Argument from Ignorance

I just saw a comment on a YouTube video of mine that amounted to this, “since science has not proved the existence of a soul, it must not exist”. This is a self-deceived argument though, as it is a fallacy in informal logic called the “Argument from Ignorance”. Many people use this argument to further their materialistic, “God doesn’t exist” worldview, as they have an emotional need to rationalize away anything close to a spiritual reality (ironically, deists also use this fallacy by saying “prove to me that God doesn’t exist”; apparently poor logic transcends belief systems).

According to Wikipedia, this fallacy:

Argument from ignorance[…], also known as appeal to ignorance (in which ignorance represents “a lack of contrary evidence”), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that: there may have been an insufficient investigation, and therefore there is insufficient information to prove the proposition be either true or false. Nor does it allow the admission that the choices may in fact not be two (true or false), but may be as many as four,

1. true
2. false
3. unknown between true or false
4. being unknowable (among the first three).

In debates, appeals to ignorance are sometimes used in an attempt to shift the burden of proof. (source)

For example, if all scientific studies that sought to prove the existence of fish, were to search for proof of their existence on the tops of buildings, and continually failed to find proof….and if they concluded that because fish cannot be found on building tops, that they must not exist at all, they would be making this fallacy. The only conclusion that can actually be made is that fish do not naturally exist on building tops, but there are other parameters that can still be researched to discover their existence, if desired.

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