The Burden of Proof
I have read a number of articles written by atheists, claiming that the burden of proof about the existence of God lies on the believer. That is believers have the responsibility of proving the existing of a God. That may be true if the belief in God was a new doctrine that had not been accepted by billions. But, belief in a God is still the predominant world view in the west with atheism being held by a minority. When a minority says the majority is incorrect, it seems this would shift the burden proof on those making the charge that the majority is wrong. Was the burden of proof in atheistic Russia and China placed on the atheists because unbelief was the acceptable ideology?
When the first Christian missionaries went into the non-Christian world, they seemed to accept that the burden of truth was on them and not on the pagans. Paganism was the established faith and Christians understood that they must prove it false and offer something more to the people. Atheism has failed to do either.
I think the real reason for atheists trying to shift the burden of proof to believers is that they have no evidence or proof for God’s nonexistence. When a man has no evidence against something, he has few options. (1) He can completely ignore the subject and act, as though he is above it and refuse to engage in any debate. (2) He can listen to his opponent and try picking apart his arguments, without ever offering any evidence for his own position. In this, his augments are based and directed at attacking the man’s arguments and the subject is somewhat ignored. (3) He can cleverly build a straw man and change the subject. The later is a favorite of atheists; they change the debate over the existence of God, to how religion is so bad and corrupt. The constant chatter of atheists about the burden of truth belonging to believers is nothing more than a diversion away from the existence of God debate, to the subject of religion, and this diversion is a clear indication that atheists have no evidence, only quibbles, assertions and suppositions.
I personally believe that faith in God is a positive affirmation, which to a believer is a self-evident truth. Self-evident truths need no evidence, they just are. Does a person have to prove scientifically that the sky is blue? If they did, they could not. The sky being blue is just a part of our human understanding at one level of awareness of reality, i.e. self-evident truth. A person does not have the responsibility or the burden of proof to justify such beliefs, as though they were in a courtroom and the only evidence which was acceptable, is science. If so, you would need a courtroom to put common sense on trial to determine what constitutes common sense and is not common sense our collective reason? So, in the end reason itself must be put on trial and how would reason defends itself?
Moreover, science itself would have to be put on trial to prove what makes up true science and to prove that it has the ultimate authority to judge. There are many things that science will never have an answer to, like why was the universe created? Why is there something and not nothing? Why some things are the way they are and not some other way. Science alone can never be the final judge of reality. When it claims finality and that its knowledge is absolute, it ceases to be science and becomes something else.
What it comes down to it, if you question what the majority considers to be self-evident truth, you should be prepared to accept the burden of proof. To expect otherwise is pure folly.