Burden of Proof *reconstructing posts from before the crash*

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Burden of Proof *reconstructing posts from before the crash*

Burden of Proof

 

DeathMunkyGod
Posts: 59
Joined: 2007-09-15

As an atheist posting to this site I've been seeing a somewhat disturbing trend here and I'm hoping other atheists could clarify it for me, or reassure me that it's just something that the minority of the atheists here believe, and not a form of atheistic irrationality that's caught here like wildfire and needs to be fixed.

I've been seeing a lot of posts recently, or maybe I'm just now noticeing them, to the effect of the burden of truth rests only with the theist, and atheists who make the positive claim that no god exists do not need to prove their position. I'm wondering how many people share that belief or how many are aware that the burden of proof actually rests with anyone who makes a positive claim?

Here's a hypothetical chat style situation to explain:

Valid:

Creationist: I know god exists

Me: Prove it?

Creationist: You prove that he doesn't.

Me: you're the one making a positive claim the burden of proof is on you.


Invalid:

Atheist: There is no God

Creationist: Prove it?

Atheist: The burden of proof is on you to prove that god does exist.


Hopefully my little chat style demonstration helped to show how this is a double standard that is highly irrational. And I sincerely hope that the majority of the atheists at this site can see and understand exactly how and why that is.
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Submitted by DeathMunkyGod on December 11, 2007 - 7:52pm. login or register to post comments

Jello
Posts: 25
Joined: 2007-06-19
I have ivisible fairies


I have ivisible fairies living in my garden, that leave no trace of their existence. That's because they're magical invisible fairies. (the best kind) Oh, but they're very real.

If you say they're nor real, does the burden of proof rest on you, or me? Who's claim is more extraordinary? Who's the one who needs to provide evidence? You? Remember, they're magical fairies who leave no trace of their existence.
December 11, 2007 - 8:07pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
Posts: 59
Joined: 2007-09-15
you'd be the one making the

you'd be the one making the positive claim. If I were to make as a counter claim "invisible pink fairies don't exist" I would be making a positive claim and the burden of proof for that statement would rest with me.
December 11, 2007 - 8:14pm login or register to post comments

MagusModerator
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I think that in some

I think that in some cases, you can have a strong atheistic opinion. For example, if a contradiction in the definition of said god is made, it is then fair to say that said god doesn't exist.

Sounds made up...

Agnostic Atheist
No, I am not angry at your imaginary friends or enemies.
December 11, 2007 - 8:25pm login or register to post comments

lazuli13lazuli13's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: 2007-04-10
You are completely right....

DeathMunkyGod wrote:

As an atheist posting to this site I've been seeing a somewhat disturbing trend here and I'm hoping other atheists could clarify it for me, or reassure me that it's just something that the minority of the atheists here believe, and not a form of atheistic irrationality that's caught here like wildfire and needs to be fixed.

I've been seeing a lot of posts recently, or maybe I'm just now noticeing them, to the effect of the burden of truth rests only with the theist, and atheists who make the positive claim that no god exists do not need to prove their position. I'm wondering how many people share that belief or how many are aware that the burden of proof actually rests with anyone who makes a positive claim?

Here's a hypothetical chat style situation to explain:

Valid:

Creationist: I know god exists

Me: Prove it?

Creationist: You prove that he doesn't.

Me: you're the one making a positive claim the burden of proof is on you.


Invalid:

Atheist: There is no God

Creationist: Prove it?

Atheist: The burden of proof is on you to prove that god does exist.


Hopefully my little chat style demonstration helped to show how this is a double standard that is highly irrational. And I sincerely hope that the majority of the atheists at this site can see and understand exactly how and why that is.




You are completely right DeathMunkyGod, why would rational people demand evidence? Haha, that is so silly we should just be theists or something. I'm sorry, I have to go now, "The Flying Spaghetti Monster" is calling me. Don't ask me for evidence, I just know he is.
December 11, 2007 - 8:31pm login or register to post comments

d4rkph03nixd4rkph03nix's picture
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Clearly some people are

Clearly some people are having a very hard time with the concept of a positive claim of a negative. If you clin to know that no god exists then the burden of proof is in fact on you. However in responding to someone who claims to know a god does exist you need not have proofs for your skepticism.
December 11, 2007 - 8:49pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
Posts: 59
Joined: 2007-09-15
Magus wrote: I think that

Magus wrote:
I think that in some cases, you can have a strong atheistic opinion. For example, if a contradiction in the definition of said god is made, it is then fair to say that said god doesn't exist.

But that just means, if you can make that case stick to any particular deity, you can rise to the challenge of the burden of proof when you make a postive claim of nonexistence of that deity. The burden of proof would still be on you if you made the claim, though.
December 11, 2007 - 9:02pm login or register to post comments

ThomathyThomathy's picture
Posts: 202
Joined: 2007-08-20
DeathMunkyGod wrote: you'd

DeathMunkyGod wrote:
you'd be the one making the positive claim. If I were to make as a counter claim "invisible pink fairies don't exist" I would be making a positive claim and the burden of proof for that statement would rest with me.

Simply because something can be imagined and communicated does not mean that it has a chance of actually existing. It would be odd for you to imagine such a thing and then to outright say that such a thing did not exist, but you wouldn't require proof to say so. I am fairly certain that Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time), does not believe the magic he's created in his books can actually be real, but in and of itself he cannot prove that it is not or cannot be (or can he?).

The reason for this is that the probability of something imagined existing is not 50/50. Aside from probability being an issue, such concepts are invisible pink fairies that practise magic can be said to be incoherent. Their supernatural qualities make it such that they cannot exist. There are other reasons to positively affirm the non-existence of things. Now, the realm of possibility can never be said to be zero, however, for all practical purposes, it may as well be for some claims. Hopefully you appreciate this, otherwise you'll have to be out with the jury on my claim that a Lamborghini could issue forth from my ass hole. It just isn't going to happen. It is so practically impossible that you my as well say that it won't happen for certain. If you wish to be perfectly technical about it you may feel free to begin to calculate the probability of it happening while I have as ass hole (in life and death) and go by that. I don't have the resources or care to calculate the probability of every imagined claim that I come across. It suites me fine to call something that I can be reasonably certain is impossible/nonexistent, impossible.

Necessarily, that doesn't work for some claims. For those claims it is only honest to be agnostic. But to claim that it is honest to believe in invisible pink fairies because they're unfalsifiable is not rational considering the claim, the nature of the claim and perhaps the claimant.

As you say, the Atheist who claims that a god does not exist is making a positive claim, but people on this site, as far as I've observed, don't make that claim on faith, they have reason and justification to make the claim and they show that reason and justification bold face. They do not make the claim regarding all gods as some gods do not fit into their reasoning and justification.

Many more wondrous things in this universe exist than can be explained by religion or can be the responsibility of god(s). As with spaghetti monsters and flying teapots, ghosts and miracles, reason, intellect and science do away with irrational notions.
December 11, 2007 - 9:03pm login or register to post comments

Brian37Brian37's picture
Posts: 1781
Joined: 2006-02-13
What is "disturbing" about


What is "disturbing" about "prove it"?

I dont get that, and even some atheists say you cant say either way. It comes across as an emotional appeal to not rock the boat. It has nothing to do with rocking the boat, it has everything to do with EVIDENCE.

If we are going to say, "You cant prove or disprove anything"

THEN the following statement cannot be proven or disproven:

"I can fart a Lamborginni out of my ass" Since you have never seen that happen, you cant disprove that it has never happened.

It is not a disturbing trend. It is putting the burdon where it belongs. It is also the way our court system works:

The state must prove that Mr X killed Mr. Y

The OP seems to be saying:

"Prove that Mr X didnt kill Mr Y"

Google "Bertrand Russell"s Teapot" and you will understand why the burdon of proof is on the claimant. Just because something is uttered or claimed doesnt give it credibility.

The atheist does not say "God does not exist", the atheist says, "God cannot exist based upon what has been presented so far"

Thor cannot exist, not because I havent seen Thor, but because we know that lighting is caused by positive and negitive charges in the atmosphere.

If Thor is real, then they (claiment must) provide evidence beyond "Thor did it".

Someone once uttered the name Ra, but you readly and rightfully dissmiss the sun as being a thinking entity, whereas for 3thousand years the ancient egyptians litterally believed that the sun was a god.

If someone came up to you and said, "Prove that Ra is not real" I would hope that you would rightfully laugh in their face.

No atheist I know with any intelectuall honesty is going to claim to know everything. But we, as a species have better tools than naked assertions with mythological backgrounds based upon the super natural.

If you think that the super natural MIGHT exist, to me, you might as well call yourself a theist.

To me, "Super natural" is merely an ignorant phrase for what humans have yet to find a natural answer for.

I dont know the future, no one does. But I dont base my life on hocus pocus, be it Ouiji boards or Pantheism or virgin births or Luke Skywalker.

I think it is perfectly acceptable to move on once something has been thoroughly debunked. If you are going to ask me to walk on pins and needles because someone might get offended by reality, I cant do that.


Contact all the 08 Presidental candidates and remind them of their Constitutional duty to uphold "no religious test" [url] www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/news_activism/8955 [/url]
December 11, 2007 - 9:03pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
Posts: 59
Joined: 2007-09-15
lazuli13 wrote: You are

lazuli13 wrote:
You are completely right DeathMunkyGod, why would rational people demand evidence? Haha, that is so silly we should just be theists or something. I'm sorry, I have to go now, "The Flying Spaghetti Monster" is calling me. Don't ask me for evidence, I just know he is.

I in no way implied that rational people shouldn't require evidence, merely that when a rational person makes any positive claim that rational person should HAVE evidence. In other words, as I said, if you make any positive claim (any claim of certainty about any subject at all, ei "god does not exist" which is a statement which leaves no room for possible error) the burdern of proof is on you. Likewise if anyone else makes any positive claim (such as "God does exist&quotEye-wink the burden of proof is on them.
December 11, 2007 - 9:07pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
Posts: 59
Joined: 2007-09-15
Brian37 wrote: What is

Brian37 wrote:

What is "disturbing" about "prove it"?

I dont get that, and even some atheists say you cant say either way. It comes across as an emotional appeal to not rock the boat. It has nothing to do with rocking the boat, it has everything to do with EVIDENCE.

If we are going to say, "You cant prove or disprove anything"

THEN the following statement cannot be proven or disproven:

"I can fart a Lamborginni out of my ass" Since you have never seen that happen, you cant disprove that it has never happened.

It is not a disturbing trend. It is putting the burdon where it belongs. It is also the way our court system works:

Claims(the state) that Mr X killed Mr. Y

The OP seems to be saying:

"Prove that Mr X didnt kill Mr Y"

Google "Bertrand Russell"s Teapot" and you will understand why the burdon of proof is on the claimant. Just because something is uttered or claimed doesnt give it credibility.


This entire post has entirely missed my point. I have no problem with asking for proof, in fact I think it's essential. My problem is with people who make a positive claim and then pass off the burden of proof on the other person. As in my valid example where the creationist made the positive statement that god exists, I asked for proof as I am wont to do, and the creationist tried to pass off the burden of proof on me by asking me instead to prove that god does not exist. My only point is that the burden of proof rests entirely on the person who makes a positive statement about anything, existence of god, nonexistence of god, whatever. If you do not have to evidence to back up your positive claim then you will naturally fail the burden of proof, but if you do have the evidence then this should be no problem at all.
December 11, 2007 - 9:13pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
Posts: 59
Joined: 2007-09-15
Thomathy

Thomathy wrote:
DeathMunkyGod wrote:
you'd be the one making the positive claim. If I were to make as a counter claim "invisible pink fairies don't exist" I would be making a positive claim and the burden of proof for that statement would rest with me.



Simply because something can be imagined and communicated does not mean that it has a chance of actually existing. It would be odd for you to imagine such a thing and then to outright say that such a thing did not exist, but you wouldn't require proof to say so. I am fairly certain that Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time), does not believe the magic he's created in his books can actually be real, but in and of itself he cannot prove that it is not or cannot be (or can he?).

The reason for this is that the probability of something imagined existing is not 50/50. Aside from probability being an issue, such concepts are invisible pink fairies that practise magic can be said to be incoherent. Their supernatural qualities make it such that they cannot exist. There are other reasons to positively affirm the non-existence of things. Now, the realm of possibility can never be said to be zero, however, for all practical purposes, it may as well be for some claims. Hopefully you appreciate this, otherwise you'll have to be out with the jury on my claim that a Lamborghini could issue forth from my ass hole. It just isn't going to happen. It is so practically impossible that you my as well say that it won't happen for certain. If you wish to be perfectly technical about it you may feel free to begin to calculate the probability of it happening while I have as ass hole (in life and death) and go by that. I don't have the resources or care to calculate the probability of every imagined claim that I come across. It suites me fine to call something that I can be reasonably certain is impossible/nonexistent, impossible.

Necessarily, that doesn't work for some claims. For those claims it is only honest to be agnostic. But to claim that it is honest to believe in invisible pink fairies because they're unfalsifiable is not rational considering the claim, the nature of the claim and perhaps the claimant.

As you say, the Atheist who claims that a god does not exist is making a positive claim, but people on this site, as far as I've observed, don't make that claim on faith, they have reason and justification to make the claim and they show that reason and justification bold face. They do not make the claim regarding all gods as some gods do not fit into their reasoning and justification.

This post has also missed my point entirely. It doesn't matter if you have the proof which is sufficient to rise to the burden of proof. If you make a positive claim and someone asks you to prove it the burden of proof is on you to prove it. If you have the proof that's good, since if you made the statement in the first place I should hope you had the proof. But that's completely irrelevant, because my point is that it's annoying to me when creationists pass off the burden of proof, it annoys me even more to see atheists do it too because I like to think that atheists should know better.
December 11, 2007 - 9:16pm login or register to post comments

ThomathyThomathy's picture
Posts: 202
Joined: 2007-08-20
Fine then. How's this:


Fine then. How's this: The burden of proof can't be on the Atheist... ever. The theist makes the positive claim in the first place and they base their belief in faith. It is not unreasonable for the Atheist to say that their god does not exist. The Atheist doesn't need to prove anything to say that. If someone believes in a god it's necessary that they believe it exists, they are making the positive claim in the first place. If some person walked up who had never ever heard of their claim before and said that the god didn't exist, they'd be within their rights and no proof required. The burden of proof can't be on that person. If it was any other way law systems couldn't even function. It would be an endless back and forth of, 'You prove it!' 'No, you prove it.' It's necessary that the burden of proof is not on the Atheist, even if she does say that the god doesn't exist. It is very nice of those of us that do to offer reason and justification disproving the notion of certain god claims, but it's not required to simply deny the existence considering the claim, its nature and the claimant.

Many more wondrous things in this universe exist than can be explained by religion or can be the responsibility of god(s). As with spaghetti monsters and flying teapots, ghosts and miracles, reason, intellect and science do away with irrational notions.
December 11, 2007 - 9:34pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
Posts: 59
Joined: 2007-09-15
Thomathy wrote: Fine then.

Thomathy wrote:

Fine then. How's this: The burden of proof can't be on the Atheist... ever. The theist makes the positive claim in the first place and they base their belief in faith. It is not unreasonable for the Atheist to say that their god does not exist. The Atheist doesn't need to prove anything to say that. If someone believes in a god it's necessary that they believe it exists, they are making the positive claim in the first place. If some person walked up who had never ever heard of their claim before and said that the god didn't exist, they'd be within their rights and no proof required. The burden of proof can't be on that person. If it was any other way law systems couldn't even function. It would be an endless back and forth of, 'You prove it!' 'No, you prove it.' It's necessary that the burden of proof is not on the Atheist, even if she does say that the god doesn't exist. It is very nice of those of us that do to offer reason and justification disproving the notion of certain god claims, but it's not required to simply deny the existence considering the claim, its nature and the claimant.


That's intellectually dishonest. An atheist's position should be equally subject to the burden of proof unless you're implying that an atheist is somehow above proving his position. If an atheist asserts that there is no god but cannot prove that there is no god how is that different from a theist who asserts that there is a god but cannot prove that there is a god? Tell me why one of these following examples is better than the other:

Example 1:

Creationist: There is a God.

Atheist: Prove it.

Creationist: You prove there isn't a God.

Example 2:

Atheist: There is no God.

Creationist: Prove it.

Atheist: You prove that there is a God.

If you can explain how these two examples aren't just two different viewpoints guilty of the same intellectual dishonesty, you get a gold star.
December 11, 2007 - 9:47pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
Posts: 59
Joined: 2007-09-15
In a legal case the burden

In a legal case the burden of proof rests with the complaintant because the complaintant is making the original positive claim of a wrong being done. However the defense may not have to prove his innocence but does have to prove any positive claims he makes while responding to the arguments made by the complaintant. Otherwise the defense would always win. The defense wouldn't have to prove anything at all. It's one thing in a debate to ask for proof when someone says "God exists" but if you respond by saying "God doesn't exist" you've just made a positive claim, and the burden of proof rests with you. Like I said if you can prove your claim, that's fine, and if you can't that's fine too, admit that and move on, however passing on the burden of proof when you have made a positive claim is dishonest.
December 11, 2007 - 9:53pm login or register to post comments

Brian37Brian37's picture
Posts: 1781
Joined: 2006-02-13
Quote: My only point is

Quote:
My only point is that the burden of proof rests entirely on the person who makes a positive statement about anything, existence of god, nonexistence of god, whatever.

Ok then,

"You cant prove that you can fart a lamborgini out of your ass"

You know as well as I, unless you are completely delussional, that you cant.

My point is JUST because I have never seen you do such, automatically makes it a possibility.

I claim X

You say "Prove it"

Untill I have proven my case, you have no obligation to buy what I am claiming.

And in addition, if we never as a species threw out ideas just because they were once uttered we would still believe in absurdities.

I am perfectly comfortable in saying certain things without losing any sleep.

1. Virgins dont get knocked up by ghosts.

2. There is no green dinosour in Loc Ness

3. There is no ape man trapsing in the woods named BIG FOOT

If you are uncomfortable using your file 13, I'd suggest you get over it, or be willing to accept any story that comes down the pike simply because it was uttered.


Contact all the 08 Presidental candidates and remind them of their Constitutional duty to uphold "no religious test" [url] www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/news_activism/8955 [/url]
December 11, 2007 - 9:58pm login or register to post comments

WatcherWatcher's picture
Posts: 397
Joined: 2007-07-10
Thomathy wrote: I am

Thomathy wrote:

I am fairly certain that Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time), does not believe the magic he's created in his books can actually be real, but in and of itself he cannot prove that it is not or cannot be (or can he?).


Urhm...while not talking about the OP in this post I have to point out that Robert Jordan cannot believe in nor prove/disprove anything now.

...he died almost 3 months ago.

*sheepish odd expression*

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence --Christopher Hitchens

Science. It works, bitches.
December 11, 2007 - 10:10pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
Posts: 59
Joined: 2007-09-15
Brian37 wrote: Quote: My

Brian37 wrote:
Quote:
My only point is that the burden of proof rests entirely on the person who makes a positive statement about anything, existence of god, nonexistence of god, whatever.



Ok then,

"You cant prove that you can fart a lamborgini out of your ass"

You know as well as I, unless you are completely delussional, that you cant.

My point is JUST because I have never seen you do such, automatically makes it a possibility.

I claim X

You say "Prove it"

Untill I have proven my case, you have no obligation to buy what I am claiming.

And in addition, if we never as a species threw out ideas just because they were once uttered we would still believe in absurdities.

I am perfectly comfortable in saying certain things without losing any sleep.

1. Virgins dont get knocked up by ghosts.

2. There is no green dinosour in Loc Ness

3. There is no ape man trapsing in the woods named BIG FOOT

If you are uncomfortable using your file 13, I'd suggest you get over it, or be willing to accept any story that comes down the pike simply because it was uttered.

How is this a relevant response? esspecially the end part. If you make a positive claim, don't pass off the burden of proof. That's all I'm saying. If some idiot tries to tell you that you can fart a lambourgini out of gas feel free to ask him for proof. You could probably even come up with a compelling statistical argument that this is not the case based on the fact that the lambourgini isn't the only car to store it's gas in the location and manner in which it does or there are no known physical laws which would allow for such phenomenon. But the fact that you can't prove a claim false and someone else can't prove the claim true should just tell you that no one should make the claim one way or the other. I said nothing at all about accepting rediculous claims. A person who wants to believe that you can fart a lambourgini out of gas is going to believe that, and you'll just put yourself into a position where you can make the opposite positive claim, and he can ask for proof. That doesn't mean the burden of proof isn't on you now that you've made the claim that you can't even though you know you can't, if you can't prove it telling the other person he has to prove his claim but you don't have to prove yours is just going to make you look dishonest or like you are running away from the point. It also makes it look like you feel you are above having to prove your position. If the other person feels his position is valid you've lost credibility.

There's still nothing about anything I'm saying which makes it necessary for a person to accept any rediculous claims. But recognize that a person making a rediculous claim isn't going to think your point is any more valid than theirs esspecially if you avoid proving yours. Looks evasive. In those situations I would instead recommend avoiding making unprovable positive claims because if you're asked to prove them the only honest thing you can do which cuases you to lose far less credibility is to admit you can't prove your claim, and then point out that they can't prove theirs either. But the reason they asked you to prove your positive claim is most likely because they already knew they couldn't prove theirs, so they won't lose any sleep over it, and they'll find themselves reinforced in the knowledge that you can't disprove them, if you could you would have accepted the burden of proof rather than try to pass it off.
December 11, 2007 - 10:16pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
Posts: 59
Joined: 2007-09-15
Thomathy wrote:I am

Thomathy wrote:

I am fairly certain that Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time), does not believe the magic he's created in his books can actually be real, but in and of itself he cannot prove that it is not or cannot be (or can he?).

I have to add that it's funny to me that Thomathy posted this as though he thought he had a point. Robert Jordan, being aware that he was writing a fictional story, wasn't making an argument. He wasn't trying to get anyone to do, buy, or believe anything. His aim was to entertain. If anyone did for whatever reason try to ask him to prove the magic he created in his books he probably wouldn't bother as he wasn't trying to get anyone to believe it was real.
December 11, 2007 - 10:22pm login or register to post comments

WatcherWatcher's picture
Posts: 397
Joined: 2007-07-10
DeathMunkyGod wrote: As an

DeathMunkyGod wrote:

As an atheist posting to this site I've been seeing a somewhat disturbing trend here and I'm hoping other atheists could clarify it for me, or reassure me that it's just something that the minority of the atheists here believe, and not a form of atheistic irrationality that's caught here like wildfire and needs to be fixed.

I've been seeing a lot of posts recently, or maybe I'm just now noticeing them, to the effect of the burden of truth rests only with the theist, and atheists who make the positive claim that no god exists do not need to prove their position. I'm wondering how many people share that belief or how many are aware that the burden of proof actually rests with anyone who makes a positive claim?

Here's a hypothetical chat style situation to explain:

Valid:

Creationist: I know god exists

Me: Prove it?

Creationist: You prove that he doesn't.

Me: you're the one making a positive claim the burden of proof is on you.


Invalid:

Atheist: There is no God

Creationist: Prove it?

Atheist: The burden of proof is on you to prove that god does exist.


Hopefully my little chat style demonstration helped to show how this is a double standard that is highly irrational. And I sincerely hope that the majority of the atheists at this site can see and understand exactly how and why that is.


I agree with this viewpoint. I have heard of leprachauns. If I state that leprachauns do not exist I am making a positive claim. I am stating pretty much that I have all the knowledge possible in the universe and there are no creatures fitting the attributes matching a leprechaun description.

I will only state that I have no evidence that leads me to believe in the existence of leprachauns. To be a "strong atheist" is just as irrational as being a theist. It claims that you have knowledge that you cannot possibly have as a human. I label myself an "Agnostic Atheist" because I have no evidence that leads me to conclude such a thing meeting the characteristics of such an entity as "god" exists. However to say that I know that there is no possible evidence is bullshit. I just don't possess it. The evidence may exist. To claim otherwise is to call yourself having omniscience.

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence --Christopher Hitchens

Science. It works, bitches.
December 11, 2007 - 10:29pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
Posts: 59
Joined: 2007-09-15
Finally!

Watcher wrote:

I agree with this viewpoint. I have heard of leprachauns. If I state that leprachauns do not exist I am making a positive claim. I am stating pretty much that I have all the knowledge possible in the universe and there are no creatures fitting the attributes matching a leprechaun description.

I will only state that I have no evidence that leads me to believe in the existence of leprachauns. To be a "strong atheist" is just as irrational as being a theist. It claims that you have knowledge that you cannot possibly have as a human. I label myself an "Agnostic Atheist" because I have no evidence that leads me to conclude such a thing meeting the characteristics of such an entity as "god" exists. However to say that I know that there is no possible evidence is bullshit. I just don't possess it. The evidence may exist. To claim otherwise is to call yourself having omniscience.


Finally! Someone who gets it! To be fair d4rkph03nix got it, but I already knew she got it...she's my wife.
December 11, 2007 - 10:34pm login or register to post comments

d4rkph03nixd4rkph03nix's picture
Posts: 27
Joined: 2007-09-17
*rejoices*


*rejoices*
December 11, 2007 - 10:38pm login or register to post comments

ThomathyThomathy's picture
Posts: 202
Joined: 2007-08-20
Watcher wrote: Thomathy

Watcher wrote:
Thomathy wrote:

I am fairly certain that Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time), does not believe the magic he's created in his books can actually be real, but in and of itself he cannot prove that it is not or cannot be (or can he?).


Urhm...while not talking about the OP in this post I have to point out that Robert Jordan cannot believe in nor prove/disprove anything now.

...he died almost 3 months ago.

*sheepish odd expression*


Shows what I know. Pretend you're reading past tense there. It happened to be the first fiction author I saw on my bookcase. It's at eye level. All I have to say is that someone needs to finish that horrible series he wrote. I read all the crappy books and now he's dead. Almost as bad as Melanie Rawn, 'My mother died and my arm is broken so I won't finish my series... ever.' I've been waiting for the last instalment of Exiles for 7 years. [/rant]

Sorry, I have a sore spot with fantasy authors lately.

DeathMunkyGod wrote:

I have to add that it's funny to me that Thomathy posted this as though he thought he had a point. Robert Jordan, being aware that he was writing a fictional story, wasn't making an argument. He wasn't trying to get anyone to do, buy, or believe anything. His aim was to entertain. If anyone did for whatever reason try to ask him to prove the magic he created in his books he probably wouldn't bother as he wasn't trying to get anyone to believe it was real.


It may be funny, it may even be a poor example, but it hardly matters. It was entirely hypthetical. If he did believe then he'd be making a positive claim. It's nice how you fail to address the rest of my post. It's also nice to see that Watcher also disregards the posts relevant to his assertions. It is not necessary to have all the knowledge of the universe (what does that even mean!?) in order to say that something doesn't exist. Leprachans can be said not to exist for a number of reasons I've pointed out. Why don't you look up 'burden of proof'? Also, I'll write it once more: Just because something can be imagined and communicated does not mean that it can exist.

Many more wondrous things in this universe exist than can be explained by religion or can be the responsibility of god(s). As with spaghetti monsters and flying teapots, ghosts and miracles, reason, intellect and science do away with irrational notions.
December 11, 2007 - 10:49pm login or register to post comments

Brian37Brian37's picture
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Quote: To be a "strong

Quote:
To be a "strong atheist" is just as irrational as being a theist.

Quote:
If I state that leprachauns do not exist I am making a positive claim.

Right, and again, if we take that route, untill I prove they dont exist, Leprachauns by defaut, because I cant prove the dont, must exist?ABSURD BS and you know it.

The differance between you and me is that I am not afraid to use my trash can and you are.


Contact all the 08 Presidental candidates and remind them of their Constitutional duty to uphold "no religious test" [url] www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/news_activism/8955 [/url]
December 11, 2007 - 10:52pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
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Actually what's absurd BS


Actually what's absurd BS is your trail of reasoning, it's a false dichotomy, not being able to prove one thing doesn't automatically make its antithesis true. That's the same as the creationist argument that the things science can't explain automatically prove god. Nothing proves anything by default. The inability to disprove the existence of Lepurchauns just means that we can't assume that they don't exist, we can just acknowledge that there's no reason to assume that they do exist and that's good enough for me. Likewise it's equally impossible to prove the existence of lepurachauns, so as being unable to disprove something doesn't prove it by default, being unable to prove something doesn't disprove it by default. Remember absence of proof is not proof of absence.
December 11, 2007 - 10:59pm login or register to post comments

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Thomathy wrote:

Thomathy wrote:

It's also nice to see that Watcher also disregards the posts relevant to his assertions. It is not necessary to have all the knowledge of the universe (what does that even mean!?) in order to say that something doesn't exist. Leprachans can be said not to exist for a number of reasons I've pointed out. Why don't you look up 'burden of proof'? Also, I'll write it once more: Just because something can be imagined and communicated does not mean that it can exist.


I think it's funny that you are horribly lacking in imagination on this point, Thomathy.

Ok, all the knowledge of the universe. I will explain what that means to me. Humans are currently trying to figure out what is mainly going on here. Earth. Climate, tectonic plates, weather, all forms of life. We are studying how everything "works, how they interact, etc. (now you are probably feeling somewhat insulted...I don't say this to point out the obvious, I'm just getting to a point) we are studying everything we can even think of. How everything works/interacts/etc. Now if humanity expanded to fill the entire universe, if we have billions and trillions of years, if we discovered so much of EVERYTHING we couldn't even figure out what else to wringe out of "science"...well then my definition of having all the "knowledge of the universe" would be obtained.

If we visit another solar system, find life on a planet with tiny human-like creatures, wearing green suits, smoking pipes, able to grant wishes, and have pots of gold coins they guard jealously, I would call them leprachauns because they fit the descriptions of what I have been told about leprachauns.

However, because I have not visited every planet in the universe I can not state that these creature DO NOT exist on some planet SOMEWHERE.

Therefore I refuse to state that I know for a fact that these types of creatures can not possibly exist anywhere in the known or currently unknown universe.

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence --Christopher Hitchens

Science. It works, bitches.
December 11, 2007 - 11:07pm login or register to post comments

Brian37Brian37's picture
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DeathMunkyGod

DeathMunkyGod wrote:

Actually what's absurd BS is your trail of reasoning, it's a false dichotomy, not being able to prove one thing doesn't automatically make its antithesis true. That's the same as the creationist argument that the things science can't explain automatically prove god. Nothing proves anything by default. The inability to disprove the existence of Lepurchauns just means that we can't assume that they don't exist, we can just acknowledge that there's no reason to assume that they do exist and that's good enough for me. Likewise it's equally impossible to prove the existence of lepurachauns, so as being unable to disprove something doesn't prove it by default, being unable to prove something doesn't disprove it by default. Remember absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Ok, like I said, if someone proposed to sell you a REAL Lamborginni vs a INVISABLE PINK one with Hidi clum as your wife, since we can presume one is possible but the other unlikely that throwing the second claim in the trash is a bad idea?

GOD as an utterance is an ambigious term and is meaningless just like JGHFDDFDSFDSASFDSFWWAWO9WOWEI.

Quote:
The inability to disprove the existence of Lepurchauns just means that we can't assume that they don't exist

Like I said. You are afraid to use your trash can. My "Leprechauns" metaphorically speeking are squarly squashed under the used coffee filter and soup can in my trash can.


Contact all the 08 Presidental candidates and remind them of their Constitutional duty to uphold "no religious test" [url] www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/news_activism/8955 [/url]
December 11, 2007 - 11:12pm login or register to post comments

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Brian37 wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

Right, and again, if we take that route, untill I prove they dont exist, Leprachauns by defaut, because I cant prove the dont, must exist?ABSURD BS and you know it.


Until you can prove such a thing you are making a false claim. The jury is out. No one is saying anything must exist. I am simply claiming that I have no evidence for or against.

Brian37 wrote:

The differance between you and me is that I am not afraid to use my trash can and you are.


The difference between you and me is that you are stating positive claims just like a theist.

Theist: I KNOW god exists

Brian37: I KNOW that god doesn't exist.

Both you motherfuckers "know beyond a shadow of a doubt". <sarcasm>You both have all possible knowledge that can be obtained in the universe.</sarcasm> Well if you know everything brian, give us the cure for cancer. What a fucking joke.

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence --Christopher Hitchens

Science. It works, bitches.
December 11, 2007 - 11:14pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
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Thomathy wrote: Watcher

Thomathy wrote:
Watcher wrote:
Thomathy wrote:

I am fairly certain that Robert Jordan (The Wheel of Time), does not believe the magic he's created in his books can actually be real, but in and of itself he cannot prove that it is not or cannot be (or can he?).



Urhm...while not talking about the OP in this post I have to point out that Robert Jordan cannot believe in nor prove/disprove anything now.

...he died almost 3 months ago.

*sheepish odd expression*



Shows what I know. Pretend you're reading past tense there. It happened to be the first fiction author I saw on my bookcase. It's at eye level. All I have to say is that someone needs to finish that horrible series he wrote. I read all the crappy books and now he's dead. Almost as bad as Melanie Rawn, 'My mother died and my arm is broken so I won't finish my series... ever.' I've been waiting for the last instalment of Exiles for 7 years. [/rant]

Sorry, I have a sore spot with fantasy authors lately.
DeathMunkyGod wrote:


I have to add that it's funny to me that Thomathy posted this as though he thought he had a point. Robert Jordan, being aware that he was writing a fictional story, wasn't making an argument. He wasn't trying to get anyone to do, buy, or believe anything. His aim was to entertain. If anyone did for whatever reason try to ask him to prove the magic he created in his books he probably wouldn't bother as he wasn't trying to get anyone to believe it was real.



It may be funny, it may even be a poor example, but it hardly matters. It was entirely hypthetical. If he did believe then he'd be making a positive claim. It's nice how you fail to address the rest of my post. It's also nice to see that Watcher also disregards the posts relevant to his assertions. It is not necessary to have all the knowledge of the universe (what does that even mean!?) in order to say that something doesn't exist. Leprachans can be said not to exist for a number of reasons I've pointed out. Why don't you look up 'burden of proof'? Also, I'll write it once more: Just because something can be imagined and communicated does not mean that it can exist.

There's a good reason why I didn't respond to the rest of your post, your post didn't respond to my post. The fact is, though, as irrelevant to my point as even this post is, because if you can prove the nonexistence of something and it is true that there are many things that you can indeed prove don't exist definitively, leprachauns are in fact not one of them, then you can accept the burden of proof and dissprove them. And if you CAN accept the burden of proof then there is no reason why you shouldn't. Plus as I've already said and you've never even attempted to dispute, it would be intellectually dishonest not to accept the burden of proof or admit that you have no proof. You and no one else has proposed a reason why I should think that any one of the example scenarios I posted was more acceptable or less dishonest than the other. No gold star until you do.

In closing I'd like to restate that "Just because something can be imagined and communicated does not mean that it can exist." is irrelevant. Look into Godel's Incompleteness Theorem. Basically it proves that not everything true can be proven and not everything untrue can be disproven.

In case you didn't understand it again, this is irrelevant because I'm not trying at all to say that just because something can be imagined and communicated then that something can exist. In fact it's not a proposition that I would even ever have considered. All I'm trying to say is that if you make a positive claim, the burden of proof for that claim is on you. It would be intellectually dishonest for you to pass off the burden of proof for your claim our the counter claim to the person you're arguing with.
December 11, 2007 - 11:31pm login or register to post comments

aiiaModerator
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a leprechaun is a type of

a leprechaun is a type of male faerie
A fairy is the name given to a type of supernatural creature.
Supernature is outside of nature.
Therefore it does not exist.
There are no leprechauns.
And there is no god.

I'm atheist
December 11, 2007 - 11:31pm login or register to post comments

Brian37Brian37's picture
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d4rkph03nix wrote: Clearly

d4rkph03nix wrote:
Clearly some people are having a very hard time with the concept of a positive claim of a negative. If you clin to know that no god exists then the burden of proof is in fact on you. However in responding to someone who claims to know a god does exist you need not have proofs for your skepticism.

I think I demonstrated that already and apereantly this thread is an argument over semantics more than it is a dissagreement.

I know that Big Foot does not exist. I know that Ouiji Boards dont help people talk to the dead. I know that the |Christian God cannot exist. I know that Leprechauns are not real. I am not the least bit afraid of throwing any of those claims in the trash nor would I lose any sleep over that.

Now, there is an aspect many atheists dont think about. In a given claim, we have to consider past, present and future.

As far as "God/deity/supernatural" I am certain that all claims in the past and currently claimed now, are made up bullshit. I am, strictly from a semantic view based on not being able to aproach absolute Zero either way, am an agnostic atheist as far as any future evidence, although I would still lean toward strong, as far as the future.

There is nothing in the past or currently claimed that is valid or credible by any stretch and i dont lose a lick of sleep throwing garbage in my trash can.

Quote:
If you clin to know that no god exists then the burden of proof is in fact on you

"Thor does not exist" is a credible claim.

But it is a response to the original person who claims "Thor does exist".

Why, because the atheist is not starting from the assumption that |Thor exists and then working to disprove it. The atheist is going on the presentation of the claims or "evidence" presented to them by the original claimant. Then they assess the validity of the claim and call it bullshit an throw it rightfully in the trash can where it belongs.

Contact all the 08 Presidental candidates and remind them of their Constitutional duty to uphold "no religious test" [url] www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/news_activism/8955 [/url]
December 11, 2007 - 11:39pm login or register to post comments



























Later, AdamTM
- I'm the guy that gets called when the other guy is not around-
- I didnt feel the love! ...Wait...was that something? ...no, no its gone -
TWATWAFFLE FOREVER


EXC
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Adam,I'd recommend studying

Adam,

I'd recommend studying logic. The whole basis of legal claims is that the burden of proof is first on the one making the claim. We need only respond to their claims.

According to your reasoning, someone could accuse you of a crime with no evidence, the burden of proof would first be on you to prove your innocence. The legal system would be complete chaos. That is why we have innocent until proven guilty.

Atheists generally do not try to prove their is no god or even claim there is no god. Our claim is that there is no evidence for any god and that religious faith is irrational.

Also, shorter posts would help. Just make your point, too many words and people just tune out the whole thing.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Thats an entire topic thrown

Thats an entire topic thrown into one post. It was not fun to read through, and I just skimmed it, but the topic was from this site. I'm not sure what the point was.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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It was posted in 2007,

It was posted in 2007, probably after a temporary server crash, probably from someone's cache of the conversation up to that point.

Move along folks, nothing to see here. <Draws outline around the thread, puts up 'Rational Responder Line -- DO NOT CROSS -- Rational Res...' tape around the scene.>

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