The Burden of Proof
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31-05-2011, 05:35 PM
The Burden of Proof
I'd like to create this thread to outline what exactly is being asked for when people ask for proof about something, normally an Atheists proof that God does not exist.

The Dictionary defines 'Proof' as:

The evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true.

OK, so proof is defined as providing evidence to prove that something is true. Lets examine this a bit further.

'Evidence': Plainly visible thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment.

'True': Consistent with fact or reality; not false or erroneous.

So if we explore this a little more we can now see that 'proof' is the plainly visible thing that compels the mind to accept an assertion that is consistent with fact or reality.

The new word here is 'fact'.

'Fact': Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed

OK, so here we are. To prove that God existed in the first place, Theists need to: "Provide plainly visible evidence to compel the mind to accept an assertion that is consistent with something demonstrated to exist."

Now lets look at the provided evidence for your belief:

1. The Bible: "The Bible is a collection of written accounts borrowed from multiple Canaanite and other Religions cults of Polytheism spanning over thousands of years and taken out of context whilst fraudulently and inattentively altered to create a single work of Monotheism by an uneducated, uncivilized, desert dwelling tribe over 2000 years ago." - "My Quote." This piece of evidence is neither factual nor helpful in proving Gods existence as it cannot prove to be more factual than a Dan Brown novel. Similarities shared by both books include large chunks of factual data woven together by a fictional storyline.

Unfortunately for Theists, this is your best evidence and it falls far short of the requirements needed to prove that a fictional character is real. Christians would not accept such evidence as proof of the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy so why is this book biased in being sufficient enough to change your mind? The real reason is that you were groomed from a young age to accept what is taught to you by your parents without question.

2. Miracles: Yet again, these so called acts of divinity are not measurable or repeatable and therefore cannot be proven as fact. There is a very easy answer to why limbs don't grown back on people at Faith Healing gatherings. That answer is that there is no such thing as miracles. Until you can prove that Miracles are repeatable, measurable and visible, you could not expect a non-believer to be convinced that it was anything more than chance.

3. Prayer: Prayer to God is the same as Prayer to a bowl of cereal. If you pray for something and it happens, "it's divine intervention." If you pray for something and it doesn't happen, "the cereal bowl works in mysterious ways, have faith and patience!" Once again, this can never be replicated or measured and cannot be used as proof.

4. Voices in your head: Yes, you can hear voices. So could Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan and Ted Bundy. It doesn't mean they were being spoken to by God. Our brain is fueled by a fragile balance of chemicals and when that balance is offset, all your senses can be confused. You could see things, hear things, smell things, feel things, and taste things that aren't really there. If you genuinely believe that you're communicating with God when that happens, take some Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and you'll be playing Scrabble with him in less than an hour.

5. Creation (My Favorite): The Holy Book says that we were created in 7 days a little over 6500 years ago. Funny enough, the Chinese people were already reading and writing before that and Dogs had been domesticated 44000 years before that. The measurable, repeatable and plainly visible proof that we have to prove the world is 4.5 billion years old cannot be supplemented by what was written in a book.

I could go on for days on this subject but I feel that as Theists, you have not provided sufficient, visible evidence to compel the minds of non-believers to accept an assertion that is consistent with demonstrating Gods existence. To put in more plain words, You have not proven that God exists.

Until such time as that proof is accepted as fact, there is nothing for Atheists to disprove.

This is the whole reason why you cannot ask an Atheist to prove that God doesn't exist.


P.S. I think we should sticky this so we can keep referring people back to it when they ask stupid questions.
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31-05-2011, 06:14 PM
RE: The Burden of Proof
Great post.
However, I don't think someone that asks for proof god either does or does not exist is necessarily asking a stupid question.

You know what they say, there are no such things as stupid quest...OK, that's bullshit. There are stupid questions. And there are even ridiculously stupid answers.

However, I think someone who asks for proof of god, and with sincerity and not just to be a snark, is to be given the benefit of their doubt.

After all, how many of us know Fundies for which there is absolutely no question god does exist?

Someone who sincerely asks the question, or proffers the challenge; prove god does exist or conversely, does not! I read as needing to be assured their choice is reasonable, according to what they hope is sincere reason afforded by those who choose to answer.

These are scary times for many. Then again, that statement has been afforded since the dawn of civilization. That fear is what created the notion of god in the first place. Many people, contrary to what many highly intelligent, independent self assured atheists may believe, are afraid this life is all about them. That all they have to work with and for, to assuage their fear, their loneliness, their suffering, their ____________________, is themselves first. If they're not willing to face it, no one else has to care about that because everyone is in the same boat.

Self, rowing till they die.

As for the Snarky pants who post just to mess with minds, fuck 'em. If they come Snarky they shouldn't whine when they're bested. Lord knows, it's inevitable. Tongue
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