Google Defines a statement as “a definite or clear expression of something in speech or writing” and “a meaningful declarative sentence that is true or false, or a proposition.”
This means that there are tons of statements out there. People can say just about anything they want and make statements about just about anything. An accusation is a statement and so is the blame!
But how do you know if a statement is valid or not?
Well, if you are someone who is wondering this, we have just the tips for you. Here, we give you 4 tips on how to see if a statement is valid or not.
1) The evidence
This is probably the most important factor regarding the validity of an argument. Whenever someone argues with you and you are having a word war, take a step back and think about what they said as well as the claims they made.
If the statement they made on the subject is not a universal truth or a common fact – ask them this, what is the evidence behind their argument? Is there any proof on the behalf of their statement?
One of the most common examples of this is – if you read a book in the dark, then your eyesight will degrade.
This is something that a lot of early 2000s kids may have faced. But the fact is there is no evidence that suggests that reading in the dark degrades your eyes. Sure it may hurt your eyes a bit but that’s about it. It is logical as studying in the dark for too long can damage our eye sensitivity which it does – but only for the short term.
2) The logic behind the statement
This is a common issue we often face as well – especially when arguing with those from different generations than us.
The premise of checking the validity of an argument using this trick is rather simple – if it sounds illogical then so is their argument.
One of the most common examples of this in the Nepali context is “If you don’t blow your hands after touching your throat, you will have a sore throat”
Where is the logic here? Sure it is a passed-down superstition among the teens but there is no logic behind this. Now you have to remember that the ones without logic steam from either ignorance, misinformation, stereotypical belief, superstition, sarcasm, or pure idiocy.
3) Know the Difference between Causation and Correlation
Causation in simple terms is the action of causing something. Meanwhile, correlation is just a mutual connection between two or more things.
Let’s take an example here.
Suppose your mobile phone has a how ram. Due to your phone having low ram, your phone sometimes freezes and hangs. This is causation. The lack of ram is directly causing your phone to freeze.
At the same time, also due to the lack of ram, sometimes the text messaging won’t work. This is also an example of causation as the text message is directly affected by the lack of ram.
Now if you didn’t know this inner detail, you may think that the message was not sent due to your mobile freezing since both of these events happen simultaneously. But you not being able to send the message is was not caused by your phone freezing – it is caused by the lack of ram.
This is a correlation.
Now don’t get us wrong, correlated statements are valid in a lot of cases. But at the same time, if used in the wrong context, they can become invalid as well. So while checking the validity, you should know the difference between causation and correlation.
4) Check if the statement supports the conclusion
A statement is valid if the truth of the premises logically guarantees the truth of the conclusion. This means that as long as the content of the statement guarantees confirms the conclusion then the statement is valid.
- I have a Pen
- I have an Apple
- I have both a pen and an apple
Here the first two statements are valid statements that lead to the final conclusion i.e
“I” have both the pen and apple. At the same time, both of these statements are proven to be true by the conclusion as well.
Admittedly this is a rather complex topic to talk about. But the general gist is this “As long as the statement is backed by evidence, is logical, shows either causation or correlation in the correct context and supports the conclusion – the statement is valid”.
Hope you found this interesting. If you have any suggestions for us, do let us know in the comments. And as always, thank you for reading till the end.