Burden of Proof Argument for Existence of God

Last modified on November 25th 2012

A friend passed on a youtube video link which states that those who claim that a God (with supernatural powers) exists have the burden of proof to support that claim: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KayBys8gaJY, 11 min, 30 sec.

My take is that “scientific evidence” for existence of Divine power/supernatural power, which is acceptable to the scientific community at large, does not seem to be currently available. Parapsychology investigations seem to be not treated as “scientific” by the scientific community at large. From the Parapsychology wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parapsychology, ‘The Parapsychological Association regards the results of parapsychologists’ experiments as having demonstrated the existence of some forms of psychic abilities, and proponents of parapsychology have seen it as an “embryo science”, a “frontier science of the mind”, and a “frontier discipline for advancing knowledge”. However, critics state that methodological flaws can explain any apparent experimental successes and the status of parapsychology as a science has been vigorously disputed.’ [BTW the Parapsychology wiki is an interesting account of parapsychology efforts and opposition to it.]

So from a regular science point of view it is not known/proven that God/supernatural power exists. Also science cannot state that God/supernatural power does not exist. Only a person who is all knowing can state that God/supernatural power does not exist, and science and scientists do not claim to be all knowing (For more explanation you may want to see Atheism – Strong Atheism section in http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/atheism.htm).

However eyewitness accounts of supernatural power, which are acceptable to many people, are certainly available. Accounts of living and recently passed spiritual masters who had supernatural powers are current and so more easy to verify. But some accounts are ancient like New Testament, Hindu Puranas etc.

Some people are extremely fortunate to have seen and experienced a spiritual master’s supernatural power directly in which case they have subjective/individual evidence of that master’s supernatural power; or they have heard accounts of such evidence from people whom they consider as very trustworthy sources. So they believe in divine power.

For others it is more difficult as it is natural to doubt such powers. They have a much tougher journey down the faith road. Sometimes it is the influence of preachers/spiritual persons/parents who are of strong faith, which plants the seed of faith in them – that Rama existed, that Krishna existed, that Jesus existed, that Prophet Mohammed existed and that the miracles attributed to them in scripture are mostly/completely true; and that devout prayer to God/divine power gives results even today.

There are scientists and others who consider science to be a wonderful tool to investigate and understand nature but do not consider science to be the only tool to investigate and understand the whole of life. They recognize the tool(s) of religion and/or spirituality to be powerful tool(s) to understand and experience the deep spiritual realities of existence.

But there are also scientists and others who accept only that knowledge which is verified by science as true knowledge. These scientism, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism, type of people, IMHO, truly get lost spiritually. Their mind gets conditioned to accept only that knowledge which is accepted by mainstream science and completely reject other sources of knowledge where the standard of proof is lower/different e.g. ancient history, trustworthy eyewitness accounts. Further they may not even accept something that their own inner conscience may prompt! They may doubt it as an imaginary prompting!


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