The Evidence Game Liberals are Playing is a Con
Leftists know perfectly well that their oft-repeated mantra “no evidence of voter fraud” is false because they’re the ones who perpetrated or abetted the fraud last month. We’d find this out soon enough from Joe Biden himself if it were possible to inject a truth serum into his veins instead of the usual drug cocktail he needs to function every day. (A drug test before Biden gets security clearances might not be a bad idea.) Failing that, I want to explain why “no evidence of voter fraud” is a liberal con.
While the concept of evidence has meaning in the law, which distinguishes between direct and circumstantial evidence, it is a relatively recent development. In the 4th century BC, Plato created the concept of epistemology (the theory of knowledge) and philosophers have been thinking about it ever since. What we have to say about the concept of evidence is highly relevant to the currently raging controversy about voter fraud. Our story flatly contradicts the one the liberals are pushing.
This is a crash course, so apologies for moving at breakneck speed.
Epistemologists don’t talk about evidence as an abstraction; that is, as if evidence were some thing or other “out there.” True, there is a sense of “evidence” in which evidence can be looked for and found (or not), examined, and so on (e.g., a fingerprint). That doesn’t mean that evidence is the sort of concrete thing that, for example, a rock is. You know, the sort of thing that Joe Biden has in his head—though rumor has it that they x-rayed his brain and found nothing.
First, says epistemology, a proposition exemplifies the property of being evident—one of many epistemic properties. A proposition is what a sentence in declarative mood expresses, i.e., a sentence that says “that so-and-so is thus-and-such,” Examples of propositions are “That the sky is blue,” “that Joe Biden is a senile old man,” and “that November 3, 2020, saw massive voter fraud in battleground states.”
Questions and commands do not express propositions. “What day is today, Joe?” and “Go back to your basement, Joe!” don’t express propositions.
The reason is simple: Questions and commands aren’t true or false. The fact that someone asked a question or gave an order is true or false but the question or command itself is not true or false. The answer, one hopes, will be true or false—though when you ask Joe Biden a question, you’ll only get another question or a command, “C’mon, man!”
Next, in epistemology, there is no such concept as an “evident proposition.” Descartes, in the 17th century, was the first to point this out. “Evident proposition” may look like “red apple” but it isn’t. You can’t tell just by looking at a proposition whether it’s evident or not. Epistemic properties are objective properties, unlike sporting a creepy-looking hair transplant or taking millions from Ukraine or China, or both.
Instead, a proposition has the epistemic property of being evident for a person. Thus, the same proposition can be evident for you but not for me, and vice versa. The same proposition can be evident for many people or for only a few, e.g., that the 2020 election was stolen, that Joe Biden is a nitwit, and that Bill Clinton is a liar. There are also propositions in science and mathematics that are evident for virtually no one. Ours is a complicated universe, more so than global warming “hockey sticks” fanatics will admit.
Finally, propositions are evident for a person at a given time. So, it may be evident for Smith that he owns a Ford today but this will not be evident for Smith tomorrow if Jones drops by during the night and steals the car. Maybe it was not evident last week for the Governor of Georgia that there was voter fraud in his state but that should be evident for him now that surveillance videos have turned up. Your guess is as good as mine whether he and his Secretary of State will do anything about it.
What does all this amount to?
The “no evidence of voter fraud” mantra is a lie according to epistemology and is meant only to silence dissent. Properly phrased, this claim boils down to the claim that the proposition expressed as “there was no voter fraud on Election Day” was not evident at the time (or since) for anybody, which is patently absurd. This proposition was evident at the time for the people who falsified ballots, flipped votes, and so on.
Of course, they won’t admit that. They got paid to do it and to shut up or lie if asked about it. It’s a bit late for a grand jury to ferret the truth.
“This is all very well, Arnold,” you might reply, “but you must now tell us what epistemology has to say about the analysis of ‘being evident for a person at a time.’”
I wish I could. I can’t, not here, because things got very complicated in epistemology back in the 1960s owing to something called “the Gettier Problem.” The best I can do is recommend a slim volume titled Theory of Knowledge by Roderick M. Chisholm, which contains an analysis of “being evident for a person at a time,” along with analyses of other key concepts in epistemology. Chisholm writes clearly and succinctly.
I will make two final points. First, the “no evidence of voter fraud” mantra is unconstitutional gibberish as well as a lie. We can’t discuss the evidence problem that way, whether in law or in epistemology. Doing so forces us into accepting the “winner by popular vote” nonsense the left has been pushing, hoping to do away with the Electorate College. The only way to look at the matter that is consistent with the Constitution is one state at a time. That massive fraud occurred in Georgia is evident for me having read Sidney Powell’s brief.
Second, when the Supreme Court examines the issue of voter fraud, let’s hope they do so one disputed state at a time and rule only after due diligence for Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada. taken singly.
So, ladies and gentlemen, pretend you’re epistemologists. Ignore the phony, politicized certifications coming in, and realize that it is evident for you that massive voter fraud occurred in those states, Conclude that the right thing to do is to send Joe Biden back to his basement, Kamala Harris back to the Senate, and keep President Trump right where he is. The future of this nation depends on it.
A frequent contributor to American Thinker, Arnold Cusmariu holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University. His academic publications include “Toward a Semantic Approach in Epistemology” and “A Methodology for Teaching Logic-Based Skills to Mathematics Students,” available in PDF form at www.academia.edu. A paper on Descartes’ epistemology will be published next year in Symposion. Arnold’s teachers at Brown included such eminent epistemologists as Roderick M. Chisholm, Ernest Sosa, and James Van Cleve.