Christopher Hitchens: What Can Be Asserted Without Evidence

Without Evidence

"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."

- Christopher Hitchens

Quote Source: "Mommie Dearest", Slate, 20 October 2003

Zaphod's picture
Yeah but, what can be

Yeah but, what can be dismissed without evidence can be asserted without evidence as well. Moot point. I would have went with what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed as non factual until evidence is provided.

firebolt's picture
I like the way you re-worded

I like the way you re-worded that, it makes more sense and can start a better argument your way.

Pathway Machine's picture
I suppose. It seems the same

I suppose. It seems the same to me. I'm walking down a dark alley and I stumble upon a dying man with multiple knife wounds. Confused I pick up a blade that I kicked aside as I fell back from the dying man. The police arrive to find me holding the bloody knife over the dead man. That is all the evidence they need and they shall use it to fabricate an illusion that costs me my life.

SammyShazaam's picture
I think that's the point,

I think that's the point, Zaphod. There's no evidence. There's no point in asserting it, or in dismissing it. Or discussing it at all, basically. There's plenty of things in life that are much more worthwhile.

Pathway Machine's picture
No Sammy. We have to assert

No Sammy. We have to assert it, we have to dismiss it, we have to discuss it and there is very little in this life that is more worthwhile. If your skin is dark you are far more likely to go to prison than if your skin is light. And what is the evidence for it?

Lauren's picture
I agree with Zaphod too! I

I agree with Zaphod too! I always remember Alfred Wegener, the man who first introduced our now mainstream concept of plate tectonics. When he first introduced it he was scoffed at by the science community but low and behold after his death it turns out his theories were valid. This is one of the reasons why I cannot call myself a true skeptic and why I do not heavily follow "evidence."

mattyn's picture
I still remember being taught

I still remember being taught about plate tectonics back in grade school. It was important to us living in California that we understood why and how it happened. I can't believe people didn't really believe in it at one time.

Pathway Machine's picture
Well. There's a lot of stuff

Well. There's a lot of stuff from California that we outside that state of reference can't quite grasp.

Pathway Machine's picture
Interesting, Lauren. You

Interesting, Lauren. You possess cognitive thinking. The thought of the future. Most people don't. Albert Einstein. A young patent clerk on science? Ha! Jane Goodall. Alfred Wegener. You have to keep in mind that if someone subscribes to a specific school of thought they must, in a sense that is possibly stagnant, adhere to a body of evidence. And from even a faulty excursion thus may produce some interesting effects. Like alchemy graduating into chemistry.

When the quixotic and the mundane juxtaposition our fragile and infantile understanding of our complex paradigm I find it post productively conducive to search for a movie, as you American people call it, or film for the British, staring Tony Danza and some monkeys.

And that should sort it out. With some Louis Black.

Good for you in being critical of "evidence."

efpierce's picture
We can flip that quote around

We can flip that quote around and it is just as meaning less as it is originally. This is one for the skeptics though and it will help them sleep better at night so it is still a good one.

Pathway Machine's picture
What an astutely journalistic

What an astutely journalistic observation. I like Chris, as he hated to be referred, but when he was doing one of his latest talk show circuit book shows with Al Sharpton I just wanted to grab him by the arm and say lets you and me down this bottle of whatever he drank and talk bullocks before one of us start to take ourselves too seriously.

Evidence is subjective.

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