Originally Posted by almightywood
True wisdom begins with acknowledging that we know little.
We become wiser still when we realize that the things we do know can easily change.
OK - first off, bullshit. We know a whole fucking lot. I hate the whole "we really don't know anything" statement. Humans are an impressive bunch when it comes to how much they have figured out about the world around them and used that information to manipulate it. Then we even have manged to create external memories (books, computers, etc) that provide us with the brain capacity to learn more! We are fucking intelligent beasts (and yes, I know that is oxymoronic with my utter opinion that we are fucking stupid beasts but that is more about information use and the fact that we could be doing so much better). Humans know a lot, there is just a lot to know. Wisdom comes from the acknowledgement that your knowledge is not complete.
Another way to put it is that every man is fallible, And out of recognition of this fact I don't eliminate possibilities. You could claim that I have learned that something isn't true. But I don't believe I have, I have learned that someone thinks something is untrue, which is not the same and more often than not turns out to be different in the end. If there was absolute assurance that the possibility was impossible, then I would agree, but such a thing isn't possible, so elimination is just a waste of time.
This basically boils down to a scene from Dumb and Dumber when Jim Carey finally confronts the woman of his obsession with his odds of ever being with her:
Carey: What are the odds, like 1 in a 100?
Woman: More like one in a million.
Carey: ... ... ... so you're saying there's a chance!!
You're argument style, if I'm understanding it, means that you will never be definitive on anything. If one person believes in the Easter Bunny and you don't, you'll accept that there is a slim chance the Easter Bunny does exist, work that into your argument so as not to perclude the existence of the Easter Bunny, grinding the entire discussion to a halt because your opponent believes he does and you, though unbelieving, won't deny it.
You, sir, are a fence sitting douchebag.
Arguments/discussions cannot progress along those lines. In this case, you are not adding anything and crafting a stance that prevents you from being wrong, which limits your ability to challenge anyone. Ignoring the fact that it is inheritly true we cannot fully disprove the existence of an actual Easter Bunny, the evidence is wholy on the side of his non-existence (right down to parents saying so.) The burden on proof is, again, on the believer, but you won't challenge them because you accept the slight possibility that you could be wrong in argument. The believer in the Easter Bunny then wins the argument because you don't reject their hypothesis that he exists, you actually accept it.
That all seems silly, but it is supposed to because it is made to make you seem silly. I could have easily used god, which is the common go to mythical being that likes to be debated. In actual truth, I do not believe in a god but cannot, on current evidence, reject the idea of a god existing. However, I believe god does not exist because all evidence I have encountered reject the hypothesis of a god above men. Therefore, for me, the only arugment that I can pursue is that god does not exist and I act accordingly to that. It then pressures the believing side to prove themselves while I stand in opposition to it, improving the field of knowledge.