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

Bob Carabbio

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.
Which makes perfect sense, given that Agnostics/Atheists want INTELLECTUAL PROOF, and already consider the whole "Jesus" thing to be foolishness.

But in fact, they're looking at the proof every time they open their eyes in the world. Fact is that they simply wouldn't know "truth" if it bit them in the face.

Christians have the responsibility of presenting JESUS, and Him Crucified as the perfect SIN OFFERING for humankind. we DON"T have any responsibility to PROVE anything. The Holy Spirit PROVES himself to people as he pleases, by way of "Conviction of SIN", and of Judgement.
 

Authentic Nouveau

Well-known member
We've been over this before... there are MANY atheists who seriously tried to find divinity and came up empty-handed. 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.
So you claim you didn't find anything and many others did.
Many atheists found Jesus.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
So why on Earth should I believe that gods exist unless there is actual physical evidence that they exist?

That's his choice, not mine.
Well, as you don't want to know him, your refusal to provide a video detailing our discussions, just shows that you don't care about the truth.
 

J regia

Well-known member
Well, as you don't want to know him, your refusal to provide a video detailing our discussions, just shows that you don't care about the truth.
Alas I wasn't there when you had a face to face discussion with a god.
But did you have a beer together or a glass or two of plonk?
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
Are you able to disprove the existence of God?
I will answer no. But I have to further say that you ask this question as if not being able to disprove God means something as far as God's existence is concerned. It doesn't, it's a point with no meaningful consequence because despite not being able to give said proof, God might still not exist. There is no contradiction between not being able to disprove something and that thing not existing.

Not being able to disprove God is a no evidence against position, it's not an evidence for position. We should believe something true when we have evidence for it, not when we have no evidence against it.
 

Tiburon

Well-known member
I'm not talking about gods and fairies. You're the one who stated:

That's just words in a book.

So, since you don't actually know what you're talking about, I'm curious if you actually think that words in textbooks are not descriptive of reality just because they are words in a book.

You should have figured that someone was eventually going to call you to the carpet about this phrase sooner or later.

So, do you or do you not think that just because words are in books that makes them less true?
No what makes them less true is when they can't be validated against reality.
 

Howie

Well-known member
I will answer no. But I have to further say that you ask this question as if not being able to disprove God means something as far as God's existence is concerned. It doesn't, it's a point with no meaningful consequence because despite not being able to give said proof, God might still not exist. There is no contradiction between not being able to disprove something and that thing not existing.

Not being able to disprove God is a no evidence against position, it's not an evidence for position. We should believe something true when we have evidence for it, not when we have no evidence against it.
I'll take that as a long-winded. "no."
 

Algor

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! :)
An atheist has the burden of refutation of a specific argument if they choose to engage it in order to refute it. Otherwise....no. Why would they?

I see whateverman and you have essentially said the same.

However, if one thinks atheism is morally superior to theism (for whatever reason) then one could argue that one has an obligation to refute any argument for God's existence.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Alas I wasn't there when you had a face to face discussion with a god.
But did you have a beer together or a glass or two of plonk?
This is why you have to engage him yourself.

As we've been hanging out with each other for the past 44 years, we've done all kinds of things together.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
No what makes them less true is when they can't be validated against reality.
As far as the bible goes, I and the other Jesus followers I've engaged with over the past several decades haven't had any problems with verifying the validity of the bible.

Perhaps the problem is that you're using erroneous criteria and information.

I know that I can't use principles applied in biology to validate the information contained in a physics text.

Nor can I use the principles applied in the kitchen for cooking to apply to repairing my car.

So, why would you use the incorrect principles to validate the bible?
 

Algor

Well-known member
As far as the bible goes, I and the other Jesus followers I've engaged with over the past several decades haven't had any problems with verifying the validity of the bible.

Perhaps the problem is that you're using erroneous criteria and information.

I know that I can't use principles applied in biology to validate the information contained in a physics text.

Nor can I use the principles applied in the kitchen for cooking to apply to repairing my car.

So, why would you use the incorrect principles to validate the bible?
Why would you use the Bible to establish biological fact?
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
if one thinks atheism is morally superior to theism (for whatever reason) then one could argue that one has an obligation to refute any argument for God's existence.
That's an interesting idea (re. your if --> then).

I guess I'd disagree slightly, although I definitely understand what you're saying. By way of example, I think the Christian God does not exist - but I don't actually go around saying this (unless pressed). Until I make the claim, I'm not sure I have any burden of proof in the context of some Christian making claims about God's nature/abilities/actions.

Sure, there's a difference between whether X exists, and whether Y is morally-superior to Z. However, I can think the latter without having any burden to demonstrate Y is greater than Z. This would make me a bit of an intellectual coward, to be honest, but that doesn't translate into a rhetorical burden. Not even if the subject involves morality...
 

Algor

Well-known member
That's an interesting idea (re. your if --> then).

I guess I'd disagree slightly, although I definitely understand what you're saying. By way of example, I think the Christian God does not exist - but I don't actually go around saying this (unless pressed). Until I make the claim, I'm not sure I have any burden of proof in the context of some Christian making claims about God's nature/abilities/actions.

Sure, there's a difference between whether X exists, and whether Y is morally-superior to Z. However, I can think the latter without having any burden to demonstrate Y is greater than Z. This would make me a bit of an intellectual coward, to be honest, but that doesn't translate into a rhetorical burden. Not even if the subject involves morality...
This becomes a question of rhetorical burden vs moral obligation I suppose.
 

Harry Leggs

Well-known member
Even if we can't unequivocally prove that gods or fairies don't exist, what relevance is it if we don't believe they exist?
What is your problem with fairies when you believe you are an ape and believe in the mystery common ancestor?
 

Whateverman

Well-known member
What is your problem with fairies when you believe you are an ape and believe in the mystery common ancestor?
Well, he can produce objective evidence for the ape thing and the common ancestor thing; he can't produce objective evidence for fairies.

Why don't you understand this?
 
Top