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Author Topic: How to run an Anarchy  (Read 15829 times)
vector76
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June 29, 2011, 01:33:35 AM
 #141

I meant to imply that it was contingent on impossible conditions.  And it's not just due process but the entire legal system that is contingent on impossible conditions.

I am interested in knowing where you think things are different, so you can tell me which of these you disagree with, (or the logical step from one to another).

1. Assumption: any person or group can call themselves a 'court' and make decisions.  There exist a diversity of courts and a diversity of interpretations of law.
2. There is no way to determine which court will have jurisdiction, as parties will seek courts that agree with their interpretation.  If any person can be a court unto themselves, he can refuse the jurisdiction of any court other than himself.
3. The ability to pick and choose courts also means the ability to pick and choose interpretations of words.
4. Law that can be reinterpreted to mean what you want them to mean is the same as no law at all.
5. If we are not subject to lawful force, we will be subject to unlawful force.  And this is the difference between having due process and not.


Due process is never a certainty.  Even when it is specified by law in a predominantly lawful system, there can be lapses and it must be guarded vigilantly.  I think distrust is a very healthy thing.  I'm not white, but you are generally right that people trust the system way more than they should.  But ultimately I don't think it's about whether it deserves trust, I think it's about whether there is an alternative that's better.  And I don't mean an alternative to our current system, I mean an alternative to a lawful system.
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June 29, 2011, 02:44:45 AM
 #142

3. The ability to pick and choose courts also means the ability to pick and choose interpretations of words.
4. Law that can be reinterpreted to mean what you want them to mean is the same as no law at all.
5. If we are not subject to lawful force, we will be subject to unlawful force.  And this is the difference between having due process and not.

Had me right up to here. Last time I checked, Merriam Webster defined words, not the courts.

As for 'Lawful force', what does that even mean? How does writing down "i can kill you" make it so?

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June 29, 2011, 04:29:03 AM
 #143

I meant to imply that it was contingent on impossible conditions.  And it's not just due process but the entire legal system that is contingent on impossible conditions.

I am interested in knowing where you think things are different, so you can tell me which of these you disagree with, (or the logical step from one to another).

1. Assumption: any person or group can call themselves a 'court' and make decisions.  There exist a diversity of courts and a diversity of interpretations of law.
2. There is no way to determine which court will have jurisdiction, as parties will seek courts that agree with their interpretation.  If any person can be a court unto themselves, he can refuse the jurisdiction of any court other than himself.
3. The ability to pick and choose courts also means the ability to pick and choose interpretations of words.
4. Law that can be reinterpreted to mean what you want them to mean is the same as no law at all.
5. If we are not subject to lawful force, we will be subject to unlawful force.  And this is the difference between having due process and not.


First, let me state that I actually agree with your position that a complete anarchy is impossible for reasons similar to your line of thought above.  Which is why I'm a lib and not an anarchist.

That said, that above statements have an unstated assumption.  Namely that there isn't such a thing as a natural or common body of law.  Thus, although #1 is true on it's face, it's not likely in practice.  Mediation is just another service, and people will seek out those who have a history dealing with this topic.  More likely, contract level disputes will already have a named court system to act as an arbitraitor, similar to the merchant courts of the last several centuries and the International Business Court of London.  Neither had any government backing, but their decisions are binding because businesses specificly refer to them as the court in juristiction in contracts.

#2 then falls flat, in most cases, because not only would most explicit contracts have a named court (and if that court is suspected of bias or corruption, a competing arbitraitor will take their business) but there will settle to be local arbitraitors to settle civil disputes among locals that didn't have such a contract.

#3 does not follow, because the meaning of words are not relevant in a natural law/common body of law court.  If the court tries to start making crap up that doesn't fit the public's understanding of the common law, they will start losing business.

And therefor #4 fails.

But I honestly don't know how to respond to #5, because just because a court makes a decision, doesn't make force lawful.  And words on paper and declared law by a group of rich men, democraticly elected or not, doesn't make force lawful either.  If you want to get technical, those aren't laws, they are statutes.  And if pressed, even they will make that distinction.  The term "the Law" used to have a very specific meaning in former colonies of the British Empire, and referred to the body of law that we now call British Common Law.  I live in a commonwealth state, that explicitly refers back to British Common Law as it's default body of law.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 29, 2011, 12:11:45 PM
 #144

To be honest, for premeditated murder, and serial/mass murder, I'd probably give the killer to the deceased's next of kin, and turn my back.

That's fair. Ideally, if A kills B then we would put B's dead body in one chamber of a machine and A's live body in the other chamber of the machine and transfer A's life to B. Since we don't have a machine like that, the next best thing is to give A's life to B's heirs and they can do whatever they want with it, including public execution.

The blood thirst here is scary. How does another murder help anything? It just creates more victims. Even a murderer has family that cares about him/her. It might prevent more murders, although it's not the only way, and who knows if the person would ever kill again? And that's assuming that no mistake has been done finding the killer. What if you managed to find and kill an innocent, then what? Does another murder put that right?

If you steal my TV, you owe me a TV. If you steal my life, you a owe me a life. I'm not sure why that's so complicated. Does me taking a TV from you make it so that you never stole my TV in the first place? No, but it's as good as we can do. Does taking your life and giving it to my family make it so that you never stole my life in the first place? No, but it's as good as we can do. Nobody here is thirsting for blood so spare me the negative labels. Either you have some argument of merit or you're just appealing to emotions.
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June 29, 2011, 06:06:46 PM
 #145

If you steal my TV, you owe me a TV. If you steal my life, you a owe me a life. I'm not sure why that's so complicated. Does me taking a TV from you make it so that you never stole my TV in the first place? No, but it's as good as we can do. Does taking your life and giving it to my family make it so that you never stole my life in the first place? No, but it's as good as we can do. Nobody here is thirsting for blood so spare me the negative labels. Either you have some argument of merit or you're just appealing to emotions.

Please don't tell me you compared a TV to a life? You don't think there's a difference there?
Taking a life for a life is old testament stuff, and it's not as good as we can do. It's a horrible solution. The kind that blood feuds come from.
I think society has a right to protect itself, and removing people who are threats to others is something society should do. If information is perfect and only logic is applied then your solution makes a twisted kind of sense, since the most effective way of removing a threat is to do it permanently. However since information isn't perfect, and people aren't driven only by logic, your solution is a bad one. You have no idea of the guilt of someone, what caused the murder in the first place or what if any disease might have played a part in the act. You can make reasonable assumptions, but what if you're wrong? Another murder to set things straight again? And who should we murder if we managed to kill an innocent? Just the guy who executed him? The judge? The jury? They've all taken part in the murder.

Locking people up is the proper solution. It's not the best one but it's far better than running around murdering people.

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June 29, 2011, 06:24:49 PM
 #146

I meant to imply that it was contingent on impossible conditions.  And it's not just due process but the entire legal system that is contingent on impossible conditions.

I am interested in knowing where you think things are different, so you can tell me which of these you disagree with, (or the logical step from one to another).

1. Assumption: any person or group can call themselves a 'court' and make decisions.  There exist a diversity of courts and a diversity of interpretations of law.
2. There is no way to determine which court will have jurisdiction, as parties will seek courts that agree with their interpretation.  If any person can be a court unto themselves, he can refuse the jurisdiction of any court other than himself.
3. The ability to pick and choose courts also means the ability to pick and choose interpretations of words.
4. Law that can be reinterpreted to mean what you want them to mean is the same as no law at all.
5. If we are not subject to lawful force, we will be subject to unlawful force.  And this is the difference between having due process and not.


First, let me state that I actually agree with your position that a complete anarchy is impossible for reasons similar to your line of thought above.  Which is why I'm a lib and not an anarchist.

That said, that above statements have an unstated assumption.  Namely that there isn't such a thing as a natural or common body of law. 

And until you can prove the existence of this natural law, then that will remain a correct assumption.

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June 29, 2011, 07:54:26 PM
 #147

I meant to imply that it was contingent on impossible conditions.  And it's not just due process but the entire legal system that is contingent on impossible conditions.

I am interested in knowing where you think things are different, so you can tell me which of these you disagree with, (or the logical step from one to another).

1. Assumption: any person or group can call themselves a 'court' and make decisions.  There exist a diversity of courts and a diversity of interpretations of law.
2. There is no way to determine which court will have jurisdiction, as parties will seek courts that agree with their interpretation.  If any person can be a court unto themselves, he can refuse the jurisdiction of any court other than himself.
3. The ability to pick and choose courts also means the ability to pick and choose interpretations of words.
4. Law that can be reinterpreted to mean what you want them to mean is the same as no law at all.
5. If we are not subject to lawful force, we will be subject to unlawful force.  And this is the difference between having due process and not.


First, let me state that I actually agree with your position that a complete anarchy is impossible for reasons similar to your line of thought above.  Which is why I'm a lib and not an anarchist.

That said, that above statements have an unstated assumption.  Namely that there isn't such a thing as a natural or common body of law. 

And until you can prove the existence of this natural law, then that will remain a correct assumption.

No, it will remain an assumption.

Natural law can be demostrated from root premisi, but if you don't accept the core premises that I base it upon, then we cannot ever come together.  My root premises is that a man owns himself, and that no other man can lay a claim on his physical person or the fruits of his labors without a prior agreement to that effect from him.

If you disagree, then present your reasoning.  If you refuse to debate the underlying premesi then you are just a troll and need to drop this altogether.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 29, 2011, 07:56:28 PM
 #148

Had me right up to here. Last time I checked, Merriam Webster defined words, not the courts.

You should check again.  Courts are very much in the business of defining words.  I can point you to examples if you can't find any.

Quote from: myrkul
As for 'Lawful force', what does that even mean? How does writing down "i can kill you" make it so?
Lawful force is force that is constrained by previously written conditions, as contrasted with force that is applied by arbitrary whim.  You are correct in observing that lawful force is not the same as rightful force, unless the laws are right, which of course can not be assumed.

If the NAP were construed to be a law, then use of force consistent with NAP could be called lawful force.  So it's not really as foreign as you think.  The difference is that laws are generally much more specific and it is much less obvious whether they are just.  You can think of it as posting a sign that says "anyone caught stealing will be shot".

That said, that above statements have an unstated assumption.  Namely that there isn't such a thing as a natural or common body of law.  Thus, although #1 is true on it's face, it's not likely in practice.  Mediation is just another service, and people will seek out those who have a history dealing with this topic.  More likely, contract level disputes will already have a named court system to act as an arbitraitor, similar to the merchant courts of the last several centuries and the International Business Court of London.  Neither had any government backing, but their decisions are binding because businesses specificly refer to them as the court in juristiction in contracts.

#2 then falls flat, in most cases, because not only would most explicit contracts have a named court (and if that court is suspected of bias or corruption, a competing arbitraitor will take their business) but there will settle to be local arbitraitors to settle civil disputes among locals that didn't have such a contract.

#3 does not follow, because the meaning of words are not relevant in a natural law/common body of law court.  If the court tries to start making crap up that doesn't fit the public's understanding of the common law, they will start losing business.

And therefor #4 fails.

But I honestly don't know how to respond to #5, because just because a court makes a decision, doesn't make force lawful.  And words on paper and declared law by a group of rich men, democraticly elected or not, doesn't make force lawful either.  If you want to get technical, those aren't laws, they are statutes.  And if pressed, even they will make that distinction.  The term "the Law" used to have a very specific meaning in former colonies of the British Empire, and referred to the body of law that we now call British Common Law.  I live in a commonwealth state, that explicitly refers back to British Common Law as it's default body of law.

Thank you for this response.  These are some good points and I will have to think about this some more.  The distinction between natural law and man-made statues seems like an important one which I was conflating into the single term 'law'.

I would summarize your argument as saying that the relative interpretation of multiple courts is a matter of degree, and the complete abnegation of the prevailing opinion is not likely to happen or to succeed, even if it is theoretically possible.  And #4 requires extreme reinterpretation to go from diversity of opinion to lawlessness.

I can accept this as valid.

Today in the US, plaintiffs can and do 'shop' for courts by choosing to bring their suit in a state most likely to give them a favorable outcome.  I'm not sure if this is fair or not, but the differences are not so extreme or arbitrary.  As you said, if the courts start making crap up that doesn't fit the public's understanding of law, they will be accountable to their jurisdiction.  Currently it's geographical, but if it's subscription-oriented, it might work just as well, which is not that bad.


I perhaps have a disproportionate fear of subjectivity in legal interpretation in the extreme case.

The part that really worries me about diversity giving way to subjectivity is the possibility that a powerful party will be able to become a court unto themselves.  I don't see this as an everyday occurrence.  I am thinking of Bill Clinton's perjury defense of "it depends what 'is' is".  And Bush saying that abhorrent policies are legal because White House counsel believes it to be legal.  And Obama saying that bombing Libya is not 'hostilities'.  If it is already happening now, what happens if the gates are officially opened to this abuse?

I recognize these examples would not translate directly, because they are agents of the power structure itself who are injecting subjectivity for their own purposes.  A thinner, flatter collection of systems would not automatically lead to such power concentration.  But I would expect that some powerful parties will come to exist in an AnCap system, and I see nothing stopping them from abusing this extreme case.  In our current system, the offenders can at least theoretically be brought before a court they cannot weasel out of (even if nobody appears to have the will to do so).

So that's an additional part of the mind-frame behind my thinking.


And until you can prove the existence of this natural law, then that will remain a correct assumption.
It doesn't need to be proved because it is held to be self evident that we are endowed with certain inalienable rights.  Remember?
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June 29, 2011, 08:13:14 PM
 #149

It doesn't need to be proved because it is held to be self evident that we are endowed with certain inalienable rights.  Remember?

Except it isn't self-evident and the burdern of proof is on those making the claim for this natural law.  Provide a evidence and we'll debate from there.  I cannot prove a negative and your claims are not true by default.

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June 29, 2011, 08:43:54 PM
 #150

It doesn't need to be proved because it is held to be self evident that we are endowed with certain inalienable rights.  Remember?

Except it isn't self-evident and the burdern of proof is on those making the claim for this natural law.  Provide a evidence and we'll debate from there.  I cannot prove a negative and your claims are not true by default.

Then you don't accept the basic premise, then?  And choose not to present an argument as to why you don't accept the premise other than to lay the burden of proof upon myself.  Well, I can't prove it, that's why I stated it as a premise.  It's a given required in the further proof of natural laws of mankind. 

I'm going to give you one more chance to participate, and show that you are more than just a troll.  Present an argument that my basic premise is false.  You are not required to prove a negative, only to disprove a positive.

It's put up or shut up time, and should you fail again the shut up will be forced.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 29, 2011, 08:56:34 PM
 #151

Had me right up to here. Last time I checked, Merriam Webster defined words, not the courts.

You should check again.  Courts are very much in the business of defining words.  I can point you to examples if you can't find any.

Quote from: myrkul
As for 'Lawful force', what does that even mean? How does writing down "i can kill you" make it so?
Lawful force is force that is constrained by previously written conditions, as contrasted with force that is applied by arbitrary whim.  You are correct in observing that lawful force is not the same as rightful force, unless the laws are right, which of course can not be assumed.

If the NAP were construed to be a law, then use of force consistent with NAP could be called lawful force.  So it's not really as foreign as you think.  The difference is that laws are generally much more specific and it is much less obvious whether they are just.  You can think of it as posting a sign that says "anyone caught stealing will be shot".

Ah, well, there you go. The NAP is the only 'Law' an AnCap will recognize, anything else is just precedent. Any force used in accordance with the NAP is therefore 'Lawful force', and any force used not in accordance with the NAP is 'Unlawful force', and therefore punishable by 'Lawful force'. Note that retributive force (Capital punishment, down to, I suppose, spanking) is not prohibited by the NAP, I just don't like it.

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June 29, 2011, 09:00:51 PM
 #152

It doesn't need to be proved because it is held to be self evident that we are endowed with certain inalienable rights.  Remember?

Except it isn't self-evident and the burdern of proof is on those making the claim for this natural law.  Provide a evidence and we'll debate from there.  I cannot prove a negative and your claims are not true by default.

Then you don't accept the basic premise, then?  And choose not to present an argument as to why you don't accept the premise other than to lay the burden of proof upon myself.  Well, I can't prove it, that's why I stated it as a premise.  It's a given required in the further proof of natural laws of mankind. 


To help you understand why you're doing it wrong, let's first look at what a premise is:


Via Wiki:
Quote
In logic, an argument is a set of one or more declarative sentences (or "propositions") known as the premises along with another declarative sentence (or "proposition") known as the conclusion. Aristotle held that any logical argument could be reduced to two premises and a conclusion.[1] Premises are sometimes left unstated in which case they are called missing premises, for example:

Socrates is mortal, since all men are mortal.
It is evident that a tacitly understood claim is that Socrates is a man. The fully expressed reasoning is thus:

Since all men are mortal and Socrates is a man, it follows that Socrates is mortal.
In this example, the first two independent clauses preceding the comma (namely, "all men are mortal" and "Socrates is a man") are the premises, while "Socrates is mortal" is the conclusion.

The proof of a conclusion depends on both the truth of the premises and the validity of the argument.



Ok, so the premises must first be true.  This has nothing to do with me accepting them or not, but whether or not they're true.  How will we know they're true?


Quote
Ignoring the Burden of Proof: Generally speaking, he who asserts must prove. An assertion is a statement offered as a conclusion without supporting evidence. Since an argument is defined as a logical relationship between premise and conclusion, a simple assertion is not an argument. Writers sometimes forget this, and their articles can be littered with assertion after assertion. In the end, the duty to support an assertion is on the writer, not the reader (like the burden of proof is on the accuser in court, rather than the accused).

Ah, we'll know they're true because it's up to YOU to prove them true.  It's not up to me to disprove them, because they are NOT true by default.  You're making the argument, YOU provide evidence for why your premises are true.

This is why logical and debate 101 says not to use controvertial premise, because it makes a pointless argument.  You must first prove your premises, THEN you can use them to connect the dots and draw a conclusion.  If there's going to be much debate over your premises, then you need to take a step back and prove those true first with their own premises leading to them as conclusions.  That's your lesson on debate for the day.  Good luck with your end of the deal.  Put forth an argument and I'll be happy to debate it with you, but I will not sit here and try to prove a negative because you think your assertions are right by default.

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June 29, 2011, 10:23:31 PM
 #153

Since all men are mortal and Socrates is a man, it follows that Socrates is mortal.
In this example, the first two independent clauses preceding the comma (namely, "all men are mortal" and "Socrates is a man") are the premises, while "Socrates is mortal" is the conclusion.

The proof of a conclusion depends on both the truth of the premises and the validity of the argument.


The premises are assumed to be true, in the absence of contrary evidence.  I'll even use this logical argument as my evidence.  You cannot possible prove that all men are mortal, for that would, in fact, be attempting to prove a negative.  Specificly, you would have to be able to show that every man that has ever lived, has actually died, as well as every man that shall yet live, shall die, as well as show that it is not possible for you to have failed to include anyone.  We both know that proving the premise "all men are mortal" is, thus, actually impossible.  Therefore we assume that it's true in the absence of contrary evidence.

I have stated a premise, that I assume to be true in the absence of evidence.  I'm asking for any kind of such evidence from yourself, who seems to wish to invalidate the premise on the logic that I cannot prove it.

And btw, the second premise has no proof, either.  Socrates is assumed to have been a man, based on the historical documents that record events surrounding his life, but he could have been a fictional character.  In 1000 years, if some future society with a disconnected historical connection to us, were to discover Harry Potter and the rich fan ficition around this character, what eveidence would they have that Harry Potter was a real person?  More than we posses about Socrates, very likely, since we assume that Soctates was a living person based upon the varied number of authors who wrote about his life.

I'm going to let that last attempt at dodging pass, since it was so well researched (albet flawed).  But this really is your last chance present an arguement or admit that you don't have one, and be silent.  Any further attempts to avoid the issue will result in me making a project out of you.  I pride myself on my fair treatment of others, and favor freedom of speech over censorship; but it is my role here to be the judge of proper forum conduct.  Show me that you're not just a troll.  Participate as a peer, rather than just assaulting the viewpoints of others without support.  Your viewpoint is no more valid without support than ours, but this is our venue.  You're the minority here, thus the greater burden remains upon yourself, whether you are actually correct or not.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 29, 2011, 10:39:47 PM
 #154

Since all men are mortal and Socrates is a man, it follows that Socrates is mortal.
In this example, the first two independent clauses preceding the comma (namely, "all men are mortal" and "Socrates is a man") are the premises, while "Socrates is mortal" is the conclusion.

The proof of a conclusion depends on both the truth of the premises and the validity of the argument.


The premises are assumed to be true, in the absence of contrary evidence.  I'll even use this logical argument as my evidence.  You cannot possible prove that all men are mortal, for that would, in fact, be attempting to prove a negative.  Specificly, you would have to be able to show that every man that has ever lived, has actually died, as well as every man that shall yet live, shall die, as well as show that it is not possible for you to have failed to include anyone.  We both know that proving the premise "all men are mortal" is, thus, actually impossible.  Therefore we assume that it's true in the absence of contrary evidence.

I have stated a premise, that I assume to be true in the absence of evidence.  I'm asking for any kind of such evidence from yourself, who seems to wish to invalidate the premise on the logic that I cannot prove it.

Sorry, doesn't work like that.  Watch...


Unicorns are real.


You cannot disprove it, therefore unicorns must be real.


Unicorns are real.
Unicorns love only good things.
Unicorns love big government.

Conclusion: big government is good

You cannot disprove it, therefore big government must be good.


This argument is equally valid as yours.


You're hanging an entire belief system off of an argument, the premises of which you cannot provide even the slightest bit of evidence for.  I'm going to let you provide even the slightest shred of evidence to back up YOUR CLAIM before I give myself carpal tunnel trying in vain to prove a negative.



Quote
Fallacy: Burden of Proof



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Includes: Appeal to Ignorance ("Ad Ignorantiam")

Description of Burden of Proof
Burden of Proof is a fallacy in which the burden of proof is placed on the wrong side. Another version occurs when a lack of evidence for side A is taken to be evidence for side B in cases in which the burden of proof actually rests on side B. A common name for this is an Appeal to Ignorance. This sort of reasoning typically has the following form:


Claim X is presented by side A and the burden of proof actually rests on side B.
Side B claims that X is false because there is no proof for X.
In many situations, one side has the burden of proof resting on it. This side is obligated to provide evidence for its position. The claim of the other side, the one that does not bear the burden of proof, is assumed to be true unless proven otherwise. The difficulty in such cases is determining which side, if any, the burden of proof rests on. In many cases, settling this issue can be a matter of significant debate. In some cases the burden of proof is set by the situation. For example, in American law a person is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty (hence the burden of proof is on the prosecution). As another example, in debate the burden of proof is placed on the affirmative team. As a final example, in most cases the burden of proof rests on those who claim something exists (such as Bigfoot, psychic powers, universals, and sense data).

Examples of Burden of Proof

Bill: "I think that we should invest more money in expanding the interstate system."
Jill: "I think that would be a bad idea, considering the state of the treasury."
Bill: "How can anyone be against highway improvements?"

Bill: "I think that some people have psychic powers."
Jill: "What is your proof?"
Bill: "No one has been able to prove that people do not have psychic powers."

"You cannot prove that God does not exist, so He does."

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/burden-of-proof.html

Second opinion:

Quote
Type: Informal Fallacy
Forms



There is no evidence against p.
Therefore, p.

There is no evidence for p.
Therefore, not-p.


Example:

[Joe McCarthy] announced that he had penetrated "Truman's iron curtain of secrecy" and that he proposed forthwith to present 81 cases… Cases of exactly what? "I am only giving the Senate," he said, "cases in which it is clear there is a definite Communist connection…persons whom I consider to be Communists in the State Department." … Of Case 40, he said, "I do not have much information on this except the general statement of the agency…that there is nothing in the files to disprove his Communist connections."


Source: Richard H. Rovere, Senator Joe McCarthy (Methuen, 1960), pp. 106-107. Cited in: Irving M. Copi, Introduction to Logic (Fourth Edition) (1972), p. 88.
 
Exposition:

An appeal to ignorance is an argument for or against a proposition on the basis of a lack of evidence against or for it. If there is positive evidence for the conclusion, then of course we have other reasons for accepting it, but a lack of evidence by itself is no evidence.
 
Exposure:

There are a few types of reasoning which resemble the fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance, and need to be distinguished from it:
 1.Sometimes it is reasonable to argue from a lack of evidence for a proposition to the falsity of that proposition, when there is a presumption that the proposition is false. For instance, in American criminal law there is a presumption of innocence, which means that the burden of proof is on the prosecution, and if the prosecution fails to provide evidence of guilt then the jury must conclude that the defendant is innocent.
 Similarly, the burden of proof is usually on a person making a new or improbable claim, and the presumption may be that such a claim is false. For instance, suppose that someone claims that the president was taken by flying saucer to another planet, but when challenged can supply no evidence of this unusual trip. It would not be an Appeal to Ignorance for you to reason that, since there is no evidence that the president visited another planet, therefore he probably didn't do so.
 
2.We sometimes have meta-knowledge—that is, knowledge about knowledge—which can justify inferring a conclusion based upon a lack of evidence. For instance, schedules—such as those for buses, trains, and airplanes—list times and locations of arrivals and departures. Such schedules usually do not attempt to list the times and locations when vehicles do not arrive or depart, since this would be highly inefficient. Instead, there is an implicit, understood assumption that such a schedule is complete, that all available vehicle departures and arrivals have been listed. Thus, we can reason using the following sort of enthymeme:
 There is no departure/arrival listed in schedule S for location L at time T.
Suppressed Premiss: All departures and arrivals are listed in schedule S.
Therefore, there is no departure/arrival for location L at time T.

This kind of completeness of information assumption is often called the "closed world assumption". When it is reasonable to accept this assumption—as with plane or bus schedules—it is not a fallacy of appeal to ignorance to reason this way.
 
3.Another type of reasoning is called "auto-epistemic" ("self-knowing") because it involves reasoning from premisses about what one knows and what one would know if something were true. The form of such reasoning is:
 If p were true, then I would know that p.
I don't know that p.
Therefore, p is false.

For instance, one might reason:

If I were adopted, then I would know about it by now.
I don't know that I'm adopted.
Therefore, I wasn't adopted.

Similarly, when extensive investigation has been undertaken, it is often reasonable to infer that something is false based upon a lack of positive evidence for it. For instance, if a drug has been subjected to lengthy testing for harmful effects and none has been discovered, it is then reasonable to conclude that it is safe. Another example is:
 
If there really were a large and unusual type of animal in Loch Ness, then we would have undeniable evidence of it by now.
 We don't have undeniable evidence of a large, unfamiliar animal in Loch Ness.
Therefore, there is no such animal.

As with reasoning using the closed world assumption, auto-epistemic reasoning does not commit the fallacy of Argument from Ignorance.


Resources:
<MAP NAME="boxmap-p8"><AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="14, 200, 103, 207" HREF="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm/privacy-policy.html?o=1" ><AREA COORDS="0,0,10000,10000" HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect-home/thefallacyfil-20" ></MAP><img src="http://rcm-images.amazon.com/images/G/01/rcm/120x240.gif" width="120" height="240" border="0" usemap="#boxmap-p8" alt="Shop at Amazon.com">•Jonathan E. Adler, "Open Minds and the Argument from Ignorance".
 •Robert Todd Carroll, "Argument to Ignorance", Skeptic's Dictionary.
•S. Morris Engel, With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies (Fifth Edition) (St. Martin's, 1994), pp. 227-229.
 •Eric C.W. Krabbe, "Appeal to Ignorance", in Fallacies: Classical and Contemporary Readings, edited by Hans V. Hanson and Robert C. Pinto (Penn State Press, 1995), pp. 251-264.
 •Douglas Walton, "The Appeal to Ignorance, or Argumentum ad Ignorantiam", Argumentation 13 (1999), pp. 367-377 (PDF).


Third opinion:

Quote
I. Argumentum ad Ignorantiam: (appeal to ignorance) the fallacy that a proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proved false or that it is false simply because it has not been proved true. This error in reasoning is often expressed with influential rhetoric.
 A. The informal structure has two basic patterns:
  Statement p is unproved.
Not-p is true.
  Statement not-p is unproved.
p is true.
 
   
 B. If one argues that God or telepathy, ghosts, or UFO's do not exist because their existence has not been proven beyond a shadow of doubt, then this fallacy occurs.
 C. On the other hand, if one argues that God, telepathy, and so on do exist because their non-existence has not been proved, then one argues fallaciously as well.
II. Some typical ad ignorantiam fallacy examples follow.
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In spite of all the talk, not a single flying saucer report has been authenticated. We may assume, therefore, there are not such things as flying saucers.
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No one has objected to Lander's parking policies during the last month of classes, so I suppose those policies are very good.
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Since the class has no questions concerning the topics discussed in class, the class is ready for a test.
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Biology professor to skittish students in lab: There is no evidence that frogs actually feel pain; it is true they exhibit pain behavior, but as they have no consciousness, they feel no pain.
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Johnson: It is impractical to send more men to the moon because the money spent for that project could be spent on helping the poor..
Hanson: It is not impractical.

Johnson: Why?

Hanson: Just try to prove that I'm wrong.
 
 
  (Hanson is defending his claim by an ad ignorantiam, i.e., his claim is true, if Johnson cannot refute him.)

http://philosophy.lander.edu/scireas/ignorance.html

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June 29, 2011, 10:53:11 PM
 #155

Since all men are mortal and Socrates is a man, it follows that Socrates is mortal.
In this example, the first two independent clauses preceding the comma (namely, "all men are mortal" and "Socrates is a man") are the premises, while "Socrates is mortal" is the conclusion.

The proof of a conclusion depends on both the truth of the premises and the validity of the argument.


The premises are assumed to be true, in the absence of contrary evidence.  I'll even use this logical argument as my evidence.  You cannot possible prove that all men are mortal, for that would, in fact, be attempting to prove a negative.  Specificly, you would have to be able to show that every man that has ever lived, has actually died, as well as every man that shall yet live, shall die, as well as show that it is not possible for you to have failed to include anyone.  We both know that proving the premise "all men are mortal" is, thus, actually impossible.  Therefore we assume that it's true in the absence of contrary evidence.

I have stated a premise, that I assume to be true in the absence of evidence.  I'm asking for any kind of such evidence from yourself, who seems to wish to invalidate the premise on the logic that I cannot prove it.

Sorry, doesn't work like that.  Watch...


Unicorns are real.


You cannot disprove it, therefore unicorns must be real.


Nice try, but I've seen mortal men, and I have known some who have died.  So I have some personal experience that would lend credience to the assumption that all men are mortal.  Even if you have seen a real unicorn, your readers have not, so there is no shared experience to base such an assumption upon.

I must admit, you are the best troll I have ever seen.

Try again.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 30, 2011, 12:15:01 AM
 #156

Since all men are mortal and Socrates is a man, it follows that Socrates is mortal.
In this example, the first two independent clauses preceding the comma (namely, "all men are mortal" and "Socrates is a man") are the premises, while "Socrates is mortal" is the conclusion.

The proof of a conclusion depends on both the truth of the premises and the validity of the argument.


The premises are assumed to be true, in the absence of contrary evidence.  I'll even use this logical argument as my evidence.  You cannot possible prove that all men are mortal, for that would, in fact, be attempting to prove a negative.  Specificly, you would have to be able to show that every man that has ever lived, has actually died, as well as every man that shall yet live, shall die, as well as show that it is not possible for you to have failed to include anyone.  We both know that proving the premise "all men are mortal" is, thus, actually impossible.  Therefore we assume that it's true in the absence of contrary evidence.

I have stated a premise, that I assume to be true in the absence of evidence.  I'm asking for any kind of such evidence from yourself, who seems to wish to invalidate the premise on the logic that I cannot prove it.

Sorry, doesn't work like that.  Watch...


Unicorns are real.


You cannot disprove it, therefore unicorns must be real.


Nice try, but I've seen mortal men, and I have known some who have died.  So I have some personal experience that would lend credience to the assumption that all men are mortal.  Even if you have seen a real unicorn, your readers have not, so there is no shared experience to base such an assumption upon.

I must admit, you are the best troll I have ever seen.

Try again.


Too bad we're not debating the mortality of men, but the existence of natural law.

I must admit, you are the best deflector of arguments I have ever seen.

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June 30, 2011, 12:42:19 AM
 #157


I must admit, you are the best deflector of arguments I have ever seen.

That would be quite a trick, considering I haven't yet seen an on topic argument out of you yet.  You are very good at arguing why you shouldn't be expected to present an argument, which is quite a talent I must admit.  Much like being a magician, I suppose.  Everything you present sounds good, but lacks substance; yet succeeds in delaying the demand for support from yourself, while at the same time wearing down your opposition.  That set of three logical fallacies was beautiful, considering that you literally presented the exact three that apply to your own post, and succeeded in implying that I had violated them while not actually presenting an argument for that either!  You are either very practiced at this and have no life, or this is your job; I'm not sure which.  A cursory look at your posting stats suggests that you have no life, for even if you are doing this at work, even professionals go home eventually.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 30, 2011, 12:59:47 AM
 #158

AyeYo:  It seems like you have to stop at some premise and either attack it's logic or accept it, because otherwise you slide into infinite regression.  For example, I could say that the natural law that "all men own their own bodies" derives from the fact that all organisms deserve a chance at life, and in order for them to do so they must decrease entropy locally which requires economic ownership of not only their lives but resources around them.  But then you could ask me to prove that all organisms are entitled to a chance at survival.  I can't prove that.  It is an assertion.  The best I could do would be to say that by living you implicitly agree with my assertion.  However, then you could argue that only some organisms have a right to a chance at life. 
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June 30, 2011, 01:04:40 AM
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AyeYo:  It seems like you have to stop at some premise and either attack it's logic or accept it, because otherwise you slide into infinite regression.  For example, I could say that the natural law that "all men own their own bodies" derives from the fact that all organisms deserve a chance at life, and in order for them to do so they must decrease entropy locally which requires economic ownership of not only their lives but resources around them.  But then you could ask me to prove that all organisms are entitled to a chance at survival.  I can't prove that.  It is an assertion.  The best I could do would be to say that by living you implicitly agree with my assertion.  However, then you could argue that only some organisms have a right to a chance at life. 

+1

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June 30, 2011, 03:08:31 AM
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AyeYo:  It seems like you have to stop at some premise and either attack it's logic or accept it, because otherwise you slide into infinite regression.  For example, I could say that the natural law that "all men own their own bodies" derives from the fact that all organisms deserve a chance at life, and in order for them to do so they must decrease entropy locally which requires economic ownership of not only their lives but resources around them.  But then you could ask me to prove that all organisms are entitled to a chance at survival.  I can't prove that.  It is an assertion.  The best I could do would be to say that by living you implicitly agree with my assertion.  However, then you could argue that only some organisms have a right to a chance at life. 


See, you've presented an argument for the claim made.  NOW we have somewhere to start from, and you've even gone a few steps ahead.  MoonShadow didn't want to do this because it leads to a dead end for him, so instead he just kept on the chant of wanting me to prove a negative.

Now...
I'll counter your idea of a "right to life" with the fact that life is taken away by forces out of our control ALL the time.  If there is a natural law that says living beings have a right to life, then nature wouldn't be constantly and arbitraritly taking that life away.  Natural laws CANNOT be disobeyed.  The laws of physics CANNOT be ignored.  The laws of mathematics CANNOT be altered.  If there was a natural law granting a right to life, nothing would ever die.

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