Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is a legal term which can be used in a philosophical context as well: it means that in a controversy one side has to underline their position with sufficient evidence to prove their case. Once this obligation is met, the burden of proof shifts to the other side.

Who then bears the burden of proof in the philosophical dispute about the existence of God? Secular people state that they believe only in what they see and, therefore, try to shift the burden of proof to the believer. Is it really that easy to shift the burden of proof just by saying “I believe only in what I see”? Is not the existence of this world enough visual proof for the existence of a creator? The likelihood that this world came into existence from nothing into a complex construction equals the likelihood that an explosion of a printing house would cause the formation of a book. In other words the plausibility of the existence of this world without God is zero. In light of the complexity of this world, just saying “I believe only in what I see” is not a sufficient proposition for the position that there is no God. The existence of this visual world is proof enough for the existence of an unseen God, “so that they are without excuse.” Therefore, the burden of proof regarding the (non-) existence of God lies with the unbeliever.