When we see Dawkins or Hitchens in debate stating that the burden of proof is on the claimant, they are simply following the rules of protocol for proper debate and for scientific peer review. In their context, it is a reasonable position.
Correct. All the people involved in scientific peer review have all studied the topic at hand over many years, and have amazing knowledge in regards to the specific topic at hand. They also hope somebody can contribute more to the accumulated knowledge that exists. They all have opinions on the topic and are open to anything new which will enhance the topic at hand. There is knowledge and thinking on all sides. The person putting the proof forward and the people listen to the proof have all thought about the topic at hand in great detail already.
To use the 'burden of proof argument' in regards to god, where we are the referees about gods existence, when we have never thought about the subject of god and have no opinions about god would be considered wrong by the peer review process. The peer review process, in regards to god, would require us to be experts about god. But this is of course impossible. If we are going to use such a process, the minimum requirement would be at least having some thought about god's existence or non-existence and some kind of conclusion about god's existence or non-existence.
But most people who use the peer review method in their approach towards god have no thoughts about god at all. They are just quoting Dawkins verbatim, just like christians quote the bible.
As for my dogma about no god, it is a stance against god and his believers. And I could not find anyone else who had ever used it before, so I took it as my own.
If you understand fire we can understand why we could never burn in hell ;) So yes, it's an empty threat meant to prey on your fears.. it's purpose it to gain control, to induce a submissive psychological state.. A state they can take advantage of. So you are right, we aren't going to hell :)
20,000 thumbs up!
A very good lecture :)
Very simply, scott, in my humble opinion, as even Dawkins said in the God Delusion, one can always leave room for the slight statistical chance that we may be wrong. After all, we can't PROVE that Shiva, Zeus or Diana DON'T exist.
What we can be sure of, however, is that the qualities of deity of every known religion are fabrications of the founders and early proponents of those religions and that the sources of "revelation" are woefully (in our view-happily) inadiquate and easily proven to be inaccurate and humanly flawed.
We can also be confident that the supposed mysterious and miraculous aspects of life do have plausible natural explanations and that no one can validly demonstrate a channel of communication or living revelation from a supernatural source which can show this to be otherwise.
Quite simply, there is no reason to look beyond what is in front of us and certainly, no reason to suspect or believe that if there is a power which stands apart from nature, that it should play a role in guiding or shaping our lives or that it even wants to or that it gives a damn about whether or not we acknowledge it.