The Hippogriff among us… You can’t prove a negative? Yes I bloody well can!


I am truly sick of the theists trumpeting this logical fallacy as some immunising tactic of the idea of their imaginary friend.. The whole idea is folk-logic to begin with.. Lets not forget the statement ‘you can’t prove a negative’ is indeed a negative proof in and of itself…

What are they actually claiming? If it is that I can’t prove a negative beyond ‘all’ doubt, well nobody can prove anything let alone a positive beyond ‘all’ doubt can they.. Add to that one can always introduce a ‘maybe’ baby, perhaps Aliens constructed the Pyramids for example…

As an example lets trumpet the cogito, Descartes said in a nutshell ‘I think therefore I am’, so I can therefore prove ‘that I don’t not exist’…

If perhaps they expect that we fill-in the blanks in the claim they are making with the claim we know they are trying to make but are alas ill-equipped to render, that one can’t prove something does not exist, as opposed to that ‘I do’ – exist…

Supposing that is indeed what they mean, that I can’t prove non-existence, I would argue that I can take a pretty good stab at it.. Lets take the example of the Hippogriff from Harry Potter, as shown up top.. Now obviously I can’t prove beyond ‘all’ doubt that such a creature never existed, but beyond all ‘reasonable’ doubt yes I damn well can.. If they really want to claim it has to be about ‘all’ doubt then I’d refer you to my earlier comment that nothing can be proven beyond ‘all’ doubt…

Anyway, back to the Hippogriff example.. There is some pretty sensational evidence that Buck-Wheat is empirically falsifiable and that such a creature never existed, one might say never will, I could rattle off Biological and Physical reasons but I have too high an opinion of my readers.. These types of example are brilliant as they require access to tracts of reality in time and space which are not accessible to humans, much the same as belief in God does 😉

One could argue they are inaccessible as they themselves do not exist, lets not go there however…


29 thoughts on “The Hippogriff among us… You can’t prove a negative? Yes I bloody well can!

  1. This was an interesting read for me. I have a bunch of atheist friends who when they respect their own views and please mutually accept my views are different we got along fine and groovy.but i really resent being attacked by those who feel the right to judge me. I am a little polytheist pagan girl and am quite content in my own beliefs. Equally important as difference among dogmas i feel people as a whole should value and respect religious differences. Many important core religions share similar concepts of love joy peace and abundance. Thank you for your post. I found it a touching relief on why we shouldn’t judge one another so harshly. Different beliefs should be embraced and enjoyed! Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting.. I do not respect peoples right to form religious groups at all.. I do respect, well I am aware of religious differences, but that is not of issue here. Atheism is not a religion so it is not a difference of religious opinion at all. Have you considered that the reason these belief structures are all so similar is they have all evolved the same way, from us and our moral evolution? I do embrace realistic beliefs but in terms of God and religion I could as easily tell you I worship the tooth fairy and expect you to take me seriously. I blog to provoke thought, I’m glad it has.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My experiences have shown me that the heart is mightier than the analytical mind. Look at Gandhi’s life and all the great sages down through time. Yes, I agree that following a religion of any sort is a bit stupid, but kindness and courage are not. So, if it leads you there, that’s not such a big problem. BTW I love the picture of the Hippogriff. For me imagination is more important than most other things. Thanks for stopping by.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The proving of non-existent “facts” flies in the face of everything modern civilisation and logic has come to understand as the way stuff works. If you child comes to you and says “I got an A in my paper and you can’t prove otherwise,” it’s not considered poor taste or bad behaviour to ask to see the paper. Medicine, science, the justice system… everything works in the exact opposite way to how we’re meant to politely accept that religion works.

    “Oh, but it’s all about faith…” Uh-huh. Faith and “observable truth” – yeah, I’m certain that basketball team prayed so much longer than their opponents and are just generally more holy people and THAT’S why God chose them to win. Good job.

    “But you can’t prove they’re not!”

    I recently watched a BBC series about the Spanish Armada of 1588 and was especially fascinated by King Philip of Spain who believed utterly in God’s approval of his plan, in spite of the outright incompetence of his fleet’s admiral and the absurdity of the plan.

    What really span my head was how, even after Philip got thoroughly spanked – not just by the English, but by the weather, the tides, disease, incompetence, poor technology and just crappy luck, HE STILL BELIEVED THAT GOD WAS ON HIS SIDE.

    “It is impiety, and almost blasphemy to presume to know the will of God. It comes from the sin of pride. Even kings, Brother Nicholas, must submit to being used by God’s will without knowing what it is. They must never seek to use it.” said Old Phil to the proponents of the Protestant religion – before using exactly this logic to “prove” that God was sporting Spanish colours.

    He was so certain of God’s will that he sent another Armada, which didn’t even reach England – it was totally scuppered by the weather. Given that, back in 1588, the weather was generally accepted to be God’s domain, you’d think Religious Old Phil would have perhaps decided that, maybe, God had other plans for him?

    But, nope because “It is impiety etc etc…” but was God on his side? Of course! So he sent YET ANOTHER Armada after that one, which ALSO failed to reach England because of the bad weather.

    So, after three Armadas utterly failed (and not because the English had their crap together), did Philip ever question the “fact” that God has his Catholic back?


    He died at the age of 42, cancerous, with gout and respiratory problems; young(-ish), in enormous pain and unwaveringly certain of God’s support.

    Nearly 450 years on, we’re still seeing the same kind of behaviour from religious types who cannot separate “truth” from “desire”. It was God’s will that they won that award or passed that test or beat the other team. Can I prove that it wasn’t? Probably not to any kind of a degree that they’d accept, and all because of Philips “It is impiety…” speech.

    But can the religious prove their certainty in God’s will? I’m sure, like Philip, they reckon they can, and still using the same “It is impiety” logic as if it can flex both ways – to prove AND disprove God’s intentions.

    Except these days, instead of “It is impiety and almost blasphemy” it comes at us as “You can’t prove a negative!”

    450 years of religious progress, right there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree you can definitely disprove a negative beyond reasonable doubt. It’s difficult to say if this applies well to god/gods/deities/whatever because they are often considered non-physical, so it sort of falls outside of the realm of natural investigation. It makes the idea of a supernatural something practically unfalsifiable. However, I would argue, it’s not really worth believing in something unfalsifiable or taking such a thing seriously. If something is designed in such a way that it can’t be disproved it’s probably a sham or, at the very least, irrelevant.

    Note, I’m only talking about there being some supernatural something. I think we can pretty well disprove the idea that there is a personal god that interacts with humans. If such a thing existed, we should have been able to observe it by now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Perhaps invisible pink unicorns are actually falsifiable, if we get a special scientific device to see whether the unicorn is actually an invisible green unicorn? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You can easily prove, for example, that positing a cause for the existence of the universe requires positing the existence of something other than the universe, or that the events described as “miracles” in most world religions would indeed be miraculous: which is to say, that they would require external causes.
    Less straightforward to provide supporting evidence for the claim that the universe exists for no reason and that nothing exists outside of it. From that direction you pretty much hit an impasse- agnosticism is the only possible conclusion.
    So the real crux of it isn’t there. The real crux of it is- which standard should we apply to our uncertainty?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. But I have a picture of my imaginary friend with his heart in his hand and a cross planted in the top. I’ll bet you’re one of those people who doesn’t believe in Atlantis power crystals either.


  8. These look so yummy! I want to prkema-e the empanada dough discs for a party. Can they be frozen ahead of time? I plan to put freezer paper between the layers.


  9. Soha nem felejtem el, 1989-ben vonattal mentünk Gögr¶goÃszárba nyaralni. Belgrádban szálltunk át. Volt majdnem egy egész napunk várost nézni. Akkor nálunk Magyarországon szuper rendszerváltó hangulat volt. Belgrádban a boltokban, éttermekben, kávézókban, az állomáson minden falon Milosevics képe lógott.Egy év múlva már nem tudtunk Belgrádon keresztül vonattal Görögországba menni. Kitört a háború…


  10. Miranda Lawrie – I would love the 40 pocket Picture Pocket. I would fill it with photos of my brtoehr, sisters, and nephews, who are spread over China, the UK, and the US. This will help our kids to grow up familiar with the faces of family far away.


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