Amazon.com Widgets
  • Atheism is an ism

    From Greek: A is without; theos is god. Atheism is not "I don't know," that's agnosticism (again, Greek: A is still without; gnostos is knowledge). Atheists affirmatively say there is not a god (or God, depending on your opinions about capitalization, or gods if you are Hindu). It is one among the many isms that proclaims to affirmatively know the answer and, as such, bears the burden of proving that answer is the correct "one" among the, literally, infinite number of possible answers.

    Not much different from saying "there is one answer and it is the Flying Spaghetti Monster" in my book.

  • Unless You Like Injustice

    Biased much? Lacking a burden for proof is too convenient for atheists. Are atheists the only group immune to this, or are they a specific version of a generic rule that respondents to a claim have no obligation to contribute? There had better be, or this is cheating, an unfair advantage.

  • Yes Atheists also Carry Burden of Proof.

    In (almost) all instances, the burden of proof lies with the party making the assertion, whatever that assertion is.
    Claim "there is a God," and you can be asked to support that belief. The reason is because you'd need proof evidence God exists does itself exist.
    Claim, "there is no God," and you can be asked to support that belief. The reason is because you'd need omniscience to be able to prove no evidence exists. Then some Smart Alec might come along an provide evidence for God, and prove the statement there is no God wrong.
    Claim, "we cannot know if there is a God or not, because there is no evidence either way," and you can be asked to support that belief. The reason is because you'd need omniscience to be able to prove no evidence exists. The alternative is you lack the ability to recognize evidence for God's existence, or lack the ability to make a decision based on the evidence.

  • Absolutely! If you claim it, you carry it.

    The burden of proof rests on the one making a claim, whether than claim is positive or negative!

    If someone makes the argument that God DOESN'T exist, the burden of proof lies with them to prove it, just as a theist has the burden of proof when it comes to proving the existence of God.

    If a theist claims that God exists, the atheist is well within his rights to demand proof without needing to provide evidence to the contrary. If the theist can't deliver to the atheist's standards (most likely falsifiable, physical, empirically-based evidence), then they part their separate ways.

    If an atheist asserts the NON-existence of God, then the theist is well within his rights to demand proof without needing to provide evidence to the contrary. If the atheist can't deliver to the theist's standards, then they part their separate ways.

    Finally, if both atheist and theist enter into a debate about whether God exists, then BOTH must provide sufficient evidence for their position, while also refuting the other position.

    The fundamental difference between the first two scenarios and the last is that in the first two, only ONE person is making an assertion. The other is refuting the opponent's position but not asserting a position themselves. In the third scenario, both people assert opposing positions, and therefore each have the burden of proof.

    The atheist can't say "God DOESN'T exist! Now prove me wrong!"
    That is just absurd and intellectually dishonest.

  • Yes they do.

    Atheism, like religion, makes a claim. Therefore, in order to be taken seriously, it must provide evidence and proof of its claims.

    To say otherwise makes Atheism no different and no better than religion in this regard. It is being asked to be given special treatment without having earned it.

  • Only people who have no viewpoint, need no proof

    If a biologist comes along and says: "Unicorns most probably do not exist", he needs no proof. The reason he says 'most probably' is because in these four-thousand years that man has observed the earth, no-one has really found proper evidence for their existence. But that should not mean that in the years coming, no-one does.

    Monotheists indeed need the most proof, but an atheist, who says: "There can in no way be anything like God", has a burden of proof as well. Because all truths are born from facts, and facts are only facts if they have evidence to support them.

  • Yes, as Atheism is based on a lack of proof which in itself is not evidence of a lack of a God.

    Like religion, Atheism is based on faith. And like religion and anything else that is based on faith, atheists carry the burden of having to prove what they believe.

    Just because there is no proof that a God does exist doesn't mean that that is proof that a God does to exist. Logically and rationally I suppose you could take it this way, which is what atheists (or at least some do), but in speaking in a truly logical sense atheism is based just as much on faith as belief in a religion is.

    Neither have actual irrefutable proof that their belief that a higher power/force/entity (or a God as I will refer to out of laziness, though I do acknowledge not all religions believe in an entity as such) does or does not exist. They both ignore the fact that there is no proof supporting their arguments.

    Theists believe that because there is no proof a God does not exist, a God must be able to exist. (Possibly among other things).

    Atheists believe that because there is no proof that a God does exists, a God must not be able to exist/must not exist.

    Like atheism takes an, at least sort of, rational approach in that a lack of evidence means that something does not exist, it is entirely rational of theists to believe that a lack of evidence about something not existing means that it exists.

    Speaking from a logical sense, both are based on faith that lack of proof one way or another is irrefutable evidence, gives support and is proof of their own arguments and beliefs. As such, both then must bear the burden of proving that what they believe (their faith) is right outside of this lack of evidence, for lack of evidence (whatever way it points) is not evidence in itself. All it means is that they are both theories (like in science) that have neither been proven or disproven and as such are as equally possible and impossible as each other.

    So yes, Atheists carry the burden of proof and the need to prove their faith.

  • Who made the claim?

    The burden of proof rests with the person making the claim, regardless of whether or not that claim is positive or negative. Take for instance the claim that there is no largest prime. Can I make that assertion and not provide evidence?

    Now take the assertion: there are infinitely many primes. This is a positive assertion and so I must support it with evidence, right? But I can simply restate it as "there is no largest prime."

  • A Burden of Proof Is Required For Any Claim, Positive or Negative

    Any position that one takes can be stated in both positive and negative terms. Theists' core proposition, in positive form, is "God exists." Atheists' core proposition, in positive form, is "God does not exist." Theists can state their position by claiming disbelief in the negation of their core proposition, like this: "We do not believe that God does not exist." Atheists can, and usually do, state their position in this way. However, both sides bear a burden of proof.

    In a formal debate setting, the positive claimant for the proposition in question is said to bear the burden of proof, because that side is "bringing the issue to the table" so to speak. Note that the proposition in question for a debate can be a negative or positive proposition.

    Outside of formal debate conventions, however, the one-sided burden of proof does not actually apply. Any position of any type, in order to be properly considered rational or reasonable, must in fact be supported by evidence and arguments.

    We know this intuitively whenever we find ourselves in a position where we are trying to win someone over to our point of view. In order to convince someone of your point of view, you automatically begin giving reasons why your point of view is valid, and usually reasons why alternative points of view are invalid. You are automatically assuming a burden of proof because you are trying to shift someone else's point of view over to yours.

    When atheists say they have no burden of proof to establish their position on the question of God, what they are really doing is trying to argue that atheism is some sort of "default" or "neutral" viewpoint for humans, and so we all ought to be atheists unless and until the existence of God is proven to be probable. This assumption of neutrality, however, is philosophically controversial, and the ironic reality is that the atheists now have a burden of proof to establish this new claim about the supposed "natural neutrality" of an atheist viewpoint.

  • Use the Scientific Method

    The burden is on the atheist and must then prove the origin of life on earth. This must be observable proof as they would ask the theist to provide according to the scientific method. Want to stump a so-called atheist? Just ask them how life originated on this planet. Their answer will mirror faith of those in God.

  • Not our job

    The burden of proof leis with religion, they first came up with the story that god existed so before atheists should prove he doesn't exists religious people first have to prove he doesn't, it's like saying ''the sky is made out of shit! Prove me wrong!'' no, you should prove YOURSELF right first otherwise it's just random bullshit

  • Of course not. That's Christians.

    Out proof that God does not exist, is that Christians have no proof that he DOES exist. Christians; you don't believe in elves and Santa Clause and the tooth fairy or fairies overall. (I hope you don't, for your own good sake). Can you prove that they don't exist? No. Well, you can, actually: There is no evidence that those things do, indeed, exist. Therefore, we cannot say that they do.

  • Atheism is not believing in god.

    You do not need faith to be atheist, that's just retarded. You just need to ignore people whose logic comes from a book. This book is called the "Bible". Also when people say "I believe in God", which god? Which is the real "God"? I'm not asking for proof, since you can't prove it anyways. I like to ask for logic. The fact that some idiots to the left believe you need faith or to prove their faith with evidence is a "Burden". Actually, they(atheist) don't even focus on faith. All you need is a little bit of reality and check.

  • A claim is needed before evidence is.

    Atheism is an absence of belief, not belief in an absence. Atheists make no claim that there is no god, they just don't believe in one, because there is no evidence for a god.

    Atheists make no claim as to whether or not a god exists, so they do not need proof. Proof is needed to back up claims, but atheists don't make a claim, and therefore don't need proof.

  • Not a positive claim

    The confusion lies in the way Atheist is defined. An Atheist that defines themselves as "I do not believe in a god" does not require proof for their belief, however the Atheist that says "there is/are no god(s)" DOES require proof. Since Atheism is simply defined as "a lack of a belief in a god", no, "Atheists" in the simplest term do not require a burden of proof.

  • Atheism is the Refutation of the claim, not a claim in and off itself nor the opposite claim.

    To say atheists need to prove "God doesn't exist" is the common tactic of Christians and other theist to avoid the burden of proof.
    All atheists need to prove is that your claim is unjustified, they are not making the opposite claim in doing so.
    But if an atheist does make the claim "God does not exist" then realize that they can and will back in up with evidence especially since a theistic deity like Yahweh(Abrahamic God) is only as good as the claims associated with it and they are so easily refuted.
    Finally Theists, can you prove the non-existence of the gods you don't believe in since by technicality you are making the claim that those gods do not exist?

  • If the positive claim is unfalsifiable, then the burden of proof is on the one making the positive claim.

    The claim that a God exists is a claim which is unfalsifiable. It would be impossible to prove that God does not exist. Therefore, people who hold the position that there is no God do not carry any burden of proof. However, the claim that there is no God is a falsifiable claim. It's a claim which can be proven to be false. Which is why those who claim that there is a God are the ones who carry the burden of proof. Here is another way to look at it: Lets say that a person tells you that at this very moment, there is an invisible tea-cup rotating around the planet earth. You would probably ask the person to prove that there is an invisible tea-cup. Lets say that the person asks you to prove that there is no invisible tea-cup. You would probably reply that the claim that there is an invisible tea-cup rotating around the planet earth is an unfalsifiable claim. Therefore, since it is not possible to disprove your claim, the burden of proof is on you to prove your claim.

  • Atheists carry as much a burden as anyone else, of proof.

    On the basis of being atheists alone, no. But an atheist will make positive claims in their lives, and thankfully, it results in giving us the burden of proof somewhere along the line, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    There is a terrible misconception that atheism is when someone believes there is no God. Unfortunately, people don't see the difference between "I don't believe" and "I believe there isn't".

    These two phrases are what separates the gnostic and agnostic atheist. Depending on which ever stance the atheist takes dictates whether or not they have the burden of proof.

  • No, the burden of proof is on those making a positive claim.

    In a courtroom, the prosecution bears the burden of proof as they are making a positive claim regarding the defendant's guilt. The defense simply rejects the claim that the defender is guilty, and does not making a positive claim about the defendant's innocence.

    If God's existence were on trial, then the burden of proof is on those making the positive claim that God exists. Atheism rejects this claim, but does not make a positive claim about God's nonexistence.

  • I assume you mean on the question of god's existence

    No. Religious people often define atheism as the assertion that there is no god. If this was the case then atheists would bear a burden of proof. But this is not what atheism is. It is merely the rejection of the positive claim that god exists. Much like a 'not guilty' verdict is a rejection of the claim of guilt because of lack of evidence, but NOT an absolute claim of innocence.


Leave a comment...
(Maximum 900 words)
Quan says2013-07-11T17:11:52.527
You don't have to prove the null hypothesis; you have to disprove it.