Irrelevancies/you can prove anything on the internet

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seedling article
This article is incomplete. It might be useful as a reference, but avoid offering it as a definitive presentation.
Irrelevant Comment: You can find information on the internet to prove anything you want.

Claim

The argument seems to be that on the internet it is possible to find an argument to support almost any conclusion, therefore information from the internet is useless in an argument.

Usage

This argument tends to be brought up whenever someone is confronted by unarguable evidence that they don't want to accept.

Reality

The same thing could be said of a decent-sized library: there are any number of books or magazine articles which could be used to support just about any conclusion – and yet we don't dismiss libraries (or books or magazines) as a valid source of supporting information.

The argument assumes that it is impossible to tell good information from bad information (at least on the internet) – which is only true if you lack any of the following:

  • the ability to determine the structure of a claim (what are the premises, what is the logic, and what is the conclusion)
  • the ability to cross-check evidence against multiple sources
  • the idea that some sources are reliable even if some are not, and that sources can be evaluated in terms of how reliable they are