Burden of Proof (Or, I Can’t DRIVE 55!)

Greetings friends,

I was reviewing a conversation I had on Twitter recently, and I came to some conclusions.

1. Having conversations on Twitter is stupid. Nothing worth saying can be said in less than 180 characters. Would Shakespeare have Tweeted Macbeth if he had the technology? No he would not have had. You know why? Because Bill had class.

2.That being said, I suspect I will make the same mistake in the future. Place your bets now on how long it will take me to learn. Better yet, just pray for me.

3. Twitter should have a conversation/arguments version. It needs to be more like TEXT where you can find where one comment relates to the comment it is responding to. (Right now I can’t figure out what comment goes with which, so it always reads like two drunk hobos yelling across the train tracks while a commuter is going by.) We’ll call it MEGA TWEET! Or, The TWEETOPOLOUS! I donno, send me suggestions.

4. I want to punch people in the face when they start whining about me “trying to force the burden of proof” on them.

5. Jesus would not punch those people in the face. I need to be more like Jesus.

Let me explain the Burden of Proof. I’ve touched on this before, but it is worth repeating.

Burden of Proof simply means you have the burden- i.e. responsibility- to prove- i.e. offer evidence & arguments for- whatever it is you have stated to be a fact. It does not matter WHAT you have stated as a fact, or if you are saying the fact is something IS or IS NOT. If you have said of ANYTHING, “This is TRUE” then you have, by the act of making that declaration, assumed the burden of proof.

And the reason is simple. When you say, “THIS is TRUE,” then you are offering the subtext behind why you believe it to be true, and there are only two options.

A. You have been persuaded by the evidence/your experience/ a trusted authority/ etc.

B. You’re an emotional nut job who is Coo Coo for CoCo Puffs.

In short, you have a reason to believe it, or you believe it without reason. Now, I will accept the fact that we do not always remember the valid reasons we have for believing something to be true. I will say with confidence that it took the astronauts four days to reach the moon, but I could not begin to recall where I learned that. I leaned it from some trusted authority, and thus I feel reasonable in believing it. However, since I don’t recall the origin of my belief, I lack confidence in the fact and would not argue about it. I’d just surf over to Nasa.gov and look it up. But then I’d spend the next hour looking at pictures from the Cassini Mission, so I won’t do it now. And I’d probably see if there is any news from the Jade Rabbit mission. And did we just start orbiting a COMET? How cool is that?!?! But I digress.

The Burden of Proof if a very simple thing. So why does the Twitter Atheist fear it so much that he is willing to make a spectacle of himself trying to doge it? I strongly suspect that it is because there are no TRUE atheists. Everyone knows that God is real, but some really don’t like the fact that he is there. Its like when you’ve borrowed a friend’s sweet convertible Mustang GT for the weekend, and you really REALLY want to see how fast it can go, for roughly an hour and a half. If you can’t SEE the cops, then eventually you can talk yourself into believing they aren’t there. But that nagging thought is always in the back of your head. I haven’t seen a cop in MILES… but what if there is one I can’t see up ahead? You just make the choice of the will to say THERE ARE NO COPS OUT HERE! and you speed along. You crank the tunes! You put your shades on! You PUT THE TOP DOWN! WHOOOOOO HOOOO!!!!!

But I suspect that there is no amount of bravado, cynicism, or even present pleasure which can fully remove from the atheist the reminder that, if they die tonight, tomorrow they wake up in hell. Sirens and lights are the LEAST of your worries. So we tell our girlfriend to shut up when she says we’re driving too fast. We purposely don’t look at the speed limit signs. IF this imagined cop pulls us over, we can argue innocence on the grounds of ignorance. IF there was a speed limit, why weren’t we given more evidence? There should have been HUGE signs everywhere! If YOU were the Department of Transportation, you would have back-lit billboards with the speed limit AND the price of a speeding ticket on them.  But since there are no such billboards, then obviously there are probably no police out here. Or a Department of Transportation.

When an Atheist tries to defend the position of Atheism, they must quickly descend into mindless emotional ranting, or quickly discover that they cannot defend their position. If you can’t do A. and you don’t want to do B. then the only choice left is to simply doge the question. When I asked a Twit about his Atheist Beliefs- he immediately started ranting that I ought not force the burden of proof onto him, and then complained that I had not given any evidence for MY beliefs! Since we were talking about what it means to be an atheist, I naturally had NOT given any evidence to support Christianity, since that would have been weird even if I did have more than 180 characters.

“What logically follows from your starting position of Atheism? and here is the Kalaam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God…”

Now, this guy’s twit name is “The People’s Atheist.” He’s got “Atheist” as PART OF HIS NAME. He was one of the people who tried to take me to task for defining “Atheist” to mean “atheist” instead of “Agnostic.” I’ve recently gotten some clarification about this attitude from a youtube channel which spends lots of time making fun of people like this, including one guy who calls himself “Non-Stamp Collector.” I’ve heard of him before, but I’d never given his name any thought because there are a lot of people on the net with stupid names. There’s some guy who calls himself “CrazyPills.” But it seems that the name “Non-Stamp Collector refers to one of these new definitions for “Atheist.” The claim is, Atheism is to Theism what Not stamp collecting is to Stamp Collecting. It’s just NOT. Its not a thing, its a lack of thing.

As I’ve said before, this is wrong for lots of reasons. First, because Atheist has always meant “Atheist,” and if you take that name away from that group and try to apply it to others, then we have no name by which to call the “atheists.” Second, I think the fact that this is  a load of used diaper is evident from the fact that these guys NAME themselves this. They put it in their bios on Twitter and their blogs. They make videos about it on youtube. Yet, NONE of these self-declared atheists includes the fact that they don’t collect stamps (Or watch televised golf, or what have you) in their bio. The People’s Atheist is not a self-described “Person who doesn’t watch reruns of Gilmore Girls,” and I can say with some confidence that he does not spend a lot of time on line harassing those people who eat pizza toppings he does not eat. He is the “PEOPLE’S ATHEIST” and he harasses Christians, attacks them for their beliefs, and then he claims that HE HAS NO BURDEN OF PROOF. I don’t know who he thinks he’s fooling, but it’s not me.

He kept pretending that he didn’t HAVE a position and thus he has nothing to prove. So he would make incendiary statements about how MY beliefs were ridiculous and refuse to explain what he meant. He insisted that ONLY I Had the burden of proof but wouldn’t explain why. He tried to justify it by insisting that he doesn’t have to prove everything he doesn’t believe. Like aliens and leprechauns and Big Foot. I explained that, if he can’t prove that they don’t exist, then he can only claim to be agnostic about them. He can’t say, with REASON, that they DO NOT EXIST. He tried to pull a fast one on me and demanded to know if I believe there is a teapot orbiting the moon. Apparently that’s a thing- the space tea pot. Naturally, I said, I cannot say WITH REASON that there is not, as I have no evidence or arguments against it. I would be agnostic on this tea pot. After all, there have been British Astronauts in space, have there not? And if there have, then there is a chance, no matter how slight, that there is a tea pot somewhere in space as well. I would be the Teapot’s Agnostic.

He didn’t even respond to that. I thought it was really clever. But NOTHING from this guy. What’s it take?

As is typical in these conversations, he changed the subject (over and over and over) and asked if I feel the need to PROVE that other gods don’t exist. After all, if he needs to PROVE the real God isn’t there, doesn’t that mean I have to prove that all those other gods aren’t there? So I said, HEY! Don’t you go shoving the burden of proof on me! You pull that and I am ENDING this conversation!

HA HA! I’m kidding of course. But imagine if I had said that. Maybe next time I’ll try it. What I said was, “By proving Jesus is God/the Bible is true, I AM proving those other gods don’t exist, just as when I say 2+2=4 I am ALSO saying 2+2 is NOT 7, 13, 128, etc…”

I explained that, if he is claiming atheism true, or Christianity false (Or ridiculous or less probable, etc), he HAS the burden of proof already. I can’t foist on him what is already his. This got him all upset, and he insisted that I have the burden of proof- NOT HIM- because I am asserting the more ridiculous position. Of course, I explained that this was a statement of HIS position, not mine, and why does he feel my position to be the more ridiculous? Once again he whined about the burden of proof and refused to answer. After a few rounds of this, he started threatening to end the conversation, so I did it for him. Twitter has a magical button called MUTE which makes the whining go away. I wish I had that in real life.

So I guess the take away from all of this is for the Christian Church. OWN that burden of proof you guys! When you say JESUS IS LORD, then be able to explain what you mean, and answer questions, and defend the bible! (Keep in mind that they already KNOW God is there, but many just REALLY don’t want to hear it.) Don’t cower into sad, 6th grade debate tactics like these guys do, and don’t let them get away with it! If they say faith in God is ridiculous, demand they explain WHY! But ALSO be prepared to explain why it is REASONABLE. HAVE the answers, and share them! With love and kindness of course. If someone asks you a question you can’t answer, say, GOOD QUESTION! I’ll get back to you on that! And if they’re a real jerk and spend all 180 of their characters on calling you names, but hit that MUTE button and enjoy the silence. Or better yet, get off of Twitter and go outside. But if you go for a drive, mind the speed limit. The cops are there, whether you can see them or not.

FYI: This web site says the moon walkers got there on their 4th day of travel but REALLY early into it, so you could say, just over three days. Eh. I was close.

About rentafriend2000
Rocking my 40's with a heart full of love and muffins, science and technology. Jesus loves me and wants me to totally rock! And I am here to help.

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