[b-hebrew] Lev 21:18 - Passive Participle

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Mon Oct 31 13:27:25 EST 2005

On 31/10/2005 18:05, Karl Randolph wrote:

>It was in logic that I first heard the argument that it is a 
>fallacy to assume that a lack of evidence merely means 
>that we lack evidence of something that exists. Rather we 
>must leave open the possibility that a lack of evidence is 
>evidence of lack, that that something does not exist. In the 
>latter case, lack of evidence is a positive (of a negation) 
>not a negative (don't have the data).

Yes, but a lack of evidence is no longer evidence of anything when there 
is no longer a lack of evidence, but rather there is evidence even if it 
is of poor quality or questionable relevance. It is clearly a fallacy to 
use this "lack of evidence" argument when there is no longer a lack of 

>When there is positive evidence from within a language 
>contrasted to positive evidence from a cognate language, 
>I claim that internal evidence trumps cognate language 
>evidence all the time.

I would disagree in cases where the internal evidence is very weak, or 
non-existent as in this case, and the cognate language evidence is 
strong and irrefutable.

>In the case of XRM, I see positive evidence that one basic 
>meaning fits all uses, therefore there is no evidence for 
>more than one root and none needed, therefore the lack 
>of evidence is evidence of lack, i.e. that there was no more 
>than one root used in Biblical Hebrew.

What positive evidence? I have seen no positive evidence at all, merely 
a lack of clear evidence to the contrary, and some rather implausible 
attempts to relate two rather different sets of meanings.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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