Burden of proof is a very basic concept. You are expected to provide evidence to justify your claims and beliefs. However, religious people believe that their faith is exempt from such requirements. This in turn renders all their religious beliefs or beliefs otherwise associated with religion to be semi-exempt from those claims as well. I have yet to see anyone try to provide a justification for this outside of Yitzi. Does anyone else care to try? However, first let me note why this is important. Burden of proof is basically the stance that the negative is taken as the default, and that positive claims require evidence. This is because it is impossible to prove a negative, because the only way to do that is to first disprove all positives, which are infinite in number. Doing so bogs down debate and renders reasoned argument impossible, making the achievement of even basic goals unfeasible. As a result, people generally adhere to burden of proof... with the exception of faith. Faith is exempted for this with no reason given other than "because it just is". The flying spaghetti monster's purpose is to demonstrate why this is an unfeasible approach. If you maintain that there is no default, or that all positions are positive, including the negative, then not only does this put atheism on the same footing as monotheism, it puts the flying spaghetti monster on the same footing as well, in addition to an infinite number of other ideas. So I ask the religious people of the forum to answer the following: 1. Why do you believe it is acceptable to have the default be something other than the negative? 2. Given that, what justification do you have for your positive being the default over all the others? I ask this because in every other debate on every other subject, the failure to adhere to burden of proof, IE the insistence that the negative is not the default, would be greeted with ridicule. Why is this not the case for religion? And before you ask, don't try the "religion/faith and science/reason deal with different areas" justification, I've heard it before and it doesn't work. As I noted before, because faith is exempted, all beliefs based off of faith are also semi-exempted, including beliefs which specifically are within the domain of science. It is true that science and philosophy deal with different areas, however, philosophy as a general rule does not try to invade science's domain. Religion does constantly. Unless you can provide evidence that your faith and all beliefs you have based on faith have nothing to do with the domain of science, drop the argument. Oh, and "domain of science" equals everything within the reach of our perception and reason, or as I like to call it, basically everything that matters. If you don't apply religion to that... good for you, you special snowflake. Now when all the other religious people do that, you will have the high ground. NOTE: This is an offshoot of the "why does religion get a free ride?" debate as people there requested it be moved to a separate topic.