Recommended Posts

I can appreciate both points of view at this time.  But what I am looking for is the logical basis of extraordinary.  

So far, I have come to the point of acknowledging that the term extraordinary is subjective.  

I also have come to the point of acknowledging that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence(or whatever other term you would like to insert instead of evidence).  This leaves me at the point of needing to understand fully who has the burden of understanding, the person making the claim or the person listening.  I think for this part, I use the analogy of a foreigner being arrested but not being able to understand the language of the arresting officer.  Is it the officer's obligation to find a way to make him/herself understood, or is the the person being arrested's obligation to figure out what the officer means?  I tend toward the first.  

So, does the burden of understanding evidence fall unto the listener or the teller, and does the term in question(proof) become subjective at that point?  Who's point of view in terms of what proof is becomes more important when discussing evidence?  I see a tree with rings in it that predate the alleged creation of the world, and I consider that ample evidence to suggest that the bible is flawed.  Another person would look at the same evidence and interpret it as God's way of testing us by having created that ring in the tree in such a manner as to make us have possible doubts, a test of faith of sorts(I have heard that exact argument).  The evidence is the same no matter who is viewing it:  A tree with more rings than the bible claims years.  Then there is the subjectivity of time, and biblical interpretation.  Is a day a year, a month, what?  Each person has their own idea, but who's evidence matters?

I think, and this is my own opinion of the subject, that the burden lies on the person trying to convince someone else.  If I try to convince Dan that that tree really does predate creation according the bible, then I need to be able to back up that positive assertion.  The way to do that is to demonstrate via the way the world has been observed to work that tree rings grow a specific manner, etc...but in the end, the burden of convincing him falls to me because I made the assertion.  If he chooses not to believe me, that is my failing and not his.  On the same note, if Dan tries to convince me that God is real and the bible is evidence, the burden of understanding would be his, the same as the burden of proof.  It falls on him at the point he makes the positive assertion to convince me, not the other way around.  The same as if I had said I had a peanut butter sandwich...if the person I am talking to doesn't believe me and asks for proof, it doesn't fall on THEM to somehow garner the information and believe me, simply because the claim isn't that fantastic and so should be believable.  It becomes incumbent to me to prove the claim, or determine that the claim isn't worth the effort to prove.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mererdog   
16 hours ago, cuchulain said:

I think and this is my own opinion of the subject, that the burden lies on the person trying to convince someone else. 

If you need to know something, is it my burden to make sure you know it? If a student refuses to learn, is that the teachers fault?

Communication is a cooperative endeavor. No one person can bear the burden alone. All involved have to make an effort to be understood. All involved have to make an effort to understand the other. Ideally, all involved assist one another in understanding and being understood.

It's a shared burden, you see? 

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, mererdog said:

If you need to know something, is it my burden to make sure you know it? If a student refuses to learn, is that the teachers fault?

Communication is a cooperative endeavor. No one person can bear the burden alone. All involved have to make an effort to be understood. All involved have to make an effort to understand the other. Ideally, all involved assist one another in understanding and being understood.

It's a shared burden, you see? 

I have already concluded, for myself, that the evidence for God is lacking.  There is nothing further to achieve.  I'm satisfied.  If someone else is not satisfied with this -- it is not my problem.

It is for the believer to either let it go -- which is my preference -- or else show me something that is not a waste of my time.    I'm done with requests to pray.  I am not interested in a hypnotic induction.  I am tired of being told to search the Scriptures.  I've searched.  I'm tired of being told that belief is a choice.  So is mental illness.  I'm tired of terrorist threats of eternal damnation.  I so despise bullies.  I'm tired of appeals to First Cause.  As though that has anything to do with the God of Scripture.  I'm done.

I am not playing hard to get.  I'm done with the search.  I'm not looking.  I don't care.  By the numbers:

1.  I am Agnostic.  I don't know.

2.  I am Atheist.  I don't believe.

3.  I am Apatheist.  I don't care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mererdog   
18 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I have already concluded, for myself, that the evidence for God is lacking.  .

Having already convinced yourself that it is impossible that you missed something, and that there is therefore no chance that you are lacking critical information needed to interpret the evidence? No chance of hubris there...

You say it is up to the believer to show you something that is not a waste of your time, but what could they show you without wasting their's? Because you aren't exactly talking like you have the sort of open mind that is able to look at new evidence fairly.

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mererdog   
On 4/1/2017 at 0:49 PM, cuchulain said:

  It becomes incumbent to me to prove the claim, or determine that the claim isn't worth the effort to prove.

A third and more common version has people deciding that any evidence shown will simply be rejected out of hand. That the other side isn't really listening, you know? This is that point where evidence stops being used as a way to try to convince others, and is only used as a weapon by people trying to make the other side look stupid. 

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, mererdog said:

Having already convinced yourself that it is impossible that you missed something, and that there is therefore no chance that you are lacking critical information needed to interpret the evidence? No chance of hubris there...

You say it is up to the believer to show you something that is not a waste of your time, but what could they show you without wasting their's? Because you aren't exactly talking like you have the sort of open mind that is able to look at new evidence fairly.

Of course I could have missed something.  I am still open to new evidence.  Sad to say, all I ever get to look at is the same miserable warmed over crap, repeated endlessly.  It is good to have an open mind.  Not so open that the brain falls out.

A side issue is the people presenting the arguments.  I have to say arguments because they have no evidence.  People who put everything on faith and belief and disdain evidence, lack credibility.  When they are clearly motivated by fear, this also lessens their credibility.  Likewise, when they are ignorant and incapable of coherent or critical thinking.

I will admit to one strong bias.  When the opening line is -- Prove there is no God --  or -- Prove to me that God doesn't exist -- they have already lost me.  They have nothing to say that I want to hear.  They can't even define the god that they believe in or demonstrate that it exists.  I'm supposed to disprove it.  The sad thing is -- the vast bulk of religious discourse is on that level.

When I do find intelligence -- Hermano Luis comes to mind as a prime example --  Or Brother Kaman -- I have no difficulty in saying -- "Maybe.".

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, mererdog said:

Having already convinced yourself that it is impossible that you missed something, and that there is therefore no chance that you are lacking critical information needed to interpret the evidence? No chance of hubris there...

You say it is up to the believer to show you something that is not a waste of your time, but what could they show you without wasting their's? Because you aren't exactly talking like you have the sort of open mind that is able to look at new evidence fairly.

I have been wondering why I have to always be the one to worry about being fair.  There comes a point where I have to use my judgement, weight the available evidence and reach a conclusion.  At least, a tentative conclusion.  Much like science.

I have reached it.  There is no reason to take the idea of God seriously.

Christians come to a point where they have to accept or reject the claims of Islam.  Jews come to a point where they have to accept or reject the claims of Christianity.  Agnostics and Atheists come to a point where they have to accept or reject the claims about God.  I'm there and I'm done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Judgement occurs.  That does not mean that all judgement is bad.  Bias occurs. I also think that not all bias is bad.  Whether I am biased or not, I can still rationally view the evidence presented to me about any particular topic and determine whether I believe the evidence or not.  Something like the bible, I need to see a little more evidence.  That's because the things that are in that book are things that I have never heard of happening anywhere else, things like talking animals.  But the evidence presented needs to be from a credible source.  I don't believe in Mr. Ed, you know?  That's because the source fully acknowledges that it is fiction.  Some sources, especially when debating religion, start off asking how you know for sure.  That means, to me, that they admittedly DON'T know for sure...but they want me to believe them anyway.  Like Johnathan said, a lot of sources are based on fear.  They fear the almighty, and by God we better too!  Or, even if they come across as reasonable, they fear that maybe they are wrong and so are trying to prove themselves right.  Not a good position to be in, when attempting to convince someone else of your credibility.  Maybe they are in it for the money, I have heard of the evangelist tv guys that rip people off.  Maybe they are keeping their cover simply for the profit(not prophet).  

In the end, the burden of course lies on the person trying to convince me.  If it were partially on me, that would win them half the battle.  It would also win ME half the battle in convincing them.  No...I don't have a burden when it comes to listening to a sales pitch.  At least, other than reasonably determining on my own whether I believe it or not.  I don't have to accept any evidence presented to me without testing it for myself.  Maybe they photoshopped that angel in the picture, you know?  And as for testimony, eye witness reporting is no where near as reliable as people seem to think, statistically.  Why should ancient people be any different from modern?  Why does age of testimony seem to lend it credibility?  If someone tells me they were walking down the street and man, this bush, like totally caught on fire and started talking, you know man?  I wouldn't buy it.  Sorry.  Not without something more substantial that Cheech's word for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, cuchulain said:

Judgement occurs.  That does not mean that all judgement is bad.  Bias occurs. I also think that not all bias is bad.  Whether I am biased or not, I can still rationally view the evidence presented to me about any particular topic and determine whether I believe the evidence or not.  Something like the bible, I need to see a little more evidence.  That's because the things that are in that book are things that I have never heard of happening anywhere else, things like talking animals.  But the evidence presented needs to be from a credible source.  I don't believe in Mr. Ed, you know?  That's because the source fully acknowledges that it is fiction.  Some sources, especially when debating religion, start off asking how you know for sure.  That means, to me, that they admittedly DON'T know for sure...but they want me to believe them anyway.  Like Johnathan said, a lot of sources are based on fear.  They fear the almighty, and by God we better too!  Or, even if they come across as reasonable, they fear that maybe they are wrong and so are trying to prove themselves right.  Not a good position to be in, when attempting to convince someone else of your credibility.  Maybe they are in it for the money, I have heard of the evangelist tv guys that rip people off.  Maybe they are keeping their cover simply for the profit(not prophet).  

In the end, the burden of course lies on the person trying to convince me.  If it were partially on me, that would win them half the battle.  It would also win ME half the battle in convincing them.  No...I don't have a burden when it comes to listening to a sales pitch.  At least, other than reasonably determining on my own whether I believe it or not.  I don't have to accept any evidence presented to me without testing it for myself.  Maybe they photoshopped that angel in the picture, you know?  And as for testimony, eye witness reporting is no where near as reliable as people seem to think, statistically.  Why should ancient people be any different from modern?  Why does age of testimony seem to lend it credibility?  If someone tells me they were walking down the street and man, this bush, like totally caught on fire and started talking, you know man?  I wouldn't buy it.  Sorry.  Not without something more substantial that Cheech's word for it.

A bias is not necessarily a bad thing. All a bias is, is a preference. Talking animals are one of the easiest parts of the Bible for me to believe. If I am not mistaken, the  Bible did not specify a verbal exchange. I speak and listen to many animals but neither them nor me are much verbal and none have spoken to me in my tongue yet we understand each other. Now, re - animating the dead, that is a hard one to swallow. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, cuchulain said:

Judgement occurs.  That does not mean that all judgement is bad.  Bias occurs. I also think that not all bias is bad.  Whether I am biased or not, I can still rationally view the evidence presented to me about any particular topic and determine whether I believe the evidence or not.  Something like the bible, I need to see a little more evidence.  That's because the things that are in that book are things that I have never heard of happening anywhere else, things like talking animals.  But the evidence presented needs to be from a credible source.  I don't believe in Mr. Ed, you know?  That's because the source fully acknowledges that it is fiction.  Some sources, especially when debating religion, start off asking how you know for sure.  That means, to me, that they admittedly DON'T know for sure...but they want me to believe them anyway.  Like Johnathan said, a lot of sources are based on fear.  They fear the almighty, and by God we better too!  Or, even if they come across as reasonable, they fear that maybe they are wrong and so are trying to prove themselves right.  Not a good position to be in, when attempting to convince someone else of your credibility.  Maybe they are in it for the money, I have heard of the evangelist tv guys that rip people off.  Maybe they are keeping their cover simply for the profit(not prophet).  

In the end, the burden of course lies on the person trying to convince me.  If it were partially on me, that would win them half the battle.  It would also win ME half the battle in convincing them.  No...I don't have a burden when it comes to listening to a sales pitch.  At least, other than reasonably determining on my own whether I believe it or not.  I don't have to accept any evidence presented to me without testing it for myself.  Maybe they photoshopped that angel in the picture, you know?  And as for testimony, eye witness reporting is no where near as reliable as people seem to think, statistically.  Why should ancient people be any different from modern?  Why does age of testimony seem to lend it credibility?  If someone tells me they were walking down the street and man, this bush, like totally caught on fire and started talking, you know man?  I wouldn't buy it.  Sorry.  Not without something more substantial that Cheech's word for it.

Used car sales men also like to ask their prey, what it would take to convince them to buy.  This is the time to walk away.

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

A bias is not necessarily a bad thing. All a bias is, is a preference. Talking animals are one of the easiest parts of the Bible for me to believe. If I am not mistaken, the  Bible did not specify a verbal exchange. I speak and listen to many animals but neither them nor me are much verbal and none have spoken to me in my tongue yet we understand each other. Now, re - animating the dead, that is a hard one to swallow. 

In the Gospels, during the Crucifixion, the tombs open and the dead walk among the living.  Just a normal day in Jerusalem.  No outside source thinks that this is worth mentioning.

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dan56   
5 hours ago, cuchulain said:

In the end, the burden of course lies on the person trying to convince me.  If it were partially on me, that would win them half the battle.  It would also win ME half the battle in convincing them.  No...I don't have a burden when it comes to listening to a sales pitch. 

There's really not a burden to convince anyone of anything. The gospel is what it is, and every individual chooses to believe it or not. A person who believes in God can no more convince a non-believer to believe than a nonbeliever can convince a believer that there is no God. The existence or nonexistence of God can not be definitively established in the absence of direct tangible evidence, so no sales pitch is persuasive. A person who believes doesn't feel burdened to convince others, but rather an obligation to share what they believe, especially when they're questioned about it. We all choose to believe something, even if its nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mererdog   
12 hours ago, cuchulain said:

 If it were partially on me, that would win them half the battle.

A conversation does not have to be a contest.

Imagine that there is a tiger in your bedroom and I am trying to convince you of that fact before you go to bed. To say the burden of proof is on me is to abdicate personal responsibility for your own safety. After all, if you don't believe me, you are going to get mauled and maybe killed, but I will be fine. So maybe it behooves you to put a little effort into figuring out if I am right, above and beyond listening to the evidence that I find convincing. Because my ability to prove a claim has nothing to do with the claim's ability to be true, right?

Similarly, if you assume the salesman has the burden of proof, you abdicate personal responsibility for making smart purchasing decisions. Because if the salesman fails to convince you to take what is objectively your better deal, the salesman is not the only one who loses.

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, mererdog said:

A conversation does not have to be a contest.

Imagine that there is a tiger in your bedroom and I am trying to convince you of that fact before you go to bed. To say the burden of proof is on me is to abdicate personal responsibility for your own safety. After all, if you don't believe me, you are going to get mauled and maybe killed, but I will be fine. So maybe it behooves you to put a little effort into figuring out if I am right, above and beyond listening to the evidence that I find convincing. Because my ability to prove a claim has nothing to do with the claim's ability to be true, right?

Similarly, if you assume the salesman has the burden of proof, you abdicate personal responsibility for making smart purchasing decisions. Because if the salesman fails to convince you to take what is objectively your better deal, the salesman is not the only one who loses.

This is getting silly.  Is someone warning me that God exists?  Or is the warning about Hell Fire?  Maybe savage unicorns or vicious fairies?  Santa Claus?  Bigfoot?  Dracula?  The Reptilians? Dangerous space aliens?  Poltergeists?  A tiger in my bedroom?  There comes a point -- screw it.

 As to the salesman with the better deal -- I routinely hang up on telemarketers.  No deal is worth putting up with them.

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Dan56 said:

There's really not a burden to convince anyone of anything. The gospel is what it is, and every individual chooses to believe it or not. A person who believes in God can no more convince a non-believer to believe than a nonbeliever can convince a believer that there is no God. The existence or nonexistence of God can not be definitively established in the absence of direct tangible evidence, so no sales pitch is persuasive. A person who believes doesn't feel burdened to convince others, but rather an obligation to share what they believe, especially when they're questioned about it. We all choose to believe something, even if its nothing.

Amen Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, mererdog said:

A conversation does not have to be a contest.

Imagine that there is a tiger in your bedroom and I am trying to convince you of that fact before you go to bed. To say the burden of proof is on me is to abdicate personal responsibility for your own safety. After all, if you don't believe me, you are going to get mauled and maybe killed, but I will be fine. So maybe it behooves you to put a little effort into figuring out if I am right, above and beyond listening to the evidence that I find convincing. Because my ability to prove a claim has nothing to do with the claim's ability to be true, right?

Similarly, if you assume the salesman has the burden of proof, you abdicate personal responsibility for making smart purchasing decisions. Because if the salesman fails to convince you to take what is objectively your better deal, the salesman is not the only one who loses.

Maybe you're right.  I just checked my e-mail.  There's a Nigerian drug runner who wants to make me rich.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anything can be argued.  Even what I claim I believe to be the truth can be argued.  Reference the above debate for proof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

Anything can be argued.  Even what I claim I believe to be the truth can be argued.  Reference the above debate for proof.

I agree.  We make a simple statement about not having enough of a reason to believe.  Somehow, this makes us unreasonable.  Or close minded.  Or angry.  Or what ever.  And all those stupid, ignorant questions about evolution and cosmology.

:sigh2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, cuchulain said:

Anything can be argued.  Even what I claim I believe to be the truth can be argued.  Reference the above debate for proof.

Everything must be argued. Question everything. Whatever is left is your truth. I have found that nothing is left and everything is left. It can be argued that truth does not exist and also argued that there is truth in everything. Perception makes all the difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mererdog   
22 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

This is getting silly.

You say the burden of proof is on the person making the claim, which means it is your burden to prove that claim. I notice you spending zero time proving the claim,

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now