Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor: Because atheist broadcaster Dillahunty refuses to debate me again, I’ll address his claim that atheists have no burden of proof in the debate over God’s existence in this post:
In order to elide the obvious conclusion that they don’t have any good arguments, atheists claim that, in a debate, the burden of proof is always on the “yes” side, not the “no” side. Their argument is that it is difficult to prove a negative. But that is irrelevant to the question of God’s existence because both theists and atheists make positive assertions. The fundamental question is, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Theists say God is the ground of existence and atheists say Nature is the ground of existence. A negative claim by atheists — “We have no idea why there is something rather than nothing” — is a proclamation of ignorance, not an immunity idol. That is, it confers no “tribal immunity” from responsibility to provide evidence and reason in support of the view that the universe exists without God. ‘I’m ignorant’ is no substitute for a reasoned argument supported by evidence.Michael Egnor, “Theists vs. atheists: Which has the burden of proof?” at Mind Matters News
Takehome: Both atheists and theists make positive statements about the nature of the universe. If atheists shun the ensuing burden of proof, it should count against them.
Note: Here’s the debate:
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Science can and does point to God’s existence. Michael Egnor: Natural science is not at all methodologically naturalist — it routinely points to causes outside of nature. If we are to understand natural effects, we must be open to all kinds of causes, including causes that transcend nature.
The Divine Hiddenness argument against God’s existence = nonsense. God in Himself is immeasurably greater than we are, and He transcends all human knowledge. A God with whom we do not struggle — who is not in some substantial and painful way hidden to us — is not God but is a mere figment of our imagination.
Atheist Claims about logical fallacies often just mean: Shut Up! In the recent debate, Matt Dillahunty accuses theists of “the fallacy of the argument from personal incredulity” because we examine his claims and find them incredible. What atheists fear most is having to explain themselves, and the invocation of fictitious “fallacies” is one of their favorite ways to evade scrutiny.