Christian & Atheist discuss who has the burden of proof for their position.
A: Since I am the only reasonable person here, the burden of proof lies with you theists.
C: I readily welcome the burden of proof for my views, for there are proofs for God’s existence and evidence that the Bible is true. But you have a burden of proof also. Are you making a claim that your view is true? If so, you are making a truth claim and have a burden of proof for your idea.
A: No, atheism is a-theism, a lack of belief. Since I make no truth claim, I have to prove nothing. I merely have no belief. Since you believe something, only you have to prove something, not me.
C: If you do not believe God exists, then you must hold to naturalism, which is the view that the only things that exist are natural, such as matter and energy.
A: Yes, of course. I am logical, and naturalism is the only logical position. Only matter and energy exist.
C: You then have a burden of proof to show that naturalism is true.
A: No, silly Christian. The natural world is just there, as Bertrand Russel said. It does not need an explanation. But I do not believe in God, so you have a burden of proof for showing God exists.
C: I am an a-naturalist. I have a lack of belief in naturalism, and the burden of proof on you is to show that naturalism is the correct viewpoint.* As an a-naturalist, I merely disbelieve that the natural world is all there is. I do not have to prove anything, but you have to prove your point.
A: Well, I….uh….it just exists.
C: While you are at it, please explain the existence of things such as mathematics and justice, since they are neither matter nor energy.
A: You’re a fundamentalist and an idiot. And Christians are hypocrites. And your dog is ugly.
C: It seems that I have a great deal of rational explanation for my belief, but you have ducked your responsibility. You merely try to focus on the reasons for my viewpoint, but by your own admission, offer no good reason to say that your position is true. I will continue to hold that God exists and the Bible is true.
*Thanks to Jon Stewart for the inspiration.