes.
StickinStone(649) Clarified
2 points

Everyone stating anything should be stating it with proof, no matter where their starting point is

Can you prove that?

Bad joke. Good job.

Side: No.

Agrees. I said that atheism is not a religion, and someone assumed that I had the burden of proof. I thought the burden of proof is on the one making a positive claim. Good job in being logical. :)

Side: Yes.
1 point

Of course you can prove a negative. For example. I am sitting on a chair right now. Therefore I have proved that it is not the case that I am not sitting in a chair.

To say that you can't prove a negative is mainstream pseudo-logic. Actually, the statement you can't prove a negative, is in and of itself a negative, so if you could prove it you would automatically have proven yourself wrong.

The problem I think that's being hinted isn't that you can't prove a negative, but that inductive proofs aren't certain. For instance, all life we know of is carbon based, therefore if we were to discover a new life form, it will probably be carbon based. This is an inductive proof. It's the same with proving that God doesn't exist. An anti-theist would say that there's no evidence for the existence of God, therefore we are likely never to find evidence for the existence of God. (This is the induction part). If God existed, he would leave evidence of his existence. (This is a commonly used premise). Therefore God probably does not exist.

Side: Yes.
1 point

I disagree. You are splitting hairs and twisting facts. How do you prove a negative?

Side: No.
Nebeling(1118) Disputed
3 points

I have already given my answer. Read my answer again, and if you still disagree with me then ask a better question.

Side: Yes.
1 point

Can you prove a negative when proving an apposing positive is not an option?

Side: No.
1 point

Maybe this?

"I am sitting on something that isn't a chair, therefore I am not sitting in a chair."

I am not sure this meets the requirements you asked for.

Side: No.
1 point

Can I prove (convince one or more people) that something is not the case? Of course I can.

Side: Yes.
2 points

You need to back up your claims with proof. Prove that you can prove a negative.

Side: No.
atypican(4874) Disputed
2 points

I do not have three noses on my face. As proof I submit my profile pic.

Side: Yes.
1 point

When you say "convince one or more people", do you count yourself? That would mean that all opinions are proved.

And if it only takes one other person and you are successful, but 3 disagree, is it proved?

If what you are trying to prove is self evident and undeniable to logic, but you are on a deserted island with no one to prove it to, is it proved?

Side: No.
atypican(4874) Disputed
1 point

When you say "convince one or more people", do you count yourself?

A statement can be proven to someone else that hasn't been proven to me, so not necessarily

That would mean that all opinions are proved.

One doesn't hold an opinion unless something has been proven to them.

And if it only takes one other person and you are successful, but 3 disagree, is it proved?

Not as thoroughly as if they were all convinced

If what you are trying to prove is self evident and undeniable to logic, but you are on a deserted island with no one to prove it to, is it proved?

It doesn't make sense to try to prove something to someone when in complete isolation. If I regard something as self-evident I suppose it's reasonable to say that through internal reasoning, I have proved it to myself

Side: Yes.
1 point

Some negatives can be proven. But, not all negatives can, so it isn't a valid argument to say that the negative needs to be proven.

Side: Yes.
1 point

Yes:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No S is P

All P is M

Ergo, No S is M

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let's flesh it out:

S = Ducks

P = Bananas

M = Fruit

No Ducks are Bananas

All Bananas are Fruits

Ergo, No Ducks are Fruit

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Side: Yes.