Friday, September 17, 2010

The Burden of Proof II

The religious are so convinced by their own circular reasoning and implicit, unconscious assumptions, that they are sure that the existence of god is "obvious".  So much so, that they argue with bald faced audacity that the burden of proof is on the atheist.  They "can't imagine" another explanation for the universe, therefore it must be god.

As I pointed out previously, this reasoning is obviously circular because the mere existence of a mystery does not suggest that a particular answer is true, unless one has implicitly assumed that the particular answer must be true and that there is no other answer.  Whenever believers pull out the old "god is the only explanation" argument, you can respond with:

"This is the same logical fallacy indulged in by primitive people who assumed that the world must be flat and held up by a giant god because they had no other explanation for the fact that neither they nor the earth seemed to be falling."

You can follow it up with:

"Why can't you just admit that you don't know?  I know you don't know; you know you don't know.  Just admit it."

They will reply with some non-responsive blather about their belief or perhaps with a statement that "there must be an explanation".  To which you can reply with either:

"There is probably some natural explanation, but I can live with admitting that I don't know what it is.  I'd rather not make a fool of myself by believing in magic just because I can't explain something."


"What kind of person can't admit when he doesn't know something?"

Better yet, combine the two.

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