Hotly Debated Topics Online
Many topics get hotly debated on internet forums, however when we delve down into the heart of such arguments we invariably find that each side are arguing completely different things.
Two such topics are:-
"You can not prove a negative", where the side that argues that you can prove a negative is arguing without understanding the inference of the phrase, and the side that argues that you can't prove a negative is failing to explain the inference of the phrase. Hence you get two opposing sides who would no doubt agree wholeheartedly if the phrase was understood.
The phrase infers that you can't prove something doesn't exist, or that something will never work. It doesn't mean that you can't prove that there is a number such as negative 1. If you prove that -1 (negative 1) exists, then in the context of how the "can not prove a negative" phrase is meant, you are in fact proving positively that negative 1 exists. The "negative" in the phrase is not referring to negative numbers, it is referring to lack of existence of something or of some effect. Read the article for more information.
"The repeating decimal 0.999... equaling 1" is another such case, where neither side seems to understand where the other sides arguments lie. Both sides are arguing entirely different principals without seeing the point the other is trying to make. Both sides are correct, when their arguments are put into context. Read the article for more information.