The Burden of Proof

December 8, 2013

Topic Notes

No Flash Support? Use this Audio Player!


  • Dave breaks down the meaning of the word Agnostic
  • Being Agnostic is a better position than being Atheist
  • Atheism is untenable and presumptuous
  • Talking about Paul Copan the Presumptuousness of Atheism
  • Philosophically it is hard to prove a negative
  • Atheists say the burden of proof is on the Christian, but to be fair, the same MUST be true for the Atheist
  • Even if we CAN’T PROVE that Jesus rose from the dead or that God exists, it does not mean there is no God!
  • Jeff ate a puppy for lunch?
  • Quite often, in making a truth claim (that God doesn’t exist), Atheists are rigging the rules
  • No cookies on this table means no cookies exist at all… right?
  • True Atheism demands PROOF that there is no God.
  • It makes sense to start from an Agnostic viewpoint
  • BIBLE CONTRADICTION: via the Thinking Atheist
    • Why did Noah require a dove to find land (Genesis 8) if he and God were on speaking terms in Genesis 6?
    • Genesis 6:13-21 vs. Genesis 8:8
  • In the absence of evidence for God’s existence, Agnosticism becomes the base
  • The Santa Claus and Mermaid Arguments are not adequate to dismiss the existence of God
    • Melissa asks: I’m in school and my Philosophy Textbook says that the argument from design is no longer valid because of Evolution. Is that true?
  • Proof for God: each piece of evidence may or may not be strong. Don’t write it off! Add up ALL the evidence and then make your conclusions

This show originally aired December 8th, 2013


Extra Stuff

The Presumptuousness of Atheism by Paul Copan
Fine-Tuning for Intelligent Physical Life by Hugh Ross



2 Responses to The Burden of Proof

  1. Jeff says:

    Thanks for the comment Oscar.
    Adding more clarity to definitions is helpful, and certainly you are doing that. I think we aren’t that far off, however, I think the definition of antitheism is a little different than most philosophical circles.

    Antitheism is usually characterized by strict opposition to belief in a deity (often a particular deity). Whereas atheism is positing that there is no god.

    This is what we were “debating against” in the show. As Bertrand Russel, a founder of modern atheism, laid out: he claimed often that he could not and should not have to disprove the Christian god’s existence and did not/should not believe. So, although he definitively referred to himself as an agnostic privately, he was publicly an atheist – one who does not believe in God and has no burden of proof (see his teapot argument).

    Anyway, the main point is that someone cannot say, “There is no god” without some kind of substantiation, however you might define that person.

  2. Oscar Praywell says:

    Paul Copan’s assumptions in his article are terminally flawed…

    He (and you) are conflating “atheism” with “anti-theism”. Atheism simply doesn’t believe in a god. Anti-Theism makes the positive claim that there is no god (and therefore bears the same burden of proof as a theist).

    This chart should be helpful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *