Burden of Proof: Really?
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08-03-2013, 02:28 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.



I think the Onus is in correct deployment in such cases where a Theist says "There is a god" and the Atheist replies: "Show me your evidence"/"I don't believe you".

Since this is a legal term I feel it best to take a legal approach to it.


The Onus (or Burden) of Proof is placed upon those making an affirmative claim.

For example: In a criminal case, the burden rests on the Prosecution who's role is to make the affirmative claim e.g. "the defendant is guilty". The Burden is not on the shoulders of the Defence is such in instance, due to the assumption of innocence. In Civil cases, the Burden is placed upon the Plaintiff, who must assert the affirmative e.g. "X was negligent in his duties".

So, where does the Affirmative Claim rest in a religious discussion? That depends on several factors:

As a default stance, Theists believe their God exists. Atheists do not. Nobody can argue that point so lets move on.

Depending on the nature of the argument and wording the Onus could swing two ways, the arguments of course rely on the stances of both parties, for example, is the atheist you referred to a Strong Atheist or a Weak/Agnostic Atheist? This is an important factor as the stances will affect the wording and arguments used by the Atheist,also, is the Theist claiming God exists, or do they simply claim they believe in a god? These are important to specify because they will effect where the Affirmative Claim is being made and as such, where the Onus lies.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
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08-03-2013, 03:14 AM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
(07-03-2013 07:20 PM)Averroes Wrote:  Let's forget God and focus on the Burden of Proof argument, which can be about anything. Is it true, that the burden is always on the one claiming existence? That is the issue. I say No.

There is no law of the universe that mandates who has the burden of proof. It can be who ever we as a society decide it should be. I agree that the burdern of proof lies with the person making the claim.

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08-03-2013, 11:58 AM
Burden of Proof: Really?
The non-existence of any currently explained god or gods is provable. I thought everyone here knew this.
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08-03-2013, 12:05 PM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
(08-03-2013 11:58 AM)I and I Wrote:  The non-existence of any currently explained god or gods is provable. I thought everyone here knew this.
I don't know it.

I think you should share your proof of the non-existence of all gods. There's some 6 billion people in the world who need to hear it...

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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08-03-2013, 12:38 PM
Burden of Proof: Really?
(08-03-2013 12:05 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(08-03-2013 11:58 AM)I and I Wrote:  The non-existence of any currently explained god or gods is provable. I thought everyone here knew this.
I don't know it.

I think you should share your proof of the non-existence of all gods. There's some 6 billion people in the world who need to hear it...

The methods are different for each god so someone is going to have to play devils advocate and pick a god.
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08-03-2013, 01:48 PM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
The Atheist argument is right with that. The difference in a label doesn't change anything. If you go to someone and demand that they believe something that you insist that they have to, then you’ve decided that it was your responsibility to persuade them.

Yes? No? Maybe?
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08-03-2013, 02:51 PM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
(08-03-2013 12:38 PM)I and I Wrote:  
(08-03-2013 12:05 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  I don't know it.

I think you should share your proof of the non-existence of all gods. There's some 6 billion people in the world who need to hear it...

The methods are different for each god so someone is going to have to play devils advocate and pick a god.
OK, I'll bite. Prove to me that Yahweh, the god of the Christian bible, doesn't exist. We'll start with the biggest, most popular god, and work our way down from there.

The stage is yours.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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08-03-2013, 03:50 PM
Burden of Proof: Really?
(08-03-2013 02:51 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  
(08-03-2013 12:38 PM)I and I Wrote:  The methods are different for each god so someone is going to have to play devils advocate and pick a god.
OK, I'll bite. Prove to me that Yahweh, the god of the Christian bible, doesn't exist. We'll start with the biggest, most popular god, and work our way down from there.

The stage is yours.

The only way humans can receive any info from outside their own brains is through the five senses. Which of the 5 senses did you use?
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08-03-2013, 04:22 PM
RE: Burden of Proof: Really?
Which of the 5 senses did I use for what? For finding God?

Maybe you don't know it, but I'm a skeptic and an atheist. I'll assume you know that and you're just offering a question that you or I could ask a Christian. So are we supposed to ask a Christian which of the 5 senses they used to discover God?

Won't they simply answer that they use their eyes to read the bible, their eyes to look at the majestic world God created, their ears to hear the sermons, and so on?

Or would they answer that we have more than 5 senses? I personally can name 7 without being metaphysical: vision, hearing, scent, taste, tactical touch, kinesthetic feeling, and gustatory feeling. Admittedly the last two are fairly similar, but still different enough that they seem, to me, to be two different sensations. In any case, a theist might add an 8th sense, the inner feeling of being filled with the Holy Spirit, proof that god has filled their hearts with bliss or joy or whatever.

Ray Comfort does that. He always says (about God) that you cannot see him, touch him, hear him, smell him, or taste him, but he still lets us know he's there by filling our hearts, our souls, with his love for us and blah blah blah. I'm sure that's how he would answer your question.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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08-03-2013, 05:53 PM
Burden of Proof: Really?
(08-03-2013 04:22 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Which of the 5 senses did I use for what? For finding God?

Maybe you don't know it, but I'm a skeptic and an atheist. I'll assume you know that and you're just offering a question that you or I could ask a Christian. So are we supposed to ask a Christian which of the 5 senses they used to discover God?

Won't they simply answer that they use their eyes to read the bible, their eyes to look at the majestic world God created, their ears to hear the sermons, and so on?

Or would they answer that we have more than 5 senses? I personally can name 7 without being metaphysical: vision, hearing, scent, taste, tactical touch, kinesthetic feeling, and gustatory feeling. Admittedly the last two are fairly similar, but still different enough that they seem, to me, to be two different sensations. In any case, a theist might add an 8th sense, the inner feeling of being filled with the Holy Spirit, proof that god has filled their hearts with bliss or joy or whatever.

Ray Comfort does that. He always says (about God) that you cannot see him, touch him, hear him, smell him, or taste him, but he still lets us know he's there by filling our hearts, our souls, with his love for us and blah blah blah. I'm sure that's how he would answer your question.

Reading about something means reading about a person or persons viewpoints about certain things. Again, did any of these people in the past use any of their senses to experience a god? At best one can simply say that god did exist and doesn't exist now, like the Roman Empire or dinosaurs.
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