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Appeal to Ignorance

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Xandra Ellin

on 15 October 2012

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Transcript of Appeal to Ignorance

Appeal to Ignorance A Fallacy Presentation by Xandra Ellin Definition: Argumentum ad Ignorantiam Textual Examples Real Life Examples Extra Terrestrials Atheism In 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell submitted information to Congress involving Iraq creating weapons of mass destruction on the basis that he had recieved no evidence against the claims. Life outside of earth is a topic that flip-flops in appeal to ignorance. The government recently released a statement saying essentially that there is no evidence of alien life, so aliens do not exist. However, supporters of space exploration argue that there is no evidence against alien life, so aliens do exist. Act III Page 86 PROCTOR: (Handing Danforth paper.) Will you read this first, sir? It’s a sort of testament. The people signing it declare their good opinion of Rebecca and my wife, and Martha Corey... If you’ll notice, sir—they’ve known the women many years and never saw no signs they had dealings with the Devil.
Explanation: Proctor is going off of an Appeal to Ignorance, as he is convincing the court of the innocence of two women, based on the fact that those closest to them have never seen them commit demonic acts. He is saying that there is no evidence against these women, so they are innocent. Act IV Pages 131-132 PROCTOR: (Putting paper behind him. Childishly befuddled.) No—no I have signed it. You have seen me. It is done! You have no need for this.
PARRIS: Proctor, the village must have proof that…
PROCTOR: Damn the village! I confess to God and God has seen my name on this! It is enough!
Explanation: Parris is solidifying the fact that, without tangible evidence to show the citizens of Salem, the story that Proctor has concaucted is completely invalid. If there is no evidence in favor of his statements, his statements were never spoken in the eyes of the court DANFORTH: (Turns to Abigail.) You deny every scrap and title of this?
ABIGAIL: (Rising.) If I must answer that, sir, I will leave and I will not come back again. (Starts for exit.)
HALE: She does not deny it, Mr. Danforth. She does not deny it!
Explanation: Hale is implying that by not denying her innocence (i.e. not providing evidence) she is guilty. By the Appeal to Ignorance, there is no evidence that she is innocent, so she is guilty. Act III, Page 77 Martha Corey’s Voice: I am innocent to a witch. I know not what a witch is.
Hawthorne’s Voice: How do you know, then, that you are not a witch?
Explanation: Martha Corey, as someone who does not know what a witch is, has no evidence to support the fact that she is not a witch. Therefore, says Hawthorne, she might be a witch.
There is no evidence against that person being a girl. Therefore, she is a girl.
There is no evidence in favor of that person being a girl. Therefore, that person is a boy. Definition #2
There is no evidence for “x.”
Therefore, not- “x.” Definition #1 There is no evidence against “x.” Therefore, “x.” Weapons of Mass Destruction Many atheists rest on a belief of, "there is not proof for God. Therefore, there is no God. Act III Page 103 Example Works Cited

"Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Ignorance." Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Ignorance. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://www.fallacyfiles.org/ignorant.html>.

"Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Ignorance." Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Ignorance. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://www.fallacyfiles.org/ignorant.html>.

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York, NY: Penguin, 1996. Print.

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York, NY: Penguin, 1996. Print.

"Powell Admits Iraq Evidence Mistake." BBC News. BBC, 04 Mar. 2004. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3596033.stm>.

Sheridan, Michael. "White House: We Have 'no Evidence' Aliens Exist." New York Daily News. N.p., 7 Nov. 2011. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-11-07/news/30371532_1_petitions-signatures-aliens>.
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