I'm watching a YouTube video wherein a (deluded, utterly uneducated) pastor literally says that he feels the burden of proof is on the unpersuaded, not on those trying to make the case. He says this with a straight face, and genuinely feels that nonbelievers are the ones who must investigate and prove Jesus' claims. He said a lot of other really insane things, including a bit at the end about corporal punishment, but this is the one thing that really got my attention: that "the one who denies" Christianity is the one who must bear the burden of proof.
I beg to differ. Actually, that language is rather mild, but nothing in my sailor-daddy upbringing has prepared my tongue with salty and peppery enough language to fully express my full refusal and outrage.
But in a way this belief of his is not a bad thing. Once this slimy bastard's sins catch up with him and he gets arrested for child porn or bigamy or whatever the trendy sin is for Protestant ministers, he's going to get exactly what he believes: he is the one who will need to prove that he is innocent. It'll save the taxpayers a mint from having to establish the proper burden of proof. Whew! If only we'd known how easy it'd be.
The truth is this: the one making the claim is the one who must make his case. But this pastor knows perfectly well that he cannot, and so he's shifting that burden to those who refuse to buy his snake oil. I refuse to shoulder that burden. I don't have to prove a negative. I don't have to prove that his claims are false. He's the one who must prove his claims are real, except he can't. Nobody's managed it yet, and I seriously doubt that some backwoods redneck is going to manage it where millions of dedicated human-hours of research have failed. That quirk of illogic might work on untutored children in his neck of the woods, but it won't work on anybody educated enough to spot the unreasonableness of his demands.
I admit I'm confused about why this bloated egomaniac thought he'd be any sort of match for Hitchens, but I shouldn't be. That's a topic for another post.