Burden Of Proof

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Both the photograph and the text on this page have been contributed by a special guest. I think it is definitely one to read and think about!

When atheists argue with Christians about the existence of God, they often assume that the burden of proof is on the Christian. It is up to the believer to prove that God is not simply an imaginary friend in the sky. To the atheist, the non-existence of an invisible being, sitting on a cloud surrounded by angels with harps is a self-evident fact, so the Christian’s counter-argument had better be a good one.

There are several flaws in the typical atheist’s argument. Firstly, many atheists are too lazy to research what Christians actually believe, and rely on hearsay. The fallacy that Christians think that when they die they will go to heaven to become angels is an example. Furthermore, some atheists dismiss the Bible without having studied it, even superficially.

Secondly, even if they have little knowledge of science themselves, they happily assume that science and Christianity are at loggerheads. Many scientists also believe this to be true, though in their case it is not ignorance of science, but ignorance of Christianity that obscures their judgement.

Thirdly, high-profile atheist authors cynically rely on the general public’s lack of detailed knowledge of both science and religion in order to make their sweeping condemnation of religion sound reasoned and plausible.

Suppose we argue that for once, in the interests of fairness, the burden of proof be shifted to the atheist. They themselves have no time for “faith”, but isn't the assertion that there is no Creator a huge leap of faith on their part? What evidence do they have to support this?

Isn’t it rather arrogant to give credit to particular scientists by naming laws of science after them, for example Newton’s Laws, or Boyle’s Law, without reflecting that these laws had been in existence for thousands of millions of years before they were discovered and named by human beings?

When you gaze at a rainbow and admire its beautiful colours, it shouldn’t be forgotten that these colours would not be there if it were not for the precise laws of physics governing electromagnetic radiation (light) and molecular structures (water droplets) and the fantastically efficient and precise structure of the human eye and brain. Isn't the burden of proof on the atheist to demonstrate without doubt that there is no Design behind the universe?

Finally, most scientists are in agreement that around 15,000,000,000 B.C. (Before Christ), or 15,000,000,000 B.C.E. (Before Christian Era / Before Common Era, depending on your viewpoint) the entire universe came into being at one particular point in space and time. The first verse of Genesis states “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. There's no contradiction, yet some people say science and Christianity are incompatible!