Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Jun 2012 23:07 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Two weeks ago, my grandmother passed away - the last grandparent I had left. As those of you with experience in dealing with deceased family members know, the funeral is only the start; the next part is taking care of the deceased's affairs, which includes going through all their belongings to determine what to do with them. I took care of my grandmother's extensive book collection, and while doing so, I hit something that fascinated me to no end: a six-volume Christian Encyclopaedia from 1956. In it, I found something I just had to share with OSNews.
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Not really. The burden of proof lies with those that claim that god exists. Non believers don't really have to prove anything since, by default, god doesn't exist, just like the flying spaghetti monster.

I find this argument very counter-scientific.

If you say God exists but provide no supporting evidence, I am scientifically entitled to be unconvinced.

If you say God does not exist, but provide no evidence, I am scientifically entitled to ignore you.

The burden of proof lies with anyone claiming specific knowledge. The default position should be neutrality (ie. we do not know).

Think of the world before the discovery of the Americas. Were the people who said there was nothing west of Europe correct by default? No. The only sensible scientific position was that it was not something that had been demonstrated either way through direct experience. In that case, it turns out that the people that believed that nothing was out there were wrong. But neither position was "correct" scientifically speaking.

Now, many people probably "believed" something about what was out there. My own feeling is that this is fine until science has something to say about it.

The history of science is full of scientistists that strongly believed things later shown to be false. Einstein for example believed that the universe was static (not expanding) and that quantum theory was wrong (God does not play dice with the universe). These were philosophical positions which were perfectly fine, right up until science proved him wrong.

Science dictates what you should believe AFTER the evidence has been presented. It provides no real guidance before then.

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