Burden of Proof: Really?
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20-02-2013, 12:54 PM (This post was last modified: 20-02-2013 01:13 PM by kim.)
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
Well... if no one's going for it .... I'll be stealing from Ricky Gervais on this ...

***
Averroes, I'm telling you right now, something I know you may not believe.... I can fly. Oh yes, I can.

So, I want you to prove that I can indeed, fly. Go on, prove it.... prove I can fly.

What's wrong? Can't, can you? Ha! My work is done here. I'm going to go PleaseJesus or something equally stupid. Dodgy
***

The evidence for the claim itself must be provided by the person making the claim ...otherwise you have what I will now coin as: A Double Stupid. Hmm... always wanted to make shit up... feels kinda cool... Consider no wonder christees do it all the time.

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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20-02-2013, 01:33 PM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
(20-02-2013 12:54 PM)kim Wrote:  Well... if no one's going for it .... I'll be stealing from Ricky Gervais on this ...

***
Averroes, I'm telling you right now, something I know you may not believe.... I can fly. Oh yes, I can.

So, I want you to prove that I can indeed, fly. Go on, prove it.... prove I can fly.

What's wrong? Can't, can you? Ha! My work is done here. I'm going to go PleaseJesus or something equally stupid. Dodgy
***

The evidence for the claim itself must be provided by the person making the claim ...otherwise you have what I will now coin as: A Double Stupid. Hmm... always wanted to make shit up... feels kinda cool... Consider no wonder christees do it all the time.
Although it is important to point out the difference between the potentially 2 very real and very different definitions for atheist that are fairly common.

1) The lack of a belief in a particular god (pick a god, any god)
2) The belief that a particular god does not exist (pick a god, any god)

Semantics get discussed a lot and I think most of us use definition 1, but some atheists may make the claim that they indeed believe no god exists. That is a bit different and becomes a claim in and of itself. Which is why it is not a logical position to hold (as Chas has already explained) the belief in the nonexistence of anything, because that can not be proven.

Evolve
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20-02-2013, 01:48 PM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
(20-02-2013 01:33 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Although it is important to point out the difference between the potentially 2 very real and very different definitions for atheist that are fairly common.

1) The lack of a belief in a particular god (pick a god, any god)
2) The belief that a particular god does not exist (pick a god, any god)

Semantics get discussed a lot and I think most of us use definition 1, but some atheists may make the claim that they indeed believe no god exists. That is a bit different and becomes a claim in and of itself. Which is why it is not a logical position to hold (as Chas has already explained) the belief in the nonexistence of anything, because that can not be proven.

Yes... that is the very basis of logic; the difference between:
to think - the position from which there is exchange of ideas and possibility - a resolve to accepted belief or understanding.
and to know - the position that has made up it's mind and no exchange is possible - faith.

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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20-02-2013, 01:50 PM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
(20-02-2013 01:33 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  some atheists may make the claim that they indeed believe no god exists. That is a bit different and becomes a claim in and of itself. Which is why it is not a logical position to hold (as Chas has already explained) the belief in the nonexistence of anything, because that can not be proven.

There is a difference between "belief" and "Knowledge". I don't know if god(s) exists, but I believe no god(s) exist. My belief is based on a number of things including science, history, philosophy, and even religious study. This belief is not supported by evidence, but is supported by rational and skeptical evaluation of the universe as I can perceive it. It doesn't change what I know, or more specifically, that I don't know whether god(s) exists.

It's much like my belief that unicorns do not exist. I don't know this for sure, but given the lack of evidence and historical and mythological origins of unicorns, I think it's safe to say that the case against their existence is quite overwhelming, enough so that I believe they do not exist.

Likewise, the case against the existence of god(s) is quite overwhelming and I therefore believe there is no such thing.

Note, however, that I don't claim there is no such thing, nor do I claim to know there is no such thing, merely that I believe it.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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20-02-2013, 01:51 PM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
Fair enough on both accounts.

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20-02-2013, 02:18 PM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
(20-02-2013 01:50 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  There is a difference between "belief" and "Knowledge". I don't know if god(s) exists, but I believe no god(s) exist. My belief is based on a number of things including science, history, philosophy, and even religious study. This belief is not supported by evidence, but is supported by rational and skeptical evaluation of the universe as I can perceive it. It doesn't change what I know, or more specifically, that I don't know whether god(s) exists.

I know what you mean. I think I personally equate the word "think" with the word "belief" although, I so rarely use the word "believe" - it wasn't much part of my vocabulary growing up.
***
When all is said and done, one can think and believe all one wants but one can never really know anything... not completely. To a certain extent, knowledge of most things is incomplete. One must rely on the past for confirmation and verifiable knowledge. To know completely would require a view to the future. One can speculate based on past knowledge but the future is unwritten, unknown, and unknowable.

In a sense, if a claim of absolute knowledge is made... well then, one is not a man but might be considered a god. For this very reason, I always thought that theists might have some delusion of grandeur but I never let it bother me much... they rarely seem to be able to argue their delusion from a logical position. Drinking Beverage

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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21-02-2013, 11:26 AM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
What Aseptic said.

And you could simplify the whole thing and reduce it to "Claims require evidence."

But the OP makes me realize maybe a lot of theists really don't understand the burden of proof, and that's why they try to shift it so much. It's on the person making a positive claim, "X exists," often in the absence of any evidence, not the on the person who is unconvinced due to lack of evidence.
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21-02-2013, 08:39 PM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
(21-02-2013 11:26 AM)amyb Wrote:  What Aseptic said.

And you could simplify the whole thing and reduce it to "Claims require evidence."

But the OP makes me realize maybe a lot of theists really don't understand the burden of proof, and that's why they try to shift it so much. It's on the person making a positive claim, "X exists," often in the absence of any evidence, not the on the person who is unconvinced due to lack of evidence.
There's so much theists don't understand. Most theists arguments use such appalling logic because they deeply believe in god, this makes them have an a priori assumption
god exists without many of them realizing it, as can be seen here. Take your typical absolute morals BS, to believe in absolute morals requires a god, and they believe in absolute morals, so there must be a god. They get shit all turned around because they don't recognize this simple fact.
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22-02-2013, 11:17 AM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
(20-02-2013 08:05 AM)Averroes Wrote:  Hi, I take issue with the “burden of proof” argument many atheists use. They say that it is the theists’ task to prove the existence of God, because “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”, as Carl Sagan puts it. But obviously, theists and atheists won’t agree which one of those respective claims is the extraordinary one. It isn’t necessarily so that the claim of existence of anything is the extraordinary one: for example, in the case of ether (the assumed medium where electromagnetic waves propagate), it was the claim of nonexistence that was deemed extraordinary and had to be proven. It seems to me that “extraordinary” in fact means “contrary to intuition/common knowledge”, and that is a relative thing.

I think that the key principle that gives atheists the upper hand is in fact Occam’s razor: if two theories both explain a full set of observed phenomena, the one with simpler set of assumptions is to be prefered.

If you think you can beat the aforementioned “annoying relativism”, I will be learn...or just read any of your thoughts on that subject.
The burden of proof is on the person/s that claim they know something.

These people have to prove it.

Charles Darwin when he proposed evolution had many evidences such as his famous finches and pigeons.

Now, we have proven his claim, and the burden of proof is forever off of our shoulders (Because it is fact).

Something like the existence of god can never be proven, but the burden of proof is still on those that claim he/she/it exists.

Usually it boils down to "well it involves faith."

Which isn't evidence at all. Actually, it's the complete opposite of evidence.

People that say it involves faith clearly know that they don't have any evidence for the existence of their god.
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22-02-2013, 12:58 PM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
The problem is not with burden of proof; the problem is with induction and empiricism. In science, there isn't any thing being proven. It's put up, or shut up. "God does not exist" can be falsified. All any person would have to do, to show the theory as incorrect, would be to provide a god. On the other hand, "God does exist", can't do much as a theory: there isn't any amount of observation and experimentation, that can lead you to opposite conclusion. In philosophy, it's just outside of the realm of observation and experience, i.e. sense data.

To me, as an atheist, god is just an indifference. I don't accept the truth of the concept's existence either way: as existing or not. It's only relevant to the extent of the fact that other people brought up the idea. It's a good sci-fi thriller, skeptical argument or thought experiment, but nothing more. I have my reason, along with math, language, morality, and logic. Those things are perfectly good, in helping me understand my perceived reality.

So, it's not "burden of proof" as much as it is "the ball is on your court", no matter how much you want to pass it to the other side. I'm definitely not trying to prove any thing, but think of how much of a shame it would be to hear that from some one accepting some thing as a truth, without even a shred of applicable, empirical evidence.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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