Proof

imagesA lot of times in an argument, a person will attempt to give evidence to support a claim. However, sometimes it really isn’t evidence at all. If someone says something like, “Well obviously this is true. I rest my case,” then they have just engaged in rhetoric and given you no reason to accept the claim in question as true. This rhetorical device is known as “Proof Surrogate”, and it’s tricky sometimes to spot it.
A clear, often overlooked case, has to do when people cite their sources. If someone says, “According to a survey of doctors, they now believe that smoking isn’t bad after all. The problem here is that they don’t tell you where you can find the study, how the study was done, nor is their evidence whether it the survey actually happened.
Therefore, there needs to be some steps to avoid making a proof surrogate.
1. Cite your sources
-That way people can go and look at the study or content
2. Don’t use phrases like “Obviously true”
-Well that might actually be the case, that’s not an argument, it’s an assertion with no evidence.

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