Proving a negative made easy

1. Disproving a negative made easy... There are no married bachelors. 2. Muslims believe in Jesus.


    This is in response to the article, "Can you prove that God doesn't exist?"

    People like you are why we have extremely long-winded legal documents. I hope you feel proud of yourself! The most frequent adjustments made to these articles is adding in clarifications so try to avoid people dismissing the entirety of what's said based on pedantry.

    ... that is, if those clarifications are even read.

    Here's the first sentence of the article:

    No, one cannot prove a negative

    No, wait, sorry.. here's the first sentence of the article,

    No, one cannot prove a negative, unless the parameters are very narrow and can be fully investigated - however this is not relevant.

    So let's look at the two examples.

    There are no married bachelors.

    This easily falls under "unless the parameters are very narrow and can be fully investigated", but Id' argue it isn't even that. This isn't even a claim. It's an oxymoron. Did you miss the part where this entire article is about negative ... claims? You'll find that in sentence #2. 

    Given that you didn't make it through sentence #1, let alone to sentence #2, you probably didn't make it to the contextualization of this discussion, over on the "Can you prove that love exists?" article,

    First, we need to clarify what it means to "prove" something. Science doesn't prove anything to an absolute degree - that's not possible outside of mathematics. Instead, "proving" something translates into "demonstration beyond a reasonable doubt", as long as we're open to revision down the road.

    We're talking about empiricism, not placing two words next to each other that contradict each other. But that's fine - I can't have each person who visits the site study a 10-page primer before every article. 

    So #1 isn't even in the same category as to what the article is addressing.

    What about #2?

    Muslims believe in Jesus.

    This is not a negative claim. This is a positive claim. The negative-claim version of this might be "No Muslims believe in Jesus", which couldn't be "proved" unless it's so narrowly defined and scoped, as to meet the "unless the parameters are very narrow and can be fully investigated" threshold.

    Do you understand the difference between: "No standard-manifesting standard cat exists inside this specific box" and "No cats exist"? One of these can be shown to be true. The other cannot.


    So about the most I can get out of this feedback, is that the first half of the first sentence needs the word "claim".