Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Morning Scepticism: Burden

When it comes to particular claims, much of arguing is over the position on who has the burden of proof. While it's a bit more complicated in most situations, the basic form of burden should be on the one making positive claims - not the negative position. The reason for this is the negative case is indistinguishable from the lack of a positive case. The burden of proof is on those claiming bigfoot exists, not to those who claim otherwise. Why? Because the lack of evidence for bigfoot looks the same as the evidence for bigfoot's non-existence. It's complicated by notions such as biological plausibility but the general principle holds.

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