John tells Linda the following false statement to trick her into believing that UFO:s exist.
Yesterday when I was walking in the forest I saw a UFO for 5 seconds and then it disappeared, you have to believe me because:
- You were not there to observe the same thing as I did.
- No other person was around to refute my observation.
- The UFO told me something I did not know before about you having a cat when you were younger named "Tom", if I did not encounter the UFO and get this information, how can I know that you've had a cat?
How can Linda refute believing Johns statement and expose it as being false? She was not there to observe the UFO and the statement about the cat is true.
Can she use a priori knowledge to counter Johns proposed a posteriori knowledge?
My input: One way of refuting Johns statement I believe is to use Humes research along with Arif Ahmeds research which states that we cannot have justified belief in a statement which has low probability to occur in reality, the probability we are being misled by a lie is to high. Even if Tom tells us that the UFO told him something he did not know about Linda before, such as she owning a cat named Tom, and uses it as proof of the UFO:s existence, the probability of it being told my the UFO is much lower than the probability that Tom got this information through one of Lindas friends.
Relevant research: Ahmed, Arif. (2015). Hume and the Independent Witnesses. Mind. 124. fzv076. 10.1093/mind/fzv076.
Many thanks for your time!