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Someone making a positive claim bears the burden

Santa Margarita



I would like to point out to your readers that the argument in Otis Page’s Nov. 10 letter (“The burden of proof is on you, atheists”) is a logical fallacy called Argumentum ad Populum, “If many believe so, it is so.

The cultures of ancient Greece, India, and China all independently developed the belief that everything was made up of just four or five elements. Yet today, we know this to be untrue. The person making the positive claim, e.g., “God exists, and I’m 100 percent certain,” has the burden of proof and must present solid arguments and evidence.

Secondly, it is impossible to prove a negative statement, e.g., “God doesn’t exist and I’m 100 percent certain.” Nobody knows for sure that a creator god doesn’t exist, just like vampires and leprechauns or Zeus and Thor. How many of us have scoured every inch of the earth to find them? Maybe our smell or doubt keeps them at bay, or they are so small that not even an electron microscope can see them. How can we be sure?

But most of us live as though all those later things are fables and pay the warnings and tenets no mind. That is all that agnostic-atheists are doing with the beliefs of all the religions. It’s not much different than a Christian rejecting the details of Islam.

I would like to recommend reading Carl Sagan’s The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Or at least an excerpt from chapter 10, “The Dragon In My Garage,” which can be read here http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/Dragon.htm to maybe get a better idea of how a naturalist/rationalist/atheist thinks.

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