Hitchen's Razor and the Burden of Proof

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Hitchen's Razor and the Burden of Proof
« on: August 22, 2019, 09:35:42 PM »
Within the Flat Earth Debate, who has the Burden of Proof?

After spending the balance of this year on Reddit, discussing theistic topics on subreddits like Debate an Atheist and Debate a Christian, the notion entered my mind regarding the overall assertion made by believers in a flat Earth; who has the burden of proving this?

Does the burden lie with believers in the conventional knowledge that the Earth is round to refute the belief in it being flat?  Or does the burden lie with the proponents of the flat Earth belief in proving it is so?

The common assertion is that the Earth is spherical.  This, I believe, can be viewed as the predominant view agreed upon by the overwhelming majority of this planet's denizens.  Flat Earth, conversely, is a counterfactual perspective held by a minority. 

Simply put, the burden to prove the shape of the Earth is not the business of the majority opinion.  It is the task set before the believers that the world is flat to prove it to be so.  It must also be pointed out that attempting to disprove a round Earth assertion does not prove the shape of the planet; at best it merely refutes that point and reduces the position to a neutral or unknown state. 

As it stands, the flat Earth community has done essentially nothing to prove its case. 
With all the woes facing our planet do we need a flat earth to add to them...

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Bullwinkle

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Re: Hitchen's Razor and the Burden of Proof
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 10:48:06 PM »
Flat Earth has no obligation to defend its self from those who hold a different viewpoint.
RE can never win this argument.
FE can't be disproved.

Re: Hitchen's Razor and the Burden of Proof
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2019, 01:58:31 AM »
Majority opinion does not make something the truth.
If you need to appeal to majority opinion rather than actual evidence and arguments, you really have no case.

The burden of proof relies upon those making a claim.
If someone claims Earth is round, the burden of proof is on them to show it is.
If someone claims Earth is flat, the burden of proof is on them to show it is.

A REer claiming Earth is round and failing to meet their burden of proof, does not mean that Earth is not round, or that Earth is flat, just that they have not met their burden of proof.
Likewise a FEer claiming Earth is flat and failing to meet their burden of proof does not mean that Earth is not flat, or that Earth is round, just that they have not met their burden of proof.

This ties in quite nicely with theist.
If a theist claims their god exists, the burden of proof is on them to show it does. If they cannot, then it is fine for people to reject their claim as unsubstantiated. An atheist is under no obligation to prove the nonexistence of all possible gods to justify their lack of belief in a god.

However if the atheist goes further and asserts that gods do not exist, then the burden of proof is on them to show they don't, and it is fine for a theist to reject that claim of non-existence, but not to asset that a god exists.

So both sides have a burden of proof, regardless of what the majority believes.
One side not meeting it doesn't make the other side correct, nor does it mean they don't have one.

Re: Hitchen's Razor and the Burden of Proof
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2019, 02:22:38 AM »
The problem does not lies in burden of proof in my opinion, just in logical and critical thinking.

In the science world, we have a science theory, where there is no place for baseless and ad hoc claims.

And in the flat earth world?

We don't believe in photos ... unless they prove our point, then suddenly it's the truth.
Moon eclipses? Hard to say, there must be some kind of shadowy object.
But wait! Moon visible crisp and clear in sky, while closer mountain isn't? It must be a projection of some kind mystical heavenly projector.
It's even hard to track new theories, because as soon as something due to some obvious observations cannot be true, someone pulles ad hoc theory from the hat, often including some mystical heavenly energies, aether, aliens (Sargent), or simply the conspiracy.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 02:29:29 AM by kosmacz »

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Bullwinkle

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Re: Hitchen's Razor and the Burden of Proof
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2019, 04:14:36 AM »

Moon visible crisp and clear in sky, while closer mountain isn't?

Explain that without Google.
RE can never win this argument.
FE can't be disproved.

Re: Hitchen's Razor and the Burden of Proof
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2019, 05:40:34 AM »

Moon visible crisp and clear in sky, while closer mountain isn't?

Explain that without Google.

What do you mean exactly?

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Space Cowgirl

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Re: Hitchen's Razor and the Burden of Proof
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2019, 09:48:20 AM »
Majority opinion does not make something the truth.
If you need to appeal to majority opinion rather than actual evidence and arguments, you really have no case.

The burden of proof relies upon those making a claim.
If someone claims Earth is round, the burden of proof is on them to show it is.
If someone claims Earth is flat, the burden of proof is on them to show it is.

A REer claiming Earth is round and failing to meet their burden of proof, does not mean that Earth is not round, or that Earth is flat, just that they have not met their burden of proof.
Likewise a FEer claiming Earth is flat and failing to meet their burden of proof does not mean that Earth is not flat, or that Earth is round, just that they have not met their burden of proof.

This ties in quite nicely with theist.
If a theist claims their god exists, the burden of proof is on them to show it does. If they cannot, then it is fine for people to reject their claim as unsubstantiated. An atheist is under no obligation to prove the nonexistence of all possible gods to justify their lack of belief in a god.

However if the atheist goes further and asserts that gods do not exist, then the burden of proof is on them to show they don't, and it is fine for a theist to reject that claim of non-existence, but not to asset that a god exists.

So both sides have a burden of proof, regardless of what the majority believes.
One side not meeting it doesn't make the other side correct, nor does it mean they don't have one.

This is the best burden of proof post I've seen in ages.
I'm sorry. Am I to understand that when you have a boner you like to imagine punching the shit out of Tom Bishop? That's disgusting.

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EvolvedMantisShrimp

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Re: Hitchen's Razor and the Burden of Proof
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2019, 09:55:35 AM »
Flat Earth has no obligation to defend its self from those who hold a different viewpoint.

It does if it wants to consider itself to be science. One of the pillars of the scientific method is peer review.
Nullius in Verba

Re: Hitchen's Razor and the Burden of Proof
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2019, 05:13:02 PM »
Flat Earth has no obligation to defend its self from those who hold a different viewpoint.

Flat Earthers are making the claim; it is incumbent on them to prove it.

With all the woes facing our planet do we need a flat earth to add to them...

Re: Hitchen's Razor and the Burden of Proof
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2019, 05:13:52 PM »
Majority opinion does not make something the truth.
If you need to appeal to majority opinion rather than actual evidence and arguments, you really have no case.

That goes without saying, it would be a fallacious position.

The burden of proof relies upon those making a claim.
If someone claims Earth is round, the burden of proof is on them to show it is.
If someone claims Earth is flat, the burden of proof is on them to show it is.

What if one simply stated that either was not the case?  A null hypothesis?  My refutation of the belief that the Earth is flat could simply be that; I don't believe that relationship to be the case. 

This ties in quite nicely with theist.
If a theist claims their god exists, the burden of proof is on them to show it does. If they cannot, then it is fine for people to reject their claim as unsubstantiated. An atheist is under no obligation to prove the nonexistence of all possible gods to justify their lack of belief in a god.

That's where this overall idea came from.

However if the atheist goes further and asserts that gods do not exist, then the burden of proof is on them to show they don't, and it is fine for a theist to reject that claim of non-existence, but not to asset that a god exists.

An atheist, by definition, is a position where one does not believe sufficient evidence exists to prove that god is real.  I believe an anti-theist holds that god does not exist.  One is a null hypothesis, the other is making a assertion.  I agree with you that the atheist has no burden of proof, the anti-theist must prove their case. 

So both sides have a burden of proof, regardless of what the majority believes.
One side not meeting it doesn't make the other side correct, nor does it mean they don't have one.

My thought on this particular topic is that I simply reject the flat Earth concept as lacking reasonable evidence.  The assertion is that this is the shape of the planet.  The burden is on the FES to prove it.

The FES claims the Earth is a given shape.  I don't need to mention what shape I believe it to be in order to refute any claim made by the FES.  All I need to do is point out any logical inconsistency presented by an FES argument and/or illustrate how it doesn't align with what is observed.   In other words, they lack sufficient evidence to prove their point.   

I agree that the RE position has a burden, as it is making an assertion, and that only comes into play if we compare the two ideologies in order to prove/disprove one another.  However, I believe we can sufficiently and genuinely state that the evidence provided by the FES is problematic to a point where better support is necessary.
With all the woes facing our planet do we need a flat earth to add to them...