Fallacy: Appeal to Possibility

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In an appeal to possibility fallacy, the speaker suggests that because something could be true that it is.


Example of appeal to possibility fallacy

Of course ghosts are real. Up until recently, we couldn’t prove that the Higgs boson was real, but then we found it. Who’s to say that we won’t prove ghosts are real 50 years from now?

Premise 1: There was a time when we couldn’t prove that something that is real actually existed.
Premise 2: We can’t right now prove that ghosts are real.
Conclusion: Ghosts are real.


Why it’s wrong

Ghosts may or may not be real, but the fact that there’s a possibility doesn’t tip the scale one way or another. The idea that there’s a possibility ghosts do exist also means there’s the possibility that ghosts don’t exist.

Put another way, I could makeup anything right now on the spot and say that it’s true simply because nobody has been able to prove me incorrect… yet.

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Author: A. Primate

Mammal. Organizes itself into complex social hierarchies. Very particular about objects - even those that can't be eaten or used for shelter. Seemingly aware of itself as separate from the environment.

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