The Burden of Proof is not on Skeptics to Disprove the Supernatural Claims of the Bible, but on Christians to Prove them




Magic: the power of apparently influencing the course of events
by using mysterious or supernatural forces.

Dear Christian,

The truth of the matter is this:  your belief system is based on magic—the powers of the supernatural intervening in the natural world. I, on the other hand, do not believe that there is any good evidence to believe that the supernatural exists.  I cannot prove that Jesus did not rise from the dead by the supernatural powers of an ancient middle-eastern god named Yahweh, but neither can I prove that leprechauns and fairies do not exist.  I choose not to believe in things that have a very, very, very low probability of being true.

The burden of proof is not on me to provide evidence that your very extraordinary, supernatural claim of a resurrected first century dead man is false, but on you—the person making the extraordinary claim—to prove that it is true. That is how it works in our culture, my friend. If I come back from a hunting trip and claim to have encountered three green, atennaed Martians, who took me as their prisoner and beamed me up to their mother ship for three days to conduct Martian experiments on my brain—society would not demand that skeptics prove my story false, they would demand that I prove my tall tale true. The same is true with claims of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and Sasquatch. The burden of proof is on the teller of the tall tale, not on skeptics.

YOU are making the very extra-ordinary supernatural claim, dear Christian.  YOU provide the evidence—convincing evidence—to prove it.

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15 thoughts on “The Burden of Proof is not on Skeptics to Disprove the Supernatural Claims of the Bible, but on Christians to Prove them

  1. Now, now, now . . . you make me repeat myself . . .

    As I said in response to your convoluted response to me in the thread down below, I have NEVER discussed you proving Jack shyte to me, and you damn well know that, or you are a liar as well as a sophomore in debate.

    For your benefit, and that of your groupies . . . below is the online address to a PDF paper produced by Harvard Business School which, with extraordinary precision, shows clearly what you do whenever you are challenged.

    Before you go trying to convert the world to whatever you believe, learn how to argue. You simply do not, which is why I still have your goat tied up out back.

    I question your ongoing fundamentalism, which you have never shed, even though your are a now professed agnostic.atheist/ whatever. What you believe is of no issue to me, but to you. I am asking you why you have failed to shed your fundamentalism in your journey. Bashing Christianity as you do, and you do! – will not rid you one whit of your fundamentalism.

    That is precisely what I asked, and it is precisely that which you will use any means to avoid answering, because you cannot answer forthrightly.

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  2. The opening sentence of the article for which you posted the above link states:

    “What happens when people try to dodge a question they would rather not answer by answering a different question?”

    This implies that you believe that I am doing just that: I am not answering your question. However, I believe that I am. I believe that I am answering your question, you just don't like my answer. I believe that the question all along has been this: Is there any good evidence to support the supernatural claim that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead three days after his public execution, was seen alive by over 500 people, and days later levitated in front of a group of his disciples into outer space?

    I say that there is no good evidence for this extra-ordinary supernatural claim; that the only evidence Christians have to support this claim is four anonymous first century books written decades after the alleged event in far away lands, and, second century hearsay.

    I have never claimed that atheism is the one and only truth. I have never claimed that there is no Creator god. I have never claimed that not believing in Jesus is a more comforting belief system than believing in Jesus. I have only claimed that Christians do not have sufficiently strong evidence to convince the average educated person living in the 21st century to accept their supernatural based belief system based on evidence, and not based on emotions and superstition (faith).

    Please demonstrate that I am dodging a question. The only question I am refusing to provide (which is not dodging as I am not being coy and attempting to avoid the question) is attempting to prove a negative: That Jesus did NOT rise from the dead, nor did any of the other supernatural events claimed in the Bible NOT occur. I cannot prove they did not occur, just as you cannot prove that I was not abducted into a Martian spaceship on my hunting trip. But, just as society does not expect you to prove that I was NOT abducted into a Martian spaceship, society does not require me to disprove your resurrected zombie story either.

    In our society, the burden of proof falls on the person making an extra-ordinary claim, not on those who doubt the veracity of the extra-ordinary claim.

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  3. I asked you none of that, and you know that! You are yet again attmepting to defelct directly answering a DIRECT QUESTION!

    WHY, AFTER YOUR DE-CONVERSION AND FINDING YOURSELF BEING WHATEVER YOU CALL YOURSELF . . .

    WHY ARE YOU SILL A FUNDAMENTALIST? Very simple question, it is all I have ever asked you, am still asking you, and you are, to this very day, avoiding, Doctor.

    Can you answer the direct question? –

    WHY ARE YOU SILL A FUNDAMENTALIST?

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  4. And I asked you, reverend, to give me specific examples of how you see me behaving as a fundamentalist. When you actually specifically point out my fundamentalist behaviors, rather than simply coping and pasting a definition from the internet, then I will address your question.

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  5. You have NOT asked me – please do ot be duplicitous . . .

    From you childhood faith (your father – I don't know), through your years in liberal Lutheranism, to your relative few years in the LCMS, it was always your opinion that had to hold sway. You trashed Bombaro, you credited Noland and then ignored his well chosen words because you had already, in typically fundamentalistic fashion, determined you were right, and he was wrong.

    You are queried about proof and certainty, AFTER you beat ay critics with the very same thing, and you revert to agnosticism – not knowing.

    You approach your present position (whatever it is – even you are incapable of describing it sans trashing Christianity (itself a sign of your new fundamentalism – Christianity is wrong no matter what!). Hell, any any snake-handling Appalachian fundi would identify your schtick in a NY heartbeat!

    Fundamentalism is the “overlay” you use to identify with whatever you claim to presently believe. You are still using the fundamentalism of your childhood to defend your present beliefs or lack therof. In other words – what Dr. Gary believes is right, and all critics wrong.

    Fine – that was about as close an answer I could expect from you after lo, these many months.

    Good luck on your journey to rid yourself of fundamentalism. You have made zero progress, and may be, in truth, merely getting progressively worse. But – your being singularly incapable of accepting or dealing with criticism – you won't and don't get it.

    If you are going to be an evangelist of your whatver, you ought to have some knowledge of that of which you speak, and a capacity to defend it as well.

    You have neither. But you are right.

    Just like every other fundamentalist out there.

    P.S. I have given you the honor of you profession – when I address you as Doctor” I do capitalize. Professional courtesy would expect you to do the same, Doctor.

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  6. “From you childhood faith (your father – I don't know), through your years in liberal Lutheranism, to your relative few years in the LCMS, it was always your opinion that had to hold sway.”

    Wrong. As a fundamentalist Baptist I never questioned any doctrine or teaching. I became an evangelical at age 18 only because we had moved out of state and the church my mother started attending was not fundamentalist but still held to Baptist teaching.

    I left evangelicalism in my mid twenties not because I disagreed with the teachings and doctrines but because I did not “feel” the presence of God as it seemed everyone else around me did. I did not blame the Church. I did not blame God. I blamed me.

    Bombaro is a liar and a con artist. He is posing as a confessional, LCMS, Lutheran pastor but is none of those labels. He is teaching his own hybrid version of Christianity, blending Lutheranism with Roman Catholicism and Reformed teachings. When finally caught in his false teachings, he did not apologize, he only asked that I not get him in trouble with the bishop. He does not belong in the LCMS. He is insubordinate, unapologetic, and arrogant about his insubordination. I should have reported him to the bishop while I was still attending the church. He should be told to teach LCMS doctrine or get the Hell out of the LCMS. As I said on an LCMS blog, if you are going to join a club, follow the club's rules or get out. Don't try to subvert the rules and disparage the leadership.

    Bombaro did not have the courage to tell me outright that the Bible contains errors. He let me struggle with the issue of inerrancy for months and only after I told him that I had come to the conclusion that the Bible does have errors did he admit that he too believed that only the MESSAGE of the Bible is inerrant, not the Bible itself. He put me through a lot of grief and frustration to save his job. He put his job security before my spiritual well-being. That is not a good pastor. That is a self-promoting con man. Shame on you for defending his deceitful behavior, Reverend.

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  7. “…in typically fundamentalistic fashion, determined you were right, and he was wrong.”

    I have a brain. I studied the evidence and came to a conclusion that there is not enough evidence to believe in the supernatural claims of the Bible. It isn't as if I am the only one who has come to the conclusion. There are plenty of experts who agree with my position, so it wasn't me staking out a new “Gary” position, it was me accepting the position of a very large group of experts. You are just unhappy that I did not choose YOUR expert's opinion.

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  8. You avoid what you cannot answer like the plague.

    Dude – you studied some evidence, all rather oe-sided, and then erroneously came to the conclusion that the Christian Faith has=d to somehow “prove” itself to you, or you would reject it. Of course, the Faith pretenss nor intimates to do anything of the kind you demand, so, in your sure knowledge gained by a lifetime of fundamentalistic aberrational theology, pack up your bags of fundamentalism, and walked over to the atheistic camp. Of course, you softend it occasionally, calling it more of a gentle aganosticism, but when challenged, came the deluge of Hitchens' like denial in your postings.

    You once credited me for telling you the Resurrection was not an issue to be proved, but an article of faith. That was back when you were still semi-rational.

    Gary, I don't give a flying flip what you believe or don't. You cannot disprove my faith (you said that last night) and you said you cannot prove the lack of God. You don't even understand what I have been trying to say – that it is your completely UNCOMPROMISING response(s) to the least bit of criticism that is essentially the proof you have never lost the fundamentalism of your childhood, never mind 2014.

    BTW – did you see Dawkins is disclaiming his atheim, and claiming to be agnostic.

    Even he is hedging his bets.

    If you know of a bookie named Pascal, you ought to giving him a call pronto.

    Pax

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  9. “You are queried about proof and certainty, AFTER you beat ay critics with the very same thing, and you revert to agnosticism – not knowing.”

    My criticism is that Christianity is just one of many supernatural based superstitions and like all superstitions, has little if any evidence to support its reality. YOU and other Christians are the ones making the extra-ordinary claim, not me. YOU are on the hook for providing evidence, not me.

    You don't like that, I know, but that is my position. If you don't want to hear it, stop reading this blog, as I have told you, many, many times.

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  10. “Fundamentalism is the “overlay” you use to identify with whatever you claim to presently believe. You are still using the fundamentalism of your childhood to defend your present beliefs or lack therof. In other words – what Dr. Gary believes is right, and all critics wrong.”

    Hey, JB. Why don't you actually present some evidence for your supernatural claims, for once, instead of just bloviating about my “fundamentalism”? THAT is the real issue. You know you have no good evidence, so you resort to attack me personally to divert attention from your tall tale.

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  11. I personally believe that using the term “atheist” is self-defeating. It gives the impression that you know for sure that no god exists. In my opinion, that is like saying that you know for sure that leprechauns do not exist. It is impossible to prove a negative. I believe that “agnostic” is a better term. It means that one believes that there may well be a god or many gods, but since there is no good evidence to identify any specific god, we leave it as a mystery until if and when better evidence is discovered.

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  12. Gary – what you are week-to-week is a literal crap shoot! Okay, so this week you have gone with Dawkins. Next week, who knows? Not my concern. All I asked was –

    Why are you still a fundamentalist?

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  13. JB: Why are you a member of a superstitious ancient cult?

    See, two can play your game.

    If you want to believe I am a fundamentalist, you are welcome to your opinion. I really don't care. I am so very happy to be free of superstitious people and pastors like yourself, Rev. B. In my opinion, you have no more grasp on reality than the witch doctor in the deepest jungle. You and the witch doctor believe that the world is controlled by invisible ghosts and ghouls. I believe your ghosts and ghouls are all in your imagination.

    Bye now.

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  14. Thanks. Your fundamentalism shines forth with that gem. You still can't answer my question, and try yet again to turn it back on me.

    You are a fundamentalist. That you think not serves only to say that you have not nearly achieved your goal.

    But YOU think you have, and I am a witch doctor. I love clarity in the dialectic.

    Hilarious! Y'all be cool – you have provided way too much humor these past two days! Thanks!!!

    Like

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