The question was posed to Abraham Lincoln. "How Can You Tell When a Thing Is Proved?"
"Generally, a proposition or statement can be considered "proved" when sufficient evidence or logical reasoning supports it beyond a reasonable doubt.
The process of proving a statement involves presenting arguments or evidence that support the statement and ruling out any alternative explanations or counterarguments.
In mathematics and other formal disciplines, a statement is usually considered proven when it has been logically deduced from a set of axioms and accepted principles through rigorous and systematic proof.
In science, a theory or hypothesis is proven when tested and confirmed through repeated experiments and observations and withstood scrutiny and skepticism from the scientific community.
Ultimately, the standards for what constitutes "proof" may vary depending on the context and the field of inquiry. However, a key element of any proof is that it must be based on sound reasoning and evidence rather than mere speculation or unsupported assertions."
"It was my terrible discouragement which did that for me. As a young man, I went Into an office to study law. I saw that a lawyer's business is largely to prove things. I said to myself, 'Lincoln, when is a thing proved?' That was a poser. What constitutes proof? Not evidence; that was not the point. There may be enough evidence, but wherein is the proof? I groaned over the question and finally said to myself, 'Ah, Lincoln, you can't tell.' Then I thought, what use is it for me to be In a law office if I can't tell when a thing Is proved?
So I gave it up and went back home. Soon after I returned to the old log cabin, I fell in with a copy of Euclid's Elements of Geometry. I had not the slightest notion of what [or who] Euclid was, and I thought I would find out. I, therefore, began at the beginning, and before spring, I had gone through the old Euclid's geometry and could demonstrate every proposition in the book. Then in the spring, when I had got through with it, I said to myself one day, 'Ah, do you know when a thing is proved?' and I answered, 'Yes, sir, I do. Then you may go back to the law shop,' and I went."
Compiled By Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.
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