Are you asking members of the forum to prove there is no God or Messiah….
No. I’m asking them to prove that they are in a position to come to a conclusion on the topic.
.... or can you defend their point of view as you seem to defend Christians?
I can and happily will defend reason. But not atheism, for atheism is not reason, but rather a faith based ideology which competes with theism.
The kind of forum you describe would note that burden of proof is a legal standard which the Innocence Project has shown on several occasions ends up with the wrong answer.
Ah, so we are no longer interested in making burden of proof demands on anyone, including theists?
Furthermore, a forum based upon critical thinking would hopefully be aware of the philosopher Karl Popper who pointed out a general rule which amongst other things means that you cannot prove something doesn’t/didn’t exist.
Ok, but I’m not asking anyone to do that. I’m asking atheists to prove that their often stated ability to arrive at a credible theory or conclusion on this topic exists. Upon what is such a proposed ability based?
The only way to prove atheists wrong is to prove that God exists.
Nope, we just have to prove that they don’t have the ability they assert that they have. Here’s how that works, and it will sound very familiar to you.
THEISM: When theists make god claims, we reasonably ask them to prove that their chosen authority, typically some holy book, is qualified to deliver credible answers on the very largest of questions.
ATHEISM: When atheists make their claims, we reasonably ask them to prove that their chosen authority, typically human reason, is qualified to deliver credible answers on the very largest of questions.
Neither party can prove the qualifications of their chosen authority. Thus, both parties are faith based believers. Thus, nobody wins.
All that I’ve done above is apply the very same challenge to both parties and their claims in a fair even handed manner. The name for this process is…
What trips up many atheists is that they confuse reason with ideology.
Similarly the only way for Christians to prove themselves not deluded is to prove Christ existed.
Ah, so we’re back to the burden of proof already, eh?
I hear you saying that theists bear that burden for their claims, but atheists don’t bear any such burden.
Yes, atheists are making a claim, even though they often don’t realize it. They are claiming that human reason is qualified to deliver credible answers on the very largest of questions (scope of god theories). It’s the same kind of claim theists make in regards to their holy books, and with the very same lack of proof.