The Burden of Proof

Do We Need To Prove The Existence of God?

– part of an ongoing examination of the question: “Does God Exist?” –


Is it possible to PROVE the existence of God?  Any convincing evidence – like, scientific or rational evidence?

Well, we can’t prove that God DOESN’T exist, can we?

We don’t have to.

What do you mean?  Why not?

You’ve heard of the SKUNK-APE, haven’t you?

You mean, the claim by the mayor of that little town down south of here, near the Everglades, about having regularly seen some kind of hairy swamp monster sloshing through the muck?

Which he conveniently seems to float for the news media to pick up on in conjunction with a yearly festival that attracts hordes of curious visitors to his economically-deprived little community.

You’re suggesting that we are under no obligation to prove that something like a skunk-ape doesn’t exist?

Of course not! The BURDEN OF PROOF always falls on those whose claim is the most far-fetched.

Believing in God is “far-fetched”?

Well . . . Consider how CHRISTIANITY might look to an outsider.

You mean, like I just dropped in from Mars, or somewhere, and you’re going to give me the “good news”?

Yeah . . . There’s this ghost they call the “Holy Ghost,” who knocked up a virgin – she’s married to someone else, mind you – and she gets pregnant (the husband doesn’t seem to mind) and gives birth to a child in a barn on a bed of straw who from these humble beginnings grows up to claim he is the son of God, is crucified, dead and buried, but somehow manages to push away the rock from his tomb, hang with his friends for a while, then ride a cloud up into the sky to sit in an invisible heavenly mansion at the right hand of his ghost of a Father, the Lord of the Universe . . .

Whew! And I thought the skunk-ape was stretching the imagination!

. . . and this kid named Jesus does all this to save from eternal damnation only those who accept this story as true, only those who believe he is the son of God, only those who regularly cannibalize his flesh and drink his blood, and those whose moral obligation once they become disciples is to quit work, lay down their nets, take no thought of the morrow and become fishers of men, burn witches, torture infidels – while the rest flounder forever in a boiling lake of fire compliments of a kind and loving God who, if you happen to be a Presbyterian, has already predestined before you were even born, nothing you can do about it, exactly who’s going to heaven and who’s not.

I see what you mean, “far-fetched”!

So . . . Where does the “burden of proof” fall – on the believer or the non-believer?

2 Replies to “The Burden of Proof”

  1. Well, Oops … I don’t know how serious you want this to be, but here’s a stab at a response.

    There is no God.

    There is only man (and woman) who insist on living a life filled with fantasy for the purposes of their own entertainment. Then, there are those men and women who decided to take our fantasies and turn them into a format thatl allow for the control of other men and women. Simple social structures to keep us clothed, from killing each other …oops, that doesn’t seem to be working so well, and offering other forms of social constriction as we multiply and spread. The “Miracles of Life” can be explained if only we would accept the explanations.

    But, we live and dream in our fantasies … And, I for one, think they are fabulous and necessary. Plus I love to read them.

    Christopher Moore, one of my favorite unbelievable believable writers took a stab at some “proof.” In his novel, “Lamb,” he told us the story of “Biff,” on of the disciples that didn’t make the final cut to 12 and his recollections of hanging with Jesus. I think a lot of what Biff regales us with is called the “Gnostic Gospels.” A portion of the great piece of fantasy literature some call the “Bible.”

    Enough for this Sunday Morn … I’m of to church to observe some fundamentalist right wing Jesus loving man hating God accepting men and women continue their indoctrination of I’m right and you’re not worship, of yet another idol.

    The story of God does make for some good reading … and like all good literature, it’s stood the test of time.

    Have a fun Sun-day.


    1. I used to always tells students, when they asked, “My personal beliefs are irrelevant to your education.” I wanted them to think for themselves.

      It was my job, I felt, to ask questions that would force them to squirm. And – always under the guise of ‘objectivity’ – I loved to design the kind of questions that would cut through blindly accepted bullshit!

      Oh, that’s right, I don’t teach any more, I can express my personal opinions!

      (I agree with you, Richard – but don’t tell anyone because I still have more ‘Great Human Questions’ to ask ☺

      Thanks for commenting, much appreciated!


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