Elsewhere on the internet...

The League of Reason has some social media accounts! You can find us on Facebook or on Twitter for some interesting links and things.

Who has the burden of proof?

Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 5 of 6
 [ 115 posts ] 
Who has the burden of proof?
Author Message
jimmo42Posts: 152Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:30 pm

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

Squawk wrote:I wasn't specifically addressing a burden of proof question since I deem that to be obvious. The burden of proof lies with anyone making a positive claim on an existence postulate. The null hypothesis must always be none-acceptance, any other stance is dishonest.


I'm confused. "non-acceptance" or "non-existence"?
"The person who follows the pursuit of reason unflinchingly toward its end will be atheistic or, at best, agnostic." -- William Lane Craig in his book on Christian apologetics "Reasonable Faith"
Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:28 pm
australopithecusLime TordUser avatarPosts: 4346Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

jimmo42 wrote:
Squawk wrote:I wasn't specifically addressing a burden of proof question since I deem that to be obvious. The burden of proof lies with anyone making a positive claim on an existence postulate. The null hypothesis must always be none-acceptance, any other stance is dishonest.


I'm confused. "non-acceptance" or "non-existence"?


Non-acceptance. The null hypothesis in this case indicates a lacking, it doesn't confirm a lacking.
Image
Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:35 pm
SquawkModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2011Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:25 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

Actually thats a pretty fine distinction.

Postulate X. If there is no evidence that X exists, I reject the claim that X exists. That does not preclude X from existing. My conclusion would be non-acceptance of the claim if the postulate, X, is not expressly forbidden from existing given the findings of whatever experiment I carried out. It would be non existence if the evidence showed that it was actually impossible for it to exist.
Pope Rat: "Exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny."

Squawk response: "O Rly?"
Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:36 pm
jimmo42Posts: 152Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:30 pm

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

australopithecus wrote:Non-acceptance. The null hypothesis in this case indicates a lacking, it doesn't confirm a lacking.


Newbie alert: still confused. I don't understand how "non-acceptance" could be a "null hypothesis". I can see how "non-existance" ("God does not exist") is a null hypothesis.
"The person who follows the pursuit of reason unflinchingly toward its end will be atheistic or, at best, agnostic." -- William Lane Craig in his book on Christian apologetics "Reasonable Faith"
Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:46 pm
Duvelthehobbit666User avatarPosts: 1136Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:39 pmLocation: On a pale blue dot Gender: Male

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

jimmo42 wrote:
australopithecus wrote:Non-acceptance. The null hypothesis in this case indicates a lacking, it doesn't confirm a lacking.


Newbie alert: still confused. I don't understand how "non-acceptance" could be a "null hypothesis". I can see how "non-existance" ("God does not exist") is a null hypothesis.

Because X does not exist is always the default you take until you have enough evidence to support X, in which the null hypothesis is proven false and you can claim X does exist.
Image

"Beer, the cause of - and solution to - all of lifes problems" Homer Simpson

I have a blog now
Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:49 pm
WWW
australopithecusLime TordUser avatarPosts: 4346Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

jimmo42 wrote:Newbie alert: still confused. I don't understand how "non-acceptance" could be a "null hypothesis". I can see how "non-existance" ("God does not exist") is a null hypothesis.


There is no evidence to either support gods or to disprove gods. In this case the default position is to not accept the claims of theism. The default cannot be a non-existence because there's no way to evidence that. We can, by lack of evidence for gods, state there is an indication that gods are lacking but non-existence itself cannot be evidenced.
Image
Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:53 pm
jimmo42Posts: 152Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:30 pm

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

I think I have it.

When my default is "I do not accept it", the null hypothesis is "non-acceptance".
When my default is "it does not exist", the null hypothesis is "non-existence".

is that right?
"The person who follows the pursuit of reason unflinchingly toward its end will be atheistic or, at best, agnostic." -- William Lane Craig in his book on Christian apologetics "Reasonable Faith"
Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:59 pm
SquawkModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2011Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:25 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

jimmo42 wrote:
australopithecus wrote:Non-acceptance. The null hypothesis in this case indicates a lacking, it doesn't confirm a lacking.


Newbie alert: still confused. I don't understand how "non-acceptance" could be a "null hypothesis". I can see how "non-existance" ("God does not exist") is a null hypothesis.


Probably my fault here, so I apologise for not being clear. We can never provide evidence that something doesn't exist, and we can never state with 100% certainty that something doesn't exist. You're right to state that the null hypothesis is non-existence, what we actually mean is that we have rejected the claim of existence, or not accepted it. That's why I refer to it as a fine distinction, and it's probably more a point for philosophy.
Pope Rat: "Exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny."

Squawk response: "O Rly?"
Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:01 pm
CommonEnlightenmentUser avatarPosts: 649Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:06 amLocation: Plato Crater Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

Squawk wrote:Actually thats a pretty fine distinction.

Postulate X. If there is no evidence that X exists, I reject the claim that X exists. That does not preclude X from existing. My conclusion would be non-acceptance of the claim if the postulate, X, is not expressly forbidden from existing given the findings of whatever experiment I carried out. It would be non existence if the evidence showed that it was actually impossible for it to exist.


Hrm....

Sounds like an omni discussion is about to take place.
There is still light in the 'Earthly' darkness. Finding light in the darkness can be more satisfying than merely seeing the glaring light of our sun. It gives us a better understanding of light and a deeper understanding of our universe.
Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:06 pm
jimmo42Posts: 152Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:30 pm

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

Squawk wrote:Probably my fault here, so I apologise for not being clear. We can never provide evidence that something doesn't exist, and we can never state with 100% certainty that something doesn't exist. You're right to state that the null hypothesis is non-existence, what we actually mean is that we have rejected the claim of existence, or not accepted it. That's why I refer to it as a fine distinction, and it's probably more a point for philosophy.


So far, so good. I have always proposed that we can make the claim that "life as we know it does not exist on the surface of pluto", because it violates the laws of human biology. (ie. The water is frozen) But that is a different issue.

The "point for philosophy" is actually why I'm here.
"The person who follows the pursuit of reason unflinchingly toward its end will be atheistic or, at best, agnostic." -- William Lane Craig in his book on Christian apologetics "Reasonable Faith"
Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:21 pm
aeritanoLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 137Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:50 amLocation: San Francisco, CA Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

jimmo42 wrote:So far, so good. I have always proposed that we can make the claim that "life as we know it does not exist on the surface of pluto", because it violates the laws of human biology. (ie. The water is frozen) But that is a different issue.

The "point for philosophy" is actually why I'm here.


Define "life as we know it"... its rather arrogant to think that humans are the only form of life :P
Because science says that life can live in extreme environments

because as a biologist myself.. I my definition of life, and by that fact the definition accepted by biologist, can easily say that there is life on Pluto. Because life adapts. I see life existing everywhere any environment, and conditions, i can make logical conclusions that life could exist there. (note im saying its possible given the evidence.. but im not saying the positive affirmation of "Life does exist on pluto")

Several species of cryophilic bacteria and archea have been found living in the freezing salt waters and iceburgs of the North and south pole. Bacteria have also been known to survive in anaerobic environments as well.. So, warmth and oxygen are not vital for life.. Standard temp and pressure are not required for life. There are hundreds of deep water fish that can withstand Tons upon tons of pressure.

So life as we know it can exist, and given our understanding of how life has adapted here on earth, we can make logical assumptions backed by evidence we have here in the extreme environments of the earth. So i say life could exist (based on evidence here on earth).. not saying that it does.. because we cant know that until we go to Pluto (like that is ever going to happen)


sorry... biogeek kicked in... resume conversation
:P
A gay militant atheist...
At war with the everyday world...

Little Lord Peter, missing his litter,
While Herky plays in the Red.
Down came the Glitches, that burned us in ditches,
As we slept after eating our dead.
Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:48 am
jimmo42Posts: 152Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:30 pm

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

aeritano wrote:Define "life as we know it"... its rather arrogant to think that humans are the only form of life :P


Granted! I guess it would have been better to say "human life". That's actually what I was thinking about. I often use examples like areas around undersea vents to show "life" where humans could not survive as a demonstration that the universe is not "fined tuned" like many Christians claim.

So......

I think "human life does not exist on the surface of Pluto" is a valid claim of non-existance that one could prove.
"The person who follows the pursuit of reason unflinchingly toward its end will be atheistic or, at best, agnostic." -- William Lane Craig in his book on Christian apologetics "Reasonable Faith"
Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:17 am
aeritanoLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 137Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:50 amLocation: San Francisco, CA Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

jimmo42 wrote:
aeritano wrote:Define "life as we know it"... its rather arrogant to think that humans are the only form of life :P


Granted! I guess it would have been better to say "human life". That's actually what I was thinking about. I often use examples like areas around undersea vents to show "life" where humans could not survive as a demonstration that the universe is not "fined tuned" like many Christians claim.

So......

I think "human life does not exist on the surface of Pluto" is a valid claim of non-existance that one could prove.


lol.. i got what you were saying :P

dont mind me.. alarms went off in my head when i hear anything related to the fine-tuning argument XD
A gay militant atheist...
At war with the everyday world...

Little Lord Peter, missing his litter,
While Herky plays in the Red.
Down came the Glitches, that burned us in ditches,
As we slept after eating our dead.
Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:36 am
SquawkModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2011Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:25 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

My new approach to the fine tuning argument, ask if god was so limited that he could only make life given ideal conditions? They don't like that one much :D
Pope Rat: "Exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny."

Squawk response: "O Rly?"
Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:43 pm
jimmo42Posts: 152Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:30 pm

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

Squawk wrote:My new approach to the fine tuning argument, ask if god was so limited that he could only make life given ideal conditions? They don't like that one much :D

:lol:

I like to point out that creationism is proof god does not exist. If god can do anything, then he can create a universe where, despite "mathematical odds against it", life could arise on a planet without him actually starting the process and that life would then evolve into humans. SInce Christians claims evolution is impossible, god does not exist.
"The person who follows the pursuit of reason unflinchingly toward its end will be atheistic or, at best, agnostic." -- William Lane Craig in his book on Christian apologetics "Reasonable Faith"
Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:30 pm
SquawkModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2011Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:25 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

jimmo42 wrote:
Squawk wrote:My new approach to the fine tuning argument, ask if god was so limited that he could only make life given ideal conditions? They don't like that one much :D

:lol:

I like to point out that creationism is proof god does not exist. If god can do anything, then he can create a universe where, despite "mathematical odds against it", life could arise on a planet without him actually starting the process and that life would then evolve into humans. SInce Christians claims evolution is impossible, god does not exist.


Hmm, interesting point that. I've used a similar argument, but never actually phrased it in that manner. The notion that anything is impossible is fallacious given the omnipotent God. I like it.
Pope Rat: "Exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny."

Squawk response: "O Rly?"
Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:07 pm
YfelsungUser avatarPosts: 514Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:26 amLocation: Canada Gender: Male

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

A man says that there is an apple before me on the table.

I see no apple. I pass my hand through where the apple is supposed to be, I feel no apple. I tip the table, I hear no rolling apple. I smell the air and smell no apple.

I say "there is no apple."

It is on the person claiming that the apple exists that must prove the apple exists as I have shown it is not there by all normal methods.

One never has to prove a negative until the positive is sufficiently proven.

This is why the prosecution goes first in a legal trial and why the defense wins by default if the prosecution can't make their case.
Nihilism: turning "fuck it" into a philosophy since 1818.
Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:58 pm
>< V ><BannedUser avatarPosts: 52Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:35 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

lightbulbsun88 wrote:Does the burden of proof always lie with the person making the positive assertion, or can that vary depending on the type of claim being made?



The burden of proof lies with whomever makes a claim, it's that simple.


australopithecus wrote:There is no evidence to either support gods or to disprove gods. In this case the default position is to not accept the claims of theism.



And when an atheist claims no gods exist, "there is no evidence to either support gods or to disprove gods. In this case the default position is to not accept the claims of atheism."

Either your reasoning leads to a contradiction or you recognize the correct default position, which is "I don't know whether to accept or not accept the claim".

2000 years ago, Democritus formulated a view of matter that consisted of atoms. There was no evidence either way for the existence of atoms. People 2000 years ago that said to Democritus, you have no evidence either way for your claim, thus I will not accept it, had faulty reasoning, because indeed, atoms existed. Those that said, "Interesting idea, but I don't know either way" made no error in reasoning, because they never took the position of not accepting the claim.

What is reality is reality, regardless of whether you have information on it now or not. And to take a position that you won't accept a claim, simply because it lacks evidence either way, is the logical fallacy, argument from ignorance.

To accept or not accept a claim requires one to have knowledge.


Squawk wrote: We can never provide evidence that something doesn't exist, and we can never state with 100% certainty that something doesn't exist.



So you believe ether exists as physics defined it?

You believe caloric exists as it was defined in caloric theory?

You believe there is a solar system where an Earth like object lies at the center and a Sun similar to our own orbits it?

You believe there is an object that stops it's motion, when no force acts upon it?

You believe there is an isolated charged particle that can move in a magnetic field without feeling any force?

You believe there is an atomic particle which has in the space between the nucleus and electrons, cheese whiz?

You believe there is a radioactive particle that emits potato chips?

You believe there are two particles of total energy 10 J, that can come together and form a particle of total energy 1 kJ?

You believe there is a particle that can decay into only one other particle?

You believe there is an engine that is 100% efficient?

You believe there is a star the size of the universe?

You believe there is sound in the vacuum of space?

I can go on and on and on about things you don't believe exist. How can that be, if "we can never provide evidence that something doesn't exist"?


australopithecus wrote:
jimmo42 wrote:I'm confused. "non-acceptance" or "non-existence"?


Non-acceptance. The null hypothesis in this case indicates a lacking, it doesn't confirm a lacking.



The null hypothesis is a statistical result that obviously does not apply to every hypothesis. The null hypothesis is different than evidence of absence.

If I claim I have a magic oil, that if you dip your six-sided die into, will almost always roll you a 6, then I have made a statistical hypothesis. But the chance always remains that I might roll many sixes in a row without the magic oil. The chance also remains that I might not roll any sixes at all, even though my magic oil works. Chance cannot be eliminated in a statistical hypothesis.

This is different than a non-statistical hypothesis, like God exists or that charged particles exist that deflect when moving through a magnetic field. If I claim an electron with a velocity 'v' will deflect 30 degrees through a magnetic field 'B' and I conduct an experiment with just electrons and magnetic fields, with instrumentation that can measure angles down to a micron, then there is no chance of randomly getting a deflection of 30 degrees. If I make 5 measurements and get,

0.0000001
0.000000005
0.0000008
0.00000003
0.0000000006

then this is evidence of absence of my claim. My measurements of deflection are beyond the accuracy of my instrumentation and there is no chance that my micron resolution instrumentation can account for 8 orders of magnitude to get to the prediction of 30 degrees.

The Michelson-Morley experiment is not a null hypothesis, but evidence of absence.
Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:08 pm
ImprobableJoeUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

>< V >< wrote:
Either your reasoning leads to a contradiction or you recognize the correct default position, which is "I don't know whether to accept or not accept the claim".

*snip*

To accept or not accept a claim requires one to have knowledge.


No, and maybe. I mean, it is a cute little non-position you've chosen for yourself, and you'll never lose an argument that way... but it doesn't serve much in the way of a practical use. And since there's no such thing as "absolute" or "perfect" knowledge, we're forced to sort of play the odds a bit, and make choices. I "know" whether or not to accept a claim based on the evidence or lack of it. The correct default is non-acceptance without compelling evidence.

Otherwise, it seems to me you're walking about in a sort of semi-solipsistic haze.
Come visit my blog! There will be punch and pie!
Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:22 pm
unhealthytruthseekerUser avatarPosts: 41Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:57 am

Post Re: Who has the burden of proof?

I would say that the burden of proof lies on any claim which does not fit within the current framework of our collective knowledge. Hence, a claim that Australia exists does not have the burden of proof, but a claim that unicorns exist does.

Notice that this notion requires that the burden of proof is contextually-dependent. Hence, the burden of proof IS on me if I claim the existence of Australia to someone who isn't aware of the collective knowledge that Australia exists. Of course, if the person isn't a solipsist or denialist, meeting this burden is a rather simple matter.
Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:27 pm
PreviousNext
Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 5 of 6
 [ 115 posts ] 
Return to Philosophy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dragan Glas and 8 guests