Arguments are Best, not Mere Evidence

In the past, we have already discussed the idea that evidence is inseparably linked to argumentation and reasoning, and also that one cannot call some fact “evidence” of something without arguing for it and reasoning about it, and yet, at the same time, it is also worth noting that in the scheme of argumentative strength, what we should be seeking are arguments  rather than mere pieces of evidence, for not only are arguments, such as deductive arguments or even mathematical arguments (2 + 2 = 4, for instance), much stronger than mere pieces of evidence, the fact is also that for “evidences” to become in anyway convincing to the point of needing to be reasonably believed, the evidences need to be combined into a cumulative case argument in order to have the force necessary to be compelling; and so, all this is meant to show that the individual who demands evidence, but not arguments, demands that which is foolish and incoherent, for on the one hand, arguments should be preferred to mere chucks of evidence, for any argument is stronger than some one piece of evidence, and on the other hand, for “evidences” to become powerful and compelling, they must be joined together into an argument which argues that the cumulative combination of the evidences is rationally compelling towards some conclusion, and so again, we see that the constant demand for “evidence” not arguments or reasoning is either an unsound request (for arguments are stronger than a mere piece of evidence) or is incoherent (given that evidences must be combined into an argument to be compelling)…so hopefully this foolish request will finally die the slow death that it deserves.


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