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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tanishaj
Member since:
2010-12-22


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.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rr7.num7 Member since:
2010-04-30

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.


It is not. Science works that way. You may find that unconvincing, but that doesn't make it counter-scientific. Would you say that pink unicorns exist? If not, can you demonstrate that they do not exist? I doubt it, but still, the only valid (from a scientific point of view) stance would be to assume they don't exist, because there's no evidence supporting their existence. I think you would find it very, very hard to find a scientist who thinks otherwise.

Edit: typos.

Edited 2012-06-10 05:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

"
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).
"

While I agree with your points, they don't really contradict what Sodki wrote. "Non believer" doesn't automatically mean someone who holds a positive belief that God (or gods) doesn't exist; an active belief that something does/doesn't exist is not the same as an absence of belief that something does exist.

My impression is that Sodki was referring to the latter position - which would also be a position consistent with the null hypothesis: claims unaccompanied by evidence are assumed to be false.

Reply Parent Score: 2