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Onus Probandi (Burden of Proof) Does NOT EXIST

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Started: 6/2/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,604 times Debate No: 55904
Debate Rounds (3)
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Onus Probandi: The obligation to prove an assertion or allegation one makes; the burden of proof.[1][2][3][4][5]


Bestt claims in debate [6]
evidence ALWAYS supports existence and can never support non-existence.

He goes on to claim proof is only in Math and alcohol.


According to the great Beastt, because I am claiming something not exist I do not have to provide any evidence. So all arguments must be made by Con.

If Con attempts to change the definition, then he is changing Onus Probandi to something else, that may or may not exist. If he changes the definition of Onus Probandi then he loses the match.

I further already reject any and all arguments Con may present, on the grounds that they are not arrived at by the Scientific Method. And as Debateuser has said "Philosophy is not logical at all"

If it is not logical then it is illogical, and not worth my consideration.

In conclusion Burden of Proof does not exist, I do not need to present any "proof" it does not exist, becuase there is no "proof" in existence possible for me to present for a non-existent thing.

I clearly establish this with the evidence I presented.




Onus Probandi is the rules of logic defining who has the "burden of proof", as well as who does not hold a burden of proof.

The Pro side of the argument is based firstly, upon ignorance of the term used in the debate. While they have argued by presenting multiple sources which give the literal translation of the Latin "Onus Probandi", they have demonstrated a failure to understand that it is not just a phrase meaning "burden of proof", but a system of rules regarding burden of proof; when it applies, why it applies, and to whom it does (or does not), apply. That's right, "burden of proof" doesn't always apply to everyone on all sides of an issue. That's the entire point of the "Onus Probandi" system!

But don't take my word for this. Despite being retired from a 30+ year career in law enforcement, I would not ask that you take my word on the basis of argumentum ad verecundiam. That would be improper. So I offer you the following link which explains that not all sides suffer the burden of proof.

Of primary importance among the information found here is the statement, "The burden of proof (Latin: onus probandi) is the obligation resting on a party in a trial to produce the evidence that will shift the conclusion away from the default position to one's own position." (Emphasis added)

Please don't overlook this. There is a default position, and a challenging position, often referred to as the "negative claim" and "positive claim". And only one of them ("a party" in the above statement) holds the burden of proof, as the opposite side is the default position and needn't be defended against any allegation devoid of evidence. And this is a simple matter of logic. The one seeking to shift the conclusion away from the default, holds the "burden of proof". The one holding the default position has no "burden of proof". And the default position, is the conclusion as it is supported without the interjection of evidence from either side.

If a vehicle is clearly visible resting in a field, the grasses and weeds crushed beneath the tires, no light passing through the body and dust clearly blowing around the vehicle rather than through it, the default position is "the vehicle exists". That is the conclusion without anyone presenting any additional evidence. The burden of proof would then fall to anyone asserting "the vehicle does not exist". However, if the field is open, dust is blowing across it unimpeded, plants are showing no signs of being crushed under tires, and light is passing normally without any obstruction by the body of a vehicle, the default position becomes "the vehicle does not exist", while the challenging position (the "positive claim"), becomes "the vehicle does exist". The position which stands without the presentation of additional evidence from either side, is the default position. And under Onus Probandi, the default position does not hold a burden of proof.

In the court room under Onus Probandi (and all logical methods), one has no responsibility to defend against a claim or allegation; but only against the evidence supporting that claim or allegation. Where no supporting evidence is offered, the default side is automatically upheld, without any burden of proof. This is the primary rule of Onus Probandi, and the Pro challenger would have known that had they done sufficient research. When alleged to have committed a crime, it is not the allegation itself against which you must defend, but against the evidence supporting the allegation. It is the evidence you must defend against. If there is no evidence to support the allegation, you are innocent by default, and hold no "burden of proof". This is commonly stated "innocent, until proven guilty". In other words, Onus Probandi requires that the positive claim (the allegation), be supported with evidence. And until/unless that evidence is presented and sufficient to overwhelm the default position, the default position (innocence), is the automatic conclusion, without any burden of proof. Once again; innocent (default position), until proven guilty - the one attempting to alter the conclusion from the default, is the one (the only one), who holds the burden of proof.

A little thought demonstrates the logic which necessitates such a methodology. As an example; were I to allege that the Pro has committed a murder, can they present a defense based on evidence, against only that allegation? They have no information, aside from a blanket allegation. They have no body, no method of death, no details, no timeline, no forensics, no crime scene, no evidence ... nothing. No indication of a crime. And thusly, they have no method of defence. Until evidence is provided to support the allegation (the "positive claim"), there is no possible response that can be offered to defend the plea of innocence - which is the default position. If the Pro wishes to challenge that, I openly invite them to explain how one defends against an allegation, which is utterly devoid of any supporting evidence. It can't be done.

The same applies outside of the field of law. If I assert, "talking rocks exist", but offer no evidence to support the assertion, there is no evidence against which to defend. So the "default" (the conclusion supported without either side presenting evidence), holds no burden of proof, and remains the rational "default conclusion". And yet it is at this point where the Pro insists it becomes the responsibility as the bearer of the burden of proof, to demonstrate the non-existence of talking rocks, rather than correctly noting that until evidence is presented to support the assertion that talking rocks exist, the default position holds no burden of proof.

Replace "talking rocks" with "God" and you have the exact situation which spawned this conflict. Whenever stating against the default, the burden of proof is automatically assumed. The side holding the default position, does not hold the burden of proof, as there is no evidence against which to defend. And the default is that which is supported if no evidence to the contrary is provided. Allegations devoid of supporting evidence do not warrant a burden of proof, so the default position remains the appropriate conclusion, without submitting any evidence.

As for the allegation that this violates the "scientific method", that is absolutely incorrect. This IS the scientific method. Science does not hold any burden of proof, against that for which there is no evidence. That is a fundamental premise of science methodology. Until you have evidence which challenges the default position (the "negative claim" - the claim which stands without any additional evidence), the "default position", stands and holds no "burden of proof".

"You committed a murder" cannot be defended against via evidence. If no information accompanies the allegation, no contrary information can be presented (aside from denying the allegation itself). The response "no I didn't" is not found to be compelling, nor is the assertion "yes you did". That's not the way evidence works, yet that would be the only possible procedure were the Pro to be correct. Evidence must be presented against the default conclusion, and until that evidence is presented, no burden of proof is held by the default conclusion.

If you believe people should be convicted and sentenced on an allegation alone (with no supporting evidence), then vote pro. If you believe evidence is a necessary component in challenging default conclusions, then vote con. "Innocent until proven guilty" is not just a standard of law and a standard of logic, but the recognition that only the side challenging the default conclusion holds a burden of proof.
Debate Round No. 1


Let me assume that Burden of Proof exists for a second.

1. Legal "burden of proof" does Not Equal philosophical or debate "burden of proof"

1. My opponent is using the legal definition and examples to describe a philosophical onus probandi.

The difference is in a court system the accused is either:

1. innocent till proves guilty
2. guilty till proven innocent.

These 2 rules establish the default position in a court of law. In law the default position is an assumption of being true till over turned by a challenging party. But in a philosophical debate if a claim is accepted as being true with no supporting premises, or false with no supporting reasoning, then one is committing a philosophical fallacy. [1]

An argument from ignorance asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false.

Philosophical and logical debates do not make an assumption at the beginning of an argument on who is correct. What spurred this debate is my opponent was under the impression that a negative claim means he does not need to offer any reasoning or burden of proof when challenged.

Further more he expresses that a negative claim is to be assumed true, till someone else proves it's opposite. Shifting the burden of proof.

2. Negative or positive claim is no measure of default.

Negative and Positive claims are in reference to structure. A positive claim can be written as a negative claim. "God does not exist" is a negative claim, but can be written as "God is imaginary" is a positive claim.

The real issue that my opponent does not want to see is that a general or universal negative claim can not be proven. "X does not exist" would require the knowledge of everything in existence. Such a claim is unprovable. It can still be argued however with a negative proof, or as an affirmation of it being impossible. A case for plausibility could be made based on a lack of evidence as in If X existed, then A. No A so no X.

1. There is no fire is a negative claim.
2. If there was a fire, there would be smoke
3. There is no smoke, so no fire.

Implies is that a sufficient detection of smoke were possible. My opponent assumes a negative claim is default which is false. He also assumes that a general or universal negative claim being unprovable assumes true. To assume anything true or false with out justification is a fallacy. If a claimer feels they have justification then that is what is presented as the premises that the conclusion follows.

3. Default claims

As stated earlier the expression for a default claim in the Legal sense is the presupposition of the law to find a suspect guilty or innocent to the charges before a trial. This is a very different case for a logical debate or philosophical debate.

But my opponent also confuses default with a Null hypothesis. You have heard in experimentation that "Correlation does not imply causation". The null hypothesis is a tool stating that a relationship between 2 things is nonexistent till proven otherwise. It is a tool and only effective when the Null hypothesis is compared to an alternate theory.

Fr instance in drug trials a placebo is given. It is known the placebo has no effect. The null hypothesis states that if the alternate hypothesis exhibits the same data as an hypothesis of no relationship then no relationship is apparent.

Because the Null hypothesis requires an alternate hypothesis to establish a relationship, some assert that it is on another person to proof the alternate theory correct. This is true for experimentation but not a philosophical debate. Any and every claim requires an argument for it's validity. Assumptions are not proof of validity or falsehood.

4. Fail

Clearly my opponent makes an appeal to his own authority with his 30+ years of civic service. But he confuses legal or experimental processes with the responsibility of a debater on philosophical matters.

Following his own failed logic I made a negative claim and therefore do not hold any burden of proof that "burden of proof" exists.

I merely have to find fault in my opponents arguments, which I have done. If I make a case for the nonexistence of "onus" process then I would be confirming such a process applies to me and exists.

Furthermore Proof is only in Math and Alcohol so "Burden of Proof" as it applies to a debate is clearly nonexistent.



Firstly, allow me to point out the shifting of goal-posts on the part of the instigator (the "Pro"). They started by saying that my position is that "Onus Probandi (Burden of Proof), Does NOT EXIST". In fact, they selected that as the title of the debate. But when I showed in round 1, that the rules of "Onus Probandi" most certainly do dictate that only the subject attempting to shift the conclusion away from the default position, holds the "burden of proof", they shifted to claiming that I'm applying the "legal Onus Probandi", rather than the philosophical or logical ("debate"), onus probandi.

So I will start by pointing out two things; firstly, there is only one standard of onus probandi. To suggest one standard for debate, another standard for philosophy, and a third standard for rules of litigation, would be to suggest that two accepted forms are illogical. However, there is only one standard of onus probandi, because it is based upon the need for a logical methodology in all cases.

Secondly, this is not a philosophical issue as it pertains to the existence or non-existence of suggested entities, such as God, unicorns, fairies,, gremlins, mermaids, etc.

Any time the default evidence (the evidence which is obvious before either pro or con present evidence for their position), is contrary to a given claim, the one making that claim assumes the burden of proof. The other side is already supported by the default evidence. In the examples provided, the default evidence is consistent with non-existence. A lack of evidence for existence, leaves a default conclusion of non-existence. So anyone suggesting that fairies, unicorns, gremlins, God, or mermaids do indeed exist, thereby assumes the burden of proof - because they are proclaiming the default conclusion to be false, and the default conclusion, is based on the default evidence. Only if and when they present evidence to support their claim, does there become a burden of proof to defend the default conclusion.

Though this should be clearly evident and logical to anyone, there are multiple sources to support and explain this further. I'll provide a few.
- "Burden of proof" or in Latin, onus probandi, is the obligation that somebody presenting a new or remarkable idea has to provide evidence to support it.
The above link cuts directly to the exact controversy which lead the Pro into instigating the debate, and names precisely the issue at hand, and clearly states that his side - (the side counter to default evidence), holds the burden of proof. And this is his objection exactly. He holds that despite his claim being opposed to the default evidence and the default conclusion, that anyone denying his claim accepts the burden of proof. The very first lines offered state very clearly that he is incorrect, and thusly, that the Con is completely correct in this case.
Here it is again at a site dedicated to the rules of logic. It utilizes the specific example which caused the Pro to instigate this debate, and clearly states that his claim is a "fallacy".

All one need do is to attempt to apply his suggestion - that both sides hold an equal burden of proof - to a number of real world examples to instantly recognize why his suggestion failed. Consider the claim...

- 1. "I can walk through solid walls."
If you challenge that claim, do you hold the burden of proof to show they can't walk through walls?

- 2. "My grandmother is a space alien."
He claims anyone disagreeing must support that challenge with evidence against grandma being a space alien.

- 3. "I can pulverize a solid 10-ton bolder with my bare hands in 10-seconds."
If the person offers no evidence to show that they can, does the doubter hold the burden of proof to show that they can't?

In each of these examples, the claim is contrary to the default conclusion, based on the default evidence. We know that people cannot walk through solid walls. We have no evidence (or inferior evidence), to support the claim that they can. We have no evidence - or weak evidence - to suggest that space aliens even exist on Earth, let alone that they are breeding here. So the default evidence concludes to the contrary of the claims. And human hands are too easily damaged to impart sufficient energy to 10-tons of solid rock to produce pulverization so quickly. So in all three of these examples, the person making the claim holds the burden of proof. The person denying the claims holds no burden of proof, as they hold the default conclusion, which is already supported by the default evidence.

The Pro even goes so far as to suggest that legal Onus Probandi can uphold either "innocent until proven guilty", or "guilty until proven innocent", which is a purely false claim. If that were true, then in court rooms invoking Onus Probandi, we would not find the exclusive methodology of "innocent until proven guilty". That is the only premises supportable under Onus Probandi. And the same logic applies to every use of Onus Probandi. It doesn't change, invert or reverse depending upon application. It remains always that the one making the claim contrary to the conclusion drawn on the default evidence, is the one holding the burden of proof - in law, in science, in logic, in philosophy and in debate.

I can only suggest that the Pro is somewhat confused with his smoke and fire example. Clearly, if we have no evidence consistent with a fire, then the claim that there is a fire is contrary to the default evidence, and holds the burden of proof to show evidence consistent with a fire. Until that is done, the default conclusion bears no burden of proof, as it is already supported by the default evidence.

In regard to his statement "Proof is only in Math and Alcohol so 'Burden of Proof" as it applies to a debate is clearly nonexistent", I again must suggest confusion on his part. He's quoting me with "proof applies only to maths and alcohol", but connects it to a false conclusion. My part of the statement is fully true. And the only point I was making is that the correct phrase should be "burden of evidence", because "proof" is a fallacious concept aside from maths and alcohol.

The concept of "proof" holds that evidence can exist which is so completely compelling, that no one could possibly deny the conclusion drawn upon that evidence. If that concept weren't false, then the evidence we have to show that the Earth is an oblate spheroid, would instantly change the mind of a flat-Earther. It would "prove" them wrong. Yet the Flat-Earth society still exists, and its members adhere strongly to their belief that Earth is flat. The evidence doesn't sway them.

People commonly accept or reject evidence on subjective standards. The idea of "proof" suggests that people always accept or reject evidence on objective standards. So the phrase "burden of proof" is more correctly stated "burden of evidence". No one can actually "prove" anything to anyone sufficiently dedicated to disbelieving it. It is because this is recognized in science - as well as the need to adhere to science methodology - that science often quotes "'Proof' applies only to maths and alcohol'. Science does not subscribe to the concept of proof - and for very good reason. It's a fallacy.

Please take note of the goal-post shifting perpetrated by the Pro, read the arguments and the references, and recognize that only the one making claims contrary to the default position holds the burden of proof. And Onus Probandi applies equally to law, logic and philosophy, and doesn't change from one field to the next.

"Burden of proof" is always applied to the side rejecting the default evidence, not on the side holding to the default conclusion.
Debate Round No. 2


The person making a claim has "Burden of Proof".

A default position is assigned by the system on is working in.

"So I will start by pointing out two things; firstly, there is only one standard of onus probandi" - Beastt

False. Articles on "Burden of proof" are divided into areas of Legal, Philosophical and Scientific.[1] Even in the legal sense there are further delineations of "Burden of proof" [2] And the Yale paper describes the preponderance of evidence, and other factors my opponent keeps reciting, and very thoroughly explains that the burden of proof does not necessarily rest with the pleading party. It goes into detail to explain that the default position is a presumed or assumed position.

I listed to such assumptions

1. Innocent till proven guilty or
2. Guilty till proven innocent.

My opponent wants the reader to think this is a failed logic, but I am not describing the same legal systems. In the US the former is the default position. It is an assumption established by the law. Which is why my opponent keeps reciting about evidence against this default position. But notice this is not a universally default position. In other countries the suspect is presumed guilty. And that would be the default position.

My opponent wants to say that the default position is the obvious position but this is not the case. The default position is an assumption established by the system one is working in.

Legal Burden of proof is not philosophical burden of proof. The default positions in Philosophy and logic are different. In philosophy a self referencing claim is assumed true.

"I think", "I feel", "I believe" Are self referencing claims. If someone says "I believe a platypus does not exist", then you can only persuade them to change their mind by showing a platypus exists. You can not prove false that this is what they believe. Just the object of their believe is invalid.

So the system in which the negotiation or the debate is an important factor in determining who has "Burden of Proof". There are no obvious default positions. Let's tae an example based in physical reality.

I claim, "there is no life outside of earth" My reasoning for this is that there is no evidence there is life outside of earth. According to my opponent's reasoning I hold the default position based on that is is a negative statement and there is a lack of evidence confirming the alternative. Further more I can claim this is obvious. Unless is it is a self referencing claim as I noted earlier in a philosophical debate this is not a Default position.

My opponent my rebuttal with a statistic. But what are statistics? They are descriptions of odds. They are inductive, not deductive. If I have a coin and I say it is a fair coin. I flip it 5 times and all appear heads. Will you doubt it has a tail side? If I flip it 10 times in a row, will you doubt it then? It could still be a fair coin and you will not have any 100% certain evidence that it is not. If my opponent intellectually thinks odds or chances are evidence for a certainty than the next fighter that has 10-1 odds of winning my opponent should bet his whole fortune on. If he were intellectually honest.


- "Burden of proof" or in Latin, onus probandi, is the obligation that somebody presenting a new or remarkable idea has to provide evidence to support it." Again to refer to where I say the person making a claim has the BOP.

This is the case for the 3 examples my opponent offers. It is not the doubters responsibility to make a convincing case for the opposing resolution. This should be obvious to everyone.

The website, , That my opponent links to actually identifies the fallacy he constantly make in regards to "God does not exist", Leprechauns, faeries, etc..

It states, "The negative proof fallacy is where one assumes something is true if it cannot be proven false". This is the case I have been making with him the entire time of our exchanges in and out of this debate. To assert something requires a justification for that claim. A Theist who claims, "God exists" has a BOP or reasoning to why this claim should be accepted as likely or true. The reverse is equally the case. An Atheist who asserts, "God does not exist" must present some reasoning or justification. If either claim it is because the other side is not proven, then they both are committing a fallacy of shifting the burden. My opponent commits this fallacy. And still does not admit he is wrong for doing so.

My opponent even admits this, "the person making the claim holds the burden of proof. The person denying the claims holds no burden of proof" for rock pulverization but not for the claims he makes. No the claims he makes are the "Obvious" or default claims. And therefore he doesn't have BOP. If he is making a claim he does.

What is obvious but an appeal to consensus. How about the day when it was "obvious" the sun circled the earth. Or when it was obvious the earth was flat. A sea captain counters the flat earth with "It is obvious the earth is round, I see it's round shadow in the moon". Obvious is even worse than confusing what a default position is. Because obvious is claiming something is true because it is thought so by many people. Or and some of my opponents remarks show this. Is he feels his own thoughts on a subject are obvious and therefore the default position.

Beastt has built a castle out of not defending his views because he asserts they are the obvious default positions.

No sir default positions are established by the rules of the system one is negotiating in.

I did a Google search for the exact word combination "default evidence". And due to the lack of evidence for anything like that, I deem my opponents arguments based on such "evidence" is his own crazy idea.

To the resolution:

If I lose this debate than clearly even a negative statement must hold some kind of BOP.

But does BOP really exist? My opponent has mixed and matched different processes that have all been labeled as "Burden of Proof". But his own words in the forums says there is no such thing unless speaking about Math or Alcohol. Now he contends it is a process in existence.

But what is this "default evidence" for the "Burden of Proof" he points out? Writings from people I have never heard of. How am I to know these so called authors, really did write these words describing this process? Are there scholars that will confirm they saw the existence of BOP?

What about processes that obviously do exist, like walking and math? Well when someone walks they go from point A to point B. There is an obvious change in the persons state. My opponent calls BOP a process but then concludes his responsibility for his claims remains unchanged and nonexistent?

In Math 2 different people can calculate 2+2x4 and come up with the same answer using the same process. But my opponent wants to come into a debate using a twisted applied Legal Burden of Proof for Philosophical issues. When the answer for Legal and philosophical BOP are different?

No clearly this thing, "Burden of Proof" is a made up system of rules that my opponent has created so that his claims of what ever he thinks are instantly "True" and need no defending.



My only fear here is that this will be taken as a theist verses atheist issue, rather than an issue judged on the relative merits of the arguments and logic presented. This applies to a great span of different topics and should be reviewed with that in mind.

It's a sad fact that many people today seem to think that if they can find a contribution to a web page which defends their position, that there is no longer a need to consider the logic (or lack thereof) in defending any particular position. And while the Pro protests greatly to the logic presented, all one need do is ask him what evidence he can provide for the claim that fairies and Leprechauns don't exist, and he suddenly assumes the same stance he denies atheists in regard to the question of God's existence. I've challenged him at least a half dozen times to offer evidence for the non-existence of fairies and Leprechauns, and he evades or ignores it each and every time. That evasion illuminates the veracity of my side of the issue.

Yet he continues to return to the claim that atheists should somehow be able to provide evidence of God's non-existence, to support their stance, rather than recognizing that the inability to provide evidence to support a claim of existence, is sufficient to support a claim of non-existence. Non-existence is always supported by a lack of evidence for existence. That's how it works when you can't find your car keys, when your child isn't in their room, when your car isn't where you parked it, and when you can't find the pride of lions in your living room. When you note that there is no evidence supporting existence, the automatic logical conclusion is non-existence. When you try to report your car stolen, should the officer require that you present evidence that the car is gone? Or is that not already evident by the fact that it isn't present?

The Pro then tries to tell us that "innocent till proven guilty" and "guilty till proven innocent" are equally logical positions. He does this to avoid admitting that it is logical to first have to present evidence of a crime, and present evidence to connect the accused with that crime. So he insists that "innocent until proven guilty" is an arbitrary standard, not based on logic. For support, he points to the fact that some systems evade that logic and simply insist that the state is right, until proven wrong. And yet, when the legal system is used by the Con, he immediately claims that's not pertinent, and tries to claim that the issue at hand is a philosophical issue. What's good for the Pro, isn't allowed for the Con.

When the Con focuses exclusively upon the logical system of Onus Probandi (rather than any form used in any legal system), he then claims that logic is not employed in determining the burden of proof and instead claims, "The default position is an assumption established by the system one is working in". So he want s the reader to believe that the logical "burden of proof" is established by an arbitrarily assigned default position, rather than admitting that the default position is based in logic. But the logic is, as I have said, that the default conclusion (based on the "default evidence"), already supports one of the two positions. And it is the position contrary to the default conclusion which holds the burden of proof. For example; we find no evidence consistent with the existence of fairies. So the "default evidence" is that there is no evidence for the existence of fairies. The "default conclusion" is therefore; fairies don't exist. So only the one claiming that they do exist must provide evidence to fulfill their burden of proof. And he seems fine with that when it comes to fairies. But when it comes to God, he tries to reverse the argument. Apparently, God is allowed special-pleading.

And then he claims that I just made up the concept of "default evidence", but then he turns around and says "it's what is evident". Okay. I don't care what you choose to call it. There is obvious evidence even before a given issue is turned over to debate. And that evidence determines the "default conclusion". And the default conclusion does not bear the burden of proof.
- "'Burden of proof' or in Latin, onus probandi, is the obligation that somebody presenting a new or remarkable idea has to provide evidence to support it."

Only the one presenting the "new or remarkable idea" holds the burden of proof. God isn't new, but in that the concept violates the laws of physics and is devoid of supporting objective evidence, it is most certainly "remarkable".
- "The person making a negative claim cannot logically prove nonexistence."

For anyone who doubts this; give it a try. Present evidence for the non-existence of fairies, Leprechaus, gremlins, unicorns, etc. Can you do it? This is the challenge the Pro continues to run from, yet he somehow still insists he's right in expecting atheists to do what he can't do.
- "The negative proof fallacy is where one assumes something is true if it cannot be proven false. It can also happen when one assumes that something is false if it cannot be proven true."
How does anyone ever support non-existence? It is always by the lack of evidence for existence. If I didn't exist, I would leave no evidence. And yet, the Pro demands evidence for non-existence.
Listed under "Fallacy: Burden of Proof"
"You cannot prove that God does not exist, so He does." - FALLACY
- "In an argument, the burden of proof is on the person making an assertion. That is, if a person says that the moon is made of cheese, then it is up to that person to support this assertion. Demanding that the other party demonstrate that the moon is not made of cheese would constitute shifting the burden of proof."

- "Since the theist is the one making a positive claim, it is the theist's job to demonstrate that a god exists. "

No matter how many links are posted which all utilize the exact point of contention which lead to this debate, the Pro continues to insist that he is correct, and continues jumping back and forth in his contentions of what is necessary, and by what standards. I may have lost track, but I believe his current stance is that "Burden of Proof" is an arbitrary standard, applied at the whim of the system designer, rather than a standard constructed on the basis of logic. And I disagree. It is never logical to expect anyone to produce evidence of non-existence, as evidence always supports existence. I can't point to anything and then proclaim, "see, it doesn't exist". That only works to support existence. Non-existence is supported by the lack of evidence for existence. When there is no evidence for existence, the default conclusion is non-existence. Onus Probandi does not apply a burden of proof to support default conclusions.

I could spend my entire day listing site, after site, which supports my position and clearly refutes the position held by the Pro. But this really comes down to a matter of simple logic. If one asserts that something does exist when there is no obvious evidence to show that it does, it becomes their burden of those making the claim, to provide the evidence showing that it does indeed exist.

Vote Con - burden of proof falls to the one making an assertion contrary to the obvious evidence at hand. And to try to shift that burden to the side which is consistent with the obvious evidence, is to commit the fallacy of "shifting the burden of proof".
Debate Round No. 3
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Beastt 7 years ago
: Mhykiel wrote
"In a debate there is NO "default position".

Sure there is. If I claimed Earth had three moons, and you said Earth had only one moon, can you not see that one of those claims is supported by evidence and the other isn't? The one supported by evidence is the "default position"... (just as is stated in one of the first links I provided).

You just can't seem to ever admit when you're wrong. I've seen you make dozens of false statements and I've seen many of those statements demonstrated to be false. But never once have I seen you admit you were wrong, or even give an inch.

It's just like the title YOU gave this thread, suggesting that I claimed "Burden of Proof" doesn't exist. And of course, I never said any such thing. I explained that "proof" is a fallacious concept, and that "evidence" is what must be provided by the one with the "Burden of Proof". But you never admitted that I was right, even after displaying your ignorance to the entire forum.
Posted by DeletedUser 7 years ago
In a debate there is NO "default position".

It is not part of "Burden of Proof", outside of a legal system or null hypothesis of a statistical analysis.

That's what YOU are talking ABOUT and WHERE such things belong.
Posted by DeletedUser 7 years ago
In a debate there is no default position.

It is not part of "Burden of Proof", outside of a legal system or null hypothesis of a statistical analysis.

That's what you are talking about and where such things belong.
Posted by DeletedUser 7 years ago
In a debate this is no default position.

It is not part of "Burden of Proof" outside of a legal system or null hypothesis of a statistical analysis.

That's what you are talking about and where such things belong.
Posted by Beastt 7 years ago
What can I say... he's continuing to show exactly what I just pointed out - that he can't understand the difference between evidence, and accepting the responsibility to present evidence WHEN that responsibility exists.

As for "default conclusion", it's a part of "Burden of Proof". It's a standard of determining where Burden of Proof applies, and to when. The claim that it only applies to Law and a Statistical Null Hypothesis is false. Burden of Proof is a standard, and the one not represented by the default conclusion holds the burden of proof.

It's as simple as this... no one has the burden of proof to support a claim that fairies don't exist, because there is no evidence for fairies, thus non-existence is the "default conclusion". And the exact same standard applies to claims regarding God. One who makes claims contrary to the default conclusion, holds the Burden of Proof. Those making claims consistent with the default conclusion, do not hold any Burden of Proof, as the default conclusion is supported by the readily obvious evidence.

And that's all there is to it!
Posted by DeletedUser 7 years ago
Con is trying to give the words "Burden of Proof" his own meaning, as well as an injection of a "default position" idea into debating. These are concepts taken from other logical systems like "Legal" and "Statistical Null Hypothesis".

They have no place in a logical debate about claims, philosophical discussion about God, and only the null hypothesis is barely relevant to the scientific based observations for God.
Posted by Beastt 7 years ago
It still seems that the Pro is unable to separate evidence from the burden of proof. They're not the same thing. You can present evidence without having a burden of proof. For example, while the default conclusion (based on the complete lack of evidence for God), leaves me with no Burden of Proof, I can still point out that the Christian God is illogical and contradictive. Christians claim their God is "just and merciful". But those are two qualities which are mutually exclusive. If you're merciful, you provide less punishment than is deserved. if you're just, you provide exactly the punishment which is deserved. This contradiction means that either the Christian God doesn't exist, or at least one of the two claims (just or merciful), is incorrect. And yet I can present that evidence against the existence of the Christian God, without having any burden of proof. The burden of proof is just that... a burden or responsibility. Evidence is entirely separate and may exist... or not, regardless of the burden of proof.
Posted by DeletedUser 7 years ago
I can not preset BOP if it does not exist. I can't show a lack of evidence for something existence. So I only need to show how wrong my opponent's arguments are.
Posted by 9spaceking 7 years ago
technically the opponent could have trolled by saying "you posted proof that burden of proof doesn't exist. If BoP really didn't exist, you'd have no need to show it doesn't exist." TROLOLOLO
Posted by 9spaceking 7 years ago
this debate is a monster to read.
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