The Loop (TV)
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- Argument from Ignorance
- Argument from Lack of Imagination
- Argument from Personal Incredulity
- The claim that a statement is true because it has not been proven false, or that a statement is false because it has not been proven to be true. Famously refuted by Carl Sagan with the statement, "Absence of Evidence is not evidence of absence." Based on shifting the burden of proof onto whichever side of the argument you want to lose. If something can not be proven either way, just act like the opinion opposite of yours is inherently sillier, and you can assert that your position must be assumed correct until someone from the other side can prove you wrong. Usually involves an appeal to one's own authority and/or Burden of Proof Fallacy, and is essentially a claim of personal omnipotence; if the arguer cannot imagine a way for something to have happened, it is clearly impossible.
Examples of Appeal to Ignorance include:
- The popular argument "you cannot prove X does not exist, so it does" (or vice-versa) is the typical case. X can be God, aliens, a huge government conspiracy, unicorns, whatever. It's more common with arguments that are harder to prove, one way or the other.
Live Action Television
- Bill O'Reilly's infamous tide argument, which basically boils down to "I don't understand how tides work, therefore they are completely inexplicable and God exists."
- The 'Devil's Proof' is a favorite of the witches in Umineko no Naku Koro ni.
- One of the most famous examples of this in politics is the United States right wing's denial of global warming. Whenever confronted by this topic, they usually tend to deny its existence by saying that only most scientists support this view, or that scientists say that global warming isn't totally proven. The notoriety has begun to die down recently, but their views are unlikely to have changed.
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