Thursday, October 10, 2019

When an Argument from Silence Becomes Utterly Meaningless


  1. What we should bear in mind about arguments from silence is that there is often an enormous imbalance between the amount of evidence which we could have and the amount of evidence which we actually have. Consider the search for fingerprints at a crime scene. There may be enough room at the scene for 100 000 fingerprints. In theory, every fingerprint-sized space at the crime scene which does not actually contain a fingerprint is an argument from silence. That’s an awful lot of arguments from silence! And yet we are satisfied if we find just a few of the suspect’s fingerprints at the scene.