Clever ways apologists try to shift the burden of proof
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12-06-2015, 06:56 AM
RE: Clever ways apologists try to shift the burden of proof
(12-06-2015 02:16 AM)TheStraightener Wrote:  I like how they try to say that I have a "Belief that God doesn't exist".. Instead of" I don't believe God exists".

They sound similar, but one is a claim and one is the rejection of a claim. So they word it like I'm making a claim and then ask me to prove it.

I always reply with "I'm not an atheist because I have proof God doesn't exist... I'm an atheist because you can't prove he does"
This is infact their favorite. They adopt the narrowest most self serving definition of an atheist and refuse to budge.

They will also misrepresent agnosticism as a state of belief midway between religious belief and atheistic disbelief.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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12-06-2015, 08:44 AM (This post was last modified: 12-06-2015 09:30 AM by cactus.)
RE: Clever ways apologists try to shift the burden of proof
insisting that my statement of "I'm not convinced by your claim" is really a claim of non-existence....
Yeah, I get that one A LOT, and the people who try to use that one on me are usually unwilling to budge even a little bit from their original stance, because they realize that if they concede on that one definition, that invalidates their entire argument. Then they'll usually start trying to convince me that my atheism is a belief.

The only way I've found to end the "atheism is a belief" discussion is to basically expound upon their own definition and reiterate it back to them, something like:

"If by 'belief', you mean literally any thought that ever enters your consciousness, since your brain always has to make assumptions based on incomplete data, then sure, atheism is a 'belief' by your strategically overbroad and semantically dodgy definition. It is not, however, a belief based on faith, which is what most people mean when they use the word 'belief' in the context of religion. </conversation>"

..."but atheism does require faith, since you just said it's a belief," they say.
and round and round we go.... where it stops, only I know, since I'm always the one who has to point out the infinite regression in the conversation and press the "Pause/Break" key before it leads to a stack overflow error.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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12-06-2015, 09:43 AM
RE: Clever ways apologists try to shift the burden of proof
Most often I hear them saying that atheists should prove that god does not exist. But I would not call it smart.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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12-06-2015, 09:56 AM
RE: Clever ways apologists try to shift the burden of proof
Can science disprove God!?!
Can you prove atheism?

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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12-06-2015, 10:20 AM
RE: Clever ways apologists try to shift the burden of proof
The word "clever" and "apologist" should never be uses in the same sentence. Unless of course the sentence reads "clever ways to expose an apologist for the disingenuous bullshit they spread."

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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12-06-2015, 11:43 AM
RE: Clever ways apologists try to shift the burden of proof
(12-06-2015 10:20 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  The word "clever" and "apologist" should never be uses in the same sentence. Unless of course the sentence reads "clever ways to expose an apologist for the disingenuous bullshit they spread."

Some of them are quite rhetorically clever. The deeper you bury the presuppositional core of all apologetics, the smarter it makes the believing crowd feel when they nod along.

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12-06-2015, 05:52 PM (This post was last modified: 12-06-2015 06:15 PM by Learner.)
RE: Clever ways apologists try to shift the burden of proof
(11-06-2015 11:16 PM)pablo Wrote:  I wouldn't go so far as to say clever, more sneaky or dishonest.
We often get new members here who don't disclose their beliefs up-front.
They then ask a series of vague, seemingly pointless questions in hopes that anyone who bothers to answer corners themselves by making a positive claim.
I used the word "clever" because I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Regarding myself personally, notice I used the word "weasel" in reference to how apologists may act...that can at least be an indicator of my thoughts on the subject. (Ok, so maybe my terminology wasn't completely consistent.)

The background of my question, for your benefit, is that I want to hear any possible way religious apologists try to get out of the burden of proof, because that's a primary weapon in my arsenal of talking with religious folks. It was one of the things that first led me away from Christianity. Hope that helps.
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13-06-2015, 09:02 AM
RE: Clever ways apologists try to shift the burden of proof
(12-06-2015 11:43 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(12-06-2015 10:20 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  The word "clever" and "apologist" should never be uses in the same sentence. Unless of course the sentence reads "clever ways to expose an apologist for the disingenuous bullshit they spread."

Some of them are quite rhetorically clever. The deeper you bury the presuppositional core of all apologetics, the smarter it makes the believing crowd feel when they nod along.

Valid point.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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13-06-2015, 11:04 AM
RE: Clever ways apologists try to shift the burden of proof
(12-06-2015 11:43 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(12-06-2015 10:20 AM)The Organic Chemist Wrote:  The word "clever" and "apologist" should never be uses in the same sentence. Unless of course the sentence reads "clever ways to expose an apologist for the disingenuous bullshit they spread."

Some of them are quite rhetorically clever. The deeper you bury the presuppositional core of all apologetics, the smarter it makes the believing crowd feel when they nod along.

I find this every time I see Ray Comfort videos. He'll move in on someone that is off guard or "simple" and asks the same questions that he ask's time and time again. Never breaking from a script. One's he knows he has a retort for.

One time I saw him ask people "If Noah's flood didn't happen. Then were did all this water come from?" Everyone he ask (Or at least he add to his video) was dumb founded "Wow i never thought of that before? That makes a lot of sense."

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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13-06-2015, 02:50 PM
RE: Clever ways apologists try to shift the burden of proof
(13-06-2015 11:04 AM)Commonsensei Wrote:  
(12-06-2015 11:43 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Some of them are quite rhetorically clever. The deeper you bury the presuppositional core of all apologetics, the smarter it makes the believing crowd feel when they nod along.

I find this every time I see Ray Comfort videos. He'll move in on someone that is off guard or "simple" and asks the same questions that he ask's time and time again. Never breaking from a script. One's he knows he has a retort for.

One time I saw him ask people "If Noah's flood didn't happen. Then were did all this water come from?" Everyone he ask (Or at least he add to his video) was dumb founded "Wow i never thought of that before? That makes a lot of sense."

I saw that one. It was hilarious because the guys were a couple of real pillars of the intellectual community.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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