Firmitas

Argument from Lack of Imagination

Revision 1
© 2011-2019 by Zack Smith. All rights reserved.

Argument from Lack of Imagination

The arguer suffers from a lack of imagination, which may be genuine or merely feigned.

The specific form
  • Person A says he cannot imagine that Claim C is true.
  • Therefore Person A insists Claim C is false.

The general form
  • Person A says he cannot imagine that Claim C is true.
  • Therefore Claim D is true.

Examples

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977. DEC did not enter the home computer market.

We cannot believe that the president would ever lie to the American people, therefore he didn't.

I cannot imagine that my wife had anything to do with robbing that bank, officer, therefore she's innocent.

How can we believe that the town's public health spa has become polluted and is making many of the tourists sick? You are a liar and a trouble-maker for saying such things. This is the premise of the play /An Enemy of the People/, by Henrik Ibsen.

I simply cannot believe that the media would conspire with politicians and the military industrial complex to hoodwink the public into embarking on unnecessary wars, therefore you're a conspiracy theorist.

I cannot imagine a world without a god, therefore there is a god.

Weaknessess

A lack of imagination is not an argument. History has been a steady progression of discoveries, especially in science, each of which has shown us again and again that a lack of imagination is not praiseworthy.

If the lack of imagination appears feigned, you might inquire about motives. Perhaps the actual cause is ignorance, or blind faith in authority, or even a hidden self-interest that compels the arguer to dispel inquiries.

In propaganda, the Big Lie technique consists of presenting to the public the biggest possible lie, because the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it. An arguer who is hoodwinked by a Big Lie, or on the side of the liars, will claim that no one could imagine such a colossal fabrication as alleged in some Claim C, therefore Claim C is false.