If X could happen, it would already have happened. Therefore it can't happen. </blockqut> The fun is list all of the gambits in play here.
I will start by saying that the wonder of this is that it looks like Modus Tollens:A => BBut without all of that Gay HomoZeXual Gapital Cains Taxes.
I of course opted to toss up Equivocation and Amphibology as a part of the majik here.
The three terms that will need to be better defined, so that we can put them in as Propositions p(i..j) in the list of available propostions of course areCouldwithout which it really is hard to formally define the statements.
Or as I noted, "when you say can not, what is your CEP on that?" - I mean proving that there can NOT be a black swan, tends to be a NOT gooder thing. Which is where most folks step off onto the argumentum ad ignorantiam - since it is a close enough approximation for small arms fire...
But I think folks need to look at the problems of futureTensing - How would one KNOW that X could happen? My first thot is the canonical bible school/parochial school quandry about the nature of the Omnipotence of God:Can god make a three sided square?Some would argue that the question is non-sensical - since a square is by definition four sided and a triangle is three sided.
But doesn't impugning the Omnipotence of God Stab Our Troops In The Back? And cause Capital Gains Taxes, not to mention cause all of the mass murderers who become such, because of their lack of faith?
We might also say what do we mean about the notion "X occurs at before Time T" - that proposition will give us a framework in which to evaluate which came first, X or Time T. We could of course restructure our discussion here to talk about the Return Of Christ, and the Final Resolution of Capital Gains Taxes.Clearly IF Jesus were coming, then he would be here, but since we have Capital Gains Taxes, it follows that Jesus has Left The Building and is not coming back...Since obviously everyone KNOWS that Jesus is coming, the argument by analogy shows that clearly the form of the argument, is, well, SATANIC!
Which while useful for pangloss at the auto de fe, is not really that gooder at translating the phrase "it would have occurred by now".
Not to mention that we need to understand what 'can not happen' - is it really just simpler and safer to retreat back to the traditional explanations why the proposition simply sucks bilge????
Hum... I am clearly going to have to think a bit more here...
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