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The Burden of Proof

Updated: Jun 16

When making a claim the onus falls upon you to provide evidence to support your position.


This is called the 'Burden of Proof'.


It is NOT the role of the person disputing your claim to provide evidence that disproves it.


Hitchen's Razor states:


"What may be asserted without evidence, may be dismissed without evidence"

- Christopher Hitchens


Shifting the burden


Sometimes people will attempt to shift the burden of proof by committing logical fallacies like making an appeal to ignorance.


Argument from ignorance: assuming something is a fact primarily based on lack of evidence to the contrary.


A proposition is assumed to be true because it has not yet been proven false or a proposition is assumed to be false because it has not yet been proven to be true.

Examples


Person A: I was harassed

Person B: Can you provide evidence of this?

Person A: I shouldn't have to, you can't prove that I wasn't harassed.


Person A: God exists

Person B: There's no evidence of that

Person A: There's no evidence that he doesn't


  • 'I shouldn't have to do your research for you'

  • 'Show me the evidence that it doesn't work'