Burden Of Proof, The Atheist’s Rabbit Hole


By Prayson Daniel


When majority of atheists are asked to give an argument(s) for holding their position, Burden of Proof counter-argument is often given ” The burden of proof is on you believers, to offer some sort of evidence that God exist” to avoid the question. I coined a name for this maneuver,” the rabbit back in the hole!”.

In this article I will try to explore, what is Burden of Proof and atheism. The Aim of this article is to to answer the question  of whether atheists are in deed off the Burden of Proof’s hook(namely giving support of their position they hold)

Wrong Presumption:

Mid-twentieth century atheists promoted the “presumption of atheism” as a default position, namely at the face value, this would appear to be a claim that the absence of evidence for the existence of God, we should presume that God does not exit. Thus a theist ought to bear a burden of proof to proof that God exit.

Should Christian agree with this presumption of atheism? Are atheist off the hook in giving arguments for holding there position?

N.B: Presumption of atheism commits argument to ignorance.

Burden Of Proof:

They are two type of burden of proof to be considered: Legal burden of proof and philosophical burden of proof.

The legal burden of proof is an obligation that remains on a single party for the duration of the claim.

The burden of producing evidence means that in general the party that cites specific facts for the substantiation of its claim also has the burden of producing the evidence to prove these facts. This burden depends on the substantive law governing the claim. Permissible presumptions and legal rules can shift the burden in various situations.( Heinrich Nagel”evidence.” Encyclopædia Britannica.  Web. 03 Mar. 2011.)

The philosophic burden of proof is an obligation on a party in an epistemic dispute to provide sufficient warrant for their position.

Atheism And Burden of Proof
Late Michael Martin, a leading atheist philosopher notes the following in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism:

If you look up “atheism” in a dictionary, you will find it defined as the belief that there is no God. Certainly, many people understand “atheism” in this way. Yet this is not what the term means if one considers it from the point of view of its Greek roots. In Greek “a” means “without” or “not,” and “theos” means “god.”1 From this standpoint, an atheist is someone without a belief in God; he or she need not be someone who believes that God does not exist.2 Still, there is a popular dictionary meaning of “atheism” according to which an atheist is not simply one who holds no belief in the existence of a God or gods but is one who believes that there is no God or gods. This dictionary use of the term should not be overlooked. To avoid confusion, let us call it positive atheism and let us call the type of atheism derived from the original Greek roots negative atheism.

No general definition of “God” will be attempted here,3 but it will prove useful to distinguish a number of different concepts of God that have figured in the traditional controversies and debates about religion. In modern times “theism” has usually come to mean a belief in a personal God who takes an active interest in the world and who has given a special revelation to humans. So understood, theism stands in contrast to deism, the belief in a God that is based not on revelation but on evidence from nature. The God assumed by deists is usually considered to be remote from the world and not intimately involved with its concerns. Theism is also to be contrasted with polytheism, the belief in more than one God, and with pantheism, the belief that God is identical with nature.

Negative atheism in the broad sense4 is then the absence of belief in any god or Gods, not just the absence of belief in a personal theistic God, and negative atheism in the narrow sense is the absence of belief in a theistic God. Positive atheism in the broad sense is, in turn, disbelief in all gods, with positive atheism in the narrow sense being the disbelief in a theistic God. For positive atheism in the narrow sense to be successfully defended, two tasks must be accomplished. First, the reasons for believing in a theistic God must be refuted; in other words, negative atheism in the narrow sense must be established. Second, reasons for disbelieving in the theistic God must be given.(Martin, Companion To Atheism p.1)

Two Tasks For Positive Atheism To Be Successful

  1. Refutation of the Reason for believing in a theistic God(base for negative atheism)
  2. Giving Reason for disbelieving in the theistic God

In short, a reasonable atheist need to have reasons for holding his/her position. The rabbit hole is not an opposition.

As defined above, philosophic burden of proof is an obligation on a party in an epistemic dispute to provide sufficient warrant for their position.

An assertion that “There is no God“ is an epistemic dispute, as much as claim ” There is God”, Therefore both these assertions require sufficient justification/warrant for their position.

Thus “The burden of proof is” not only “on you believers, to offer some sort of evidence that God exist” but also to atheist to offer some refutation for existence theistic God, and give reason of disbelief in the theistic God.

Bibliography:

Cambridge University Press 978-0-521-84270-9 – The Cambridge Companion to Atheism Edited by Michael Martin, Excerpt

1. Gordon Stein, “The Meaning of Atheism and Agnosticism,” in Gordon Stein (ed.), An Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus, 1980), p. 3.
2. This negative sense of “atheism” should be distinguished from the sense of “atheism” introduced by Paul Edwards. According to Edwards, an athe- ist is a person who rejects a belief in God. This rejection may be because the person believes that the statement “God exists” is false, but it may be for other reasons. The negative sense of “atheism” used here is broader than Edwards’s definition since on the present definition someone can be an athe- ist if he or she has no belief in God, although the lack of belief is not the result of rejection. See Paul Edwards, “Atheism,” in Paul Edwards (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (New York: Macmillan and Free Press, 1967), vol. 1, p. 175.
3. However, the definition of “God” proposed by Beardsley and Beardsley has considerable merit. On their view, for a being to be a god it must meet four criteria: it must have supernatural powers; be free from so many of the natural limitations of inanimate objects, subhuman organisms, and humans that it cannot be classified as belonging to any of these groups; have some kind of mental life; and be regarded as superior to human beings. See Monroe Beardsley and Elizabeth Beardsley, Philosophical Thinking: An Introduction (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1965), pp. 46–50.
4. I owe the distinction between the broad and narrow senses of “atheism” to William L. Rowe, “The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism,” American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (1979): 335–41.
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36 thoughts on “Burden Of Proof, The Atheist’s Rabbit Hole

  1. Oh! The cute Christians think they can outsmart the Atheists, by the looks of these comments. They believe (Prayson Daniel in particular) that they intimidate others by using complicated jargon and technical language, which ends up asking more of atheists to prove god doesn’t exist than they have provided on the whole post to prove he DOES exist! And no, Prayson, negative Atheism is not Agnosticism, nor is it an appeal to ignorance, nor is it any number of the other things you call it throughout your kettle logic rampage through the comment section. Negative atheism means this: I see no evidence of a god or god(s), so I don’t believe in any. It doesn’t mean I choose to live without God(s), nor that I am ignorant. Quite the contrary, in fact. I would like to see you give one “proof” God exists in reply, and I’ll see how easily it can be refuted. Negative Atheism requires no proof or disproof. Belief in religious figures does, because there is no sensory or intellectual evidence supporting your argument. And no, I don’t want to watch your video. And for your sake, you don’t want me to. Also, if you so much as try to beat me with a technical argument, I will go through every post you have commented on and prove, without doubt, why every single argument you have made is made with the same kettle logic as you claim the reasonable people have been using. Furthermore, why many of their arguments (WITHOUT EVIDENCE) are still sounded than your technical (at face value) rebuttals. So please. Prove to me one thing about God. Or two, or three. Whatever. I want to see your attempt. And I’ll say it one more time, since, by reading your comments, you don’t seem to get it. Negative atheism requires no proof nor disproof. Thank You.

    -AlexACS

    • Thank you Alex,

      O! This is an old post. So much has changed Alex. I was näive back then and I sometimes laugh at my own comments 🙂

      Well, Alex, before I attempt to present you any arguments for existence of God, I would ask that we do a back and fro. I love listening more than telling now 🙂 I will also encourage you to read more updated posts on Existence of God. You can just use the search combo-box.

      But before we begin, I would like to know more about you and why you believe that “Negative atheism means[…]: I see no evidence of a god or god(s), so I don’t believe in any.” without committing ad ignorantiam .

      Peace and Love Alex.

      Prayson

  2. The burden of proof is on the person who wishes their claim to be accepted.

    Athiests do not recruit and do not have any claim.

    Athiesm is the rejection of a religious claim for deities, and no matter what word games and rabbit holes you play with, the reality remains:

    Beleivers are claiming there’s a god and that our laws and lives should align with said god’s wishes – that requires proof to be provided – proof that there’s a god and proof that any particular person is said god’s representative.

    Perhaps you should consider that atheism doesn’t require apologetics and is not inconsistent with history or reality.

    When so much work and energy has to be done to prop up a premise, it’s time to realize that the premise is faulty and replace it with something simplier, elegant and requiring less energy.

    The universe is arbitrary and indifferent and you are what you have to work with.

    Scary, but grown up – there’s no Santa and no gods.

    • Hej Random,

      Thank you for your comment. Your holding to Mid-twentieth century atheists “default presumption of atheism”.

      The philosophers of Atheism deny your position: In The Cambridge Companion To Atheism,one of the leading atheist professor Michael Martin noted the following:

      “For positive atheism in the narrow sense to be successfully defended, two tasks must be accomplished. First, the reasons for believing in a theistic God must be refuted… Second, reasons for disbelieving in the theistic God must be given.(Martin p.1)”

      If you are a negative atheist, then you need to at least give reasons for disbelief of the theistic God.

      Don’t you think you need to give a case for why our life and laws ought not to align with Theistic Ethics?

      If you do not require apologetics(give a defense), why are you doing apologetic in your above comment?

      Your last argument is the weakest Dawkinian Argument. Children grow out in believing Santa, none at the adulthood grow back as it is with God. The reason behind is that there are good arguments to believe God exist than that of Santa.

      In Christ,
      Prayson

      • You just quoted for positive atheism but argued against negative.

        Children don’t just “grow out of” believing in Santa. They first believe in him, because they are told it is true. Then if the evidence stacks up against it, they are told it is false or are treated as ridiculous for believing it when their colleagues no longer do. So of course most adults don’t believe in it. The odds are stacked against them.

        In Flying Spaghetti Monster,
        BBB

  3. Hi Prayson,

    You threw a straw-man and attacked it well. Agnosticism is not the point.

    I threw…? You were the first to mention it by mischaracterizing my view as agnostic.

    The point is,negative atheism requires refutations of theistic arguments for it to be established. Thus one can not hide in the hole of ignorance.

    Then will you change your post in light of this new understanding? Recall that you argue that the “burden of proof” is on atheists, including negative atheists.

    In any case, if you hadn’t noticed, there’s been a tidal wave of atheist refutations of theistic arguments over the last decade. My own blog is but a mere drop in this torrent. Essentially, you’re attacking an issue that doesn’t even really exist.

    The arguments for God I presented were only objected with that those arguments if true, can be of any gods to which you fail to name even one(apart from your own made-up god “Bak”).

    Show me where the arguments demand that the god must be known to humanity now. Show me where the arguments have named that god. Show me where the arguments logically disprove Bak’s existence. Show me where the arguments mandate an anthropomorphic god.

    Throwing Red Herrings(namely Hindus, Jews, Muslim going to Heaven, Islam calling Christian unbelievers) will not takes you out of deep waters. The point I was making is that they all claim to worship the one God, the Judeo-God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.

    You don’t quite understand what a red herring is. This is more deflective hand-waving in order to avoid the tough questions.

    The question I asked is perfectly germaine to your claim. If those believers all worship the same god, why would he banish them to hell forever over a slight difference in understanding?

    You really think Hindus worship the same god as you?

    You’ve yet to answer the arguments from your fellow Christians, such as Dr. Albert Mohler, about why Jews and Muslims worship a different god than Christians.

    So we are back to, you still having failed to give a name of a god(s) who is beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial(just from Kalam Argument).

    Sorry, I have. But you stated that any god I name would automatically be the “Judeo-God”, so your challenge is really just a run-around.

    • The difference is in theological understanding of the nature of God(The God of Moses, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is the God whom Jews, Islam and Christian claim to worship. The difference is, is this God of Moses a triune God?, is He Father of Jesus? e.t.c)

      Name a Hindu god(s) who is timeless, spaceless, immaterial and uncaused.

      Making “Bak” a god of your own creation as a result of you not being able to name a god out of a pool of many gods(whom Steve and you promised) is wave of desperation.

  4. Prayson, you wrote:

    This is not negative atheism, but agnosticism.

    Agnosticism is more about a claim of knowledge, not about belief. Quoting from Gordon Stein in his essay, “The Meaning of Atheism and Agnosticism”:

    “Obviously, if theism is a belief in a God and atheism is a lack of a belief in a God, no third position or middle ground is possible. A person can either believe or not believe in a God. Therefore, our previous definition of atheism has made an impossibility out of the common usage of agnosticism to mean “neither affirming nor denying a belief in God.” Actually, this is no great loss, because the dictionary definition of agnostic is still again different from Huxley’s definition. The literal meaning of agnostic is one who holds that some aspect of reality is unknowable. Therefore, an agnostic is not simply someone who suspends judgment on an issue, but rather one who suspends judgment because he feels that the subject is unknowable and therefore no judgment can be made. It is possible, therefore, for someone not to believe in a God (as Huxley did not) and yet still suspend judgment (ie, be an agnostic) about whether it is possible to obtain knowledge of a God. Such a person would be an atheistic agnostic. It is also possible to believe in the existence of a force behind the universe, but to hold (as did Herbert Spencer) that any knowledge of that force was unobtainable. Such a person would be a theistic agnostic.”

    To belabor the point a little further, consider Robert Flint’s explanation, in his 1903 book Agnosticism:

    “[Agnosticism is]…properly a theory about knowledge, not about religion. A theist and a Christian may be an agnostic; an atheist may not be an agnostic. An atheist may deny that there is God, and in this case his atheism is dogmatic and not agnostic. Or he may refuse to acknowledge that there is a God simply on the ground that he perceives no evidence for his existence and finds the arguments which have been advanced in proof of it invalid. In this case his atheism is critical, not agnostic. The atheist may be, and not infrequently is, an agnostic.

    You wrote originally,

    The philosophic burden of proof is an obligation on a party in an epistemic dispute to provide sufficient warrant for their position.

    This is a copy and paste, without attribution, from a Wikipedia article. The article goes on to explain, “When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof on the person asserting a claim.” Negative atheists are not asserting any claim, which is why no burden of proof falls on them. It appears you’ve confused burden of proof with “providing refutations of arguments”.

    Judaism, Christian and Islam, all claim to worship the one God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob known as the Judeo-God. The differences are in a theologically conception of God.

    Many of your fellow Christians disagree, as pointed out in the articles I linked to. You’ve failed to answer their objections. Also, the Qu’ran and Muslims call you an “unbeliever”, indicating they too regard you as worshipping a different god.

    In any case, Muslims, who, according to you, worship the same god as Christians, will go to heaven too? It would seem rather odd for God to condemn Muslims (or Jews, or Hindus, for that matter) to hell over a mere theological difference.

    You failed to give a name of out of “the many gods”. Remember conceiving a God of your own who is beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial no matter what name you give it, will be conceiving the Judeo-God.

    In other words, whatever god I name, it will automatically be the Judeo-God. You’ve set it up so that I will always fail.

    That’s not very reasonable. Nor nice.

    • Dear Robert,

      Thank you for your comment. You threw a straw-man and attacked it well. Agnosticism is not the point.

      The point is,negative atheism requires refutations of theistic arguments for it to be established. Thus one can not hide in the hole of ignorance.

      The arguments for God I presented were only objected with that those arguments if true, can be of any gods to which you fail to name even one(apart from your own made-up god “Bak”). The question was not if you could make up your god with those attributes, but naming a god out of the many god(s) both you and Steve claim with such attributes.

      Throwing Red Herrings(namely Hindus, Jews, Muslim going to Heaven, Islam calling Christian unbelievers) will not takes you out of deep waters. The point I was making is that they all claim to worship the one God, the Judeo-God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.

      So we are back to, you still having failed to give a name of a god(s) who is beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial(just from Kalam Argument)

  5. Prayson, you wrote:

    I do not understand what flaw you see in the argument. A negative answer to the question “Does God Exist?” requires a defense of atheism(regardless of one being negative atheist(non-theism) or positive atheist).

    As I and others have repeatedly pointed out, as well as the quote from Martin you cited, negative atheists don’t answer the question “Does God exist?” in the negative. Instead, they reply, “It’s possible, but I haven’t been given sufficient evidence to regard its existence as likely or certain.” That is why negative atheists are without a belief in god(s).

    More over negative atheist(non-theism) is not a position as a matter of fact, but a term that is made up of atheism, and agnosticism.

    So you disagree with Martin. Why even cite him as an authority?

    There is only one God whom I gave, the Judeo-God(worshipped by Muslim, Jews and Christian) not three gods but the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    The Christian god is triune (god, son, holy spirit), whereas the Jewish, Muslim, and Baha’i gods are not. Multiple Christian websites agree that Muslims and Christians worship different god.

    But, has also been repeatedly pointed out, these gods do not exhaust the list of conceivable gods compatible with your “arguments for God”. You’ve failed to answer this objection. Even if I agree you all worship the same god, it doesn’t necessarily follow that your arguments prove its existence, for I can conceive of other gods which you don’t worship. For example, the god Bak is compatible with your arguments, but Bak resides with a cohort of demi-god females by which it populates multiple worlds throughout the universe and recycles his children’s souls.

    The being, known or unknown that rose Jesus from the Dead is what Christian call God.(Use of beings would be multiply entities beyond what is necessary)

    Yes, I understand what Christians call the being that allegedly resurrected Jesus. But even if we were to assume such resurrection, Christians could very well be mistaken about that being. It may be a different being (or beings) than the one they understand.

    • Dear Robert,

      “It’s possible, but I haven’t been given sufficient evidence to regard its existence as likely or certain.”

      This is not negative atheism, but agnosticism.

      According to Martin, for negative atheism to be established, reasons for believing in a theistic God must be refuted:

      “Negative atheism in the broad sense is then the absence of belief in any god or Gods, not just the absence of belief in a personal theistic God, and negative atheism in the narrow sense is the absence of belief in a theistic God. For positive atheism in the narrow sense to be successfully defended, two tasks must be accomplished. First, the reasons for believing in a theistic God must be refuted; in other words, negative atheism in the narrow sense must be established“(Michael Martin, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), p.2)

      Thus he is points out that defense of negative atheism merely requires refutations of theistic arguments, while defense of positive atheism requires reasons for disbelief to be given.

      Five Arguments And God:

      Judaism, Christian and Islam, all claim to worship the one God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob known as the Judeo-God(Baha’i is a too late mixture of the prior). The Theological nature of God defer but it is the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

      The differences are in a theologically conception of God
      (“understanding about the nature of God”), yet “the same unique Being” who is beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial.

      You failed to give a name of out of “the many gods”. Remember conceiving a God of your own who is beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial no matter what name you give it, will be conceiving the Judeo-God.

      If I conceive a human being who is like Robert, has DNA of Robert, anti-bio like Robert, and has all attributes of Robert, even if I call this being Steven, it is still Robert and not another being. You do not have two cups, just because two people name the same cup with two different names.

      Thus you still have fail to give a name of a god(s) who is beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial(just from Kalam Argument)

      Prayson

  6. I have not read all the comments, so I do not know if my following objections have been clarified. If you have addressed them, then please direct me to the proper place.

    “N.B: Presumption of atheism commits argument to ignorance.”

    This claim is false as most intelligible atheists would admit to be agnostic of a God in the Deistic sense. Those who hold to “there is no god” do so in a probabilistic context as one cannot definitively disprove a negative. Our objections arise to, mostly, the god of the monotheistic religions. These objections arise from the abundance of contradictions in your holy scriptures, as well as self-refuting claims that pertain to the attributions of your god.

    Based on what I have said, I suppose I could be considered a negative atheist for the present time – a position which you did not address and, also, does not conflict with the necessary burden of proof. However, I am curious as to how you would go about disproving a negative.

    • Dear Some Musician,

      Thank you for your comment. Follow the comments between Robert and I, we are trying to debate on objection you brought out.

      Abundance of contradiction of the Bible is a red herring in this topic, and I promised the-word-of-me to post an article just to address, that issue.

      Prayson

  7. What flaw in my argument?

    Your error was to take the epistemological obligation of positive atheists and generalize it to all atheists. In my estimation, positive atheists constitute a minority of atheists.

    What do you mean by “This is evidenced by the tremendous diversity of belief and non-belief”?

    If there were proof of God (i.e., the Christian god), it would have been settled human knowledge long ago, in the same sense that gravity, heliocentrism, and evolution are settled human knowledge, because abundant proof of these exist. Yet since there is countless diversity of belief and lack of belief of god, gods, or no gods, we’re justified in claiming that alleged proofs of God have failed.

    Two, How about the 5 Arguments For God?

    Can you direct me to them? A search of your blog didn’t bring them up.

    • Dear Robert,

      Negative atheism is a rabbit running back to its hole. If Atheism is true, being positive or negative, ought to answer for its position.

      Evolution, gravity and heliocentrism is a red herring to which has nothing to do with existence of God.

      Here are The 5+1 Arguments For God.

      1. Cosmological Argument(Kalam + Contingency Version)
      2. Teleological Argument
      3. Moral Argument
      4. Ontological Argument
      5. Historical Resurrection of Jesus

      • I fail to see how arguments 1-4 are in any way a demonstration of the Christian God’s existence (perhaps you could show us how this might be the case). Which leaves us with just the one argument for a specific God, that being the 5th argument, which is probably the weakest argument of the bunch.

        Not particularly good so far, unfortunately.

        Anyway, just thought I’d interject briefly. I’ll take a backseat until Robert and The Word Of Me have had their say.

        All the best,

        Steve

      • One ought not to multiply entities beyond what is necessary to explain the phenomena(i.e. Occom’s Razor Principle), Argument 1-4 gives us attributes which are of monotheistic Judeo-God(worshiped by “Islam”, Judaism and Christian). This attributes are

        1. The metaphysically necessary, self-existent from Ontological Argument,

        2. Beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, personal, from Cosmological Arguments

        3. Omnipotent, omniscient Creator from Teleo/Ontological Argument

        4. and Designer of the universe, from Teleological Argument

        5 Who is perfectly good, whose nature is the standard of goodness, and whose commands constitute our moral duties from Moral and Ontological Argument.

        Remark on 5.

        Argument 5. Historical Resurrection of Jesus, you point this to be probably the weakest, but yet you have fail to show that at BlogTalk: Historical Evidence For Resurrection of Jesus.

        Your main objection was(is) a copy of David Hume’s argument against miracles(18th century) echoed by Bart D. Ehrman as an objection to resurrection, which has long been refuted in Philosophical academia. And greatly by a non-Christian PhD on Philosophy of Science, John Earman.

        I offered to go through with you in its refutation but poof! did I not see you there since.(the offer is still open)

        All the best,

        Prayson

      • Hello Prayson,

        Prayson said, “Argument 1-4 gives us attributes which are of monotheistic Judeo-God(worshiped by “Islam”, Judaism and Christian)”

        But they are also true of thousands of other gods, and they are also true of any creator you can care to conjure up for the sake of argument. They are NOT solely specific to the Christian God, and THAT is my point. Remember, this is supposedly a Christian apologetics website, not an argument for deism. You are, as you seem keen to stress to others, merely offering us a red herring here. Points 1-4 tell us NOTHING that cannot equally be applied to a multitude of other hypothetical creators. Can you not see that? If you can’t then maybe that’s the problem.

        Prayson said, “I offered to go through with you [on the resurrection of Jesus] but poof! did I not see you there since.”

        Our conversation was becoming impossible due to several reasons: a few of which were that you failed to respond to my specific questions, and when you did offer responses to the other points I raised they were often chock full of misunderstandings and/or misrepresentations, you struggled with the language barrier, requiring me to spell-out, re-type and re-iterate every point of every objection. Fruitful dialogue was, as I stated, near impossible. If you have commented since then I’m not aware as I haven’t been back. I was under the impression my comment put an end to the discussion.

        I’ve dabbled in this conversation on this particular thread because I’m willing to give you another chance, but only if the others have said all they have to say.

        All the best,

        Steve

      • Prayson,

        You cite and quote Martin as an auhority on atheism, then contradict him. Martin does not state all atheists need provide justification; only positive atheists do. This is so because negative atheists are not asserting “There is no God”. Sorry, your argument is incoherent and thus fails.

        Evolution, gravity and heliocentrism is a red herring to which has nothing to do with existence of God.

        Strawman. I never claimed they did. I placed them in the category of things for which proofs exist such that they’re not seriously in dispute. If similar proof had been offered for God, he would be in this category too. But since he’s not, we can say insufficient or no proof exists.

        I suggest you re-examine what a red herring argument is.

        As far as the so-called 5+1 arguments for God, as Stephen pointed out, arguments 1-4 are not arguments for the Christian god. As for 5, “resurrection” cannot be established. It may have been “reanimation”. Or hallucination. Even if it was a resurrection, it does not necessarly follow that the Christian god did it.

        You wrote in reply to this objection that “Argument 1-4 gives us attributes which are of monotheistic Judeo-God(worshiped by “Islam”, Judaism and Christian).”

        This concedes that the arguments are not for God, but can be applied to a number of conceivable deities. What’s more, these deities are not exhausted by those you list. Finally, I see no reason why the arguments are incompatible with polytheism (your understand of Occam’s Razor is flawed).

        I’m not implying I agree with the arguments, because I don’t. I’m simply pointing out they don’t work as you intend them to. To be fair, it’s quite a common mistake among Christian apologists.

      • Dear Steven and Robert,

        Thank you for your comments. Both of you agree and stated that the Four Arguments can be applied to a number of conceivable deities(gods) but what I failed to see is an example offered of a conceivable deities(god(s)) that has a beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial attributes(just from Kalam Argument).

        Give a name or two of a deity from the “thousands of other gods” that has these attributes(apart from the Judeo-God.)

        Robert, from your comment, I can note that you are not well familiar with the scholarly work on the Resurrection of Jesus. Christianity hangs or fall with the assertion that the Judeo-God rose Jesus of Nazareth from the dead. Thus If Jesus resurrected, it follows necessary that the God of Jesus “Christian God” as the disciple claimed in deed did it.

        If you’re familiar with the Case for Resurrection, then you will notice that Hallucination does not answer, the empty tomb, the conversion of Church prosecutor Saul of Tarsus and Skeptical half-brother of Jesus, James, a conversion that coasted their lives. (These zealous Mosaic-law keepers Jews are unlikely to flash out their “eternal life” on mere hallucination)

        Also Hallucination is subjective thus does not explain the appearance of risen Jesus to the women, disciples and 500 + people.

        Reanimation(restore to life or consciousness), this explain the empty tomb but does not explain the conversion of Paul and James, and two, it is implausible to believe that the wounded Jesus pushed the stone away with nail-pierced hands,walked blocks on pierced and wounded feet, appearing to his disciples in his pathetic and mutilated state, and convinced them he was the risen prince of life.(Ad Hoc).For more on this the Journal of the American Medical Association March 21,1986 issue

        Robert, you state that my “understanding of Occam’s Razor is flawed” please explain, how is it flawed?

        In Christ,
        Prayson

      • Prayson,

        It appears you’re no longer defending the post at the heart of this discussion. Should we thus presume you agree that your argument is flawed, as we have shown?

        As for these side discussions:

        Arguments for God: You concede that the arguments can be applied to multiple deities. Besides those you already mentioned, I can point to the god of the Baha’i religion, as well, among others.

        But that’s not really the point. As Stephen and I also pointed out, the arguments can be applied to a number of other conceivable deities/creators who may not have been revealed to us yet.

        Thus If Jesus resurrected, it follows necessary that the God of Jesus “Christian God” as the disciple claimed in deed did it.

        Sorry, it doesn’t. Jesus could in fact have been resurrected, but by a being or beings unknown to us, for reasons we are unaware of. Jesus’s followers, seeking an explanation, mistakenly attribute the resurrection to God, when in reality it was, say, the Conclave of Most High Spirits who did the resurrecting.

        In any case, I’m not interested in debating this topic here.

        Robert, you state that my “understanding of Occam’s Razor is flawed” please explain, how is it flawed?

        You regarded Occam’s Razor as necessitating the existence of a single god – “One ought not to multiply entities beyond what is necessary…”, yet the principal doesn’t necessitate anything, i.e., it’s not a rule of logic. Thus its use to claim the existence of a single deity based on your “arguments for God” is fallacious. As I said, these arguments are compatible with a deity or deities.

      • Robert,

        Thank you for your comment. I do not understand what flaw you see in the argument. A negative answer to the question “Does God Exist?” requires a defense of atheism(regardless of one being negative atheist(non-theism) or positive atheist).

        More over negative atheist(non-theism) is not a position as a matter of fact, but a term that is made up of atheism, and agnosticism. It is for this reason I called it a rabbit in the hole, since that rabbit has no view.

        The Side Discussion:

        There is only one God whom I gave, the Judeo-God(worshipped by Muslim, Jews and Christian) not three gods but the same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

        I am disappointed that your named God of Baha’i as among others since Baha’i is mid-19th century religion found by Mīrzā Ḥoseyn with the concept of God from Mohammed, Jesus and Moses. It is like claiming the God of Jehovah’s Witnesses as another god.

        From the link that you gave:

        Although we may have different concepts of God’s nature, although we may pray to Him in different languages and call Him by different names–Allah or Yahweh, God or Brahma–nevertheless, we are speaking about the same unique Being.

        (emphasis added)

        This is the Judeo-God, You have not yet name one god from “the many gods” with the attributes of beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial attributes(just from Kalam Argument).

        For you and Stephen argument to stand, name a god(s) beside the Judeo-God whom “these arguments are compatible with a deity or deities.”

        On Resurrection of Jesus:

        The being, known or unknown that rose Jesus from the Dead is what Christian call God.(Use of beings would be multiply entities beyond what is necessary)

        Prayson

  8. Hi Prayson Daniel, thanks for reply.

    When most people believe in something they have to have an actual tangible reason for this belief. The exception to this seems to be belief in any religion. There are no actual proofs that anyone can give for accepting or believing in a sky creature that floats above them in “heaven” and keeps tabs on them. This applies to any presently worshipped god, not just the Christian one.

    Most people who profess a belief in a god (any god) were brought up in that religion and learned of it from their parents. A very small percentage will leap to another faith from the one they were born into. Those that do follow a particular religion, of course, have the comfort of millions of like minded people (bandwagon) around them and this is peer pressure to the highest degree.

    From the studies and polling about (Christian) religion that I have seen, almost all people surveyed do not question or research any of the precepts of their faith. Almost all of them have no idea of the background of Christianity and the many questions and uncertainties that scholars have about it.

    The Christian God has never been seen anytime other than the supposed time of Moses (1400+- BC) and Jacob (earlier than Moses). There seems to be plenty of doubt in scholarly circles about the reality of Moses’ actual existence, so a logical inference from this is that God perhaps did not exist either.

    Also if one looks at the many studies regarding prayer you will find that there is no proof, statistical or otherwise, that anyone’s prayers are ever answered. This is again a proof that there is no God. People of course will speak up and say that they have had prayers answered, but it is always just a statistical fluke or anomaly. On the really hard questions of answered prayer it always fails, i.e. grow back a severed arm or leg or make normal the birth of a mongoloid child. Perhaps billions of daily prayers are sent to “God” and none of them are actually answered except as statistical anomalies.

    You write:
    “For positive atheism in the narrow sense to be successfully defended, two tasks must be accomplished. First, the reasons for believing in a theistic God must be refuted… Second, reasons for disbelieving in the theistic God must be given.”

    I can successfully defend atheism by vocally and mentally denying ever seeing any evidence for his existence. Since you cannot provide any real testable proofs that he exists…I win. The natural state of the universe is that there is no physical manifestation, of any kind, of a God (any God) so His/Her/Its existence has to be proven to me by those who claim to believe.

    You write:
    “There are strong arguments for existence of God to which first need to be refuted(which non-has done successfully, so far) then a case for disbelieve MUST be given.”

    I have NEVER seen a strong testable argument or proof for the existence of any god. If there are no actually substantial arguments for his existence I don’t have to do anything.

    You write:
    “If you read the works of Four Wheels of atheism “Dawkins, Danette , Harris and Hitchens” You will notice that:”

    Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Samuel Harris, and Christopher Hitchens are the Four Horsemen of Atheism…not the Four Wheels. 🙂

    You write:
    “Since atheism continues to be a highly controversial philosophical position, one would expect that the New Atheists would devote a fair amount of space to a careful (and, of course, critical) consideration of arguments for God’s existence and that they would also spend a corresponding amount of time formulating a case for the non-existence of God.”

    It’s only controversial to theists; atheists understand the logical position they are in and know they are right because the preponderance of testable evidence is on their side. Atheism has been around since man first invented gods. Down through time people of religion have tried to kill off atheists, but we still remain, steadfast in our disbelief, and vocal in our opposition to the lies that religion tries to foist onto the unaware population.

    You write:
    “…none of them addresses either theistic or atheistic arguments to any great extent. Dawkins does devote a chapter apiece to each of these tasks, but he has been criticized for engaging in an overly cursory evaluation of theistic arguments and for ignoring the philosophical literature in natural theology.”

    If you were to explore the thousands of atheist pages and blogs on the internet you will find tens of thousands of pages devote to the disproof of gods and religions…all of them. Since the advent of the internet the atheistic information that the common person can find is amazing. ALL arguments for the non-existence of ALL gods have been available for years now on the net. And, as science continues to advance our understanding of our world and universe, more and more of the Bible and religion is being proven wrong…it’s all just myths.

    I eagerly await your “Is Most of the Bible False” article.

    Peace,
    Twom

    • Dear Word of Me,

      Thank you so much for your long comment. For the love of knowledge I will explore the reasoning and try to answer your objections.

      “When most people believe in something they have to have an actual tangible reason for this belief. The exception to this seems to be belief in any religion”

      One:This commit a logical fallacious, appeal to popularity which is bad reasoning. If the whole world believe that 2 + 2 = 5, they will be simply wrong, number does not make something correct.

      Two: Claiming that this is true to all except on ground of religion commit another wrong reasoning called Self-exception Fallacy.

      “There are no actual proofs that anyone can give for accepting or believing in a sky creature that floats above them in “heaven” and keeps tabs on them. This applies to any presently worshipped god, not just the Christian one.”

      I am defending Christian God, thus drop the sky creature and heaven floater as red herring to which I will not defend.

      “Most people who profess a belief in a god (any god) were brought up in that religion and learned of it from their parents. A very small percentage will leap to another faith from the one they were born into.”

      You commit another fallacy known as genetic fallacy.

      “The Christian God has never been seen anytime other than the supposed time of Moses (1400+- BC) and Jacob (earlier than Moses)”

      This is sadly false, because Christian hold the position that Jesus is God, thus A.D 30-33. You asked for proof, why not explore Historical Jesus in a scholarly level.

      On answered Prayer: God is not an ATM machine, give and take, your in this position because of false conception of Christian God. Thus even if God did not answer one prayer, this itself is not a argument that God does not exist.

      “You write:
      “Since atheism continues to be a highly controversial philosophical position..”

      I quoted Michael Martin, an atheist professor of Philosophy in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism.

      I am banned from many atheist blog because they could not keep up with the correction of their bad reasoning. Most bloggers are very poor in Biblical theology and philosophy.

      Prayson.

  9. Hello Prayson Daniel, thank you for your reply.

    You write:
    “The word of me, thank you for your comment but you committed Appeal to ignorance wrong reasoning(There is no evidence against p. Therefore, p. or There is no evidence for p. Therefore, not-p) and Appeal to bandwagon/Popularity(Billion plus do A there I do A).”

    You seem to believe that you can pigeonhole any argument against god as some kind of logical misstep and therefore the argument is wrong. This is a false position and my argument stands. There is NO evidence that can prove ANY god exists. Simple words in twisted logic prove nothing. Words that point to solid testable physical evidence are O.K. There is no evidence that magic or the supernatural is true.

    There is no positive evidence that humans have ever seen or interacted with demons, witches, angels, Satan, God, or ANY “heavenly” apparition. These things are figments of your imagination.

    Christianity stands in the same light as ALL other religions on this earth. There is no evidence whatsoever for any of them…all they have is words, no serious or concrete evidence—just “feelings.”

    In the meantime, I can find circumstantial evidence that much of the Bible is false.

    I have seen William Lane Craig in debates and in my opinion he is a pompous twit.

    • Dear Word of Me,

      I am sad to say that your argument does not logically stand if it fallacious and which it so(Appeal to Bandwagon and ignorance).

      Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Moreover it is not “just feeling” in Christianity, as the atheist philosopher Michael Martin notice:

      For positive atheism in the narrow sense to be successfully defended, two tasks must be accomplished. First, the reasons for believing in a theistic God must be refuted… Second, reasons for disbelieving in the theistic God must be given.(Martin, The Cambridge Companion To Atheism p.1)

      There are strong arguments for existence of God to which first need to be refuted(which non-has done successfully, so far) then a case for disbelieve MUST be given.

      If you read the works of Four Wheels of atheism “Dawkins, Danette, Harris and Hitchens” You will notice that:

      Since atheism continues to be a highly controversial philosophical position, one would expect that the New Atheists would devote a fair amount of space to a careful (and, of course, critical) consideration of arguments for God’s existence and that they would also spend a corresponding amount of time formulating a case for the non-existence of God. However, none of them addresses either theistic or atheistic arguments to any great extent. Dawkins does devote a chapter apiece to each of these tasks, but he has been criticized for engaging in an overly cursory evaluation of theistic arguments and for ignoring the philosophical literature in natural theology.”(James E. Taylor, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

      You claim that you can find circumstantial evidence that much of the Bible is false, I would love to hear them, but this is not the place, I will post an article, BlogTableTalk: Is Most of The Bible False.

  10. The comment above proves your point quite well. Ultimately it isn’t necessary to prove that God exists. That’s the wrong argument, although there’s plenty of ways of going about it. The thing is, someone who stubbornly refuses to believe isn’t going to be brought around by any amount of logical argument. I’ve personally had enough of those debates with determined atheists. There must be a personal experience which cannot be denied. You can testify to your experience, and that can be accepted or denied. Give your testimony and let it stand. If the heart is open the testimony will be heard and if not, then not.

    • Hello Lance Ponder,

      I believe in Zeus, the one true God, and I love to tell Christians of his true majesty. Now, you probably have trouble believing me but, I must point out to you, that ultimately it isn’t necessary to prove that Zeus exists. That’s the wrong argument, although there’s plenty of ways of going about it. The thing is, someone who stubbornly refuses to believe that Zeus exists isn’t going to be brought around by any amount of logical argument. I’ve personally had enough of those debates with determined Christians. There must be a personal experience of Zeus which cannot be denied. Those of us that believe in Zeus can testify to our experience, and that can be accepted or denied. We just give your testimony and let it stand. If the heart of the Christian is open the testimony will be heard and if not, then not.

      I’m sure you’ll find my position to be perfectly reasonable. Isn’t that right, Mr Ponder?

      • Lance Ponder, it ultimately necessary to prove that God exist for those who have intellectual barrier in receiving the gospel and ask for the hope that we have in our reasonable faith in Christ Jesus.

        Proving God exist is sharing our knowledge on knowing ABOUT God, but no argument can be given to share knowing God.

        BTW, Stephen, Zeus is not one true God in Greek mythology.

  11. You have shown me no evidence to support there being a god. There is therefore no evidence to dispute and I don’t have to argue with you.

    I walk about and live and love and conduct my life as if there were no god and there is no problems for me and a billion plus other atheists. You approach me and say there is a god. I say where is he/she/it…in over sixty years of my life I have not seen one piece of evidence for ANY god…not one.

    People who believe in a god are very mislead, and I don’t see how one can believe in something that can never be proven to exist.

      • He was merely showing that it’s A-OK not to believe. And yet here you come thinking they need evidence for not believing something you can’t prove to exist. Talk about an appeal to ignorance with special pleading for dessert. Much like if I were to tell you there were a cosmic teapot that circled our galaxy, but telescopes would not be able to see it as it’s too small. The burden of proof would be on me to prove it exists (and not just pandering to mythology). You assert that there is a being that created the universe and even manages it omnipotently to this day. That is quite a claim that I justifiably do not believe. It is a cop-out for natural explanations.

        You video is now set to private, so I decided to see the whole debate unedited. It will take 2 hours, but know that WLC and Hitchens are household names so for everytime WLC has made himself look any good, I’ve seen about 4/5ths of his debates look much more different.

        Oh look, before the debate even begins Hitchens gets 1/4th amount of clap noise for his book. It is no wonder who’s going to “win”. It’s a Christian University, not a secular one.

  12. Thus “The burden of proof is” not only “on you believers, to offer some sort of evidence that God exist” but also to atheist to offer some refutation for existence theistic God, and give reason of disbelief in the theistic God.

    By “atheist” in your quote you really mean “positive atheist,” who disbelieves in gods. A mere atheist (or, in Martin’s designation, a “negative atheist”) need not provide any refutations or reasons, just as you, an a-Cthulhuist, need not provide any refutations or reasons for your position. You appear to have erroneously conflated the two types of atheists in your conclusion, despite the preceding discussion from Martin whom you quoted.

    In any case, atheists of all stripes do provide such refutations and reasons. If that’s news to you, you’re just not listening.

    It remains for you, the theist, who positively affirms the existence of a god, to provide justification and evidence to anyone both who disbelieves and who lacks your belief.

    • The argument are given Robert and reasonable atheists have fail to answer. If you are a personal who want to learn the position between Atheist and Christian, then see full talk Does God exist between William Lane Craig and Christopher Hitchens.

      I can give a refutation of any other gods based on Accom’s Razor principle and the 6 arguments for Existence of God, which philosophical, scientifically and historically leads me to the metaphysically necessary, self-existent, beginningless, uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, personal, omnipotent, omniscient Creator and Designer of the universe, who is perfectly good, whose nature is the standard of goodness, and whose commands constitute our moral duties which narrow to monotheistic God to which the Historical Resurrection of Jesus leads me to Christianity.

      Atheists have tried for centuries to disprove the existence of God but no one’s ever been able to come up with a successful argument. A rabbit is always welcome to ran back to the hole, but at least it knows that it can not stand the reality of the outside.

      • Directing me to a debate Prayson unfortunately does not fix the flaws in your argument.

        Theists have tried for centuries to prove the existence of God but no one’s ever been able to come up with a successful argument. This is evidenced by the tremendous diversity of belief and non-belief.

      • Hi Robert,

        What flaw in my argument? What do you mean by “This is evidenced by the tremendous diversity of belief and non-belief”? Two, How about the 5 Arguments For God?

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