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Thread: Delineating the burden of proof

  1. #1 Delineating the burden of proof 
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    Let's talk about the burden of proof a little.

    I say that atheists who try to deconvert theists hold the burden of proof.

    Those who disagree, raise your objections and we'll proceed from there.


    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  3. #2 Re: Delineating the burden of proof 
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Let's talk about the burden of proof a little.

    I say that atheists who try to deconvert theists hold the burden of proof.

    Those who disagree, raise your objections and we'll proceed from there.
    First of all, please tell me what burden of proof is :-D


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  4. #3 Re: Delineating the burden of proof 
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    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Let's talk about the burden of proof a little.

    I say that atheists who try to deconvert theists hold the burden of proof.

    Those who disagree, raise your objections and we'll proceed from there.
    First of all, please tell me what burden of proof is :-D
    http://www.answers.com/topic/burden-...nitiator=FFANS
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  5. #4 Re: Delineating the burden of proof 
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Let's talk about the burden of proof a little.

    I say that atheists who try to deconvert theists hold the burden of proof.

    Those who disagree, raise your objections and we'll proceed from there.
    The burden of proof is always on the theist who makes the claims of supernatural existence.

    Isn't that in itself a oxymoron?
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  6. #5 Re: Delineating the burden of proof 
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Let's talk about the burden of proof a little.

    I say that atheists who try to deconvert theists hold the burden of proof.

    Those who disagree, raise your objections and we'll proceed from there.
    The burden is on the theist, without a doubt. Just as if you tell me that unicorns, leprachauns, and Bigfoot exist the rational response is not "Oh, they do? Cool" but rather "They do? Do you have any evidence I can review?"
    Exact same thing.
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    The claim "God's existence is unlikely" is a truth claim, as is the claim "God's existence is likely".

    If you are trying to convince someone that any of the above claims are true, you MUST provide proof.


    The ONLY person who doesn't hold the burden of proof is the agnostic, because the agnostic doesn't make any claims: he simply says he doesn't know the likeliness of God's existence.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  8. #7 Re: Delineating the burden of proof 
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Let's talk about the burden of proof a little.

    I say that atheists who try to deconvert theists hold the burden of proof.

    Those who disagree, raise your objections and we'll proceed from there.
    First of all, please tell me what burden of proof is :-D
    http://www.answers.com/topic/burden-...nitiator=FFANS
    Yes they do.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    The claim "God's existence is unlikely" is a truth claim, as is the claim "God's existence is likely".

    If you are trying to convince someone that any of the above claims are true, you MUST provide proof.


    The ONLY person who doesn't hold the burden of proof is the agnostic, because the agnostic doesn't make any claims: he simply says he doesn't know the likeliness of God's existence.
    Not true. Theists make the claims of gods existence. Non-theists ask to provide evidence for those claims, hence the statement, "Your claims of gods existence are unfounded" is more relevant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    The claim "God's existence is unlikely" is a truth claim, as is the claim "God's existence is likely".

    If you are trying to convince someone that any of the above claims are true, you MUST provide proof.


    The ONLY person who doesn't hold the burden of proof is the agnostic, because the agnostic doesn't make any claims: he simply says he doesn't know the likeliness of God's existence.
    Not true. Theists make the claims of gods existence. Non-theists ask to provide evidence for those claims, hence the statement, "Your claims of gods existence are unfounded" is more relevant.
    You just admitted in the other thread that you consider God's existence unlikely. That's a truth claim. What I said still stands.

    Only agnostics are exempt from the burden of proof.

    (oh, and I see that you're trying to group agnostics and atheists under non-theists. This still doesn't exempt the atheist from providing proof when asserting their claim is true).
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist

    You just admitted in the other thread that you consider God's existence unlikely. That's a truth claim. What I said still stands.
    It doesn't stand at all. The claims of theists are empty, hence the existence of their gods are unlikely. It's called logic.

    Only agnostics are exempt from the burden of proof.
    Nope.

    (oh, and I see that you're trying to group agnostics and atheists under non-theists. This still doesn't exempt the atheist from providing proof when asserting their claim is true).
    Atheists don't make claims for supernatural existence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist

    You just admitted in the other thread that you consider God's existence unlikely. That's a truth claim. What I said still stands.
    It doesn't stand at all. The claims of theists are empty, hence the existence of their gods are unlikely. It's called bad logic.
    Fixed.

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. If you suggest otherwise, you commit the argument from ignorance fallacy.

    The only thing that absence of evidence should do is make you decline belief in gods. It should not make you conclude that it's unlikely.


    Quote Originally Posted by Q
    (oh, and I see that you're trying to group agnostics and atheists under non-theists. This still doesn't exempt the atheist from providing proof when asserting their claim is true).
    Atheists don't make claims for supernatural existence.
    They claim that gods don't exist. This is a positive claim. It needs to be proven.

    That's why there are agnostics. They reject your claim as well as the theists' claim.

    Tell me, how do you conclude that agnosticism isn't the right position?
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  13. #12  
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    [quote="scientstphilosophertheist"]

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. If you suggest otherwise, you commit the argument from ignorance fallacy.
    No I don't. You are setting up a fallacy making an assumption without an observation or evidence. The 'absence of evidence' does not apply.

    The only thing that absence of evidence should do is make you decline belief in gods. It should not make you conclude that it's unlikely.
    Nope. It is completely irrelevant.

    They claim that gods don't exist. This is a positive claim. It needs to be proven.
    Another fallacy. You would also need to prove there are no leprachauns or Celestial Teapot.

    Tell me, how do you conclude that agnosticism isn't the right position?
    The ONLY position that should be relevant is the position of theists claims. Whatever is gleaned from that will always fall back to theists demonstrating their claims.

    And since they can't, the logical position is that they're full of it.
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    The burden of proof shouldn't rest on anyone. There should merely be an exchange of information. Both parties exchange what information they have (rather than one party just arguing about the other guy's goods).

    You borrow me some books, I'll lend you some books and, if necessary, we'll adjust our beliefs accordingly. If you don't want to read mine, then I'll read yours anyway. Assimilate all that lovely information and I'll know more about both sides than you do.
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    [quote="(Q)"]
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. If you suggest otherwise, you commit the argument from ignorance fallacy.
    No I don't. You are setting up a fallacy making an assumption without an observation or evidence. The 'absence of evidence' does not apply.
    Complete crap.

    Argument from ignorance

    The argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam ("appeal to ignorance" [1]) or argument by lack of imagination, is a logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proved false or that a premise is false only because it has not been proved true. -answers.com

    It's a fallacy that you are obviously committing. Believing in something without evidence is NOT a fallacy; believing something is false because of lack of evidence IS.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    The only thing that absence of evidence should do is make you decline belief in gods. It should not make you conclude that it's unlikely.
    Nope. It is completely irrelevant.
    What is completely irrelevant? Are you just saying random things?

    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    They claim that gods don't exist. This is a positive claim. It needs to be proven.
    Another fallacy. You would also need to prove there are no leprachauns or Celestial Teapot.
    I wouldn't, unless I'm trying to convince you that they don't exist.

    Neither atheist nor theist holds the burden until they try to convince someone.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Tell me, how do you conclude that agnosticism isn't the right position?
    The ONLY position that should be relevant is the position of theists claims. Whatever is gleaned from that will always fall back to theists demonstrating their claims.

    And since they can't, the logical position is that they're full of it.
    You haven't answered the question. You've dodged. Please, answer:

    How do you conclude that agnosticism isn't the right position?


    If you don't answer this question directly, then I'm done here.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    The burden of proof shouldn't rest on anyone. There should merely be an exchange of information. Both parties exchange what information they have (rather than one party just arguing about the other guy's goods).

    You borrow me some books, I'll lend you some books and, if necessary, we'll adjust our beliefs accordingly. If you don't want to read mine, then I'll read yours anyway. Assimilate all that lovely information and I'll know more about both sides than you do.
    I think it ought to rest on the person trying to promote his ideals.

    Consider this:

    Person A says to you "God doesn't exist". Would you accept that without proof? Would you be rational to accept that without proof?

    Person B says to you "God exists". Would you accept that without proof? Would you be rational to accept that without proof?

    In both situations, the person wants you to accept his ideal. The person MUST provide proof, lest he is appealing to emotions and personal views.

    Now let's consider person C:

    Person C says "I don't know whether God exists or not". There is no need to prove this, because the person knows whether or not he knows.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    I understand what you're saying. I think if you're going to go around making claims like god does exist or god doesn't exist, then you should be willing to provide me with something to back your claims. I want your information. Both of you.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist

    Complete crap.

    Argument from ignorance

    It's a fallacy that you are obviously committing. Believing in something without evidence is NOT a fallacy; believing something is false because of lack of evidence IS.
    You may read about YOUR fallacious argument here:

    http://www.skeptics.org.uk/article.p...gnorantiam.php


    What is completely irrelevant?
    Your fallacious argument, as the above link demonstrates.

    Neither atheist nor theist holds the burden until they try to convince someone.
    Theists ALWAYS hold the burden of proof when they make claims of the supernatural. It's that simple.

    If you don't answer this question directly, then I'm done here.
    You can be done if you wish, but you're still wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist

    Complete crap.

    Argument from ignorance

    It's a fallacy that you are obviously committing. Believing in something without evidence is NOT a fallacy; believing something is false because of lack of evidence IS.
    You may read about YOUR fallacious argument here:

    http://www.skeptics.org.uk/article.p...gnorantiam.php
    I never claimed that my belief is true because it hasn't been proven false, so I did NOT commit the fallacy.

    You, on the other hand, claimed that my belief is false because it hasn't been proven true, so you HAVE committed the fallacy.

    I'm glad to see that you've done your research. Now apply it to your claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)

    What is completely irrelevant?
    Your fallacious argument, as the above link demonstrates.
    I said
    The only thing that absence of evidence should do is make you decline belief in gods. It should not make you conclude that it's unlikely.
    I did NOT say that my argument is true because it hasn't been proven false; rather, I said that it is not false (which is does not mean that it's true) because there is no evidence that it's false.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Neither atheist nor theist holds the burden until they try to convince someone.
    Theists ALWAYS hold the burden of proof when they make claims of the supernatural. It's that simple.
    No. They hold the burden of proof when they try to convince you that it's true.

    The burden is on the claimant.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    If you don't answer this question directly, then I'm done here.
    You can be done if you wish, but you're still wrong.
    I assume you can't answer it. I ask the rational observer to take note of this.

    My claim stands: there is no reason to skip agnosticism and jump to atheism.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    I understand what you're saying. I think if you're going to go around making claims like god does exist or god doesn't exist, then you should be willing to provide me with something to back your claims. I want your information. Both of you.
    I don't claim that my belief is objective truth (in other words, I don't ask that you accept it), so there is no burden of proof on me; I admit that my beliefs are subjective and personal.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    I understand what you're saying. I think if you're going to go around making claims like god does exist or god doesn't exist, then you should be willing to provide me with something to back your claims. I want your information. Both of you.
    the onus always falls to the theist,

    The burden of proof:
    Proving Existence or Non-Existence.

    The existence of a thing can be conclusively proved by producing one single instance of the thing.

    To put that another way: -
    When the existence of a thing is denied, This can be proven wrong by producing one single instance of the thing said not to exist

    The non-existence of a thing can never be conclusively proved because there is always the theoretical assumption that the thing exists but has not been seen yet or it exists in a place that can not be visited. Unless all places in the universe have been visited and are being constantly observed, we can not be absolutely certain.

    From this we can say that there are only two possible statements we can make about the existence of a thing:


    The thing exists.

    It is unknown if the thing exists or not.

    It is not possible to prove that a thing "does not exist" without further qualifying criteria.

    If a thing does NOT exist it can not leave any evidence of it's non-existence. Only things that DO exist can leave evidence. From this we can derive that conclusive proof can only come from the person that claims that a thing exists. It is nonsensical to demand proof of non-existence.



    Do Atheists Avoid Problems with Atheism by Misdefining Atheism?


    Myth:
    Lack of belief is really an attempt by atheists to avoid facing and defending the problems in their atheistic position. You see, if they say they have no position, by saying they lack belief, then their position is not open to attack and examination and they can quietly remain atheists.

    Response:

    I've written a number of articles about how religious theists, but especially Christians, try to argue against the broad definition of atheism as simply the absence of belief in gods. This myth explains why this is so important to some theists: if atheism is just the absence of belief in gods, then it's not making any claims that all atheists must defend, and therefore the only burden of proof lies with religious theists themselves.

    Few theists are prepared to carry this burden, so they desperately seek out some way to shift it to atheists.

    One of the keys to understanding how and why this myth goes so wrong is to note the fallacy of Begging the Question: it attempts to argue that atheists should not define atheism broadly by assuming the truth of the narrow definition which religious theists would prefer. This fallacy occurs in the phrase "avoid facing and defending the problems in their atheistic position."

    The "problems" in the "atheistic position" are those which religious theists attribute to a narrow definition of atheism which they find convenient to use. The idea that this narrow definition is the most appropriate one is, however, precisely the issue being debated. It is not legitimate to argue that something is wrong by assuming that the alternative which you favor is correct. Doing so only indicates that one probably doesn't have any valid arguments to offer and is thus just grasping at straws in an attempt to come up with something to say.

    It's true that with the broad definition of atheism, there is little to attack — but why are religious theists so eager to have something to attack? Rather than seeking out some opposition to attack, they should focus on defending, supporting, and justifying their own assertions. The burden of proof, or at least the burden of support if there is nothing to prove, lies with whomever is making the positive claim. In context of atheism and theism, this burden of proof lies primarily or entirely with the theist because this is the person who is claiming that at least one of some sort of being they call a god exists.

    Atheists are simply those who do not accept the truth of this claim — they may deny it out right, they may find it too vague or incomprehensible to evaluate properly, they may be waiting to hear support for the claim, or they may simply not have heard about it yet. This is a broad and diverse category and there is no particular counter-claim made by all atheists. As someone who doesn't agree with the theist, the atheist doesn't have any particular position, claim, or belief to defend. It's the theist who has something to defend, and if they didn't want to be put in such a position they should have refrained from making a claim in the first place.

    It might thus be fairly said that the entire attempt to deny the definition of atheism as simply a "lack of belief in gods" is an attempt by religious theists to avoid facing and defending their own theistic position. You see, if they can claim that atheists are making their own assertions, then perhaps the theistic claims will fade into the background and not be subject to the critical examination, questions, and critique they deserve. These people can thus quietly remain theists without having to do any of the work necessary to justify it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    I don't claim that my belief is objective truth (in other words, I don't ask that you accept it), so there is no burden of proof on me; I admit that my beliefs are subjective and personal.
    If you mean your philosophies and morals are subjective, then yes.

    Whether a man named Martin Fry really does live at 31 Church Street, Abbey Hulton, Stoke-On-Trent is not personal or subjective. Martin Fry either exists, or he doesn't. He either lives at that address, or he doesn't.

    If Person A is going to claim Martin Fry resides at that address, and this is quite a major point as far as A is concerned, then A needs to show B that Martin Fry does, in fact, reside there. I'd say A should pay B's costs to go to 31 Church Street, Abbey Hulton, Stoke-On-Trent, since A is the one making an issue out of the whole thing. But, since A and B are friends, better would be for both parties to pay for plane tickets and subsequent bus fare around Stoke-On-Trent.

    If Person B is going to claim Martin Fry doesn't reside at that address, and that's quite a major point as far he's concerned, then B needs to take A around to 31 Church Street, Abbey Hulton, Stoke-On-Trent and demonstrate that Martin Fry does not, in fact, live there.

    Now if Person A and Person B happen to be flat broke, so cannot go to 31 Church Street, Abbey Hulton, Stoke-On-Trent, then Person A and Person B should both concede that since neither party can demonstrate whether Martin Fry does, in fact, reside at 31 Church Street, Abbey Hulton, Stoke-On-Trent, then they should probably just be nice about the whole thing.

    Person A can tell Person B some of the amazing things he believes that the alleged Martin Fry did. Person B tells Person A about a scientist named Murray who did interesting experiments with chimpanzees. And both parties get maximum yield out of the exchange.
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    This whole discussion is futile. No verifiable evidence in support of either view can be put forward, so why debate about it?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    This whole discussion is futile. No verifiable evidence in support of either view can be put forward, so why debate about it?
    because it's clutching at straws, for the theist.
    There is no need to try to prove a negative so it is the theists burden, he makes the positive claim.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    I never claimed that my belief is true because it hasn't been proven false, so I did NOT commit the fallacy.
    You made a claim without any evidence, hence you commit the fallacy of also claiming absence of evidence.

    You, on the other hand, claimed that my belief is false because it hasn't been proven true, so you HAVE committed the fallacy.
    No, I said your claims are unsubstantiated, hence useless.

    I did NOT say that my argument is true because it hasn't been proven false; rather, I said that it is not false (which is does not mean that it's true) because there is no evidence that it's false.
    You're claim doesn't have to proven false, the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence.

    No. They hold the burden of proof when they try to convince you that it's true.

    The burden is on the claimant.
    YOU are the claimant.

    I assume you can't answer it. I ask the rational observer to take note of this.

    My claim stands: there is no reason to skip agnosticism and jump to atheism.
    You are free to fallaciously make that claim.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    It is asserted that a proposition is true, only because it has not been proven false. The negative proof fallacy often occurs in the debate of the existence of supernatural phenomena, in the following form:

    * "A supernatural force must exist, because there is no proof that it does not exist".

    However, the fallacy can also occur when the predicate of a subject is denied:

    * "A supernatural force does not exist, because there is no proof that it does exist.".
    EDIT: From Wikipedia, "Burden of Proof" (logical fallacy).... The logical fallacy which she is exposing in this case is the attempt to argue that view A is to be preferred to view B because "B cannot be proven" when the burden of proof is laid on view B to an impossibly heavy level, and in particular to a level under which A could not be proven either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    This whole discussion is futile. No verifiable evidence in support of either view can be put forward, so why debate about it?
    I bring up the "burden of proof" argument to show that to argue for or against the existence of God is futile.

    People who hold that it's likely that God exists do so out of a conviction, as do people who hold that it's unlikely that God exists.

    Of course, if you're trying to convince someone that what you're saying is true, you must provide proof. So since neither side can put forward verifiable evidence, as you suggested, to argue for either side is nonsensical.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Geezer, if you define atheism as simply the lack of belief in God (in which case agnosticism is atheism, btw.), then what you said is correct.

    However, the atheism I'm talking about is Q's version, wherein he says that God's existence is unlikely.

    I'm sure you can see the difference between mere absence of belief in God and a claim that God's existence is unlikely.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    I don't claim that my belief is objective truth (in other words, I don't ask that you accept it), so there is no burden of proof on me; I admit that my beliefs are subjective and personal.
    If you mean your philosophies and morals are subjective, then yes.

    Whether a man named Martin Fry really does live at 31 Church Street, Abbey Hulton, Stoke-On-Trent is not personal or subjective. Martin Fry either exists, or he doesn't. He either lives at that address, or he doesn't.

    If Person A is going to claim Martin Fry resides at that address, and this is quite a major point as far as A is concerned, then A needs to show B that Martin Fry does, in fact, reside there. I'd say A should pay B's costs to go to 31 Church Street, Abbey Hulton, Stoke-On-Trent, since A is the one making an issue out of the whole thing. But, since A and B are friends, better would be for both parties to pay for plane tickets and subsequent bus fare around Stoke-On-Trent.

    If Person B is going to claim Martin Fry doesn't reside at that address, and that's quite a major point as far he's concerned, then B needs to take A around to 31 Church Street, Abbey Hulton, Stoke-On-Trent and demonstrate that Martin Fry does not, in fact, live there.

    Now if Person A and Person B happen to be flat broke, so cannot go to 31 Church Street, Abbey Hulton, Stoke-On-Trent, then Person A and Person B should both concede that since neither party can demonstrate whether Martin Fry does, in fact, reside at 31 Church Street, Abbey Hulton, Stoke-On-Trent, then they should probably just be nice about the whole thing.

    Person A can tell Person B some of the amazing things he believes that the alleged Martin Fry did. Person B tells Person A about a scientist named Murray who did interesting experiments with chimpanzees. And both parties get maximum yield out of the exchange.
    Agreed.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Geezer, if you define atheism as simply the lack of belief in God (in which case agnosticism is atheism, btw.), then what you said is correct.

    However, the atheism I'm talking about is Q's version, wherein he says that God's existence is unlikely.

    I'm sure you can see the difference between mere absence of belief in God and a claim that God's existence is unlikely.
    Likewise, do you see the difference in God's existence is unlikely and God does not exist? The latter is a positive claim of nonexistence with which I'd have no problem with you asking for evidence. The former is more an opinion than a statement of fact - but it's the most reasonable opinion given lack of any positive evidence for God. Same as with IPU's or Celestial Teapots.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    I never claimed that my belief is true because it hasn't been proven false, so I did NOT commit the fallacy.
    You made a claim without any evidence, hence you commit the fallacy of also claiming absence of evidence.
    What? You clearly don't understand the argument from ignorance fallacy. Making a claim without evidence is not committing the fallacy. Only if I claim that my proposition is true because it hasn't been proven false have I committed the fallacy. I did not do this, so I did not commit the fallacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    You, on the other hand, claimed that my belief is false because it hasn't been proven true, so you HAVE committed the fallacy.
    No, I said your claims are unsubstantiated, hence useless.
    Had you said this, you wouldn't have committed the fallacy.

    But you didn't. You went further to say that God's existence is unlikely.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    I did NOT say that my argument is true because it hasn't been proven false; rather, I said that it is not false (which is does not mean that it's true) because there is no evidence that it's false.
    You're claim doesn't have to proven false, the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence.
    If I'm trying to convince you that it is true, then yes.

    You may dismiss my claim due to the lack of evidence; however, you may NOT say that my claim is likely false due to the lack of evidence. It doesn't make sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    No. They hold the burden of proof when they try to convince you that it's true.

    The burden is on the claimant.
    YOU are the claimant.
    Wrong. I don't present my claim for debate.

    IF I told you "God exists", then I'd need to prove that; however, if I simply said "I believe God exists", I don't need to prove that God exists, because I didn't make claim to objective truth.

    Similarly, IF you told me "God doesn't exist", then you'd need to prove that; but if you said "I don't believe God exists", then you don't need to prove it.

    The difference is obvious: claiming that what you say is true versus claiming that you believe that what you say is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    I assume you can't answer it. I ask the rational observer to take note of this.

    My claim stands: there is no reason to skip agnosticism and jump to atheism.
    You are free to fallaciously make that claim.
    Perhaps someone can provide a reason; however you can't.

    So I should have said it this way:

    (Q) doesn't have a reason to skip agnosticism and jump to atheism*.

    *atheism being defined as the proposition that it's unlikely that God exists.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Geezer, if you define atheism as simply the lack of belief in God (in which case agnosticism is atheism, btw.), then what you said is correct.

    However, the atheism I'm talking about is Q's version, wherein he says that God's existence is unlikely.

    I'm sure you can see the difference between mere absence of belief in God and a claim that God's existence is unlikely.
    Likewise, do you see the difference in God's existence is unlikely and God does not exist? The latter is a positive claim of nonexistence with which I'd have no problem with you asking for evidence. The former is more an opinion than a statement of fact - but it's the most reasonable opinion given lack of any positive evidence for God. Same as with IPU's or Celestial Teapots.
    I humbly disagree. The most rational stance is "I don't know the likeliness of God's existence, because there is no evidence either way". Unless perhaps you can provide evidence that God's existence is unlikely?
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    I humbly disagree. The most rational stance is "I don't know the likeliness of God's existence, because there is no evidence either way". Unless perhaps you can provide evidence that God's existence is unlikely?
    So is "I don't know the likeliness of Zeus's existence, because there is no evidence either way" more rational than "Zeus probably doesn't exist?"
    What about "I don't know the likeliness of an army of invisible leprachauns from the planet Zoltar orbiting Earth, because there is no evidence either way"? Is that more rational than "An army of invisible leprachauns from the planet Zoltar is probably not orbiting the earth"?
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    Neutrino and Geezer, let me break down my basic argument:

    A person who claims that their stance is true (and tries to impose their stance on someone else), must provide proof that their stance is true. This is obvious, since the person can't accept any stance without adequate reason to do so.

    Some make the truth claim "God's existence is likely". If they try to impose this stance on someone else, they must provide evidence to this person.

    Others make the truth claim "God's existence is unlikely". If they try to impose this stance on someone else, they must provide evidence to this person.

    Still others make the truth claim "I don't know the likeliness of God's existence". First of all, they wouldn't have any reason to impose this stance on anyone else. Secondly, they can prove this by simply thinking about whether there is evidence for or against God. If they can think of none (or if they come up with insignificant evidence), then they don't know the likeliness; their stance is proven.

    The first stance is a conviction, as is the second. Only the third stance is completely rational (in an objective sense).
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    I humbly disagree. The most rational stance is "I don't know the likeliness of God's existence, because there is no evidence either way". Unless perhaps you can provide evidence that God's existence is unlikely?
    So is "I don't know the likeliness of Zeus's existence, because there is no evidence either way" more rational than "Zeus probably doesn't exist?"
    What about "I don't know the likeliness of an army of invisible leprachauns from the planet Zoltar orbiting Earth, because there is no evidence either way"? Is that more rational than "An army of invisible leprachauns from the planet Zoltar is probably not orbiting the earth"?
    It is.

    If you'd think about it, you have no evidence against the army of invisible leprechauns. Seriously, take a second and think whether there is evidence against them. There is none, is there?

    Now let me propose why you hold that their existence is unlikely: you have a conviction, as do I. We strongly believe that these beings' existence is unlikely though we have no evidence whatsoever against them.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    It's difficult to accept the idea because of how we're grown up, but it is nevertheless true.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    If you'd think about it, you have no evidence against the army of invisible leprechauns. Seriously, take a second and think whether there is evidence against them. There is none, is there.
    How big is the leprechaun star fleet? By invisible, are we talking undetectable by radar, or fully invisible, so undetectable by satellites, telescopes and other such things? Are they outside or inside our atmosphere?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    If you'd think about it, you have no evidence against the army of invisible leprechauns. Seriously, take a second and think whether there is evidence against them. There is none, is there.
    How big is the leprechaun star fleet? By invisible, are we talking undetectable by radar, or fully invisible, so undetectable by satellites, telescopes and other such things? Are they outside or inside our atmosphere?
    I assume that by 'invisible', he meant 'undetectable' and 'untestable', much as any ol' god is 'undetectable' and 'untestable'.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    What metals are their spacecraft using? Are they leprechauns from Ireland, or from the planet Lep-9?

    If the former, where did they mine and construct their aircraft? Why didn't anyone see them constructing their stuff? Are the leprechauns capable of turning invisible, or just their spacecraft? How did they achieve full invisibility without prior testing? Or were the leprechauns the Roswell guys?

    If the latter, how did they get here? Are they capable of traveling FTL? What fuel are they using to power their craft? How far is their planet from Earth? Are they currently inside or outside our atmosphere?
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    We do agree on one thing - it's every bit as rational to believe in Zeus, God, or an army of invisible leprachauns orbiting the earth. That seems to be what you are saying since as you pointed out, there's no evidence against any of them. So I guess at this point, since you don't think it's irrational to believe any of those things, what makes you choose God to believe in versus Sammy, Poopstick, and Ted McHamburger? (Those are the names of the leprachaun leaders FYI)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    So I guess at this point, since you don't think it's irrational to believe any of those things, what makes you choose God to believe in versus Sammy, Poopstick, and Ted McHamburger? (Those are the names of the leprachaun leaders FYI)
    What contact have you had with Sammy, Poopstick and Ted McHamburger? Can you give more detailed information on them and their star fleet? Do you have a history of mental illness in your family?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    So I guess at this point, since you don't think it's irrational to believe any of those things, what makes you choose God to believe in versus Sammy, Poopstick, and Ted McHamburger? (Those are the names of the leprachaun leaders FYI)
    What contact have you had with Sammy, Poopstick and Ted McHamburger? Can you give more detailed information on them and their star fleet? Do you have a history of mental illness in your family?
    Why would you ask if I have a history of mental illness? You have no evidence against Sammy, Poopstick, or Ted McHamburger do you? I do however have evidence. They write me letters and I know they are real.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    I do however have evidence. They write me letters
    I was starting to think you just made this whole thing up

    Please present your evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    Please present your evidence.
    As you wish



    I trust you are now convinced. Further, as you have NO evidence to refute the leprachauns, it seems obvious that denying their existence is MOST irrational.
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    F*!@, that scared the crap out of me!!! lol, you're a creepy guy. You know that?

    Anyway, leprechauns speak gaeilge. So there's problem number 1. It would be the equivalent of a theist providing a text in French and claiming it to be an original document written by Abraham.

    Problem 2, is that I have no way of knowing whether you wrote that yourself or not. So we'll need to have the handwriting analyzed.

    See about getting that document dated, so we can establish that you didn't just write that five minutes ago after I asked you to provide the letter. Send it off to a few labs and get everything corroborated. Further, I don't think I'd feel comfortable believing you unless you were willing to see a therapist, so we can establish whether you're mentally ill or not.

    Then I'll listen to all the counter arguments, refuting your claim that there are leprechauns. I'll weigh the arguments of both parties, and - if there's enough verifiable evidence - I'll decide one way or the other.

    If there isn't enough verifiable evidence, I'll just reserve having an opinion either way until more evidence comes in. I'll go about my business and - based on whether or not leprechauns attack the earth - I'll know whether leprechauns really are out to destroy the earth.

    So while the rest of you spend your potentially final few days on earth arguing about the leprechauns, I'll be treating myself to a damned good book.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    What metals are their spacecraft using? Are they leprechauns from Ireland, or from the planet Lep-9?

    If the former, where did they mine and construct their aircraft? Why didn't anyone see them constructing their stuff? Are the leprechauns capable of turning invisible, or just their spacecraft? How did they achieve full invisibility without prior testing? Or were the leprechauns the Roswell guys?

    If the latter, how did they get here? Are they capable of traveling FTL? What fuel are they using to power their craft? How far is their planet from Earth? Are they currently inside or outside our atmosphere?
    It doesn't matter. They're undetectable and untestable.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    We do agree on one thing - it's every bit as rational to believe in Zeus, God, or an army of invisible leprachauns orbiting the earth. That seems to be what you are saying since as you pointed out, there's no evidence against any of them. So I guess at this point, since you don't think it's irrational to believe any of those things, what makes you choose God to believe in versus Sammy, Poopstick, and Ted McHamburger? (Those are the names of the leprachaun leaders FYI)
    First, note that if something isn't rational it isn't necessarily irrational.
    Second, I don't think it rational to believe in Zeus, leprechauns, or even God.
    (Note that I don't think it rational to believe they don't exist, either; that is, unless you have some proof).

    That said, I have a conviction that God exists just as I have a conviction that leprechauns don't exist.

    The default state of man is lack of belief in these entities (not a claim that these entities don't exist). Once exposed to the idea of these entities, man may stay in the default state, hold the conviction that they exist, or hold the conviction that they don't exist (or, as a fourth choice, hold the conviction that they're equally likely to exist).
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    It doesn't matter. They're undetectable and untestable.
    Of course it matters. A provides a well-presented argument of I'd say 500 pages minimum, outlining all the details. Then B provides a well-presented rebuttal. Then I, who has no knowledge of either side of the leprechaun debacle, read both sides of the argument. Examine the evidence myself and decide whether to draw my conclusion, or whether the subject needs further investigation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    (Q) doesn't have a reason to skip agnosticism and jump to atheism*.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    It doesn't matter. They're undetectable and untestable.
    Of course it matters. A provides a well-presented argument of I'd say 500 pages minimum, outlining all the details. Then B provides a well-presented rebuttal. Then I, who has no knowledge of either side of the leprechaun debacle, read both sides of the argument. Examine the evidence myself and decide whether to draw my conclusion, or whether the subject needs further investigation.
    The point of the leprechaun example was to provide a proposition with no evidence for or against it.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    (Q) doesn't have a reason to skip agnosticism and jump to atheism*.
    Well of course you'd respond in that way. You've already proven it by your inability to answer my question. 8)
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    Of course it matters. A provides a well-presented argument of I'd say 500 pages minimum, outlining all the details. Then B provides a well-presented rebuttal. Then I, who has no knowledge of either side of the leprechaun debacle, read both sides of the argument. Examine the evidence myself and decide whether to draw my conclusion, or whether the subject needs further investigation.
    The point of the leprechaun example was to provide a proposition with no evidence for or against it.
    Sure, but then neutrino offered a letter as evidence. So in the case of the alleged leprechaun, there was evidence to examine.

    In the case of the alleged god, there is no evidence either way (which I'm personally aware of, at least). So I'd conclude that the subject needs further investigation and not formulate an opinion in either direction.

    But I'm changing the subject. We're talking leprechauns now. Keep up, man!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    Of course it matters. A provides a well-presented argument of I'd say 500 pages minimum, outlining all the details. Then B provides a well-presented rebuttal. Then I, who has no knowledge of either side of the leprechaun debacle, read both sides of the argument. Examine the evidence myself and decide whether to draw my conclusion, or whether the subject needs further investigation.
    The point of the leprechaun example was to provide a proposition with no evidence for or against it.
    Sure, but then neutrino offered a letter as evidence. So in the case of the alleged leprechaun, there was evidence to examine.

    In the case of the alleged god, there is no evidence either way (which I'm personally aware of, at least). So I'd conclude that the subject needs further investigation and not formulate an opinion in either direction.

    But I'm changing the subject. We're talking leprechauns now. Keep up, man!
    Ok. :-D

    Well I say that that letter Neutrino provided was possibly fabricated. He'll need to provide a sample of his own hand writing.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Well I say that that letter Neutrino provided was possibly fabricated. He'll need to provide a sample of his own hand writing.
    Don't be fooled. He's a wiley one. He could provide a sample of someone else's handwriting claiming it's his own. Or he could a sample of his own handwriting, but the original could've been written by a friend. I think we're all going to have to take this right to the top. I don't know where the top is, but that's where we're going to have to go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Well I say that that letter Neutrino provided was possibly fabricated. He'll need to provide a sample of his own hand writing.
    Don't be fooled. He's a wiley one. He could provide a sample of someone else's handwriting claiming it's his own. Or he could a sample of his own handwriting, but the original could've been written by a friend. I think we're all going to have to take this right to the top. I don't know where the top is, but that's where we're going to have to go.
    True.

    So how's about defining them leprechauns, n' how do we know they're invisible? (Neutrino)
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    So how's about defining them leprechauns(Neutrino)
    Fair point. What he calls a leprechaun, we might call, say, a particle accelerator. It reminds me of one of my mother's favourite sayings: "One man's leprechaun, is another man's particle accelerator".
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    Well what I'd like to know is this - which position is more rational?

    1) Neutrino is making the whole thing up, fabricated the letter, and there are probably no leprachauns in orbit.
    2) We don't know. There is no actual evidence *against* their existence so whether or not Neutrino is making it up, they may be out there. Whether your conviction (to use scientistph's word) is to believe in them or to not believe in them, either belief is just as rational.

    That seems to parallel what you are saying in regards to God but maybe I'm missing a detail in there.
    When it comes to Agnosticism it seems to me you are classifying people as, in general, theist atheist or agnostic. I don't think that's appropriate though as theist and atheist deal with whether or not you believe in God while agnosticism deals with whether or not it's possible to know either way for sure.
    One can be (and in fact, I am) an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist. I 100% believe that it's impossible to know for sure whether or not God exists, and I consider that a fact. My opinion is that he probably doesn't exist because that is the most rational position in my mind - I think if he existed there wouldn't be this ENORMOUS variety of contradictory belief about him, about his creation, about how we should act, and so on. And there also would probably be positive evidence in his favor. That's opinion. Regardless of that opinion, if one day I come to believe in God, I will still be agnostic.
    If God really doesn't exist, what we do see is what I'd expect to see. Countless stories about the creation of all things throughout human history, many of them dead, and today countless more varieties. Yet no evidence.
    But tying in the leprachauns (why they spell it with an "a" I don't know. I don't question them, especially Poopstick. He gets angry), isn't the burden of proof entirely on me to support their existence regardless of who is making what claim? Until I introduced the concept no one on the planet (except those who have been Chosen) even considered the possibility. The "default" and only rational position is that they probably don't exist, and that default position didn't change when I introduced the concept. So when you make the claim "They probably don't exist" that is STILL the default and rational position. That didn't change.
    Same with God. You yourself (scientistphilo) admitted that atheism is the "default" position. So anyone trying to introduce God as a serious reality does and will always have the burden to back up that claim.

    how do we know they're invisible
    2 ways. One, they say so in their letters. Two, I sure don't see them around, do you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    But tying in the leprachauns (why they spell it with an "a" I don't know. I don't question them, especially Poopstick. He gets angry), isn't the burden of proof entirely on me to support their existence regardless of who is making what claim?
    When Galileo Galilei claimed that the Earth revolves around the sun, who's job was it to substantiate the claim? Galileo's, or the rest of the world?

    The concept of a god is something which has been ingrained in human civilization for thousands of years.

    Here are some numbers:

    # Christianity: 2.1 billion
    # Islam: 1.5 billion
    # Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
    # Hinduism: 900 million
    # Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
    # Buddhism: 376 million
    # primal-indigenous: 300 million
    # African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
    # Sikhism: 23 million
    # Juche: 19 million
    # Spiritism: 15 million
    # Judaism: 14 million
    # Baha'i: 7 million
    # Jainism: 4.2 million
    # Shinto: 4 million
    # Cao Dai: 4 million
    # Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
    # Tenrikyo: 2 million
    # Neo-Paganism: 1 million
    # Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
    # Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
    # Scientology: 500 thousand

    I am aware that this may be appeal to tradition or argumentum ad populum, but it still seems absurd to me to argue that it's up to the rest of the world to prove it's right. The rest of the world is quite happy as it is.

    If you're going to claim that the other 5 billion are wrong, then you should at least be able to put up a good argument, instead of "No, YOU prove he exists". Alll five billion of you, need to prove to ME that he exists.

    Conversely, a large percentage of the world once believed the earth was flat. (Again though: they were quite happy to believe that, so if you want to mess around with other people's beliefs, then you should probably prove that.)

    Nevertheless, that does demonstrate that just because people believe something, that doesn't necessarily make it true. So if someone's going to argue that a god does, in fact, exist, then he should probably be able to substantiate that claim.

    Essentially, what I'm saying is, if you want someone else to believe (or disbelieve) something, then you're the one who needs to deliver the goods. Atheists are quite happy being atheists. Christians are quite happy being Christians. So if you're going to mess around with that, you should probably have more than, "No, YOU prove it!".

    Either that, or just leave people alone and let them believe whatever they feel like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye

    If you're going to claim that the other 5 billion are wrong, then you should at least be able to put up a good argument, instead of "No, YOU prove he exists". Alll five billion of you, need to prove to ME that he exists.
    Ummm...

    We're using the word 'claim' perhaps a bit loosely.

    In the realm of logic a claim is a statement that purports to be a matter of fact. Necessarily, the claimant has the burden of proof.

    In the matter regarding the existence of a putative deity, the burden of proof, or defence of the claim, rests upon anybody who makes it.

    5 billion people can well subscribe to the notion that there is such a thing as a god, but they're not making any claims in the logical sense. Most go on with "I believe", or "I have the conviction that", or "You are the fool who saith in his heart there is no god" and so on. It's only when they claim that there are logical or empirical reasons for considering this hypothesis seriously, that logic gets involved.

    When this happens, there are no serried ranks of atheists waiting with the bludgeon of disbelief trying to batter them down. All it takes is a single sceptic, asking questions that allow her to apportion belief to the evidence, and any supporting evidence/arguments that the theist produces. Note that the burden of proof still lies with the theist, not the sceptic (who could also be a theist for all we know - the important thing is simply that she is following logical processes with regard to claims).

    All conversation of the "You're claiming there is no god so you're making a positive statement and need to to back it up, theists don't need to support their convictions" and so on are red herrings because they're not (despite their superficial/linguistic resemblance) claims in the matter of logic or rationality. Don't let them sidetrack your quest!

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    After reading this thread over, I'm wondering if my definition of atheism is correct. I've always regarded atheism as a person who argues G = 0. Tell me if I have this right:

    Person A argues G = 0. Person B argues G = 1. Person C argues G is 0 or 1. Atheist is null. G cannot be 0 or 1. There is nothing being asserted concerning the state of G. G has no state (null).
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist

    Well of course you'd respond in that way. You've already proven it by your inability to answer my question.
    Or, I'm just laughing at your utter silliness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    After reading this thread over, I'm wondering if my definition of atheism is correct. I've always regarded atheism as a person who argues G = 0. Tell me if I have this right:

    Person A argues G = 0. Person B argues G = 1. Person C argues G is 0 or 1. Atheist is null. G cannot be 0 or 1. There is nothing being asserted concerning the state of G. G has no state (null).
    Tough one. I quite like your definition or idea that atheist = null hypothesis or thereabouts, but of course different atheists will have different personal reactions towards these matters. Just to see how these things might apply to me personally:

    1. I call myself an atheist primarily because I have no sense of 'faith' - the belief in a higher power does not exist for me. I wasn't argued out of it or into it, I just realised this was the case when I was old enough to examine my thoughts and feelings.

    2. I am also, in most things, a philosophical sceptic: I question the evidence. It is in this regard that I am suggesting that any claims relating to god's putative existence will need to pass far more stringent tests than the "I feel it in my heart" appeal that many theists still use. Until such evidence/argument is forthcoming, yes, the null hypothesis is the only way to go, and it is not a 'claim' that needs supporting.

    3. Since I consider any meaningful notion of a god (at least one that could make any difference to my life) to be one that, at the very least is "a being worthy of worship", I also consider myself to be (in regard to this being that is worthy of worship) a 'strong' atheist (I actually dislike that term, but it will have to do): I consider it not just exceedingly unlikely that such a being should exist, but, thanks to the problem of evil, I consider the very definition/idea to be incoherent and impossible. With regard to this matter, of course I am making a claim, but it is one I am happy to argue about/for, given my definition. If you define your god so as not to have this characteristic, then I have no 'strong' atheistic claim against your god.

    Dunno if this makes sense or helps in any way, but am hoping it might clarify some matters.

    cheer

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    With regard to this matter, of course I am making a claim, but it is one I am happy to argue about/for, given my definition.
    Hmmm.. well, I'm thinking that if G = 0, then G must have a state. G could never equal 0 unless G has (or had) a state. So if you're claiming G = 0, then you'd need to prove that G has a state to equal 0.

    But if null, you're not making any claims as to G = 0 or G = 1. You are not making a claim. G is not there to have, or have ever had, any state.

    It would be illogical to ask you to prove null. There is no state to prove.

    As "null", the burden of proof falls on anyone who claims G has a state.
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    If I were inclined towards the possible benefits of belonging to a religious/spiritual group, I would definitely consider Unitarian-Universalism. Funnily enough, they seem to stand for exactly what the church of my youth used to warn us about. :P
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Well what I'd like to know is this - which position is more rational?

    1) Neutrino is making the whole thing up, fabricated the letter, and there are probably no leprachauns in orbit.
    2) We don't know. There is no actual evidence *against* their existence so whether or not Neutrino is making it up, they may be out there. Whether your conviction (to use scientistph's word) is to believe in them or to not believe in them, either belief is just as rational.

    That seems to parallel what you are saying in regards to God but maybe I'm missing a detail in there.
    When it comes to Agnosticism it seems to me you are classifying people as, in general, theist atheist or agnostic. I don't think that's appropriate though as theist and atheist deal with whether or not you believe in God while agnosticism deals with whether or not it's possible to know either way for sure.
    One can be (and in fact, I am) an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist. I 100% believe that it's impossible to know for sure whether or not God exists, and I consider that a fact. My opinion is that he probably doesn't exist because that is the most rational position in my mind - I think if he existed there wouldn't be this ENORMOUS variety of contradictory belief about him, about his creation, about how we should act, and so on. And there also would probably be positive evidence in his favor. That's opinion. Regardless of that opinion, if one day I come to believe in God, I will still be agnostic.
    If God really doesn't exist, what we do see is what I'd expect to see. Countless stories about the creation of all things throughout human history, many of them dead, and today countless more varieties. Yet no evidence.
    But tying in the leprachauns (why they spell it with an "a" I don't know. I don't question them, especially Poopstick. He gets angry), isn't the burden of proof entirely on me to support their existence regardless of who is making what claim? Until I introduced the concept no one on the planet (except those who have been Chosen) even considered the possibility. The "default" and only rational position is that they probably don't exist, and that default position didn't change when I introduced the concept. So when you make the claim "They probably don't exist" that is STILL the default and rational position. That didn't change.
    Same with God. You yourself (scientistphilo) admitted that atheism is the "default" position. So anyone trying to introduce God as a serious reality does and will always have the burden to back up that claim.

    how do we know they're invisible
    2 ways. One, they say so in their letters. Two, I sure don't see them around, do you?
    #2 is more rational. You misrepresented me in #1. I said Neutrino is possibly making things up. I said nothing about probability.

    And I DID NOT say that 'atheism' is the default position. "Pure Agnosticism" is the default position.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist

    Well of course you'd respond in that way. You've already proven it by your inability to answer my question.
    Or, I'm just laughing at your utter silliness.
    Dubious. You're likely trying to pretend you're ridiculing me (ineffectively at that) to cover (or mitigate) the fact that you can't answer the question. I don't deal with people who behave in such an immature manner.

    Good day.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist

    Well of course you'd respond in that way. You've already proven it by your inability to answer my question.
    Or, I'm just laughing at your utter silliness.
    Dubious. You're likely trying to pretend you're ridiculing me (ineffectively at that) to cover (or mitigate) the fact that you can't answer the question. I don't deal with people who behave in such an immature manner.

    Good day.
    then stop acting that way yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Well what I'd like to know is this - which position is more rational?

    1) Neutrino is making the whole thing up, fabricated the letter, and there are probably no leprachauns in orbit.
    2) We don't know. There is no actual evidence *against* their existence so whether or not Neutrino is making it up, they may be out there. Whether your conviction (to use scientistph's word) is to believe in them or to not believe in them, either belief is just as rational.

    That seems to parallel what you are saying in regards to God but maybe I'm missing a detail in there.
    When it comes to Agnosticism it seems to me you are classifying people as, in general, theist atheist or agnostic. I don't think that's appropriate though as theist and atheist deal with whether or not you believe in God while agnosticism deals with whether or not it's possible to know either way for sure.
    One can be (and in fact, I am) an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist. I 100% believe that it's impossible to know for sure whether or not God exists, and I consider that a fact. My opinion is that he probably doesn't exist because that is the most rational position in my mind - I think if he existed there wouldn't be this ENORMOUS variety of contradictory belief about him, about his creation, about how we should act, and so on. And there also would probably be positive evidence in his favor. That's opinion. Regardless of that opinion, if one day I come to believe in God, I will still be agnostic.
    If God really doesn't exist, what we do see is what I'd expect to see. Countless stories about the creation of all things throughout human history, many of them dead, and today countless more varieties. Yet no evidence.
    But tying in the leprachauns (why they spell it with an "a" I don't know. I don't question them, especially Poopstick. He gets angry), isn't the burden of proof entirely on me to support their existence regardless of who is making what claim? Until I introduced the concept no one on the planet (except those who have been Chosen) even considered the possibility. The "default" and only rational position is that they probably don't exist, and that default position didn't change when I introduced the concept. So when you make the claim "They probably don't exist" that is STILL the default and rational position. That didn't change.
    Same with God. You yourself (scientistphilo) admitted that atheism is the "default" position. So anyone trying to introduce God as a serious reality does and will always have the burden to back up that claim.

    how do we know they're invisible
    2 ways. One, they say so in their letters. Two, I sure don't see them around, do you?
    #2 is more rational. You misrepresented me in #1. I said Neutrino is possibly making things up. I said nothing about probability.

    And I DID NOT say that 'atheism' is the default position. "Pure Agnosticism" is the default position.
    lol how exactly did I misrepresent you. You said, exactly:
    the default state of man is lack of belief in these entities (not a claim that these entities don't exist). Once exposed to the idea of these entities, man may stay in the default state, hold the conviction that they exist, or hold the conviction that they don't exist (or, as a fourth choice, hold the conviction that they're equally likely to exist).
    Lack of belief in an entity is the DEFINITION OF ATHEISM. It you want to subdivide it further into strong and weak atheism be more specific so people don't misunderstand. But saying "I'm not saying there is definitely no God - I just lack belief in God" is a weak atheist's claim.
    I find it absurd that you claim the belief that I am probably making the bit up about the leprachauns is somehow LESS RATIONAL than being completely undecided on the topic. By your logic virtually every belief is irrational - because nothing is ever actually 100%. There is ALWAYS a chance a belief, any belief, is wrong.
    What is more rational is not a matter of being 100% right it's a matter or what is more likely.
    It's WAY more likely I'm making shit up about leprachauns and hence more rational to believe that I'm probably making shit up than not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino

    lol how exactly did I misrepresent you. You said, exactly:
    the default state of man is lack of belief in these entities (not a claim that these entities don't exist). Once exposed to the idea of these entities, man may stay in the default state, hold the conviction that they exist, or hold the conviction that they don't exist (or, as a fourth choice, hold the conviction that they're equally likely to exist).
    Lack of belief in an entity is the DEFINITION OF ATHEISM. It you want to subdivide it further into strong and weak atheism be more specific so people don't misunderstand. But saying "I'm not saying there is definitely no God - I just lack belief in God" is a weak atheist's claim.
    I find it absurd that you claim the belief that I am probably making the bit up about the leprachauns is somehow LESS RATIONAL than being completely undecided on the topic. By your logic virtually every belief is irrational - because nothing is ever actually 100%. There is ALWAYS a chance a belief, any belief, is wrong.
    What is more rational is not a matter of being 100% right it's a matter or what is more likely.
    It's WAY more likely I'm making shit up about leprachauns and hence more rational to believe that I'm probably making shit up than not.
    Lack of belief is NOT the definition of atheism. It is a criterion of atheism, but not the definition. If it were, then atheism would be indistinguishable from agnosticism.

    Do you believe atheism and agnosticism are the same?

    And you don't have ANY proof that it's likely that you're making stuff up about leprechauns. If you do, then please provide it. Otherwise, you're appealing to personal views and convictions.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    What I want to know is, how do leprechauns reproduce? There are no females.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    What I want to know is, how do leprechauns reproduce? There are no females.
    they are monoclinous to put it simply they're hermaphrodite's. The reason there always so heavily bearded is they dont have a X Chromosome, they are purely Y only.
    their progeny grows to adulthood in 12 hours, I surprised you did not know all this, it's common knowledge.
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    Down here, we're more concerned with mapping the DNA of the Tokolosh.

    In September 1998, a Queenstown woman, Nothemba Bekebhu, had a strange visitation. Her furniture was taken over by five tokoloshes who made themselves comfortable. They had come to demand equal housing rights, and insisted that their grievance be passed on to President Mandela. Ms Bekebhu, a remedial education specialist and part-time sangoma, contacted Mr. Mandela's office. However, staff at the office wanted to speak to a tikiloshe spokesman before taking action, and the tokoloshes refused to cooperate.
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    The burden of proof doesn't rest on God even though he chose to meet it. Theists cannot prove God to a non theist. Our job as theists is to present the information to you. God calls each person to Himself and he reveals Himself to those who answer the call. God has proven Himself to me. (of course I'm delusional for believing...) There was proof of God in Jesus. The people who saw Him, walked with Him, heard Him speak, saw His miracles can all attest to His power. (of course the Bible was made up...)

    We aren't having to look into a clear pool for a marble of truth. The waters have been muddied and polluted for centuries by many things. Not the least of which is Satan and his relentless desire to lead people away from the truth. By convinsing people the Bible isn't even true, satan doesn't exist, by believing in false gods, other religions, logic > God, dead god, or whatever he "wins" as long as you don't find the one truth.

    God has given and continues to give proof, not out of obligation but out of mercy and love. God is not a vending machine to give us bits of candy that we order by pushing a button. We have to be humble enough to find Him on His terms.

    My fear is that pride and indignation are so strong in some of our lives that we won't allow ourselves to see the truth.
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    How come God has never called me?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Lack of belief is NOT the definition of atheism. It is a criterion of atheism, but not the definition. If it were, then atheism would be indistinguishable from agnosticism.

    Do you believe atheism and agnosticism are the same?
    No, they are not the same. I don't think you know what agnostic means.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dictionary.com
    ag·nos·tic –noun 1. a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.
    2. a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.
    Agnostics claim that ultimate knowledge of God is unknowable/impossible. This belief is not limited to either theists or atheists - BOTH can be agnostic. (you could easily say: I belive in God but admit that it's ultimately impossible to know for sure.)
    Now, those who lack belief in God are a different group entirely. They are atheists.
    Quote Originally Posted by dictionary.com
    a·the·ist
    –noun a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings
    And just to be clear:
    Quote Originally Posted by dictionary.com
    dis·be·lieve –verb (used with object) 1. to have no belief in; refuse or reject belief in:
    Quote Originally Posted by scientistphilosopher
    And you don't have ANY proof that it's likely that you're making stuff up about leprechauns. If you do, then please provide it. Otherwise, you're appealing to personal views and convictions.
    Like I said - IT'S NOT ABOUT PROOF. It's more rational to believe what IS MORE LIKELY especially when it's far more likely than some alternative. If you don't think leprachauns that I'm making up are a clear cut case of something more likely to NOT exist than exist, then you have stripped all meaning from words like rational because absolutely nothing is 100% ironclad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    The burden of proof doesn't rest on God even though he chose to meet it. Theists cannot prove God to a non theist. Our job as theists is to present the information to you. God calls each person to Himself and he reveals Himself to those who answer the call. God has proven Himself to me. (of course I'm delusional for believing...) There was proof of God in Jesus. The people who saw Him, walked with Him, heard Him speak, saw His miracles can all attest to His power. (of course the Bible was made up...)

    We aren't having to look into a clear pool for a marble of truth. The waters have been muddied and polluted for centuries by many things. Not the least of which is Satan and his relentless desire to lead people away from the truth. By convinsing people the Bible isn't even true, satan doesn't exist, by believing in false gods, other religions, logic > God, dead god, or whatever he "wins" as long as you don't find the one truth.

    God has given and continues to give proof, not out of obligation but out of mercy and love. God is not a vending machine to give us bits of candy that we order by pushing a button. We have to be humble enough to find Him on His terms.

    My fear is that pride and indignation are so strong in some of our lives that we won't allow ourselves to see the truth.
    how can you use this as an excuse for your god, your god send people to Hell who do not believe in Jesus as the Christ? People born to Muslim parents in a Muslim country where belief in the Muslim faith is a law will almost certainly not grow up to be Christans. Why would this loving god of theirs create men and send them to Hell for growing up to be a good Muslim citizens? If the man is born in a Muslim country to Muslim parents, the chances of him changing his faith to Christianity is lower than his chances of winning the Lotto. Most people stay in the faith that they were raised in. Perhaps not the same sect, but still the same god. 99% of "Good Christians" would be "Good Muslims" if they had been born in Iran/iraq etc Then they would be going to Hell, too. how fair is that coming from your loving god?.
    you people do talks some rubbish.


    neutrino:
    I tried myself, "spt" just cannot grasp it, he's far to thick, I gave up it's pointless when theirs nothing in his head to hold it there, truth just seeps out of his ears and nose. he will come back to you at some time with the exact same arguement.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    There was proof of God in Jesus. The people who saw Him, walked with Him, heard Him speak, saw His miracles can all attest to His power. (of course the Bible was made up...)
    Well if that's your criteria what makes you single out Jesus as The One? He wasn't the only guy from those times to perform miracles, claim divinity, and have followers attest to it all. Far from it! He just happens to be the one people form irrational beliefs about and found a religion over. Jesus was not unique to his time. It seems more likely that Jesus is more comparable to Sylvia Brown - the best pretender of his time.

    God has given and continues to give proof, not out of obligation but out of mercy and love.
    please share
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    There was proof of God in Jesus. The people who saw Him, walked with Him, heard Him speak, saw His miracles can all attest to His power. (of course the Bible was made up...)
    Well if that's your criteria what makes you single out Jesus as The One? He wasn't the only guy from those times to perform miracles, claim divinity, and have followers attest to it all. Far from it! He just happens to be the one people form irrational beliefs about and found a religion over. Jesus was not unique to his time. It seems more likely that Jesus is more comparable to Sylvia Brown - the best pretender of his time.
    The problem I have with folk saying that Jesus was proof of god, is that the historical evidence for the existence of Jesus is weak if non-existent.

    Oh no, god did send proof. But there's no evidence that this proof ever existed. You'll just have to believe me when I say there was actually proof.
    "First we build the tools, then they build us" - Marshall McLuhan.
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    Quote Originally Posted by couldbewrong
    God has proven Himself to me. (of course I'm delusional for believing...)
    Please provide this proof that we may opine on whether you're delusional or not.

    There was proof of God in Jesus. The people who saw Him, walked with Him, heard Him speak, saw His miracles can all attest to His power. (of course the Bible was made up...)
    Since the bible is the ONLY source of evidence for Jesus' existence, we can dismiss it as evidence for his existence as many of the stories in the bible are myths, hence Jesus was probably a myth as well.

    God has given and continues to give proof, not out of obligation but out of mercy and love.
    Which god do you refer? If it is the god of Abraham, there is clear evidence this god was petty, cruel and immoral and has rarely if ever demonstrated mercy and love.

    My fear is that pride and indignation are so strong in some of our lives that we won't allow ourselves to see the truth.
    Or, make up the truth to suit yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Since the bible is the ONLY source of evidence for Jesus' existence, we can dismiss it as evidence for his existence as many of the stories in the bible are myths, hence Jesus was probably a myth as well.
    http://www.near-death.com/experiences/origen045.html ... of course, this site proposes that Jesus was a reincarnation of the Buddha.

    It's interesting in that, while it is possible for two people to promote the same ideals and live similar lives, it does open up the possibility that the story of Jesus could possibly have been the story of Buddha, brought to Israel.

    One of the earliest and most prominent scholars of early comparative religions,Max Mueller, noted in his book, India: What it can teach us, published from England in 1883, "That there are startling coincidences between Buddhism and Christianity cannot be denied, and it must likewise be admitted that Buddhism existed at least 400 years before Christianity. I go even further, and should feel extremely grateful if anybody would point out to me the historical channels through which Buddhism had influenced early Christianity." A stronger case was made by Rudolf Seydel, Professor in the University of Leipzig (Germany), whose first book, The Gospel of Jesus in relation to the Buddha Legend, published in 1882, was followed by, The Buddha Legend and the Life of Jesus, published in 1897. In his books, he noted at least 50 analogous parallels between the Buddhist and Christian stories.

    Yale University Professor, E. Washburn Hopkins in his book, History of Religions wrote, "Finally, the life, temptation, miracles, parables, and even the disciples of Jesus have been derived directly from Buddhism." [7]

    Historian Jerry H. Bentley considers "the possibility that Buddhism influenced the early development of Christianity". Bentley observes that scholars "have drawn attention to many parallels concerning the births, lives, doctrines, and deaths of the Buddha and Jesus".[8]

    Iqbal Singh in the Buddhism Omnibus [9] acknowledges the early historical interactions and influence of Buddhism on the formation of early Christianity.

    Burkhard Scherer, Professor of Indo-Tibetan Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University believes that the "massive" Buddhist influence in the gospels has been well known among scholars. Scherer states: "...it is very important to draw attention on the fact that there is (massive) Buddhist influence in the Gospels....Since more than hundred years Buddhist influence in the Gospels has been known and acknowledged by scholars from both sides. Just recently, Duncan McDerret published his excellent The Bible and the Buddhist (Sardini, Bornato [Italy] 2001). With McDerret, I am convinced that there are many Buddhist narratives in the Gospels."[10]
    "First we build the tools, then they build us" - Marshall McLuhan.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TvEye
    http://www.near-death.com/experiences/origen045.html ... of course, this site proposes that Jesus was a reincarnation of the Buddha.

    It's interesting in that, while it is possible for two people to promote the same ideals and live similar lives, it does open up the possibility that the story of Jesus could possibly have been the story of Buddha, brought to Israel.
    Perhaps both myths came from similar myths previously?

    We know that stories of virgin births and resurrections were told long before the alleged Christ existed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    Lack of belief is NOT the definition of atheism. It is a criterion of atheism, but not the definition. If it were, then atheism would be indistinguishable from agnosticism.

    Do you believe atheism and agnosticism are the same?
    No, they are not the same. I don't think you know what agnostic means.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dictionary.com
    ag·nos·tic –noun 1. a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.
    2. a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.
    Agnostics claim that ultimate knowledge of God is unknowable/impossible. This belief is not limited to either theists or atheists - BOTH can be agnostic. (you could easily say: I belive in God but admit that it's ultimately impossible to know for sure.)
    Now, those who lack belief in God are a different group entirely. They are atheists.
    Not all agnostics believe that God's existence is unknowable.

    Further, even if they did, in such a case they would still LACK belief in God, and thereby be atheists by your definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Quote Originally Posted by dictionary.com
    a·the·ist
    –noun a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings
    And just to be clear:
    Quote Originally Posted by dictionary.com
    dis·be·lieve –verb (used with object) 1. to have no belief in; refuse or reject belief in:
    That's what I don't like about dictionaries. I can give you several dictionaries that say atheist is the belief that God doesn't exist.

    Dictionaries are crap when it comes to context and connotations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Quote Originally Posted by scientistphilosopher
    And you don't have ANY proof that it's likely that you're making stuff up about leprechauns. If you do, then please provide it. Otherwise, you're appealing to personal views and convictions.
    Like I said - IT'S NOT ABOUT PROOF. It's more rational to believe what IS MORE LIKELY especially when it's far more likely than some alternative. If you don't think leprachauns that I'm making up are a clear cut case of something more likely to NOT exist than exist, then you have stripped all meaning from words like rational because absolutely nothing is 100% ironclad.
    You still haven't shown how leprechauns' nonexistence IS MORE LIKELY. You're just spilling stuff with no backing whatsoever.

    How's about I say it this way:

    IT'S NOT ABOUT PROOF. It's more rational to believe what IS MORE LIKELY especially when it's far more likely than some alternative. If you don't think leprechauns are a clear cut case of something more likely TO exist, then you have stripped all meaning from words like rational because absolutely nothing is 100% ironclad.

    What makes your claim any more true than mine? You believe that it's unlikely that leprechauns exist? That's a ridiculous reason to expect me to accept your claim.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

    http://www.atheistthinktank.net/thinktank/index.php

    Theists welcome.
    ___________
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