The means by which facts are assessed in society is plagued by varying standards, and the reasons for the variance are key to understanding both the practical problems facing the respective disciplines and the problems inherent in these systems.
The fact that these are all redirects on Wikipedia is directly related to their respective systemic problematicness
- Wikipedia:Philosophic burden of proof
- Wikipedia:Scientific burden of evidence
- Wikipedia:Legal burden of proof
Roughly speaking, these are in order of solidity, with philosophy being based on logic (WP) and therefore the most stringent, the scientific burden of evidence being based on inductive reasoning (WP), and legal burden of proof being based on little if anything other than rhetoric whimsy and expedience.
- The following paragraph is the best attempt to frame the challenges of philosophy. It does not include an exhaustive understanding of logic, and thus runs afoul of the risk of presenting too harsh a case against it
Humans hate uncertainty, and have turned to science to provide certainty where they once turned to religion. The philosophical burden of proof is too stringent to provide certain conclusions; very little of substance is certain in philosophy, and thus it is demeaned by society at large as valueless. However, this is a trap for thought; philosophy provides only absolute certainty, and does not attempt to say that it does when it does not, as science and, to a much greater degree, the law does. Philosophy's primary problem, and also primary endeavor, is the scope of its definitions of particulars. Without clear understanding of the elements of a logical problem, the results are flawed, and logic has not progressed in this regard to be an unflawed process.
When forming an hypothesis a scientist must prove their case by inductive reasoning, that is to say they must offer proof by means of properly performed experiments and valid arguments based on the outcomes of those experiments. Scientific evidence is, ironically, too stringent for its own good, with a steep cliff approaching it rapidly, of the knowledge that will be forever beyond its grasp due to the linking of Wikipedia:statistics standards and the Wikipedia:null hypothesis. Science needs to make different standards of proof for different standards of truth, in order to advance more speculative areas, in which evidence can be gathered that can be data-mined by computers to give positive results for further study.
Interfor report and Lockerbie airplane bombing Edit
A fascinating look at the standards of evidence for corporations as regards their legal defense is provided by the Interfor report on the Lockerbie airplane bombing. This document concluded that the bombing was conducted by one half of an alliance between the CIA and drug smugglers, in order to prevent the discover and dismantling of the smuggling ring. Yet it was based on no evidence at all, in terms of sources. Yet Pan Am eagerly accepted the Interfor report and proceeded with its evidence in civil court.
So this is a perfect example of a lower standard of evidence, providing a diminished truth.
We can say for sure, not much. Some children's clothing was found in the wreckage, and a store owner testified that the person who bought them resembled one of the men found guilty of the bombing. But we can not say that this was a just result, even by the usual standards of legal evidence.
Half a million dollars was found in the wreckage. The Interfor report states that one of the CIA officers who died in the crash was carrying this to take to Washington and convince legislators of the pressing need to dismantle the drug smuggling ring and use the money to release the hostages in Beirut. The conclusion of the report was that the smuggling half of the alliance bombed the plane, in order to prevent its dissolution. But this is only half as much motive as the CIA had, see Lockerbie.
They would prefer to bomb the plane in order to prevent:
- The dissolution of the drug smuggling ring
- The early release of the Beirut hostages
- Another Iran-Contra
- Continued existence of a country that utterly refuted the myth of democratic capitalism as the sole workable system
- (See Economic Hitman) - False flag operation with attendant blackmail, to put pressure on Libya, Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, and see who cracks the most and who gives the best return, if the CIA had not figured that out already.
- Significant gains in the War on Equality