PDA

View Full Version : Do Atheists Bear a Burden of Proof?



Nachtengel
Sunday, July 12th, 2009, 11:58 PM
Do Atheists Bear a Burden of Proof?

A Reply to Prof. Ralph McInerny (1997)

Keith M. Parsons


[The following article was written in response to an article by Ralph McInerny, published by Leadership University at http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth11.html. However, despite repeated requests, Leadership University refuses to acknowledge this rebuttal and link to it. -- Jeffery Jay Lowder (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/), 14 December 1997]
The "evidentialist challenge" is the gauntlet thrown down by atheist writers such as Antony Flew, Norwood Russell Hanson, and Michael Scriven.[1 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#1)] They argue that in debates over the existence of God, the burden of proof should fall on the theist. They contend that if theists are unable to provide cogent arguments for theism, i.e. arguments showing that it is at least more probable than not that God exists, then atheism wins by default. It follows that atheists are under no obligation to argue for the nonexistence of God; their only task is to show that theistic arguments fail.
Some theistic philosophers gladly accept the challenge, eager to display what they think are powerful arguments for theism.[2 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#2)] Others, such as Alvin Plantinga, reject evidentialism and deny that theists must bear any special epistemic burden in their debates with atheists.[3 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#3)] Prof. Ralph McInerny goes a step further to argue that the burden of proof should fall on the unbeliever. Here I shall rebut Prof. McInerny's claim and argue that, in the context of public debate over the truth of theism, theists cannot shirk a heavy burden of proof.
McInerny endorses the tu quoque (http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html#tuquoque) style of argument practiced by Plantinga in his God and Other Minds (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801497353/InternetInfidels/) and other works:

This book [God and Other Minds (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801497353/InternetInfidels/)] argues that it is no less reasonable to believe in God than to believe in the existence of other minds. But critics of theism cannot get along without belief in other minds, therefore they have no consistent way of objecting to theism.

In other words, So's your old man.[4 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#4)]
Besides providing an occasion for McInerny's in-your-face rhetoric, what do Plantinga's tu quoque (http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html#tuquoque) arguments contribute to the defense of theism? Not much. As I argue in my book God and the Burden of Proof (http://www.secweb.org/bookstore/bookdetail.asp?BookID=52), at best such arguments only serve to insulate theism from being proven irrational in certain ways.[5 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#5)] That is, I argue that if atheists charge that theism is irrational, i.e. that belief in God entails a dereliction of epistemic duty, then the tu quoque (http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html#tuquoque) arguments might have some point.
However, the evidentialist challenge may be taken as a question about the truth of theistic belief, not its rationality. I have argued that, in fact, those who pose the evidentialist challenge are primarily concerned with the credentials of a belief, not the rationality of believers.[6 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#6)] Evidentialists want to know whether, in the context of philosophical debate over the truth of theism, arguments based on recognized canons of logic and evidence can adequately support theistic claims.
Besides, Plantinga's argument in God and Other Minds (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801497353/InternetInfidels/) does not even effectively support the rationality of theism. Plantinga claims that the only possible argument for the existence of other minds is one based on analogy: I know that I have certain feelings when I evince certain behaviors, so I conclude that others must have those same feelings when they evince those behaviors.[7 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#7)] Obviously, such an analogical argument is very weak. It is like the charming illogic of one of Darwin's children, who, innocently concluding that his father's obsession with barnacle dissection was widespread, asked at a neighbor's house "Where does he do his barnacles?"
Plantinga concludes that it is rational to believe in other minds even though no good argument supports that belief. Similarly, he argues, it is rational to believe in God even if there are no good arguments for theism.[8 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#8)]
However, as Anthony O'Hear points out, a much stronger argument makes the existence of other minds an inference to the best explanation.[9 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#9)] There are times when I seem to communicate well with others about feelings. Indeed, others occasionally seem to understand my feelings better than I do. One of the achievements of great poetry is that it can communicate "what often was thought, but never so well expressed." Sometimes great poetry or art can lead me to say "Aha! Yes, that is exactly what I feel!"
Such experiences are quite explicable on the hypothesis that the poet or artist had feelings like mine which he or she had articulated more successfully. If we deny that the poet or artist had feelings like mine, my "Aha!" experience becomes completely inexplicable. Indeed, vast areas of everyday experience, in which I seem to share thoughts or feelings with others, suddenly become a complete blank when I deny that others have minds. How can I explain those myriad experiences in which others seem to empathize with my feelings or share my thoughts? What alternative hypothesis could even begin to make sense of my everyday experience?
I guess I can imagine (just barely) an evil-geniues type scenario in which some wicked omnipotent being has surrounded me with automata programmed to mimic intelligent and emotive behavior. However, the consequence of introducing evil-genius arguments seems to be total skepticism -- which is not the conclusion desired by Plantinga.
The God hypothesis, on the other hand, is not at all on par with the other minds hypothesis. Vast areas of everyday experience do not become inexplicable to the atheist. Scientific and common sense explanations are as readily available to the nonbeliever as to the believer. It simply is not obvious that theism provides a better basis for explaining things than naturalism, and theists have the burden of showing that it does. In short, contrary to Plantinga's claim, there is a strong argument for the existence of other minds that does not equally justify God's existence.
For the sake of argument, suppose we concede the complete success of the tu quoque (http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html#tuquoque) claim in God and Other Minds (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801497353/InternetInfidels/), i.e. we concede that theistic belief, like belief in other minds, is rational even if supported by no good arguments. What follows? Is the skeptic now obliged to believe that the existence of God is true, probable, or even coherent? In general, from the mere fact that certain individuals are within their epistemic rights in believing that P, nothing follows about the truth or falsity of P. Indeed, why can't I take a cue from the Plantingian theist, dig in my heels, and declare without any evidence or argument that it is perfectly rational for me to believe that there is no God?
Prof. McInerny thinks that skeptics do have the burden of supporting their nonbelief in God, a burden that goes beyond their duty merely to refute theistic arguments. He supports this claim with a version of the "Common Sense Argument":

I am asking whether the skeptic is justified in calling into question the truth of "God exists." Why not put the burden of proof on him? Why not insist that he is attempting to convict of irrationality generations of human beings, rational animals like himself, whole cultures for whom belief in the divine and worship are part of what it is to be a human being? Were all of those millions wrong? Surely to think something against the grain of the whole tradition of human experience is not done lightly.[10 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#10)]
Surely it seems bold to dissent from what everybody everywhere has always believed. But, as McInerny admits, there has been no unanimity in human conceptions of the divine. The "whole tradition of human experience" he mentions has included belief in Zeus, Odin, Ahura Mazda, Quetzalcoatl, Shiva, Ba'al, Osiris, Astarte, the Great Mother, Cybele, Mithras, Marduk, manitou, mana, juju, and innumerable other gods, goddesses, demigods, djinn, and animistic forces. Prima facie, there is little evidence of common consent here.
McInerny replies that this apparent diversity is superficial and belies a deeper consensus:

... the idea of the divine, the concept of a god, is what is shared; the identification of this or that or the other thing as God does not destroy the common assumption. Men disagree about who and even what God is. Another way Thomas [Aquinas] makes this point is by saying that "God" is a common noun, not a proper name.[11 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#11)]
I'm not sure I understand McInerny here. It seems that he could be saying the following:

(1) All who accept some idea of the divine really share the same underlying concept -- "God" -- despite their radical disagreement about the identity of God; e.g., some identify him as :trees, wind, sun, and the world itself."[12 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#12)]
(1) seems highly implausible. At the most, human concepts of the divine seem to form only a very loose set of family resemblances. On what possible grounds can it be asserted that these seemingly radically different concepts are, at bottom, the same concept? It seems highly unlikely that even a generic, nondescript God-concept could be extracted from all these views. If McInerny insists that it can, one wonders what it would take for an idea of the divine not to share in that concept. Perhaps, then, McInerny means something like the following:

(2) All who honor some concept of the divine, whether they realize it or not, are actually expressing an awareness of the being theists call "God."
(2) seems more plausible; it does not require conceptual gerrymandering like (1). Perhaps all believers in the divine are tacitly aware of God, though they vast majority lack the ability or knowledge to articulate that awareness accurately. The problem with (2) is that there is no non-question-begging way to present it to skeptics. Skeptics do not believe in God, so they certainly will not agree that all who have a concept of the divine are tacitly aware of God.
Let's cut to the chase and concede that the vast majority, say 99% of all humans who have ever lived, have had some concept of the divine. Given the enormous diversity of these concepts -- from animism and shamanism to fetishism to manifold polytheisms to the diverse monotheisms -- what kind of burden of proof does this "common consent" impose on the skeptic? The skeptic would appear to dissent from the common consent of the divine or the sacred. That is, if anything is sacred to skeptics, perhaps they should be counted within the common consensus.
Is anything sacred for the atheist or agnostic? The answer is often "yes." Though he was not a believer in the God of theism (he endorsed the God of Spinoza -- Deus sive Natura), Einstein expressed a reverential awe for the subtlety of "The Old One," his personification of nature. Edward O Wilson's book Biophilia expresses an almost mystical sense of affinity with all living things. One cannot read the beautiful, powerful closing sentences of The Origin of Species (http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/charles_darwin/) without sharing Darwin's awed sense of the grandeur of the evolutionary view of life. The Soviet astrophysicist Yakov Zeldovich was fond of quoting Proust's remark that "The highest praise of God is the unbelief of a scholar who is sure that the perfection of the world makes the existence of gods unnecessary." Many atheists would add "amen" to that.
Suppose, though, that an unbeliever has no sense of the divine. Literally nothing is sacred for that person. Should this person feel epistemic embarassment when confronted with the overwhelming common consent of humankind? Well, it all depends on how that common consent is explained. Numbers alone mean nothing; otherwise ad populum would not be a fallacy. What accounts for the near universality of some sense of the divine among human beings? Is it only reasonable to explain such near-unanimity in terms of the (however misconstrued) human awareness of God? The Common Consent Argument implies that this is the only reasonable explanation. Is it?
Stewart Guthrie's recent book Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0195098919/InternetInfidels/) proposes the challenging thesis that the psychological basis of religious belief is the nearly universal human tendency to anthropomorphize.[13 (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html#13)] He argues that humans have a nearly universal and overwhelming tendency to attribute human characteristics to nonhuman things and events. He suggests that this tendency is hardwired -- an evolutionary adaptation. Thus, we see faces in clouds and Jesus in a picture of spaghetti on a billboard. (This really happened!) More seriously, we tend to see random events as orchestrated by unseen benevolent or malignant intelligences. When I curse the traffic light that always stops me or the photocopier that breaks down whenever the job is urgent, I'm anthropomorphizing.
The upshot is that the unbeliever can appeal to Guthrie, Freud, or other psychological, sociological, or biological theories to account for the near universality of some form of religious belief. In other words, the common consent phenomenon can be explained naturalistically without appeal to any awareness of God. The Common Consent Argument therefore reduces to a version of the ad populum fallacy. Hence, the unbeliever need feel no epistemic embarassment at the fact that he or she is in the 1% for whom nothing is sacred. Charles de Gaulle was wily but illogical to reply to a critic "Monsieur, forty million Frenchmen cannot be wrong!" They can be wrong; so can 99% of the human race!
I conclude that McInerny has given no good reason for placing a special burden of proof on the skeptic. Further, he has said nothing to obviate the burden of proof that the theist must bear in debates over the truth of theism. The evidentialist challenge stands: Is there good reason to think theism true? If not, the skeptic is fully justified in taking the same attitude towards theism that he or she takes towards claims about UFOs, Bigfoot, the Lost Continent of Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, poltergeists, etc. These are interesting claims, but their proponents are perennially unable to offer persuasive evidence on their behalf. In such cases skepticism is an eminently rational position, and its rarity among human beings is not an indictment of it, but of the gullibility of the majority.
Notes

[1] Antony Flew, "The Presumption of Atheism" in God, Freedom, and Immortality (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0879752513/InternetInfidels/) (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1984); Norwood Russell Hanson, "What I Don't Believe" in What I Do Not Believe and Other Essays (ed. Stephen Toulmin and Harry W. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel, 1971); and Michael Scriven, Primary Philosophy (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966).
[2] See, e.g., Richard Swinburne, The Existence of God (http://www.secweb.org/bookstore/bookdetail.asp?BookID=874) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979).
[3] Alvin Plantinga, "Reason and Belief in God" in Faith and Rationality (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0268009643/InternetInfidels/) (ed. by Alvin Plantinga and N. Wolterstorff, Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame University Press, 1983).
[4] Prof. Ralph McInerny, "Why the Burden of Proof is on the Atheist," http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth11.html
[5] Keith Parsons, God and the Burden of Proof (http://www.secweb.org/bookstore/bookdetail.asp?BookID=52) (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1989), pp. 32-60.
[6] Ibid., p. 37.
[7] Plantinga, God and Other Minds (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801497353/InternetInfidels/) (Ithaca, NY: Cornell, 1967).
[8] Ibid.
[9] A. O'Hear, Experience, Explanation, and Faith (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0751200522/InternetInfidels/) (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984), pp. 103-105.
[10] McInerny.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Stewart Guthrie, Faces in the Clouds: A New Theory of Religion (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0195098919/InternetInfidels/) (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/keith_parsons/mcinerny.html

Sigurd
Monday, July 13th, 2009, 12:51 AM
Do Atheists bear a burden of proof? That's a hard question.

If the idea is of simply not believing, or believing that a divine notion does not exist - then obviously there is no burden of proof. You cannot prove that something does not exist, the burden of proof from that perspective would be upon the believer, supposing a notion that belief had a burden of proof.

But since belief had a burden of proof - if that Atheism is joined with a belief in the supremacy of science, and that all is explainable not by faith but science - there is then an entirely different burden of proof: It is that of proving that there is a scientific explanation for something.

Whilst something is neither proven religiously nor scientifically, it is still a draw, and both strands of thought would have their very special burdens of proof, on proving that they were right.

Ideally, on the other hand, the believer, would stride to find notions where both religion and science are proven concurrently, as this essentially gives validation to his claim also in the eye of the Science-Believing-Atheist.

flemish
Tuesday, July 14th, 2009, 02:42 AM
Even though I'm agnostic, I'd have to say the burden of proof is always on the theists and not the atheist. The theist must prove that their deity or deities exist despite the fact that no sane person has ever laid eyes on it or them. Saying that the burden of proof is on the atheist is like saying one must prove there really is no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny.
Theism is illogical, but we aren't an irrational species. Maybe that's why we came up with things as nonsensical as god(s).

Siebenbürgerin
Tuesday, July 14th, 2009, 02:46 AM
The burden of proof lays on the person who makes a statement which defies what's accepted universally. Most peoples here believe in God. So if an Atheist comes and says there is no such thing as God, it's expected for him to back up the assertion with something. But if the society is predominantly Atheist, then the person who says there is a God must try to prove it.

Le Tour-Noir
Friday, September 11th, 2009, 02:24 AM
Both have the "burden of proof" to a certain extant, but I would say theist since they are the ones who are trying to prove something and atheists are trying to disprove it.

xamarth
Sunday, April 11th, 2010, 05:27 PM
Yes, but not to the degree that the theists have.

See, the theist says there is a god, the atheist not. But you can't just assume something exists and then have to go set out to prove it doesn't. If you go along these lines then we can assume that every god, demigod, angel, devil, etc exists and now the atheist must go prove they don't.

I still say that if you make a claim then you must back it up. Otherwise people can go around making any claim and we'll have to believe them.

weybrecht
Saturday, August 7th, 2010, 08:35 AM
As a very worthy Poster once said, [and I hope she reads this], " Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot ! "
You people who choose to, are so easily stricken with the desire to [futily] explain weather or not God exists with words.
I wish I knew who said, " For the believer, no explanation is nessesary; for the non-believer, no explanation will suffice." It's not nessesary for you [your ego] to accept "God", or any other name you choose to use; the cells know, the atoms know, and the molecules of every other thing knows their Creator.
HELLO!! This past, present, or future isn't existing by the power of words, belief, faith,feelings, wishes, time,or above all, intellect! These are all created by man for convienience from the same mind that's so "flabber-gasted" by the "presence of God",it has the everlasting and unconquerable urge to [feebly] attempt to explain the awsomeness of its presence to any one who'll listen. Words Don't Work!
The proof lies within & without you. One looks, but doesn't see; One hears, but doesn't listen; One speaks, but says little.
Reflect within... A simple thought, a spark of intuition, the glow of creativity, the awsome power of freewill; Where do you think these abilities come from???
Objects are created by thought..Not the other way around...All objects stem from electrical impulses rattlin' around in the brain only becoming physical, tangible, due to our creative manipulation of the elements with tools.
Nothing is new under the sun. Think about it..or not..it doesn't change anything.
You are the captain of your ship. You are the director of your movie..Not your Ego..which at best is a worthy advisor...at worst,an irrational little tyrant! Make no mistake...it will do everything in its power to convince you otherwise.

Here's one... Any one can tell you how many seeds are in an apple; Only God knows how many apples are in a seed.

I'm not trying to get you to believe... I am only asking you to realize...

Thank you for your time.

Tristan-
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011, 03:00 PM
Do they have a burden of proof? No.
The burden of proof always lies with the one that claims that something exists.
If my mother told me that there's a donut on the moon, it's not up to me to proof differently.

Ediruc
Thursday, June 16th, 2011, 11:33 AM
No, I don't think atheists bear a burden of proof. This is like trying to argue if everyone is an agnostic in theory because we all don't know if there is a God or not. The whole case of agnosticism is pretty void. The argument that as individuals we don't know whether or not a god exists is saying there is a 50/50 chance God is real or not. I can apply this to anything. Like for example, there is a 50/50 chance there is a unicorn in my closet. My closet is closed, so I don't know whether or not a unicorn is there. So, I have a 50/50% chance of knowing whether or not a unicorn is there. I'm 100% positive there is no unicorn there. :D

Besides, why just say if you're unsure of there being the Christian God, since that is what most agnostics ever argue about. Why not claim you're unsure if Odin, Zeus, or Cthulhu exists? Why not give them a 50/50 chance?

I don't really identify myself as an atheist. I'm more of a Nihilist, or Cosmicist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmicism But, I would say I'm 100% sure there is no supreme cosmic spaghetti monster wizard lording over all of us. :thumbup

OnePercent
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011, 08:15 PM
Do Atheists Bear a Burden of Proof? I think it really depends upon the circumstances of the specific argument. If an atheist is trying to convince a theist that there is no god than yes, the atheist most certainly bears the burden of proof in that argument. It is absurd to think that a persons entire belief system is going to be changed without offering some proof to the contrary. On the other hand, if the situation were reversed the burden of proof would then lie upon the theist. When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof on the person asserting a claim.

I also disagree with the position that it is impossible to prove that something doesn't exist because lawyers and police do exactly that all the time. People who are charged with crimes often make up elaborate stories using fake names and imaginary people to exonerate themselves. In these cases the authorities go to great lengths to disprove them. In fact, that is basically the job of a prosecutor, to prove that the story the accused is telling is untrue. Once again, in this case the burden of proof is on the party that is making the assertion.

I'm not saying that atheists are wrong, I am just saying that whenever a person makes an assertion they have a duty to provide proof if they want others to agree with them.

Meister
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011, 08:33 PM
If kept on a personal level I don't think anyone has to justify their beliefs or lack thereof in the case of Athiests.

But in a discussion, yes I feel an Athiest has some buden to explain why they don't believe.

As far as proof goes, as far as I am concerned both sides involve a degree of faith in their deity or their own belief that there is no God. So it's unlikely either side is going to convince each other anyway.

hyidi
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 04:37 AM
No! I am Atheist and I am fully into keeping our land populated by our race.

What if it was Christan's and Catholics that are our burden? I feel that Atheist are no where near as confused as these two religion.

I feel that you're religion would do better if Christan's and Catholics merge as one.

Ocko
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 03:04 PM
I agree that if you say god exists and want others to see it, then you proof it.

I also agree if you say God does not exist, then you proof that too.

An agnostic person needs not proof that he beliefs he does not know.


I think the whole thing started with that proof thing that Theists want to use it as a missionary tool. They want to force everybody into submission to their God by means of logic and evidence. the Atheists do the exact antigonistic thing.

I personally need no proof, as it is personal experience which does not hold as proof for others. I am also content with the outlook that I could be the only one who beliefs that. I do not need others to heed the God I choose. when he wants one, he will make himself clear to that person.

So proof is a missionary tool and not needed by me, nor do I have a special interest in proof or no proof.

Pyramidologist
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 03:20 PM
I agree that if you say god exists and want others to see it, then you proof it.

I also agree if you say God does not exist, then you proof that too.

An agnostic person needs not proof that he beliefs he does not know.

I strongly agree.

Both theism and atheism are faith based, just at opposite ends. Niether can be proven.

Edie
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 04:00 PM
Both theism and atheism are faith based, just at opposite ends.

Only if you believe atheism to be an affirmation of divine non-existence, as theism is of its existence. It doesn't have to be; for many people it is merely a declaration of their own lack of belief. Your comment only pertains to those atheists who say, "There is no God". That is an affirmative statement that does indeed require some proof. However, many atheists simply say, "I don't believe that there is a God", which is definitely atheism because it differs from the "I don't know" of agnosticism.

Ocko
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 04:13 PM
the whole thing about proof and who has to proof is a meta-discussion of the value of Christianity. It is just a substitute battle on a battlefield where there is no need to open discuss that question.

It is a yes or no thing instead of looking at the different points one can discuss separately and then think about it.

I don't think there is a God and I don't think there are no Gods. So for me the question is weird.

Lew Skannon
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 06:31 PM
I never met an atheist that would agree that he had no soul or spirit though. Even when I point out that there is no such organ in the human body he wouldn't agree he had no human spirit. When I demand proof of this human spirit of his and treated all his arguments for having a spirit as he would treat claims that a deity exist the debate normally ends quickly.

Or when I ask the atheist to define life as opposed to non life and why anything alive has mechanisms to preserve itself and not become non life the debate soon gets complicated. A dead cell is identical to a live cell, but once it has stopped doing its thing nothing can restart it. Why, considering all substances needed are present and fuel readily available?

A personal deity however like the grandfather figure of absolute eternal goodness, the creator of both man, tiger, ebola virus, and smallpocs, is an entirely different matter.

Hamar Fox
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 06:39 PM
I never met an atheist that would agree that he had no soul or spirit though. Even when I point out that there is no such organ in the human body he wouldn't agree he had no human spirit. When I demand proof of this human spirit of his and treated all his arguments for having a spirit as he would treat claims that a deity exist the debate normally ends quickly.

I argued against the existence of the human soul in this thread:

http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?p=1085874&highlight=soul#post1085874

I don't know of any atheists who believe in a soul, but if I did I'd consider them dumbasses on the same level as theists.

Pyramidologist
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 06:52 PM
Only if you believe atheism to be an affirmation of divine non-existence, as theism is of its existence. It doesn't have to be; for many people it is merely a declaration of their own lack of belief. Your comment only pertains to those atheists who say, "There is no God". That is an affirmative statement that does indeed require some proof. However, many atheists simply say, "I don't believe that there is a God", which is definitely atheism because it differs from the "I don't know" of agnosticism.

"I don't believe that there is a God" - this statement is still faith based, it can't be proven, nor can ''I believe there is a God''. As i said, both atheism and theism are faiths. Although everyone accepts theism as a religion - so is Atheism (since it's a faith based worldview just as much as a young earth creationist who thinks the world is only 6,000 years old). Its hard to find an honest atheist who will admit this though - as most atheists are the militant types (e.g. Dawkins) who can't accept their views as faith based.

Edie
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 07:47 PM
"I don't believe that there is a God" - this statement is still faith based, it can't be proven, nor can ''I believe there is a God''. As i said, both atheism and theism are faiths. Although everyone accepts theism as a religion - so is Atheism (since it's a faith based worldview just as much as a young earth creationist who thinks the world is only 6,000 years old). Its hard to find an honest atheist who will admit this though - as most atheists are the militant types (e.g. Dawkins) who can't accept their views as faith based.

Then I shall word it differently: there is no satisfactory evidence for the existence of a god, so it is likely that there isn't one. Thus, reason tells me that there isn't one. I will continue to think that there isn't one unless some irrefutable proof shows up -- and even then I will be doubtful, as the past has shown us that the inexplicable can be explained eventually with some developments in technology. If that's faith, it's faith in science and logic. It is a belief deriving from what is observable and what is not observable. You could call everything based on those criteria a faith, according to your argument.

Pyramidologist
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 09:50 PM
Then I shall word it differently: there is no satisfactory evidence for the existence of a god, so it is likely that there isn't one.

There are arguments for a God, there are no evidences. Every argument however has a counter-argument e.g. believers in a creator point out the intricate design which could not have come about by accidentalism, while in contrast evolutionists deny such design.


Thus, reason tells me that there isn't one. I will continue to think that there isn't one unless some irrefutable proof shows up -- and even then I will be doubtful, as the past has shown us that the inexplicable can be explained eventually with some developments in technology. If that's faith, it's faith in science and logic. It is a belief deriving from what is observable and what is not observable. You could call everything based on those criteria a faith, according to your argument.

No one believes in what it solely observable as there is an element of faith in everything. The atheist is no exception. Most atheists believe in mechanistic or materialistic naturalism, however virtually none of this is observable spanning the world's history - for example atheists claim life arose randomly by chance in a 'primordial soup' (not-observable), that the first life forms sprung from this soup randomly (again not-observable) and lastly that all life evolved (again not-observable). All of these are beliefs, not facts or science.

şeudiskaz
Thursday, July 14th, 2011, 10:06 PM
The Burden of Proof to specifically prove the nonexistence of a deity? Not at all. You effectively cannot prove that something doesn't exist.

So long as atheists aren't in my face, I don't care what they do/don't believe.

Edie
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 12:12 PM
No one believes in what it solely observable as there is an element of faith in everything. The atheist is no exception. Most atheists believe in mechanistic or materialistic naturalism, however virtually none of this is observable spanning the world's history - for example atheists claim life arose randomly by chance in a 'primordial soup' (not-observable), that the first life forms sprung from this soup randomly (again not-observable) and lastly that all life evolved (again not-observable). All of these are beliefs, not facts or science.

There is obviously an element of faith in every belief, but there is a difference between faith and a faith. Atheistic 'faith' in science is based on what is observed to be likely using a larger body of real knowledge. Religious faith is not. Whereas religious faith could say that there are pixies in the rose bushes just because, scientific theory extrapolates logically.

Wulfram
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 12:35 PM
Atheistic 'faith' in science is based on what is observed to be likely using a larger body of real knowledge.

"Likely" is not demonstrable. To claim that a probability is "close enough" to an answer is just as fallacious as the claim that "religious truth" is based on facts.

Please explain what you mean by 'larger body". You say "real knowledge" as if implying that it is truth.


Whereas religious faith could say that there are pixies in the rose bushes just because, scientific theory extrapolates logically.

Almost all of science is based on the very same thing. The only thing it can be for sure about are the few little details which can be observed.
Everything else claimed by science to be probable(such as evolution, which has never been observed), are also "pixies in rose bushes".

(Micro-evolution, which is also claimed by science as "close enough" to proving the 'likelihood" of evolution, is simply inadequate to explain the vastly larger grand scale, or picture)

Pyramidologist
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 12:52 PM
Atheistic 'faith' in science is based on what is observed to be likely using a larger body of real knowledge.

There is no science within Atheism - its pure faith.

Abiogenesis and spontaneous generation was debunked by Louis Pasteur in the 19th century who proved life can only come from life.

Atheists however believe life started from non-life. Not only that but they believe life started undirected and by accident.

Origin theories are not observable, testable or empirical - they are not science.

Nothing an atheist believes is therefore science. Quite the opposite.


(Micro-evolution, which is also claimed by science as "close enough" to proving the 'likelihood" of evolution, is simply inadequate to explain the vastly larger grand scale, or picture)

So true. The evolutionists however extrapolate on empirical science (micro-evolution) and then claim deceitfully that macro = micro + more time... Yet macro is not empirical, observable or testable.

şeudiskaz
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 01:05 PM
There is no science within Atheism - its pure faith.

Most atheists I've met disbelieve in the divine because they see no evidence pointing to the divine. This is not faith.

My belief in science is not the same as my Christian faith. Gravity can be shown demonstrably. It is not now, nor can it ever be "proven", and so it remains the "theory" of gravity. The measurable, demonstrable theory. Many scientific theories that require "faith" require a different faith than religious faith. I believe in Jesus due to non-demonstrable, person religious revelations. I believe in science because... well science can show us what is clearly true. Obviously humanity has, and is continuing to evolve - we've seen it occurring within our own ability to measure it (on however small of a scale). Obviously gravity exists. These things do not require faith to believe in them, they have empirical evidence to support the belief in them. God, or the divine have no empirical, repeatable, observable evidence to support the belief of their existence - and therefore such belief is entirely comprised of faith.

There definitely is a difference between the "faith" an atheist has in assuming nothing divine exists, and the faith that a divine being certainly exists. Further, there is a difference between believing things we can observe (and repeat) scientifically, than belief in the divine, which can be neither demonstrably observed, or repeated.


Yet macro is not empirical, observable or testable.

It is observable, and testable. We haven't been looking long enough to see it. And should macro evolution not simply be an extended micro evolution, how exactly does such genetic diversity exist on Earth?


(Micro-evolution, which is also claimed by science as "close enough" to proving the 'likelihood" of evolution, is simply inadequate to explain the vastly larger grand scale, or picture)

Err... micro evolution is evolution. When a strand of bacteria gains a resistance to anti-biotics, we see evolution at work. Sure, this doesn't make humans grow claws, and it doesn't make another breed of zebras with purple stripes, but we see how the bacteria that naturally can resist the anti-biotic are able to live, thrive, and pass on their genetic qualities. It's the reason that anti-biotic resistant bacteria are an increasing problem. Without evolution, they would never be more of a problem than they have ever been, because the selective good traits would not be passed on more than any bad traits.

Why do Germanics have lighter skin than Africans? Because God likes white better than black? Unlikely. More likely is that as humans migrated North from Africa, we needed to absorb more Vitamin D from the sun, so the protective dark skin had to be slowly bred out, to allow more Vitamin D in, to accomodate the weaker sun farther North. It's really pretty basic once you start actually applying rational thought to the subject.

Pyramidologist
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 01:28 PM
Most atheists I've met disbelieve in the divine because they see no evidence pointing to the divine. This is not faith.

It is faith. Are you saying you know then how the universe was created? No one does and atheists are not closer to the truth than a young earth creationist baptist fundamentalist or a militant Islamist.

As i said any view pertaining to origins is faith based - as no one can observe, test etc, it simply falls outside of empirical science.

The atheists however have a hard time accepting this fact because they have a mentality where they think they have all the answers to everything -which is why most atheists online i encounter are pseudo-intellectuals. This also explains why less than 2% of the world's population is atheist (including Buddhists), as most people are openminded and don't claim to know everything. A typical atheist however is a pseudo-intellectual who thinks they have all the answers through science (e.g. materalistic naturalism).


It is observable, and testable.

Nope it isn't. Macro = large phenotypic change.

No large scale evolution or mutation has ever been observed or tested.

All empirical science has demonstrated is minor physical variations.

You might aquire a tan if you go to the beach (microevolution), but that doesn't mean we sprung from apes (macroevolution).

Macro is 100% faith as its dealing with a pseudo-history of events that (apparently) occurred hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago (which are non-observable, non-testable etc).

:thumbup

Seperate facts from fantasy.

şeudiskaz
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 01:45 PM
It is faith. Are you saying you know then how the universe was created? No one does and atheists are not closer to the truth than a young earth creationist baptist fundamentalist or a militant Islamist.

As i said any view pertaining to origins is faith based - as no one can observe, test etc, it simply falls outside of empirical science.

The atheists however have a hard time accepting this fact because they have a mentality where they think they have all the answers to everything -which is why most atheists online i encounter are pseudo-intellectuals. This also explains why less than 2% of the world's population is atheist (including Buddhists), as most people are openminded and don't claim to know everything. A typical atheist however is a pseudo-intellectual who thinks they have all the answers through science (e.g. materalistic naturalism).



Nope it isn't. Macro = large phenotypic change.

No large scale evolution or mutation has ever been observed or tested.

All empirical science has demonstrated is minor physical variations.

You might aquire a tan if you go to the beach (microevolution), but that doesn't mean we sprung from apes (macroevolution).

Macro is 100% faith as its dealing with a pseudo-history of events that (apparently) occurred hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago (which are non-observable, non-testable etc).

:thumbup

Seperate facts from fantasy.

Wow, there is a lot of horrible post here to dissect, give me a moment to compose myself. Ok, I'm good now, thanks.

I have never once heard any atheist say that they have every answer to every question. Moreover, you say the typical atheist makes this claim? I'd like to see your source? (Don't bother looking, we both know you are making that statistic up.)

Secondly, most atheists I know base their beliefs about the origins of (humanity, the universe, the Earth?) on what (relatively little) scientific data is available. In many cases these beliefs are founded on guesses, or shaky scientific data - and most atheists I have met (especially on the internet) recognize that what we know now, could change any time due to new information.

On to evolution. Yes macro evolution is observable. It has not been observed yet (umm, pretty sure I've already said that, but your head is buried pretty deep in the sand, so I'll repeat myself for your sake.) Simply because we have not yet observed major changes due to evolution does not mean that evolution does not happen, or that it is unobservable. 200 years ago, computers were not invented, by your logic, computers are literally un-inventable, because at some point, we had not invented them. I have not yet seen you in person, therefore you cannot be seen in person. Simply because we have not had the time to observe major changes, does not at all mean that major changes cannot be observed. Additionally... micro evolution... is evolution! There is literally no difference between micro evolution, and macro evolution, except as a matter of scale. Simply because there are pebbles, does not mean there are not boulders. It is all a matter of scale.

Doubtless you simply have a "hard time accepting this fact" (to borrow your own phrase about pseudo-intellectuals), and certainly I am not claiming that these are facts, it's just that the slightest bit of rational thought will show you that... well your just wrong. Sorry to break it to you.

Pyramidologist
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 02:44 PM
Secondly, most atheists I know base their beliefs about the origins of (humanity, the universe, the Earth?) on what (relatively little) scientific data is available. In many cases these beliefs are founded on guesses, or shaky scientific data - and most atheists I have met (especially on the internet) recognize that what we know now, could change any time due to new information.

Hence atheism is as religious or faith-based as Christianity, Islam or any other religion as opposed to empirical facts or data.


On to evolution. Yes macro evolution is observable. It has not been observed yet (umm, pretty sure I've already said that, but your head is buried pretty deep in the sand, so I'll repeat myself for your sake.)

Until Macro is observed - its not science since science deals strictly what is observable and testable in the known physical world.

Regarding evolution all we have observed is minor changes, not large scale phenotypic change (macro). Macroevolution is not science.


Additionally... micro evolution... is evolution! There is literally no difference between micro evolution, and macro evolution, except as a matter of scale. Simply because there are pebbles, does not mean there are not boulders. It is all a matter of scale.

I believe the debate is the extent of evolution.

Micro = empirical/observable/testable - its science.:thumbup
Macro = fairytale (not observable or testable)

The fallacy is to equate the two and the people who do this are not honest as they are extrapolating on empirical science and then adding macro to what is observable and scientific, when in actual fact it isn't.

There is absolutely no evidence for macroevolution. I took a Biology A Level, everything covered in a biology class only pertains to the micro level since it can be experimentated and observed (hence its apart of the science class).

Macro however just isn't observable or testable. We do not observe apes evolving into man or fish into land walking creatures, but evolutionists continue to promote this fairytale.

şeudiskaz
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 02:48 PM
but evolutionists continue to promote this fairytale.

Well, aside from the fact that we both know this isn't a fairytale (I know you know better) do you have any other explanation as to how... things came to be? Maybe we just micro-evolved from the primordial ooze into what we are now.

That makes sense. Alternatively, humans (fully formed, with every bit of genetic diversity present today) emerged from the ooze along with every single biological unit (all fully formed as we know them today). That definitely makes more sense, aside from being completely, totally, and utterly ridiculous.

Pyramidologist
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 03:43 PM
Well, aside from the fact that we both know this isn't a fairytale (I know you know better) do you have any other explanation as to how... things came to be? Maybe we just micro-evolved from the primordial ooze into what we are now.

That makes sense. Alternatively, humans (fully formed, with every bit of genetic diversity present today) emerged from the ooze along with every single biological unit (all fully formed as we know them today). That definitely makes more sense, aside from being completely, totally, and utterly ridiculous.

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/images/evolution.gif

Frog Prince Fairytale = Frog morphing into a Human.

Evolution Fairytale = Frog + millions of years = morphing into a Human

Its exactly the same fairytale basically, see the animation. The only difference is the evolution fairytale relies on more time. Time which is non-observable and not scientific (falls outside of scientific method).

Pyramidologist
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 03:52 PM
That makes sense. Alternatively, humans (fully formed, with every bit of genetic diversity present today) emerged from the ooze along with every single biological unit (all fully formed as we know them today). That definitely makes more sense, aside from being completely, totally, and utterly ridiculous.

''Evolution is unproved and unproveable. The only reason we believe it is because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable'' - Sir Arthur Keith

The only reason evolutionists reject other theories is because they are 'unthinkable' from their metaphysical naturalism mindset.

Pyramidologist
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 04:01 PM
D. M. S. Watson -

''the theory of evolution itself, a theory universally accepted not because it be can proved by logically coherent evidence to be true but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible.''

Hamar Fox
Friday, July 15th, 2011, 11:08 PM
Ha, I knew this weirdo was the kind to reject evolution, simply from the nonsense he talked about in those earlier threads. In a way it's kind of sad that most people are such non-individuals that you can predict their stance on pretty much any conceivable issue on the basis of just a few observed traits and tendencies.


It is faith. Are you saying you know then how the universe was created? No one does and atheists are not closer to the truth than a young earth creationist baptist fundamentalist or a militant Islamist.

It's a faith that I'm not a brain in a vat. What theists, and anyone else with a weak argument for that matter, like to do is conflate absolute possibility and probability. I can exchange any number of terms typically found in theistic statements for absurd ones, yet not come close to breaching theistic logic. Example: "There's no absolute proof that a pork pie doesn't have powers of psychic manipulation; therefore people who disbelieve that pork pies don't boast these properties are operating on faith."

I could generate an infinite number of these silly propositions and technically be correct. However, what I'm not permitted to do -- and this is what theists fail to understand -- is engage in false equivalence. That means I can't, merely on the basis of the absolute possibility of them being incorrect, give two theories an equal status qua their proximity to truth. If that were so, then we'd have to admit that the woman who calls herself my mother and Noel Edmonds have an equal chance of actually being my biological mother, based on the fact that we can't be absolutely certain of anything (with even Descartes fundamental certainty inviting criticism and doubt).


As i said any view pertaining to origins is faith based - as no one can observe, test etc, it simply falls outside of empirical science.

Actually, the origin of species can fairly easily be tested via genetic testing. Genetic testing doesn't fall outside of empirical science. There's certainly no question of humanity's genetic relation to apes.


The atheists however have a hard time accepting this fact because they have a mentality where they think they have all the answers to everything -which is why most atheists online i encounter are pseudo-intellectuals.

Like this guy. A guy who's been wrong about every single thing he's posted about on this forum.


This also explains why less than 2% of the world's population is atheist (including Buddhists), as most people are openminded and don't claim to know everything.

The vast majority of that 2% being NW Europeans. An interesting point, actually, because I tend to associate superstition with more primitive races.


A typical atheist however is a pseudo-intellectual who thinks they have all the answers through science (e.g. materalistic naturalism).

It's not a good idea to imply others are stupid when you can't even get elements of a simple sentence to agree grammatically.



You might acquire a tan if you go to the beach (microevolution)

Haha. This guy's just shown he has no idea what microevolution even is. I mean, OK, granted, you can read what he said two ways: He could mean getting a tan is itself the process of microevolution at work, or he could mean the possibility of getting a tan is the result of microevolution. But, still...

-----------------

I should also add that the only way theists can escape complete refutation is by being as vague as conceivably possible. It's incredibly easy to rebut any tangible definition of God. An absolute creator, for example, is impossible, given that action stemming from will implies a change in the author of said action, and change is impossible in the absolute. A perfect creator is also impossible, since, again, action stemming from will implies a dissatisfaction with current states, as well as desire for change -- desire, of course, only being possible in the imperfect. A perfect or absolute consciousness is impossible, because consciousness arises from imperfection, it's a fracture of the self from itself, thereby enabling it to be 'other' than itself and from what's around it (that is, the existent). And likewise, the absolute is merely itself, unfractured, unchanging. It can't arise in antithesis to itself and become an object for itself.

Eppillus
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 05:02 AM
Yes, if they claim to have any knowledge of how the universe or life was created. Agnostics that admit they don't know are the only ones that have no burden of proof.

The idea that atheism is the human default has been challenged since ancient times, "Nature itself has imprinted on man the idea of God" is a pretty famous quote.

Also remember, the belief that something is correct because the majority believes it is called the Bandwagon Fallacy. :thumbup

Ediruc
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 07:45 AM
Frog Prince Fairytale = Frog morphing into a Human.

Evolution Fairytale = Frog + millions of years = morphing into a Human

Its exactly the same fairytale basically, see the animation. The only difference is the evolution fairytale relies on more time. Time which is non-observable and not scientific (falls outside of scientific method).

That...has to be the biggest piece of bullshit I have ever read in my life. Even if I heard it would still be the biggest.

We actually have observed evolution through our findings. Did you know that the first thing that could be called "Human" originally started out like Savannah Baboons? They would collect their forage for their food on the open plains of Africa. True fact. I read it in a science book. Doi! Over time humanity evolved from that stage of living on savannahs. They branched out, became sub-species (Neanderthals, Cro-magnons, ect...) and eventually we had different races such as Whites, Blacks, and Asians.

Evolution is also seen in other creatures. Did you know that chickens and other birds today are related to the prehistoric dinosaurs? The dinosaurs also, from millions of years of development, evolved. We've observed this through excavations and findings of their bones.

I know you are big on the whole Christian idea of God creating Man and man just branched out in little over a few thousand years into different races. That is the most retarded piece of crap I have ever heard in my life. Your Creationist Science is neo-mythology for dummies! It's the very stupidity in opposition to evolution. It's a trolling on Humanity that needs to stop. Your creation science is apart of the mentality that had held back the advancement of science and technology for centuries. It is apart of the same kind of mentality that has held back Humanity from making advancement. It needs to stop. NOW!

I'm glad you were banned, troll.

şeudiskaz
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 08:18 AM
Yes, if they claim to have any knowledge of how the universe or life was created. Agnostics that admit they don't know are the only ones that have no burden of proof

Actually, few atheists really claim to have knowledge if the universe's founding aside from scientific evidence. Many do not believe a divine being exists due to the lack of evidence. Generally speaking, many atheists do not positively believe something so much as they do not believe. Believers (who positively believe something) actually own the burden of proof, if anyone does.

Hamar Fox
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 11:18 AM
Yes, if they claim to have any knowledge of how the universe or life was created. Agnostics that admit they don't know are the only ones that have no burden of proof.

The idea that atheism is the human default has been challenged since ancient times, "Nature itself has imprinted on man the idea of God" is a pretty famous quote.

Also remember, the belief that something is correct because the majority believes it is called the Bandwagon Fallacy. :thumbup

Like I said above, it's incredibly easy to prove the non-existence of God. You don't have to know how the universe was created to know that it wasn't created by 'God' (in any meaningful sense of the word).

Eppillus
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 04:42 PM
şeudiskaz:
If you believe in the Big Bag theory or the Theory of Evolution you bear a burden of proof. Show me, for example, one mammal with all its transitional species. This is impossible as each species supposedly has in-between species that we've never discovered. The Bandwagon Effect has been used to make Evolution theory believed commonly. Remember than Aether Theory was accepted the same way not long ago. In 20 Years it will be sciences job to disprove everything today's scientists believe.

The Intellectual becomes the outdated, the outdated becomes the insane. :D

That said you seem to be talking about atheism with no attached theory, if that's the case you're correct.

Hamar Fox:

I completely disagree, I believe your argument is flawed and that my original comment stands. :thumbup

Hamar Fox
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 04:59 PM
şeudiskaz:

Hamar Fox:

I completely disagree, I believe your argument is flawed and that my original comment stands. :thumbup

Which argument is flawed? That an absolute God can't act and therefore can't create? Or that an absolute or perfect God can't have consciousness (and thereby conceive of itself as an object -- that is, become detached from itself)? I also have quite a few more arguments that I haven't presented in this thread. I like people first to present their own definition of God before I set about refuting it, or we could be here all year.

Eppillus
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 05:32 PM
Which argument is flawed? That an absolute God can't act and therefore can't create? Or that an absolute or perfect God can't have consciousness (and thereby conceive of itself as an object -- that is, become detached from itself)? I also have quite a few more arguments that I haven't presented in this thread. I like people first to present their own definition of God before I set about refuting it, or we could be here all year.

I believe the argument that god is easily (or at all) disprovable is flawed. I base my belief in God partially on my disbelief in thoughtless matters ability to create and sustain human life and habitat.

I am more of a general theist than anything. I firmly believe there is a god.

Hamar Fox
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 05:36 PM
I believe the argument that god is easily (or at all) disprovable is flawed. I base my belief in God partially on my disbelief in thoughtless matters ability to create and sustain human life and habitat.

I am more of a general theist than anything. I firmly believe there is a god.

Why? There's nothing mystical about the nature of thought or human existence whatsoever? Humans (some, that is) think humans are special and have a divine origin, nature and the universe don't think humans are special at all.

Eppillus
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 05:45 PM
Why? There's nothing mystical about the nature of thought or human existence whatsoever? Humans (some, that is) think humans are special and have a divine origin, nature and the universe don't think humans are special at all.

Please, support with facts. My argument that we're special is we've created great buildings, formal writing, machines, and language. We have philosophy. My argument against your second point is that you claim knowledge of what "The universe thinks" and that's just rubbish. As for "Why?" take the same formula of billions of coincidences and apply it to anything, like a court case.

Rebuttal?

şeudiskaz
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 06:27 PM
I firmly believe there is a god.

Prove it.

We have observed evolution happening. Scientific journals, look 'em up. I never claimed that humans descended from anything specific - in fact, I made no positive statement at all.

The "Big Bang Theory" is probably the best scientific guess we have to go on. And that's just it, it's a guess, no one will tell you any different, so don't be daft and pretend people treat it like it is actual fact. It likely happened (the galaxy has been, and is continuing to expand) but no one is claiming it as fact.

Now, you made the statement that you believe in God because you find the inverse impossible... but what recommends your belief in God?

Besides, I'm a Christian... so I believe in a God as well. I have absolutely no scientific evidence to support my religious beliefs, simply religious experience. I fully understand why others choose not to believe solely on the basis of rational thought - no scientific evidence exists to support the existence of God.


My argument that we're special is we've created great buildings, formal writing, machines, and language.

We're obviously special. We are higher forms of being than mere animals (though we, too, are animals.)

That being said, why do any of those things guarantee a Creator? And, to use your own standards... I want facts.

Hamar Fox
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 06:28 PM
Please, support with facts. My argument that we're special is we've created great buildings, formal writing, machines, and language.

And beavers build dams. I think this is evidence that they are a divine species.

şeudiskaz
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 06:31 PM
And beavers build dams. I think this is evidence that they are a divine species.

To be fair... that plays into his "there must be a Creator" theory. ;)

I'll level, I believe in a universal Creator. I also understand that no scientific evidence supports that belief. The belief is my own. I'd like to see what he thinks he has that supports his belief, while at the same time resolutely ignoring the very nature of Earth-based biological life (evolution.)

Eppillus
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 06:53 PM
Note I said I firmly believe, I didn't claim "There is a god"

Proof I Believe there is a god: I guess you have to take my word for it.

The point of my argument is not to show if there is or isn't a god, my point is that atheists who believe these theories bear a burden of proof the same way theists do. I believe we got off topic into discussing if there is or is not a god and that has muddled my original point. I can't prove there is a god, you can't show me a mammal through all its transitional species. I accept that my belief is my own conclusion and can't be proven. Can't speak for the entire theist community, just myself.

Thank you for the debate friends :thumbup

şeudiskaz
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 06:59 PM
Note I said I firmly believe, I didn't claim "There is a god"

Proof I Believe there is a god: I guess you have to take my word for it.

The point of my argument is not to show if there is or isn't a god, my point is that atheists who believe these theories bear a burden of proof the same way theists do. I believe we got off topic into discussing if there is or is not a god and that has muddled my original point. I can't prove there is a god, you can't show me a mammal through all its transitional species. I accept that my belief is my own conclusion and can't be proven. Can't speak for the entire theist community, just myself.

Thank you for the debate friends :thumbup

Evolution has scientific support. We have seen evolution happen. We can see the differing effects that evolution has had on different groups of humans. Why are Northern humans white, while Southern/Equatorial humans are dark? Probably because... of... something about God creating them that way, right? Or the explanation that makes sense: Humans have evolved to suit their environments.

We do not need to see the entire evolutionary cycle of a mammal for it to be scientifically supported... we've observed it happening in lesser life forms (with shorter generational cycles.)

Additionally, I believe in the Big Bang Theory... I never said it was a fact that it happened, so your request for proof is dismissed for the same reasons you dismissed the request for evidence from you. If you can weasel out of straight answers... I'll do the same thing. If you want to argue with intellectual honesty... I'll be waiting right here.

Eppillus
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 07:26 PM
Additionally, I believe in the Big Bang Theory... I never said it was a fact that it happened, so your request for proof is dismissed for the same reasons you dismissed the request for evidence from you. If you can weasel out of straight answers... I'll do the same thing. If you want to argue with intellectual honesty... I'll be waiting right here.

You're right, if you claim it's your belief you don't bear a burden of proof, if you say it's a fact, you bear a burden of proof. I'm not trying to weasel out of anything, I was respectfully giving my opinion and bowing out of the discussion, because it has turned into an OT debate.

Do Atheists bear a burden of proof:
Yes, if they claim such theories are fact. simply not believing in god with no attached theories requires no burden of proof, we can only take your word for it.

Bold: Quite disrespectful. You'll receive nothing but friendly debate from me.


Cheers,

- Eppillus

şeudiskaz
Monday, July 18th, 2011, 07:38 PM
Do Atheists bear a burden of proof:
Yes, if they claim such theories are fact. simply not believing in god with no attached theories requires no burden of proof, we can only take your word for it.

Few atheists that I have encountered show their evidence in terms of "facts".


Bold: Quite disrespectful. You'll receive nothing but friendly debate from me.

It may be disrespectful, but it was not untrue. I'd suggest, for friendly debate, to not use strawmen.

Hamar Fox
Tuesday, July 19th, 2011, 11:24 AM
Bold: Quite disrespectful. You'll receive nothing but friendly debate from me.


I think my defeating him in another thread put him in a bad mood. In answer to your earlier request for my arguments, well, I have a lot. I think I've pretty much covered everything in my posting history, but there's too much to reproduce here. I'll try to find some and link you to them if you want.

Hevneren
Saturday, August 27th, 2011, 03:01 AM
Do Atheists bear the burden of proof? The problem with that question is that Atheism, in itself, isn't an assertion of truth but rather a lack of belief. Those who call themselves Atheists and claim to know that no god exists, have misunderstood the meaning of the word. You can't prove or disprove a lack of a belief, just as much as you can't prove or disprove a belief. It's a bit like asking someone who doesn't like chocolate flavoured ice cream to prove that they don't like chocolate flavoured ice cream.

However, it doesn't matter whether you're Atheist or Theist, if you cite something you claim to be facts. In that case, the burden of proof is one the person citing the facts.