In debate, a naked assertion is a claim presented with no supporting evidence. Naked assertions are often phrased in such a way as to sound informed, authoritative, or objective, but the surrounding verbiage adds nothing to the argument.
Naked assertions are like a circular argument of zero circumference, i.e. they don't even attempt to assert a premise from which a conclusion can be drawn, but merely assert the conclusion with a bit of window-dressing added.
Although it is not a valid form of argument, it is perfectly reasonable to make a naked assertion as a statement of opinion within the context of an informal discussion. This should not affect the outcome of any debate taking place, however.
Where a conclusion X is being argued against:
- "A careful and objective analysis of the available evidence suggests that [!X] is by far the most likely occurrence."
- "Even if [X.premise] is true, [!X] seems orders of magnitude more likely than any sort of [X].
- Believe in the Scientific Method? Why or Why Not? "This form of argument is known as a naked assertion, which is when an argument is made by asserting the explanation without empirical evidence, or with incoherent logic." (links to FreeThoughtPedia for definition of "naked assertion")