Monday, March 2, 2015

The Burden of Probability

If you claim something is true and intend to convince others, you have the burden of proof.

If you claim something is likely and intend to convince others, you have the burden of probability.

A strong theist, one who claims God exists, would have the burden of proof when engaged in debate. A strong atheist, on who claims God does not exist, would also have the burden of proof when engaged in debate.

A weak theist or atheist, those who claim the existence of God is likely or not likely, has the burden of probability when engaged in debate.

Weak theists and strong atheists are rarer breeds than strong theists and weak atheists, so it is accurate to say that it's more common for theists to have a more rigorous burden on their hands.

There is no inherent burden to any personal belief, just don't expect it to be meaningful to anyone else without accepting the burden to satisfy reasonable skepticism when engaged in argument.


  1. More and more often, I'm seeing theists simply refusing to produce any evidence or credible explanation for their beliefs, using the extremely childish "I just don't have to tell you" statement. They know they've got nothing, they simply don't care, they're going to continue to push their beliefs and anyone who asks too many questions will simply be ignored.

  2. I agree with Cephus here, a lot of theists just say "you know its true". It really is the easy bait for me to get into an argument as its just so weak, although I probably should not as these theists are in a way a lost cause.

    Also, I believe as a strong atheist on some gods that I have to have a basis to build my argument and I use the religious texts of these religions as this basis. If they disagree then their religion/god is already failed and so my position is upheld.

    1. The problem is, theists don't want to debate, they just want to spew their nonsense unchallenged. As far as they're concerned, they have the truth and nothing anyone says will change it. They know they have nothing, they just "feel" they are right. All of this "I'm not going to tell you" and "I have proof but you wouldn't believe it anyhow so I won't tell you what it is", all of that is just childish, immature, irrational nonsense. It gets in the way of their only goal, spreading the meme.

    2. I don't want to generalize, but it's safe to say they don't seek out debate like atheists tend to.

    3. No, they actually do. Hardcore theists flood debate forums but they don't want to debate like many atheists do, they simply want to extoll the virtues of their beliefs, which are not open to challenge. They're fast to go after people who fall outside of their religious sub-group, but when anyone comes after them, they scream discrimination and run and hide and refuse to engage. They can dish it out, they just can't take it.