August 9, 2010

Never Forget the Burden of Proof

mormonsAddressing the always fascinating subject of Mormonism, Craig James (The Religion Virus) reminds us that the central issue whenever matters of religious belief are involved is the burden of proof. We atheists have absolutely zero burden of proof. We are not the ones making claims about the nature of reality. The burden of proof lies with the believer who insists that some sort of god or gods exist, created the universe, are intimately involved in the affairs of humans (so much so that they evidently care a great deal about what we do in the privacy of our own bedrooms), desire certain things from us, and so on.

As you have probably already figured out, what James says of Mormons is true for all proponents of religion:
Mormonism makes a staggering number of amazing claims that defy both common sense and the historical and archaeological records. It is up to the Mormons to prove that there is a reasonable, plausible explanation for every one of them.
Have the Mormons met their burden of proof? Not hardly. The Muslims? Nope. The Catholics? Of course not. The mainline Protestants? Not even close.

We atheists don't need to argue unless we just really enjoy doing so for some reason. We can simply wait for the requisite proof. I don't know about you, but I'd be happy to believe should evidence sufficient to substantiate each and every religious claim arrive. Of course, this would render faith obsolete because religion would then become rational.
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