View Full Version : For Montalban: Standards of proof

April 25th, 2005, 08:44 AM
In another thread, Monty has asked for some standards of proof and has mistakenly stated that non-theists often demand so-called "physical" proof of god. Such is not the case. Why don't we set some ground rules:

Rule number 1) The burden of proof is upon the claiment.
It's fallacious to state, "X is real. I offer no proof. If you disagree that X is real, it's responsibility to prove it."
Thus, we understand that theists claiming their particular god exists are burdened with proving such a claim.

Rule number 2) Claims require proof.

Rule number 3) The proof much match the claim.
This is where a lot of theists (Monty included) get tripped up. We're not asking for so-called "physical" proof. We're asking for proof that directly corresponds with the claims being made. To understand this fully, let's take the following claim as an example:

"I saw someone talking on a radio."

The words "I saw" indicate that we are examining an eyewitness account. We must then ask, what is the eyewitness stating? Is the eyewitness reliable? If not, are there multiuple witnesses who saw the same phenomenon?

Even if we have multiple eyewitnesses who see an event and all their stories match, that's great, but what have we proven?

We have only proven that multiple people saw the same thing. But what did they see?

Eyewitness accounts can only be used as evidence of events that are already proven. For an event that is unproven, we need an additional level of proof. So, if we had no idea what a radio was, we would need the additional proof of say... holding a long distance conversation in real time via walkie-talkie.

So, no, Monty. No one is demanding "physical" proof. We're simple a little tired of hearing you make a claim and then backpeddle when it turns out there's no proof for it.

May 2nd, 2005, 04:32 AM
I think, Zhav, that you may be barking up the wrong tree.

The Atheist is the one who demands proof. That's why he's an Athiest.

The Theist does not need proof, he has Faith. That's why he's a Theist.

The reason these debates are confusing and fruitless (no disrespect to FruitandNut) is that both groups are discussing different concepts as if they are the same. Obviously, the Theist's Standard of Proof is different than the Atheist's. Not so much different in the definition, but rather in the application. For you to get a Theist to accept your concept of standard of proof, both in definition and application, would require that they become Athiests as well. I doubt this will happen.

PerVi: The point of this thread was to address Montalban's argumentation. The other thread went something like this:

Monty: "X is true."
Zhav: " Do you have any proof for X?"
Monty: "What will you accept as proof?"
Zhav: "The proof must match / directly correspond to the claim."
Monty: "Ah, clearly you are demanding physical proof."
Zhav: "Not what I said at all. See my other post [this thread]."

Theist or atheist matters not: it is still the case that claims require proof and that proof must directly correspond to the claim.

May 3rd, 2005, 03:43 AM
Apparently, when Monty mispells my name, it's okay, but when I mispell his name, it's a stoning offense. The guy needs thicker skin.

May 3rd, 2005, 06:14 AM
Okay Zhav, I'm running circles in my mind tryin to figure this out. You say the proof must match the claim right? I can understand that, agree with it, all that jazz. BUT, when it comes to God, WHAT would you consider proof? I can't seem to define anything outside the realm of physical proof. Even if God walked down here on earth, crapped into a bag and it was gold, all that would still be physical.

The question that you and Monty are so keen on asking is "What will you accept as proof?" Over and over I heard it from him. The answer I gave him is the same one I'll give you: the proof must directly correspond to the claim.

It's not my job to make blanket statements about what proof I will or will not accept. It's up to the calimant to support their claim(s) by presenting proof.

If you make an extra-ordinary claim, but are unable to supply any extra-ordinary proof, then your claim is unproven... and in a closed world model, an extra-ordinary claim that is unproven is equivalent to being false.

So, once again, what proof do you have?

Plus, just thought of this, if anyone else, sorry I didn't notice. The burden of proof in gay marriage lies on the affirmative, the supporters of gay marriage. ;)

Agreed. Fortunately for the pro-gay rights side, we have precedent backing us up with such facts as Loving vs. Virginia, the growing acceptance of gays in popular culture, etc. We have given reasons why changing the definition of marriage is not harmful to hetero couples, reasoning why gays are not harmful to society, and reasons why denying gays the right to marry is unjust.

Everything that comes back is either junk "science", junk sociology, or boils down to "we just don't like gays".

May 3rd, 2005, 06:53 AM
HellifIknow. I'm not the one claiming God exists. But consider this, a theists says the universe existing is proof, you deny it, a theist points out how complicated something is, you deny it, and so on. EVERY time they offer what might be considered proof, you deny it. It's difficult to offer proof when you won't explain what supernatural proof might be.

I don't deny it just to deny it ( *coughs* browning *coughs*). I deny it because what they are offering has alternate natural explanations, logical flaws or both. In effect, they're saying...

"Hey Zhav, I have this supernatural claim and a whole bunch of phenomenon with natural explanations to use as proof."

Is it any wonder their arguments fall flat / unproven?

Besides, like I said, if GOd itself took a crap in a bag and gave it to you, and that crap had turned into gold, that would still be physical, rest within the natural world, and hence be natural. As Acquinas said, "something about miracles don't challenge nature, only what we know about nature."

Acquinas never saw any CGI effects. If god took a golden crap in a bag and gave it to me then god would be creating gold from nothing which violates the laws of reality. That would be super-natural proof. If the crap turned from gold back to crap and vice versa / back and forth every so often by magic, that would be super-natural proof.

In fact, it's not hard to conceive of super-natural proof. We hear about it all the time in the OT and a little in the NT, but since nothing like that happens today... well, without proof, they're just over-embelished stories.

Consider: god never had any trouble revealing himself to folks... until we got smart enough to know better. :P

May 3rd, 2005, 09:57 AM
It would only be supernatural proof if God alone was the one that could do it. But if he did it, and then along down the road, we evolved and WE could do it too, it would seize to be supernatural, in fact, it could be argued at that point that it wasn't God, just a deranged evolved person getting a giggle from a doody.

Yes Hyde, you're right: if we all suddenly became omni-potent, omni-benevolent, and omniscient, then being tri-omni wouldn't be so out of the ordinary anymore.

Your point?

History channel offered an explanation on that. IF you believe the bible, then, and they worked this out not me, you could see that the REAL final battle between heaven and hell took place when Jesus was crucified, after that, the war was over, so there was no need for angels and daemons to appear, no more miracles or anything because we don't need them anymore. I think I remember that right. Sort of like, Good won, so now we're simply basking in the afterglow of it all. We've been saved, so there's no need to try and convince us otherwise anymore.

Except that scriptures don't support that. Haven't you read what Montalban has been posting? Satan is alive and well and protecting Islam.

And just maybe, just MAYBE, Jesus wasn't the son of God, but the next step of human evolution, and all the miracles he performed are completely natural acts after all. Maybe there are no supernatural claims. *points to Improbability Drive*

I'm going to fedex you one of these:


You can use it to swat away those pesky IFM's...

May 3rd, 2005, 11:18 AM
My point is that what you call supernatural, I call improbable, unlikely, and viewed as impossible by many until proven, when proven, it seizes to be impossible, and BECAUSE it's proven, there's room for it to become more common, as it does, it is no longer supernatural. NOTHING is supernatural. People used to think the forest at night was supernatural. People used to think that the Moores were evil magicians because they used medicine and black powder. NOTHING is supernatural.

*puts on Star Wars Emperor robes*

Your training is not yet complete, young Hydewalker. If you only knew the POWER of the Dark Side of Logic. Do you think it's wise to wait around for the Moores to manifest magical powers? Do you think the forest really is magic? No! You've come this far, but you still haven't grasped the full explanation: All extra-ordinary claims are unproven until evidence is provided for them. So you see you are right: NOTHING is super-natural and nothing super-natural exists.

May 3rd, 2005, 12:11 PM
Hydewalker? It's Obi Hyde Kenobi! And you've misread the view. It is true that nothing supernatural exists. But who says God is or ever WAS supernatural? If it exists, it's natural. Commonality withstanding, God isn't NORMAL, but if it exists, it's natural.

Meh... you can say that about ANY god including ones whose existence contradict one another. (like Zues and the Christian god)

Look, you're always going to be able to overlay "what if" levels of reality over our own. We could be brains in a matrix who are in reality brains in ANOTHER matrix and so on. What's important is what we can prove.

God cannot be proven and the claims surrounding his existence are outlandishly unsupportable.

May 4th, 2005, 04:23 AM
They don't contradict. Remember one of the ten laws Moses brings? Something to the effect of, "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me." NOTE, God doesn't say he is the ONLY god, only that you should worship OVER and BEFORE all others. ;)


Yeah... cuz the Genesis myth compliments the Greek creation myth so well...