The burden of proof is the idea that a person or party making any particular claim has to provide sufficient evidence that their claim is true. While this sounds a good idea conceptually, just how difficult is it to provide proof for simple, everyday actions. Lately, in an effort to find out, I have been disputing claims made by my friends in an effort to establish whether or not it is reasonable to put the burden of proof on the individual making the claim.
Ah, infinity. The ultimate childhood one-upper. The ace in the hole for when you really need to out do someone... times infinity. We all know what the word represents, but can it be practically applied? Let’s take a look at a few examples.
Can God create a rock so big that even He cannot lift it? I am sure we have all heard that question before. I certainly remember having long conversations about it as a child. We would argue that if God could not make a rock that He couldn’t lift, then He wasn’t omnipotent, or if He could make a rock that He couldn’t lift then He wasn’t omnipotent. It seemed like an unsolvable quandary and could certainly leave you feeling as though your are stuck between a rock and a hard place.. See what I did there?
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. -Ecclesiastes 12:13 Consider for a moment, the above passage. Is this the true meaning of life? Is the purpose of man to simply serve God? I would like to perform a thought experiment as we try and flesh out exactly what it is that drives us as human beings.
We all know the story of Adam and Eve. If you have spent any amount of in Sunday school, you were no doubt exposed to the story of the first two people on the planet. Set in paradise, with one simple rule to leave the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil alone. Unfortunately, Eve is deceived into betraying the single rule God has put in place and commits the first sin. But what do we really know about the Tree of Know of Good and Evil? What was its purpose? How exactly did it effect Adam and Eve? We know that it made them ashamed, but what can we derive from that?
Critics of Christianity often seem to pose the question; If God is all-knowing, why doesn't He share all of His knowledge with us? I believe this to be a fair question. It does seem, initially, to be rather misguided to purposefully withhold information that could drastically improve our lives, especially considering that God would likely have the ability to create us in such a way that all knowledge is already known to us. So I thought I would take a close look at this subject and see what conclusions I can come to.
If we need Jesus in order to be saved and no one can go to Jesus unless God has enabled them, does this mean that we cannot choose to be saved? This is quite the paradoxical question and has been the subject of much debate in the theological community. Can mankind choose to be saved? Does God call all of us? Does God want all of us?
This is a question that many non-believers pose to themselves internally. It is usually used as an easy reason to dismiss the idea of following a religion when there is no other reason that can be thought of to do so. Since God allows people to commit acts that we deem to be evil, the conclusion drawn is that God cannot be good and is therefore not worthy of our attention. This is a logical fallacy found merely in the definition of the word good.
This is a tough question that many Christians and Atheists alike can find themselves struggling with. Challenging questions like this are not something that I think we should ignore or run away from as they tend to embed themselves into the back of our mind and pop up at the most inconvenient times. This is why I think we should embrace issues like this and work through them together as a community of believers.