There is a practice among lesser intelligent people that I’ve seen many, many times. Hell, I’ve experienced it against myself many times.
This is that practice:
Me: I’m not [something–can be anything. For the sake of example, let’s say a kleptomaniac]!
Me: I’m not a kleptomanaic!
Some stupid person: Well since I haven’t seen any proof that you’re NOT a klepto, I think you are/you must be.
You ever see these idiots? They think that something MUST be the case because there isn’t any proof that they’ve seen that it’s NOT the case. Obviously they know nothing about the burden of proof. The person who makes the claim must prove it as it’s extremely hard to prove that something ISN’T the case if it’s really not the case.
So my question is, what is the name of this logic? I’ve remember hearing a specific term for it before but I’ve forgotten what it is.
Obviously it’s bad/wrong logic and only used by those who don’t know the burden of proof lies with the one making the claim, but like I said, I read a term for this before. I want to say it’s Mccarthism but I’ve looked the definition up for that and it doesn’t quite fit. It entails that, but it doesn’t describe it alone and this term that I can remember described that kind of logic SOLEY.
Anyone know what the name for that stupid logic is?
I think it’s called proving a negative. I saw an example of it on Law & Order once…Jack was spitballing defense strategies with Adam and pointed to a book on a table and said, “Prove I didn’t open that book.”
It is possible to do, but it’s much easier to prove a positive. I’m sure our resident attorneys will wander through here with the proper Latin term.
In fairness, if you’re arguing that you’re not a klepto, then it’s your burden to prove. You’ve simply asserted something without proof, and so I don’t think you can be said to have shifted your burden on that point.
This is all so much easier in the law, where it’s generally pretty clear who has the burden of proof on what issues, so that you can tell whether someone has a burden that they have to carry.