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I'm looking for a single word- a noun that corresponds to:

A factor or consideration that supports a specific conclusion or assertion

Here's the context- it's an article about the role of women in Orthodox Judaism, and more specifically, about the question of whether women can instruct others in Jewish law.

This is the paragraph- the XXX is the word that's missing ("halachic" and "halachah" refer to the tenets of Jewish law):

Chances are that a woman who contacts a female halachic advisor can expect to meet someone who understands precisely what she is asking, and that this encounter will be more open. This option would consequently increase the number of women seeking advice, since many women don’t feel comfortable asking rabbis about women’s issues, and some take on extra stringencies, or leniencies, that lack a solid halachic base. This is why female halachic advisors are so crucial. Rabbi N. Rabinovich also considers availability for clarifying a halachic decision a XXX in favor of training female halachic advisors.

Does such a term exist? If not - what are the closest alternatives? Thanks

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  • Please see the Question Checklist at the bottom of the tag info page and edit your question to include all the required parts, especially context, research you have already done and any words you found which you rejected. – Andrew Leach Jan 7 '15 at 13:28
  • The word evidence is defined in one sense by OED: count-noun 6. a. Information, whether in the form of personal testimony, the language of documents, or the production of material objects, that is given in a legal investigation, to establish the fact or point in question. Also, an evidence = a piece of evidence. This usage is uncommon outside the legal domain. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 7 '15 at 13:39
  • I would gladly add context- but it's too long to post in this text box. Any other way of posting? – Ilanysong Jan 7 '15 at 14:22
  • The additional infomation should be edited in to the question. Please don't try to start a discussion in the comments. – Tim Lymington Jan 7 '15 at 15:04
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    In the specific instance given in your block quote, I would use point, factor, or consideration. In context, all three convey the notion of "specific supporting element" that you are trying to express. – Sven Yargs Jan 7 '15 at 23:45
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The phrase "piece of evidence" is the closest fit.

A confirmation or a verification would suggest something more conclusive than just leaning in one direction.

A proof or even more so a substantiation would suggest the fact was sufficient on its own to conclusively prove the matter.

A corroboration would back up other such evidence.

An affirmation is perhaps the closest in a single word, though still not quite as good for that meaning as a "piece of evidence".

You can also just use evidence but it doesn't fit well with explicitly singular use as one would not have "an evidence".

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How about proof, which thefreedictionary.com defines as:

evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true or believable.

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"evidence", as has been mentioned above, is used in legal and scientific contexts (more specifically, in medical research).

evidence (noun)

  • "He has been unable to find evidence to support his theory."
  • "Investigators could find no evidence linking him to the crime."
  • "Her curiosity is evidenced (vb) by the number of books she owns."
  • "The play's long run on Broadway is evidence of its great popularity."

Although we don't say "I have an evidence", as has been pointed out in one of the answers, we often hear and read "we have some evidence" or "there is some evidence". Just like "wine" or "information", "evidence" is uncountable.

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Argument is a word with many different senses but at least one of them would appear to answer here:

A statement or fact advanced for the purpose of influencing the mind; a reason urged in support of a proposition. (OED)

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basis

on ODO

1 The underlying support or foundation for an idea, argument, or process
1.2 The justification for or reasoning behind something: on the basis of these statistics important decisions are made

Section C of FASB (Financial Accounting and Standards Board)

Background Information and Basis for Conclusions

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I think you want the term "Lemma"

Lemma: proven proposition which is used as a stepping stone to a larger result rather than as a statement of interest by itself

It's a word that is used in context to very structural arguments.

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I proffer- (major) premise, n.

a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn.

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