Argumentum e silentio

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Thu Feb 22 08:33:22 EST 2001

Since there is no substance to this post of Raymond's but only a 
feeble attempt at reductio ad absurdum, I have nothing more to say 
on this subject.  It's clear we're getting nowhere, and I have other 
things to do.

> >> You're fond of arguments from silence, aren't you?  There's more to
> >> the Deborah story than the song, in case you didn't know.  If all
> >> you can come up with are arguments from silence, then perhaps
> >> you need to learn the expression "absence of evidence is not
> >> evidence of absence."  Considering the social/governmental
> >> position that we are told Deborah was in, it's reasonable to
> >> conclude that there were at least some instances when she had to
> >> write.  But apparently, arguments from silence are the best you
> >> can muster, so I see no reason to continue this conversation.
> >> 
> Dave,
> I'm glad you've analysed my postings and my scholarly work so carefully,
> that you're able to give the judgment that I'm fond of "arguments from
> silence". 
> But apparently you do not know that bringing in the "argument from
> silence"-argument is an argument from silence itself: It cannot be proven
> that it did not exist, so it could have existed. That is the argument that
> you are bringing in, and it's from silence itself.
> But well, who knows, you may be correct with regard to Deborah. In your view
> her social/governmental position justifies the conclusion that she had to
> write occasionaly. Why do you not argue that she did not write with hand but
> did it by computer and faxed her correspondence?
> Computers did not exist? Argument from silence!
> After her work she went home by car.
> Cars did not exist? Argument from silence!
> She came home where her husband cooked the meal in the microwave oven.
> A microwave oven did not exist? Argument from silence!  :-)
> For other (and certaiunly more substantive) arguments I refer to the
> postings by Liz, Ian and David.
> Regards,
> Raymond.
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Dave Washburn
"No study of probabilities inside a given frame can ever
tell us how probable it is that the frame itself can be
violated."  C. S. Lewis

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