The (Baron) Münchhausen-Trilemma, also called Agrippa’s Trilemma, is a philosophical term coined to stress the purported impossibility to prove any truth even in the fields of logic and mathematics.
(Pictured to the Left is Baron Münchhausen)
The following news article reminded me of this: Twitter Helps Drunk Drivers Avoid Roadblocks
Within it the writer writes:
Of course the police know this [people drink and drive], and strive to discourage this behavior by setting up lots of drinking and driving roadblocks. And in general, the police want people to know there will be roadblocks out there, but they certainly don’t want drivers to know exactly where and when they are. And that’s why there’s some fear among the police that an increasing number of people will use Twitter to alert others about drinking and driving roadblocks tonight.
Simply put, the trilemma is a breakdown of all possible proofs for a theory into three general types:
- The circular argument, in which theory and proof support each other;
- The regressive argument, in which each proof requires a further proof;
- The axiomatic argument, which rests on accepted precepts
The first two methods of reasoning are fundamentally weak, and because the Greek skeptics advocated deep questioning of all accepted values they refused to accept proofs of the third sort. The trilemma, then, is the decision among the three equally unsatisfying options.
Saying that the use of twitter, internet sites and Facebook to publicize roadblock locations and "ruin them" is to engage in this (Baron) Münchhausen-Trilemma. Simply put, it is silly.
-Justin J. McShane, Esquire, Pennsylvania DUI Attorney
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