Susmariosep posted the following in a 2¾ year old thread. To save arguments about resurrection of the dead, I have moved it here. The original thread in which the post appeared can be found by following the link in Jetson's Admin note.
Quote from: jetson on July 21, 2012, 07:33:46 AM
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I am here again because I decided to return in order to learn from atheists.
Here is my observation for today.
Atheists have two false principles of knowledge, namely: (1) the burden of proof is on the party making an affirmative statement, (2) a negative statement cannot be proven.
On these two false principles they can feel safe from saying anything positive at all, wherefore it is impossible to have any productive discourse with them.
Although granting (yet not conceding) for the sake of argument that the party making an affirmative statement has the burden of proof, nevertheless the party rejecting the affirmative statement must explain why he rejects, otherwise he is not being intelligent and logical hence not rational if he just insists that he has no burden to prove, but he is being arbitrary i.e. without any reasonable basis whatever in rejecting the affirmative statement.
Is the demand for explanation why an atheist denies the existence of something the same as the demand for proof?
In regard to the existence of something as opposite to the non-existence of something, for example, the existence of God as opposed to the non-existence of God, there is the distinction of possibility and actuality.
So, as the atheist need not prove the existence of God because he does not bear the burden for not making an affirmative claim, still he must explain why: by pointing out that the very concept of God forecloses the possibility of the existence of God.
That is why the atheist must have at least information on the concept of God, which concept then he can and must explain to be a concept that forecloses the possibility itself of existence.
On the other hand, the theist must explain that his concept of God does not foreclose the existence of God, and then from the possibility of the concept the theist must present evidence proving the fact of the existence of God.
Now, in regard to the atheists' insistence that a negative statement cannot be proven, and therefore they need not prove a negative statement, that is a wrong idea if they atheists do not specify that it is impossible for man to know everything existing in all time and place circumstances, and in particular in the totality of existence -- which concept of the totality of existence is broader than the concept of the material universe that is investigated by scientists.
For example. atheists can reasonably insist that it is impossible for man to know the totality of existence as to ascertain that there is no God in the totality of existence, for atheists being humans cannot search exhaustively the totality of existence at all.
That is why they atheists cannot justify their denial of the existence of God by resorting to their wrong idea that man cannot prove a negative statement: for he can if he can search the totality of existence and has not come to meet God in the totality of existence.
Man can always and must always prove the non-existence of something as long as the circumstances of time and space and the sphere of existence are within his access; for example, man can prove the absence of water (that is a negative statement) in a drinking glass, by physical examination of the drinking glass and also requiring his opponents to physically examine the drinking glass.
Atheists cannot resort to their false ideas that
(1) they do not have any burden at all even just to explain why they reject the existence of God, unless they first present their concept of God and show that it is an impossible concept.
(2) They cannot excuse themselves that they need not prove a negative statement for it is impossible to prove a negative statement; that is not true in all context of discourse, because they can and must prove a negative statement, for example the absence of water in a drinking glass, when circumstances of time and space and the sphere of existence are within man's access.
Exercise for atheists:
Prove the existence of the nose in your face, prove the existence of God in the nose in your face.
Tip: first, have a concept of God by consulting theists on their first and foremost concept of God as the creator and operator of the universe and of everything with a beginning.