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Atheists Share the Burden of Proof

a_drumming_dog
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10/22/2014 7:39:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I have encountered numerous atheists that insist that I, as a theist, have the burden of proof and that they hold none what so ever. I see that this is a common misconception, so I'll do my best to explain my thoughts here.

For instance, compare these two statements
1 "I believe there is no dog in the house"
2 "I do not believe there is a dog in the house"

1 forms an opinion on the subject, namely that there is no dog in the house, whereas 2 does not form an opinion on the subject. 1 completely negates the subject. This implies that 1 receives the burden of proof as it is the statement that has a claim to knowledge. 2 does not make a claim to knowledge, therefore the burden of proof does not fall on the person making 2. The place of the negative makes all of the difference

1 is like atheism, and 2 is like agnosticism.

Atheism makes the claim that there is no God. This is as much a claim as the theist is making. This claim requires substantiation just like the theist claim does. However the agnostic does not make a claim. The agnostic simply says "I don't know." Therefore agnostics do not hold a burden of proof.

So please, if you are arguing that the theist holds a burden of proof, call yourself an agnostic, or an agnostic atheist, but not just plain atheist.
The truth will set you free
user_name
Posts: 120
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10/22/2014 8:07:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/22/2014 7:39:04 PM, a_drumming_dog wrote:

2 is 1... you can't have 2 be true without 1 inherently being true.
Best wishes,
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Roukezian
Posts: 1,711
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10/22/2014 11:10:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
So please, if you are arguing that the theist holds a burden of proof, call yourself an agnostic, or an agnostic atheist, but not just plain atheist.

It all comes down to being nothing more than a semantics matter; atheists define their semantics differently in a way where "atheist" would mean "agnostic atheist" much as modern-day Linuxers would call "Linux" what is actually "GNU/Linux" or even "Ubuntu" to what is technically "Ubuntu GNU/LInux." If you don't believe words have external/objective/universal/normative meanings, you should be okay with that.
Student4Life1975
Posts: 57
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4/24/2015 5:08:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/22/2014 7:39:04 PM, a_drumming_dog wrote:
I have encountered numerous atheists that insist that I, as a theist, have the burden of proof and that they hold none what so ever. I see that this is a common misconception, so I'll do my best to explain my thoughts here.

For instance, compare these two statements
1 "I believe there is no dog in the house"
2 "I do not believe there is a dog in the house"

1 forms an opinion on the subject, namely that there is no dog in the house, whereas 2 does not form an opinion on the subject. 1 completely negates the subject. This implies that 1 receives the burden of proof as it is the statement that has a claim to knowledge. 2 does not make a claim to knowledge, therefore the burden of proof does not fall on the person making 2. The place of the negative makes all of the difference

1 is like atheism, and 2 is like agnosticism.

Atheism makes the claim that there is no God. This is as much a claim as the theist is making. This claim requires substantiation just like the theist claim does. However the agnostic does not make a claim. The agnostic simply says "I don't know." Therefore agnostics do not hold a burden of proof.

So please, if you are arguing that the theist holds a burden of proof, call yourself an agnostic, or an agnostic atheist, but not just plain atheist.

The Atheist has no burdon of proof because he is not making the initial claim that there is a God. Imagine two people conducting a conversation. One makes a claim that a purple unicorn created the universe. If this isnt bad enough, he then immediately follows up with the comment "and the burden falls to you to prove it didnt". Is there any Logic to the progression of this conversation? Of course not. Whoever makes the initial claim has the burdon of proof. How COULD it be any other way?

If Atheists "Claim" there is no God, it's ONLY because they have not seen any evidence to support the other side of the argument, that being there IS a God. The first claim in this conversation was that there was a God, so the Atheist is only reacting to that claim, not initiating it. Whoever initiates the claim has the burden to prove it. Nothing is solved my asking someone who is reacting to a claim to prove it, because it is a manifestation of the initiators imagination, not the person reacting to it.

This "The burdon also falls on the Atheist" is nothing more than an attempt to use the same logic and redirect the conversation back on the Atheist because the Religious person cannot answer the question to the Atheists satisfaction. The same logic of the burden of proof simply doesnt apply the other way.
there is no progress without compromise"
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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4/24/2015 5:32:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/22/2014 7:39:04 PM, a_drumming_dog wrote:
I have encountered numerous atheists that insist that I, as a theist, have the burden of proof and that they hold none what so ever. I see that this is a common misconception, so I'll do my best to explain my thoughts here.

For instance, compare these two statements
1 "I believe there is no dog in the house"
2 "I do not believe there is a dog in the house"

1 forms an opinion on the subject, namely that there is no dog in the house, whereas 2 does not form an opinion on the subject. 1 completely negates the subject. This implies that 1 receives the burden of proof as it is the statement that has a claim to knowledge. 2 does not make a claim to knowledge, therefore the burden of proof does not fall on the person making 2. The place of the negative makes all of the difference

1 is like atheism, and 2 is like agnosticism.

Atheism makes the claim that there is no God. This is as much a claim as the theist is making. This claim requires substantiation just like the theist claim does. However the agnostic does not make a claim. The agnostic simply says "I don't know." Therefore agnostics do not hold a burden of proof.

So please, if you are arguing that the theist holds a burden of proof, call yourself an agnostic, or an agnostic atheist, but not just plain atheist.

I think you have a bit a of mess in there. People that say "I do not believe there is a God", are atheists. And people that say "I believe there is no God", are atheists too. None have the burden of proof btw, that's for the people claiming "there is a God". Atheists are merely remaining skeptical on the subject until evidence is shown. If no evidence is shown, the deafult position of any scientific mind, will always be "i don't believe it", and therefore no burden of proof on this side.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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4/24/2015 10:53:36 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Lol, (some) atheists will use any excuse not to have to have an argument for their atheism.

Lol @ the notion that people who are claiming "there is no God" have no BoP.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
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4/24/2015 11:29:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/24/2015 10:53:36 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Lol, (some) atheists will use any excuse not to have to have an argument for their atheism.

Lol @ the notion that people who are claiming "there is no God" have no BoP.

Since pretty much all atheists - up to His Dawkinsness - simply reject the theist claim and are therefore sitting pretty with the null hypothesis, they don't have BoP. It's frankly quite pathetic how desperate many theists are to avoid evidencing their claims.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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4/24/2015 11:32:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/24/2015 11:29:35 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/24/2015 10:53:36 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Lol, (some) atheists will use any excuse not to have to have an argument for their atheism.

Lol @ the notion that people who are claiming "there is no God" have no BoP.

Since pretty much all atheists - up to His Dawkinsness - simply reject the theist claim and are therefore sitting pretty with the null hypothesis, they don't have BoP. It's frankly quite pathetic how desperate many theists are to avoid evidencing their claims.

Cool story bro. Saying there is no God participates in the BoP.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
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4/24/2015 11:38:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/24/2015 11:32:53 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 4/24/2015 11:29:35 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/24/2015 10:53:36 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Lol, (some) atheists will use any excuse not to have to have an argument for their atheism.

Lol @ the notion that people who are claiming "there is no God" have no BoP.

Since pretty much all atheists - up to His Dawkinsness - simply reject the theist claim and are therefore sitting pretty with the null hypothesis, they don't have BoP. It's frankly quite pathetic how desperate many theists are to avoid evidencing their claims.

Cool story bro. Saying there is no God participates in the BoP.

1) Are you twelve or something?
2) Rejecting a claim that lacks support does not itself carry a burden of proof. If you can't see the huge and fundamental issue with this not being the case, I don't really know what to tell you.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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4/24/2015 11:45:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/24/2015 11:38:35 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/24/2015 11:32:53 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 4/24/2015 11:29:35 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/24/2015 10:53:36 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Lol, (some) atheists will use any excuse not to have to have an argument for their atheism.

Lol @ the notion that people who are claiming "there is no God" have no BoP.

Since pretty much all atheists - up to His Dawkinsness - simply reject the theist claim and are therefore sitting pretty with the null hypothesis, they don't have BoP. It's frankly quite pathetic how desperate many theists are to avoid evidencing their claims.

Cool story bro. Saying there is no God participates in the BoP.

1) Are you twelve or something?
2) Rejecting a claim that lacks support does not itself carry a burden of proof. If you can't see the huge and fundamental issue with this not being the case, I don't really know what to tell you.

Do you have reading comprehension issues?

I'm not talking about "merely" rejecting the claim that there is a God I'm talking about those who believe that are no God(s). If I say that here isn't any animal such as Bigfoot that requires some sort of positive case on my part. If I am merely skeptical of claims to Bigfoot's existence than that may or may not require a positive case of why I'm skeptical (depending on the evidence adduced in support of it's existence).
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Graincruncher
Posts: 2,799
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4/24/2015 11:51:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/24/2015 11:45:23 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 4/24/2015 11:38:35 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/24/2015 11:32:53 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 4/24/2015 11:29:35 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/24/2015 10:53:36 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Lol, (some) atheists will use any excuse not to have to have an argument for their atheism.

Lol @ the notion that people who are claiming "there is no God" have no BoP.

Since pretty much all atheists - up to His Dawkinsness - simply reject the theist claim and are therefore sitting pretty with the null hypothesis, they don't have BoP. It's frankly quite pathetic how desperate many theists are to avoid evidencing their claims.

Cool story bro. Saying there is no God participates in the BoP.

1) Are you twelve or something?
2) Rejecting a claim that lacks support does not itself carry a burden of proof. If you can't see the huge and fundamental issue with this not being the case, I don't really know what to tell you.

Do you have reading comprehension issues?

I'm not talking about "merely" rejecting the claim that there is a God I'm talking about those who believe that are no God(s). If I say that here isn't any animal such as Bigfoot that requires some sort of positive case on my part. If I am merely skeptical of claims to Bigfoot's existence than that may or may not require a positive case of why I'm skeptical (depending on the evidence adduced in support of it's existence).

No, but evidently you do because I didn't mention the incredibly tiny minority of atheists who make the hard claim. I thought I was pretty clear, but maybe you've got crayon poisoning and are finding it hard to read written English. It's okay, I forgive your transgression.
Surrealism
Posts: 265
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4/24/2015 12:50:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/22/2014 7:39:04 PM, a_drumming_dog wrote:
I have encountered numerous atheists that insist that I, as a theist, have the burden of proof and that they hold none what so ever. I see that this is a common misconception, so I'll do my best to explain my thoughts here.

For instance, compare these two statements
1 "I believe there is no dog in the house"
2 "I do not believe there is a dog in the house"

1 forms an opinion on the subject, namely that there is no dog in the house, whereas 2 does not form an opinion on the subject. 1 completely negates the subject. This implies that 1 receives the burden of proof as it is the statement that has a claim to knowledge. 2 does not make a claim to knowledge, therefore the burden of proof does not fall on the person making 2. The place of the negative makes all of the difference

1 is like atheism, and 2 is like agnosticism.

Atheism makes the claim that there is no God. This is as much a claim as the theist is making. This claim requires substantiation just like the theist claim does. However the agnostic does not make a claim. The agnostic simply says "I don't know." Therefore agnostics do not hold a burden of proof.

So please, if you are arguing that the theist holds a burden of proof, call yourself an agnostic, or an agnostic atheist, but not just plain atheist.

There are two kinds of atheism: agnostic atheism and gnostic atheism. The former is 1, and the latter is 2. Those who place the burden of proof on the theist most likely do so as agnostic atheists.
Ceci n'est pas une signature.
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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4/25/2015 12:41:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/22/2014 7:39:04 PM, a_drumming_dog wrote:
I have encountered numerous atheists that insist that I, as a theist, have the burden of proof and that they hold none what so ever. I see that this is a common misconception, so I'll do my best to explain my thoughts here.

For instance, compare these two statements
1 "I believe there is no dog in the house"
2 "I do not believe there is a dog in the house"

1 forms an opinion on the subject, namely that there is no dog in the house, whereas 2 does not form an opinion on the subject. 1 completely negates the subject. This implies that 1 receives the burden of proof as it is the statement that has a claim to knowledge. 2 does not make a claim to knowledge, therefore the burden of proof does not fall on the person making 2. The place of the negative makes all of the difference

1 is like atheism, and 2 is like agnosticism.

Atheism makes the claim that there is no God. This is as much a claim as the theist is making. This claim requires substantiation just like the theist claim does. However the agnostic does not make a claim. The agnostic simply says "I don't know." Therefore agnostics do not hold a burden of proof.

So please, if you are arguing that the theist holds a burden of proof, call yourself an agnostic, or an agnostic atheist, but not just plain atheist.

If you claim that you have carried out an investigation which shows that God does not exist, then yes, you have to prove it, but I don't think its a particularly productive line of argument if you want to convince peope of the legitimacy of believing in God. If you are convinced that there is intelligent life in the Universe other than on Earth, then it is perfectly legitimate to complain if someone says 'There are definitely no aliens in the Universe, and I don't have to prove that', but it doesn't help your argument that there are aliens. I'm not disagreeing with you, but it seems irrelevant to whether God actually exists or whether its legitimate to not believe that he does. I might be downplaying the importance of this simply because I haven't been involved in the whole 'God' debate for a while... there are people who claim that science has disproved God, which I don't think is legitimate, unless they mean that the things people have claimed God has done are false, so that specific idea of God has been 'debunked', like you could say that the 'Poseidon who causes all earthquakes' has been debunked, since we understand what causes an earthquake and it is not Poseidon.
Welfare-Worker
Posts: 1,175
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4/25/2015 4:32:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/24/2015 11:51:32 AM, Graincruncher wrote:

No, but evidently you do because I didn't mention the incredibly tiny minority of atheists who make the hard claim. I thought I was pretty clear, but maybe you've got crayon poisoning and are finding it hard to read written English. It's okay, I forgive your transgression.

Well, what today is referred to as "soft Atheism" or "weak Atheism" was simply Agnostic, once upon a time. The meaning of words change over time, and we are seeing this with the term 'Atheism' (without god).
Some of those who are agreeable to this change say it is only reasonable, because really Agnostics are 'soft (weak) Atheists', and have more in common with 'hard or strong Atheists', than Theists.
I disagree.
Here is how I see it.

In discussion of belief systems core beliefs are axioms.
An individual has no burden of proof to others, or to himself, it is really a moot point. This is what they believe, this is how they choose to live, and so it is.

In a court of law circumstantial evidence can convict a person of a felony. This is not what we would call scientific evidence, but it is legal evidence, and so it convicts.
It convicts the mind of jury members, and it convicts the accused.

In a court of law you are innocent until proven guilty.
If there is no evidence, there is no guilt.
So comparing the issue of the existence of god to a court of law, who/what is 'the accused'?
The prosecution is trying to prove there is a god, or there is no-god.
The defense is trying to prove the existence of god, or to prove the reality of no-god.
It seems to me these are the choices.

So which is it?
How is the 'reasonable' trial framed?
Historically mankind has said there is a god.
On this day in history, most of mankind believes there is a god.
This is an axiom of their belief system, they do not need to prove it to others.

But we will suppose mankind has decided the issue needs to be settled, and there will be a trial.
Will the prosecution take the position "There is a god, and now it is up to the defense to prove there is not."
I think not. If the status quo needs changed, the prosecution will challenge the defense to show there is no-god.
"Presumed innocent", in this case means "presumed there is a god".
The default position is there is a god. That is what mankind has believed.

History and mankind says there is a god, no need for any trial, but the 'state', the prosecution, says, we doubt it, it needs to be settled, there will be a trial to prove the existence of god.
No one had to prove the world was flat, it was up to others to prove it was global.
It seems to me that is how it would happen.

So the judge instructs the jury :
"You are not allowed to apply your own belief system here, axioms that you accept as true will not stand.
If you believe there are no supernatural explanations of events, you must suspend that belief, and consider that such things are possible.
If you believe that supernatural explanations are factual, you must suspend that belief and consider that there is no such thing.
In short, you must let the evidence convict your mind of the truth of the matter.
As an impartial observer, is there a god, or not."

Prosecution: There is no god. We can prove that,
Defense: We will show there is a god, or certainly reasonable doubt that there is.

Scientists -as provided by the prosecution - will say they can offer natural explanations for the Laws of science, no god or supernatural is necessary.
The prosecution will have many credible witnesses who say they have never experienced anything supernatural.

The defense will provide many individuals, from many cultures and religions, who have experienced supernatural events that they consider attributable to god.

The defense will bring other equally credible scientists who say that they have seen things in their lives that they attribute to god, not at work, as at work they assume there are no supernatural explanations.
Doctors for the defense who have seen 'miraculous' cures will say that professionally they have no natural explanations, sometimes these things just happen, but personally they will say it is an act of god.
Doctors for the prosecution will agree that sometimes these things just happen, with no apparent explanation. No need for a god just because we can not explain things.

So after all or the circumstantial evidence, which is the only kind that will be presented from either side, the jury deliberates.
Some will say, 'The prosecution did not convince me there is no-god.' This will be the position of Theists, Agnostics, and soft (weak) Atheists.
Others will say 'I was convinced there is no-god.', and these will be the strong Atheist position.

~ ~ ~

Now lets look at the prosecution taking the side of "There is a god, and we need to convince these Atheists of there mistaken beliefs, so we will put their no-god beliefs on trial."

Prosecution: There is a god.
Defense: We will show this god belief is mistake, or at a minimum there is reasonable doubt to believe it.

The prosecution puts many of the god believers on the stand, and they recount things they have experienced that convinces them there is a god.
Many educated scientists and professionals, and others.
Many cultures, many religions, all with a common belief in god. The prosecution will point out that it does not seem to be the same god, but the witnesses will be steadfast in there insistence there is a god.

The defense will have just as many credible witnesses who have a strong belief in no-god. They will say they have not experienced such things. The prosecution will not be able to ask if they personally believe in god, as core beliefs are not relevant.
Witness after witness say they have never experienced a god event, and that those who say they did must be mistaken.

So all of the circumstantial evidence will be presented.
The prosecution will point out that science has been silent on the issue, there is no scientific evidence for or against. There are many things Science does not understand, and that many random events occur which seem to defy Science, and could be 'miraculous' in nature.
The defense will respond, explaining that the supernatural is not the concern of Science, and all Scientific laws can be explained without the supernatural.
Random events do occur, which seem to have no natural explanation, but we probably just do not know all of the facts. In other words, we can assume there is a natural explanation, we just do not know what it is.

So, the jury deliberates.
Some will say, the prosecution convinced me. Their evidence was strong enough that I can see that these believers of no-god have it right. I am now a believer as well. There is no-god,.
They would the Strong Atheists.

Others will say, the prosecution did not fulfill their burden of proof.
I was not convinced of no-god.
They will be Theists, Agnostics, and soft Atheists.

~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~
So, based on circumstantial evidence, what do we think would be the outcome?
In either scenario, would the 'wining side' favor the Strong Atheist, whose only evidence is negative belief in god?

What I find worth noting, is that the weak Atheists will be on the same side of the fence as Theists and Agnostics.
Some of their Strong Atheist friends will be stand offish.
This is one reason why many such as myself believe the term 'weak Atheist' is misleading, not fairly descriptive of the position. As a group they are closer to Theists than Atheists, if they have considered the matter in the slightest.
Agnostic on the other hand, is descriptive, for those who might be faced with the question in a court of law.
Counterapologistblog
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4/26/2015 5:33:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/22/2014 7:39:04 PM, a_drumming_dog wrote:
I have encountered numerous atheists that insist that I, as a theist, have the burden of proof and that they hold none what so ever. I see that this is a common misconception, so I'll do my best to explain my thoughts here.

For instance, compare these two statements
1 "I believe there is no dog in the house"
2 "I do not believe there is a dog in the house"

1 forms an opinion on the subject, namely that there is no dog in the house, whereas 2 does not form an opinion on the subject. 1 completely negates the subject. This implies that 1 receives the burden of proof as it is the statement that has a claim to knowledge. 2 does not make a claim to knowledge, therefore the burden of proof does not fall on the person making 2. The place of the negative makes all of the difference

1 is like atheism, and 2 is like agnosticism.

Atheism makes the claim that there is no God. This is as much a claim as the theist is making. This claim requires substantiation just like the theist claim does. However the agnostic does not make a claim. The agnostic simply says "I don't know." Therefore agnostics do not hold a burden of proof.

So please, if you are arguing that the theist holds a burden of proof, call yourself an agnostic, or an agnostic atheist, but not just plain atheist.

There is a valid distinction to be made between someone who has not formed an opinion on whether God exists and someone who has formed the opinion that he doesn't exist. But I think the "dog in the house" example you give is disingenuous. In the West we all know that many people own dogs and if they do, then the dog will usually be kept in the house. So in Beyesian terms the priors for a dog being in the house are relatively high, and even if the priors for "no dog in house" are higher, we can still say that it is more reasonable to have no firm opinion. But that is because we already do have some evidence that there is a dog in the house, i.e. our knowledge of dog-owner numbers and behaviour which gave us our relatively high priors in the first place.
A better example would have been
1 "I do not believe the Loch Ness Monster ("LNM")exists" and
2 "I believe LNM does not exist"
It is up to the LNM believer to make out some kind of case for the existence of the LNM and until they have done that, 2 has no BoP. Once the believer has put forward some argument in support of their case, then 2 must show it to be flawed (unless it is self-evidently absurd or internally incoherent). If 2 cannot do that then they must at least retreat to position 1.
But if 2 can show that the arguments used by the believer are flawed then they have met the only BoP which ever fell on them. If we have no (reliable) evidence to believe that such a thing as the LNM exist, then 2 does not need to adduce positive evidence that it doesn't in order validate their position.
The reason why 2 doesn't need to make out a positive case is Occam's Razor. Occam's razor is a heuristic device rather than a logical or scientific law, but we use it instinctively in deciding what is or isn't reasonable. A world view without the LTM is more parsimonious and elegant than one with it and parsimony and elegance are to be preferred. If we did not use this approach we would have to remain undecided as to literally every logically possible proposition which we did not disprove, including ad hoc ones, such as that there is a troop of dancing teddy bears on the dark side of the moon. That is not the way to achieve rational discourse.
As an atheist who believes that God dos not exist, the only BoP I have to is refute your arguments that he does. If I achieve that, job done. Bring 'em on.....
Fkkize
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4/26/2015 8:21:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/26/2015 5:33:03 AM, Counterapologistblog wrote:
At 10/22/2014 7:39:04 PM, a_drumming_dog wrote:
I have encountered numerous atheists that insist that I, as a theist, have the burden of proof and that they hold none what so ever. I see that this is a common misconception, so I'll do my best to explain my thoughts here.

For instance, compare these two statements
1 "I believe there is no dog in the house"
2 "I do not believe there is a dog in the house"

1 forms an opinion on the subject, namely that there is no dog in the house, whereas 2 does not form an opinion on the subject. 1 completely negates the subject. This implies that 1 receives the burden of proof as it is the statement that has a claim to knowledge. 2 does not make a claim to knowledge, therefore the burden of proof does not fall on the person making 2. The place of the negative makes all of the difference

1 is like atheism, and 2 is like agnosticism.

Atheism makes the claim that there is no God. This is as much a claim as the theist is making. This claim requires substantiation just like the theist claim does. However the agnostic does not make a claim. The agnostic simply says "I don't know." Therefore agnostics do not hold a burden of proof.

So please, if you are arguing that the theist holds a burden of proof, call yourself an agnostic, or an agnostic atheist, but not just plain atheist.

There is a valid distinction to be made between someone who has not formed an opinion on whether God exists and someone who has formed the opinion that he doesn't exist. But I think the "dog in the house" example you give is disingenuous. In the West we all know that many people own dogs and if they do, then the dog will usually be kept in the house. So in Beyesian terms the priors for a dog being in the house are relatively high, and even if the priors for "no dog in house" are higher, we can still say that it is more reasonable to have no firm opinion. But that is because we already do have some evidence that there is a dog in the house, i.e. our knowledge of dog-owner numbers and behaviour which gave us our relatively high priors in the first place.
A better example would have been
1 "I do not believe the Loch Ness Monster ("LNM")exists" and
2 "I believe LNM does not exist"
It is up to the LNM believer to make out some kind of case for the existence of the LNM and until they have done that, 2 has no BoP. Once the believer has put forward some argument in support of their case, then 2 must show it to be flawed (unless it is self-evidently absurd or internally incoherent). If 2 cannot do that then they must at least retreat to position 1.
But if 2 can show that the arguments used by the believer are flawed then they have met the only BoP which ever fell on them. If we have no (reliable) evidence to believe that such a thing as the LNM exist, then 2 does not need to adduce positive evidence that it doesn't in order validate their position.
The reason why 2 doesn't need to make out a positive case is Occam's Razor. Occam's razor is a heuristic device rather than a logical or scientific law, but we use it instinctively in deciding what is or isn't reasonable. A world view without the LTM is more parsimonious and elegant than one with it and parsimony and elegance are to be preferred. If we did not use this approach we would have to remain undecided as to literally every logically possible proposition which we did not disprove, including ad hoc ones, such as that there is a troop of dancing teddy bears on the dark side of the moon. That is not the way to achieve rational discourse.
As an atheist who believes that God dos not exist, the only BoP I have to is refute your arguments that he does. If I achieve that, job done. Bring 'em on.....

Thank you.
Although the LNM example might not be the best fitting example either since there are far more people who believe in God than in it, it is certainly more fitting than the dog in the house one.
I personally think that atheism is a attitude towards the proposition "God exists.", a negating one. The lack-of-believe definition is probably viable, too, especially for those who did not deal with the issue before, but ultimately I think it evades the need for justification. Not because it is often claimed to be the default position via negativa, but because I, as someone who holds to metaphysical naturalism, hold a belief and as such I have to justify it.
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
Welfare-Worker
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4/26/2015 9:08:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/26/2015 5:33:03 AM, Counterapologistblog wrote:
At 10/22/2014 7:39:04 PM, a_drumming_dog wrote:
I have encountered numerous atheists that insist that I, as a theist, have the burden of proof and that they hold none what so ever. For instance, compare these two statements
1 "I believe there is no dog in the house"
2 "I do not believe there is a dog in the house"

1 forms an opinion on the subject, namely that there is no dog in the house, whereas 2 does not form an opinion on the subject. 1 completely negates the subject. This implies that 1 receives the burden of proof as it is the statement that has a claim to knowledge. 2 does not make a claim to knowledge, therefore the burden of proof does not fall on the person making 2. The place of the negative makes all of the difference

1 is like atheism, and 2 is like agnosticism.

Atheism makes the claim that there is no God. This is as much a claim as the theist is making. This claim requires substantiation just like the theist claim does. However the agnostic does not make a claim. The agnostic simply says "I don't know." Therefore agnostics do not hold a burden of proof.
So please, if you are arguing that the theist holds a burden of proof, call yourself an agnostic, or an agnostic atheist, but not just plain atheist.

There is a valid distinction to be made between someone who has not formed an opinion on whether God exists and someone who has formed the opinion that he doesn't exist. But I think the "dog in the house" example you give is disingenuous. In the West we all know that many people own dogs and if they do, then the dog will usually be kept in the house. So in Beyesian terms the priors for a dog being in the house are relatively high, and even if the priors for "no dog in house" are higher, we can still say that it is more reasonable to have no firm opinion. But that is because we already do have some evidence that there is a dog in the house, i.e. our knowledge of dog-owner numbers and behaviour which gave us our relatively high priors in the first place.
A better example would have been
1 "I do not believe the Loch Ness Monster ("LNM")exists" and
2 "I believe LNM does not exist"
It is up to the LNM believer to make out some kind of case for the existence of the LNM and until they have done that, 2 has no BoP. Once the believer has put forward some argument in support of their case, then 2 must show it to be flawed (unless it is self-evidently absurd or internally incoherent). If 2 cannot do that then they must at least retreat to position 1.
But if 2 can show that the arguments used by the believer are flawed then they have met the only BoP which ever fell on them. If we have no (reliable) evidence to believe that such a thing as the LNM exist, then 2 does not need to adduce positive evidence that it doesn't in order validate their position.
The reason why 2 doesn't need to make out a positive case is Occam's Razor. Occam's razor is a heuristic device rather than a logical or scientific law, but we use it instinctively in deciding what is or isn't reasonable. A world view without the LTM is more parsimonious and elegant than one with it and parsimony and elegance are to be preferred. If we did not use this approach we would have to remain undecided as to literally every logically possible proposition which we did not disprove, including ad hoc ones, such as that there is a troop of dancing teddy bears on the dark side of the moon. That is not the way to achieve rational discourse.
As an atheist who believes that God dos not exist, the only BoP I have to is refute your arguments that he does. If I achieve that, job done. Bring 'em on.....

Well, certainly a whole world of unsubstantiated opinions in this post.

"someone who has not formed an opinion on whether God exists..."

I will point out that someone who has formed the opinion they lack knowledge to know whether or not god exists, is not the same as someone who has no opinion on the god existence issue.
You ignore this, and imply they are of the same mind.
One has thought long and hard about the issue, (or maybe short and soft), but they have a definite opinion - "I just do not know enough to say."
The other, has no opinion.
If I ask someone if they like rutabagas, a common reply might be, 'I don't know, what do they do?' No opinion, clueless.
If I explain in detail that they are a root vegetable, a little like this, a little like that, etc, they may say 'Well, I never ate sweet potatoes, turnips, or those other things you talked about, except potatoes, so I really can't say."
One has a complete lack of knowledge, one has some knowledge, but lacks enough knowledge to make a decision.

you say only two positions, I say false dilemma.
You say
1 "I do not believe the Loch Ness Monster ("LNM") exists" and
2 "I believe LNM does not exist"

I say
1. "I know all about the LNM, seem all the evidence, and I can not decide it if exists."
2. 'LNM - I have never thought about it. As such, I can hardly say it exists, can I."
3. "I have thought about it, and believe the LNM does not exist."

It is up to the LNM believer to make out some kind of case for the existence of the :LNM and until they have done that, 2 has no BoP.

Well, quite a problem presented there.

First an analogy - noting that all analogies are fallacious, and prove no point, simply show a side of the discussion
Say I favor Soccer, and you favor American football.
So I am saying European football is a better, more challenging, sport than American football. You doubt this, and say "Prove it".
So I start explain the rules, playing field, etc of my football, and you stop me.
You tell me "Look, I like mine better, you like yours better, if you want to convince me, you have to explain the weaknesses of my game. Explain why my rules and my playing field are not better."
And I reply "Are you daft man? Have you taken leave of your senses?"

You want me to "make out some kind of argument", but I must do it using your rules.
Seriously?
You have challenged me - you tell me - 'You have the burden of proof, (based on a false dilemma argument). now use my rules, to show you are correct."

We recognize two types of Atheists, hard/strong, weak/soft.
What is the case with the weak Atheist.
They have heard the evidence of the Theist, and decided "I do not have enough knowledge to decide. Your evidence is not worthless, but it does not convince me. If it were worthless, I would simply say No-god. It does however put doubt in my mind about this no-god position."

So we see that among Atheists, many will accept the Theist rules.
All of these fallacious reasons, which are not evidence of falseness, do have the power to convince some minds.
For others, the strong atheists, it has no convincing power, total rejection.
Among the group that Atheists claim as their own, some accept the Theist evidence.

A world view without the LTM (god0 is more parsimonious and elegant than one with :it (god) and :parsimony and elegance are to be preferred.

Well, what Theist says this? Are you daft, have you taken leave of your senses?
This is an Atheist belief to support an Atheist argument. Cleaver of you to come up with it.
A world without Atheists is more elegant and parsimonious than one with it, so we need to get rid of their beliefs.
Yeah, I'll bet I can find some supporters for that belief.

In discussion across belief systems each side will want to use their rules, and that just does not work.
Theists have plenty of evidence for their beliefs, but Atheists do not accept it.
Atheist have plenty of evidence for their beliefs (also fallacious I might add), and Theists do not accept it.

These are core beliefs, based on axioms, and do not have to be accepted by the other side.
Counterapologistblog
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4/26/2015 10:18:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Welfare Worker,

My my! Somebody got out of bed on the wrong side this morning, didn't they?

My post was specifically a response to Drumming Dog's OP and that used a model in which 2 views were presented as exhaustive of the non-believing spectrum. If you think this so terribly wrong-headed, why do you not take DD to task instead of me?
Welfare-Worker
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4/26/2015 2:06:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/26/2015 10:18:48 AM, Counterapologistblog wrote:
Welfare Worker,

My my! Somebody got out of bed on the wrong side this morning, didn't they?

My post was specifically a response to Drumming Dog's OP and that used a model in which 2 views were presented as exhaustive of the non-believing spectrum. If you think this so terribly wrong-headed, why do you not take DD to task instead of me?

See, I was under the mistaken belief that posts were open to response.
I see now that one should only reply to the OP, and no other contributor.
And yet, so often, I see occur exactly what I have done.
DD posted 6 months ago, His most recent post was 2 months ago - alive or dead, who can say, a Zombie thread, as we say.

And I have to admit, I take your comment "As an atheist who believes that God dos not exist, the only BoP I have to is refute your arguments that he does. If I achieve that, job done. Bring 'em on..... " to be a challenge of sorts.
I 'brought it on', my apologies.
Furyan5
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4/26/2015 2:11:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I am a athiest who believes in God.
So yes. They exist.

At 4/26/2015 2:06:09 PM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 4/26/2015 10:18:48 AM, Counterapologistblog wrote:
Welfare Worker,

My my! Somebody got out of bed on the wrong side this morning, didn't they?

My post was specifically a response to Drumming Dog's OP and that used a model in which 2 views were presented as exhaustive of the non-believing spectrum. If you think this so terribly wrong-headed, why do you not take DD to task instead of me?

See, I was under the mistaken belief that posts were open to response.
I see now that one should only reply to the OP, and no other contributor.
And yet, so often, I see occur exactly what I have done.
DD posted 6 months ago, His most recent post was 2 months ago - alive or dead, who can say, a Zombie thread, as we say.

And I have to admit, I take your comment "As an atheist who believes that God dos not exist, the only BoP I have to is refute your arguments that he does. If I achieve that, job done. Bring 'em on..... " to be a challenge of sorts.
I 'brought it on', my apologies.
Welfare-Worker
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4/26/2015 2:19:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/26/2015 2:11:35 PM, Furyan5 wrote:
I am a athiest who believes in God.
So yes. They exist.


At 4/26/2015 2:06:09 PM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 4/26/2015 10:18:48 AM, Counterapologistblog wrote:
Welfare Worker,

My my! Somebody got out of bed on the wrong side this morning, didn't they?

My post was specifically a response to Drumming Dog's OP and that used a model in which 2 views were presented as exhaustive of the non-believing spectrum. If you think this so terribly wrong-headed, why do you not take DD to task instead of me?

See, I was under the mistaken belief that posts were open to response.
I see now that one should only reply to the OP, and no other contributor.
And yet, so often, I see occur exactly what I have done.
DD posted 6 months ago, His most recent post was 2 months ago - alive or dead, who can say, a Zombie thread, as we say.

And I have to admit, I take your comment "As an atheist who believes that God dos not exist, the only BoP I have to is refute your arguments that he does. If I achieve that, job done. Bring 'em on..... " to be a challenge of sorts.
I 'brought it on', my apologies.

Shame on you. don't realize you are in violation of Counterapologistblog's rules, to not respond unless to the OP.
My post was directed to Counterapologistblog , not you.
Although I am confused as to where this idea of his came from.
Furyan5
Posts: 1,228
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4/26/2015 2:25:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Lol review my profile pic with regards to your first question.

Yeah I'm pretty sure lots of people would be confused about that statement.
Welfare-Worker
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4/26/2015 2:28:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/26/2015 2:25:18 PM, Furyan5 wrote:
Lol review my profile pic with regards to your first question.

Yeah I'm pretty sure lots of people would be confused about that statement.

I just notice his post count.
Troll
Counterapologistblog
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4/26/2015 2:32:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/26/2015 10:18:48 AM, Counterapologistblog wrote:
Welfare Worker,

My my! Somebody got out of bed on the wrong side this morning, didn't they?

My post was specifically a response to Drumming Dog's OP and that used a model in which 2 views were presented as exhaustive of the non-believing spectrum. If you think this so terribly wrong-headed, why do you not take DD to task instead of me?

See, I was under the mistaken belief that posts were open to response.
I see now that one should only reply to the OP, and no other contributor.
And yet, so often, I see occur exactly what I have done.
DD posted 6 months ago, His most recent post was 2 months ago - alive or dead, who can say, a Zombie thread, as we say.

And I have to admit, I take your comment "As an atheist who believes that God dos not exist, the only BoP I have to is refute your arguments that he does. If I achieve that, job done. Bring 'em on..... " to be a challenge of sorts.
I 'brought it on', my apologies.

1. Yes, posts are open to response, which is why I responded to the OP. Where the thread itself is still live (which it clearly was, and not zombiefied at all) I make no apologies for responding to the OP on that thread.
2. You did not "bring it on." Your response contains no arguments for the existence of God.
Welfare-Worker
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4/26/2015 2:44:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/26/2015 2:32:23 PM, Counterapologistblog wrote:
At 4/26/2015 10:18:48 AM, Counterapologistblog wrote:
Welfare Worker,

My my! Somebody got out of bed on the wrong side this morning, didn't they?

My post was specifically a response to Drumming Dog's OP and that used a model in which 2 views were presented as exhaustive of the non-believing spectrum. If you think this so terribly wrong-headed, why do you not take DD to task instead of me?

See, I was under the mistaken belief that posts were open to response.
I see now that one should only reply to the OP, and no other contributor.
And yet, so often, I see occur exactly what I have done.
DD posted 6 months ago, His most recent post was 2 months ago - alive or dead, who can say, a Zombie thread, as we say.

And I have to admit, I take your comment "As an atheist who believes that God dos not exist, the only BoP I have to is refute your arguments that he does. If I achieve that, job done. Bring 'em on..... " to be a challenge of sorts.
I 'brought it on', my apologies.

1. Yes, posts are open to response, which is why I responded to the OP. Where the thread itself is still live (which it clearly was, and not zombiefied at all) I make no apologies for responding to the OP on that thread.
2. You did not "bring it on." Your response contains no arguments for the existence of God.

Well, you do not seem to understand the implication of our own posts.
According to you, posts are not 'open to response'. Only the OP, is open to response, although we should assume the OP can respond to anyone else.

I hate darn dictionaries, but sometimes they are the only recourse.

Zombie Thread
A forum thread that has been dead for over a week and then out of nowhere some a**hole brings it back to life.
http://www.urbandictionary.com...

The topic of the thread is 'burden of proof', not existence of god.
Since I stayed on topic, that means I disagreed with your understanding of BoP.
Counterapologistblog
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4/26/2015 4:19:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/26/2015 2:44:18 PM, Welfare-Worker wrote:
At 4/26/2015 2:32:23 PM, Counterapologistblog wrote:
At 4/26/2015 10:18:48 AM, Counterapologistblog wrote:
Welfare Worker,

My my! Somebody got out of bed on the wrong side this morning, didn't they?

My post was specifically a response to Drumming Dog's OP and that used a model in which 2 views were presented as exhaustive of the non-believing spectrum. If you think this so terribly wrong-headed, why do you not take DD to task instead of me?

See, I was under the mistaken belief that posts were open to response.
I see now that one should only reply to the OP, and no other contributor.
And yet, so often, I see occur exactly what I have done.
DD posted 6 months ago, His most recent post was 2 months ago - alive or dead, who can say, a Zombie thread, as we say.

And I have to admit, I take your comment "As an atheist who believes that God dos not exist, the only BoP I have to is refute your arguments that he does. If I achieve that, job done. Bring 'em on..... " to be a challenge of sorts.
I 'brought it on', my apologies.

1. Yes, posts are open to response, which is why I responded to the OP. Where the thread itself is still live (which it clearly was, and not zombiefied at all) I make no apologies for responding to the OP on that thread.
2. You did not "bring it on." Your response contains no arguments for the existence of God.

Well, you do not seem to understand the implication of our own posts.
According to you, posts are not 'open to response'. Only the OP, is open to response, although we should assume the OP can respond to anyone else.

I hate darn dictionaries, but sometimes they are the only recourse.

Zombie Thread
A forum thread that has been dead for over a week and then out of nowhere some a**hole brings it back to life.
http://www.urbandictionary.com...

The topic of the thread is 'burden of proof', not existence of god.
Since I stayed on topic, that means I disagreed with your understanding of BoP.

I have never said that posts are not open to response. That you think I did so is evidence of your own lack of ability to follow what your opponent is actually saying.
Zombie thread: you were not worried about this being a zombie thread when you posted at great length on the topic 13 hours before I ever got here. Which kind of makes you the arsehole in this scenario.
Your final sentence is a complete non sequitur.

Sorry to be so blunt WW, but you are as Bugs Bunny might have said, a complete and utter maroon. I shall not responding to you any further.
Welfare-Worker
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4/26/2015 4:38:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/26/2015 4:24:04 PM, Furyan5 wrote:
Ouch! that's gonna leave a scar. Lol

Yeah, I'll be boo hoo-ing all night.
Mhykiel
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4/26/2015 5:12:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/24/2015 11:29:35 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 4/24/2015 10:53:36 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Lol, (some) atheists will use any excuse not to have to have an argument for their atheism.

Lol @ the notion that people who are claiming "there is no God" have no BoP.

Since pretty much all atheists - up to His Dawkinsness - simply reject the theist claim and are therefore sitting pretty with the null hypothesis, they don't have BoP. It's frankly quite pathetic how desperate many theists are to avoid evidencing their claims.

Demonstrate this null hypothesis as being accepted, in accordance with it's use in science or statistics.

I suspect you can't. just another bare assertion with no justification to trivially support not giving any justification for another bare assertion.