When a baby is born, is he/she by default atheist? ?
I think this question is the key to the whole "Burden of Proof" question. From what I know, a baby is neither atheist or theist when he/she is born; the baby is ignorant or perhaps agnostic. The baby knows nothing about the concept of God. So, at some point the ignorant baby will be introduced to God, and over time they will either have the choice to accept God, remain agnostic, or deny the existence of God.
Now this is just my analysis. It may not be the truth, which is why I asked this question. But ASSUMING my logic is true:
So if the default position of a person is agnostic, then don't both atheists and theists share the burden of proof? Atheists deny the possibility of a God and Theists are fully convinced of the existence of God. Thus, in my opinion, theists must prove God exists, and likewise, Atheists must prove why God doesn't exist. REMEMBER, there are not two choices here; there are three. You can either deny the existence of God, you can be agnostic, or can accept God. Agnostic is the default position. The other two are deviants.
Traditional logic tells us that the burden of proof is on the positive claim. I think this is where it gets confusing. The negative claim in this case is not atheism, it is agnosticism. Atheism is also a positive claim, as is theism. Thus, they both share the burden of proof.
Please, I want serious answers only. This is just something I've been thinking of lately.
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
"When a baby is born, is he/she by default atheist?"
Of course - clean slate - no programmes - empty.
"a baby is neither atheist or theist when he/she is born"
Oh, that's an easy one.
Ask a seven year old who has NEVER heard about any brand of invisible sky critters what he thinks about invisible sky critters.
If he's normal, he'll laugh and think you're nuts - I know I did.
"Atheists deny the possibility of a God"
Absolutely; in fact ANY ‘gods’ at all.
It only takes a minimal amount of attention to process this one:
If I look at the available evidence I see that haphazard mayhem happens to everyone regardless of thought or deed EXACTLY as if there was NO invisible magician up in the sky pulling the strings.
"The negative claim in this case is not atheism, it is agnosticism"
Kid, I'm an atheist despite your attempt at logic.
YOUR logic falls down, big-time, when you want me to entertain the possibility of there being an invisible critter up in the sky who watches everything you say, think and do, 24/7, AND who will send you to eternal hell if you fail to suck up to him.
THAT, my friend, is a ludicrous proposition completely based in FEAR which in turn is based on the same type of superstitious nonsense the priests have been scamming the peasants with for eons.
- 1 decade ago
A child through their formative years will likely be influenced by their parents and take their word for it until they get to the age where they will make their own choices.
But generally, I would accept your premise that there are 3 possible choices: acceptance, rejection or uncertainty. And uncertainty would be the default condition. However, this would be case for almost any topic: politics, sports, careers. Uncertainty is usually followed by either more uncertainty or a decision.
"Burden of Proof" and "deviants" are interesting choices of words. I think if anyone is attempting to come to an honest, impartial decision on the existence of God, using language like this will lead them to the wrong conclusion by "default".
From my point of view, a Christian believer, God has given everyone a choice. Every one must make a decision reviewing what they know and coming to a conclusion. Even indecision is still a choice. There are plenty of reasons to believe if you start from an impartial position.
For me, no one had to convince me of my beliefs. There was wasn't a burden of proof placed on anyone. I started with several basic assumptions that eventually led to a logical conclusion: belief in the existence of God and Christianity as the avenue to Him.
The first assumption was to recognize that if God was real, He doesn't necessarily think like us. In the same way if we met space aliens, they probably wouldn't think like us. The same would be true of the Being described by the Bible. A Spirit Being outside of space time, who created everything, with infinite power and understanding. So simply dismissing God because something doesn't appear to make sense to us should not happen. But does that mean we accept everything? Not at all...
The second assumption was that if something didn't make sense, it still had to be rational. There cannot be obvious contradictions without resolutions. In my studies over the years, Christianity continues to be logically consistent. The framework that it is based on is solid and even the detail holds up. Through process lasting 6-7 years, I moved from being agnostic to being a firm believer. That was 10 years ago.
Really, there isn't a "burden of proof". There is decision and a decision making process. If Christianity is to be believed, there are very serious consequences for not believing. I'd wouldn't recommend resting on being an agnostic. Searching for the answer yourself, apart from what others believe is the best route.
Finally, the Christian view of God is one of a personal Being, meaning He does hear when you talk to Him. One thing that He will ALWAYS hear, whether you are a believer or not, is a desire to know Him and know the truth about Him. Remember, He doesn't think like us and He isn't obligated to do anything for anyone. But being real with Him goes a long way. Give it a try...
- GregoryLv 71 decade ago
A baby has no view point on God and is not born agnostic.
Agnostic according to the Merriam webster dictionary is 1: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable ; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god.
A baby has no belief system so there for is born neutral with no thought at all. So it is neither Agnostic, nor Atheist, nor theist.
Any one who makes any kind of claim there is a God, there is no God or you can not know whether God exist is required to show proof to prove their point. Every one has a reason for believing the way they do.
Any one believes they can make any statement they want and does not have to show reason for why they make that statement is not using any kind of logic at all.
Why do I have to prove what i say? Let them prove it that way i can make all the accusations I want and never have to explain myself.
- superb9006Lv 71 decade ago
A baby doesn't know about God because of ability. When it grows up, then the person has to decide for themselves. Believing comes through hearing. So does denying.
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- 1 decade ago
Atheism is LACK OF BELIEF in any gods. Babies are atheists.
And the burden of proof is on those claiming existence.
Does the monster under the bed exist? Yes? No? Undecided?
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Every baby I've tested in this area fails the history test, the writing test, and the science tests along with the theology section.
All I get is whining over the scores and a lot of crap....
Honestly, aren't they more like pre-wired hard drives missing a lot of information?
And you can feed the hard drive with bad data too, uh?
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The baby is ignorant of the supernatural as a concept and so lacks belief in it.
That's atheist.Source(s): definition
- whirlingmercLv 61 decade ago
It takes work and effort not to believe in God. Man has to work at it to suppress the knowledge of God
- surgigirlLv 61 decade ago
God said He made all of us with the ability to wonder who our creator is. He made us so that we could have a relationship with HIm.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
babbies are agnostic ... they don't know if there is a god or not, because they don't have any idea what a god is...