Who Misplaced the Burden of Proof on theists?
Misplaced Burden of Proof (an atheist favourite and everyone knows they never ever claim god does not exist always those damn theists claiming he does.)
What if an atheist said: “God does not exist.” (A claim in itself… Or perhaps the ever evasive lack a belief… that that makes any difference in the real world) Then a theist says, “Sure God does” Then the atheist were to say, “Well, If you claim God exists, prove it.” How many times have I seen this lame duck argument. Atheists will scream we have a lack of belief in god theists claim god exists and go on to quote Sagan, Einstine as an appeal to authority as if either were somehow an expert on theology.
What’s happened here is tricky, and it happens often in conversations without either person realizing it. If you make a claim about something, it is on you to prove that the claim is true. What happened above is that the atheist shifted the burden of proof to the theist, when in fact it was on the atheist. You claimed that God does not exist, so it was on the atheist to do so. The theist never claimed he could prove God did exist. Never seen this argument used by atheists before have we?
This is misplacing the burden of proof. We make claims all the time about the world, and sometimes people ask us to explain how we know the claims we are making. When this happens, it is on us to explain it, not them. A common form of this argument is known as the appeal to ignorance. The appeal to ignorance basically says, “You can’t prove it’s false, so it must be true.” Or it says, “You can’t prove it’s true, so it must be false.” Again, if you make a claim that something is false, it’s on you to show how it’s false. The fact that someone else can’t prove your claim to be true doesn’t make it false. This fallacy exploits the things about the world that we don’t know.
Notice that both of the following are fallacies: “You can’t prove God doesn’t exist, so he must exist.” “You can’t prove that God does exist, so he must not exist.”
And most atheist who employ this fallacy do so without being aware it is a fallacy they believe it’s a logical conclusion to place the burden of proof on the theists.