Hello again Adey,
It's important that we first make a distinction between what a "sound" and what a "valid" argument is (sorry if you already know this, I like to begin explanations from scratch).A valid argument :
- premises imply the logical truth of the conclusion.
- Validity doesn't care about "truth" (as we define it in everyday life) it simply examines logical structure.A sound argument:
- If the argument is valid & all premises inc. conclusion are necessarily true.
It therefore follows that all sound arguments are valid arguments, valid arguments aren't automatically sound.
This error is quite common within circles of apologetics, i.e. Hamza Tzortzis has claimed that "denying a valid argument is akin to denying reality".The KCA
First, let's talk about your question regarding the burden of proof.
A good claim must be falsifiable so it follows that a good claim shouldn't be unfalsifiable. This is a technique used within hypothesis testing, hypothesis tests generally serve to either provide support for/against the alternative hypothesis by proving/disproving the null hypothesis.
So, if the null hypothesis isn't falsifiable - the test has already failed at the first stage.
The burden of proof doesn't discriminate between atheism & theism, it is a simple notion which advocates the idea that the claimant must provide support for his position. Within the realm of arguments & discourse, it is plausible for people to "share" the burden of proof if needed.
For instance, if a positive atheist was to debate with a theist (who also throws out positive claims but this is obvious) they would both share the BOP.
My opinion is that No, we do not have a duty to "prove/disprove" anything if we are met with a KCA apologist.
I have a personal justification for this since I am an agnostic atheist.
Atheism as I use term, has only one view & that is a view which is counter to the proposition that "God exists".
Therefore, the only thing that an atheist can claim is that they do not believe in a God.
Atheism does not have a burden of proof- this is with reference to atheism/ negative atheism. Positive atheism which asserts that no deity exists has given itself a burden of proof. Atheism should actually be a
The "a" serves to negate the theistic outlook - a non belief in theism you may say.
A non belief is not the same as a belief- this may be obvious but many apologists commit themselves to semantic Olympics in an attempt to negate the previous statement.
Atheists can have burden of proofs but this would result from claims being made, any claim which requires evidence to support it has a burden of proof.
In conclusion, the only common view that atheists hold is their position regarding "God" and even this position is subject to variations (i.e. negative/positive). This implies that atheists do not have to have a view about the origins of the universe, personally I hold the view that "I don't know" is more intellectually honest than *Insert my God as an explanation".
There is an assumption in logic known as the law of contradiction which states that X cannot be non-X at the same time.
Therefore, the theists redefinition of (negative) atheism as a positive disbelief is self contradictory, regardless of what William Lane Craig or various schools of apologetics think.
"But do we, as skeptics, have to prove any premise wrong as we are not making a claim, surely all we have to show is the premise is unproven and the breakdown in the logic cascades from there, therefore nullifying the whole syllogism via 'non-sequitor' fallacy from there."Logical form:
Ok, so in terms of the KCA, we cannot accuse this of a non-sequitur. This is because the conclusion does follow from P1 and P2.
My current view is that the simple syllogism version of the KCA isn't enough to warrant a non-sequitur label.
A non sequitur can have a conclusion which is true or false, so soundness aka "truth" doesn't really work here as a measure of how the conclusion follows from the premises.
The KCA is a valid argument - it follows a logical structure known as modus ponens:
Therefore, it follows that the KCA is valid but as explained before, validity doesn't directly imply soundness.P1.
P1 is neither untrue or true, thus it is not a great claim. The WLC formulation the KCA generally invokes what is known as a "transcendent" cause. Within the field of cosmology, you will not find this as an explanation for anything as it has no predictive capability in that sense. Ergo, P1 isn't a great premise.* Many arguments such as the KCA & modal ontological argument can only "define" a God into existence, this does nothing for me*
Now, I could go on and on about the KCA (I may make my own video about it one day) but here is an illustration of issues wrt P1 by someone who is better than me at this "logic" thing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53tcPgmmCK8