Question for Everyone: The Atheist's "Burden of Refutation"

Howie

Well-known member
One doesn't have to disprove that which can't be proven in the first place.

Person A says leprechauns exist.
Person B says, "Prove it."
Person A responds, "Prove they don't exist."

Person B has no obligation or burden to disprove leprechauns, considering that person A has failed to prove they exist.
Your answer is no. Thanks, I knew that already.
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
Most atheists on CARM seem to believe that theists on CARM have a "burden of proof:" that is, there is some sense in which theists on CARM need to have and/or provide arguments for God's existence.

So, here is my question.

Do you think atheists on CARM have a "burden of refutation:" that is, some sort of obligation to refute one or more arguments for God's existence, under some circumstances? Why or why not?

The question is intentionally vague to allow for a range of interpretations of the "burden of refutation."

Thanks for your thoughts! :)
The minimum burden atheists have is not refutation. The minimum position for an atheist is to say that theists have not met their burden of proof. To say that a claim has not been met its burden of proof is not to refute the claim. Refuting the claim would forestall any possibility of the claim being true, but merely saying that the claim has not met its burden of proof leaves open the possibility that it could.
 

Torin

Well-known member
The minimum burden atheists have is not refutation. The minimum position for an atheist is to say that theists have not met their burden of proof. To say that a claim has not been met its burden of proof is not to refute the claim. Refuting the claim would forestall any possibility of the claim being true, but merely saying that the claim has not met its burden of proof leaves open the possibility that it could.
I agree. To be clear, the "refutation" referred to in the "burden of refutation" would be refutation of arguments for theism, not refutation of theism.
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
I agree. To be clear, the "refutation" referred to in the "burden of refutation" would be refutation of arguments for theism, not refutation of theism.
What's the difference between a refutation of the arguments for theism, and a refutation of theism? Is this a distinction without a difference?
 

Torin

Well-known member
What's the difference between a refutation of the arguments for theism, and a refutation of theism? Is this a distinction without a difference?
A refutation of the arguments for theism would leave theism without any positive support. That would leave a reasonable person in the position of "agnosticism" or "negative atheism." On the other hand, a refutation of theism would leave us in the position of concluding that theism is false or very probably false, which yields "positive atheism" (or simply "atheism," depending on terminology).
 

Gus Bovona

Well-known member
A refutation of the arguments for theism would leave theism without any positive support. That would leave a reasonable person in the position of "agnosticism" or "negative atheism." On the other hand, a refutation of theism would leave us in the position of concluding that theism is false or very probably false, which yields "positive atheism" (or simply "atheism," depending on terminology).
Gotcha.
 

J regia

Well-known member
You already admitted you can't disprove God's existence. 👍
But that doesn't mean that gods exist, and it's your burden to prove that gods actually exist, not mine.
And so far I haven't seen any evidence that they exist, let alone any evidence why they need to be kowtowed to.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
We've been over this before... there are MANY atheists who seriously tried to find divinity and came up empty-handed.
I'd say that this is the mistake then.

I didn't go looking for divinity. No Jesus followers I've ever met and talked with went looking for divinity.
So, if you failed to find divinity, then perhaps you should stop trying to find divinity, and simply come to YHVH, on YHVH's terms. He's plainly stated that those who seek him with a whole heart will find him.
He even said that he will give you a heart to know him.

Quite frankly, I don't know why anyone would think that they could find that which doesn't exist, while dismissing what has been stated, for Him who does exist.


Your arm waving and excuse making doesn't take away that fact. The thing is you won't accept the fact that they looked when they tell you they didn't find anything.
As you started with a false view, I'd say that you placed yourself outside the playing field.

Let YHVH know when you are ready to come to him on his terms.
 

J regia

Well-known member
I've never seen gods or fairies.
So, why don't you try focusing on what is actually being discussed, instead of your hallucinations.


Nobody who follows Jesus is talking about gods or fairies.
IOW you have no actual evidence that your god exists since you've never seen a god, let alone your's as described in the stories in Gen 18 and Gen 32:22-32.

Or are those stories in Gen 18 and Gen 32:22-32 just imaginative fantasies like Cinderella and Tolkien's stories?
 

SteveB

Well-known member
The words in your holy book don't prove a deity exists. Whatever basis in reality or truth your holy book might have it still doesn't prove a deity exists.
I never said they did.
Even the textbooks I used in college required my action in using them to determine the truth they presented.
Perhaps the problem here is that you have never actually done anything about it.

Your previous post mentioned looking for divinity. I didn't see anything in the bible that discusses seeking divinity.



Other religions have holy books as well. Does that mean they are true and correct?
Do what they describe and then tell me.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is a book with a basis in reality (dwarfism is real, so are white girls with black hair). When you understand why no one regards Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as true you will understand why your holy book isn't evidence for a deity.
I find it curious that you talk about finding divinity and then include fairy tales.

No wonder you never found divinity.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
IOW you have no actual evidence that your god exists since you've never seen a god, let alone your's as described in the stories in Gen 18 and Gen 32:22-32.
I have plenty of evidence that YHVH exists.
He gives us the evidence of his existence as well as a guarantee of our adoption by him.
So, your problem here is that you equate your ignorance with knowledge.

Or are those stories in Gen 18 and Gen 32:22-32 just imaginative fantasies like Cinderella and Tolkien's stories?
🤣🤦🏾‍♂️

You'll have to come follow Jesus to get the correct answer to this one.
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
Most atheists on CARM seem to believe that theists on CARM have a "burden of proof:" that is, there is some sense in which theists on CARM need to have and/or provide arguments for God's existence.

So, here is my question.

Do you think atheists on CARM have a "burden of refutation:" that is, some sort of obligation to refute one or more arguments for God's existence, under some circumstances? Why or why not?

The question is intentionally vague to allow for a range of interpretations of the "burden of refutation."

Thanks for your thoughts! :)

Let's start with you.
You claimed to have been a Christian and left. But your testimony from you indicates you were never born again. Will you clear that up and prove Jesus was wrong when he said "ye must be born again"?

You refuted yourself.
 
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