Mailvox: the null hypothesis

CKK has a few questions about God:

read your blog and find that you make interesting points. I have a few
questions for you which revolve around the Null Hypothesis as it relates
to the evidence and knowledge of God.

First, do you
ground your faith in God based upon an evidentiary standpoint? I know
the trend (and often impasse) in discourse between atheists/agnostics
and Christians revolves around which side has the burden of proof and I
am wondering how God has satisfied any logical hiccups you may have come
across in your life.

Second, in regards to other
people who lack faith, how can God ask people to perform a logical leap
to believe in Him which they don’t do in every other part of their
lives? For example, a basic precept of just criminal courts is the idea
of being innocent until proven guilty; the burden of proof is always on
the accuser (in the form of the State) as they are the ones making the
claim of guilt. This is the same with every other arena of life and even
forms the basis of the scientific method. Yet this isn’t done for God.
We are given antidotes based on argument but not necessarily based on

Third, and this relates to the first, is who
does the burden of proof regarding the evidence of God falls upon? Those
who claim His existence or those who deny Him?

would say my faith is more grounded in a logical standpoint than in one
based purely on evidence, although I am entirely content with the
evidence for God as it exists to date.  The inability of secular and
pagan philosophers to produce coherent moral systems, combined with the
logical absurdity of most non-Christian moral systems, leaves me
entirely satisfied with the Christian moral structure, even if I find
occasionally find the application of that structure to social policy to
be difficult, if not impossible.  Since a Creator God is a necessary
anchor for that moral structure, I conclude that not only must He exist,
but that it is necessary for Man to postulate His existence even if
there were no evidence for that existence to be found.

find it remarkable, and rather stupid, that individuals who don’t
hesitate to accept mathematical postulates in order to permit a
considerable quantity of mathematical equations to function effectively
are so terrified of accepting the existence of God as a moral
postulate.  It strikes me as even less intelligent than rejecting basic
math postulates and thereby refusing to utilize any of the math that
follows from them.

How can God ask people to perform a
leap of faith rather than logic?  Very easily, since obedience is
clearly more important to God than understanding.  I neither ask nor
care if my dog, my children, or my teammates understand my orders, I
simply want them to follow them.  If I yell “square” to a teammate with
the ball, it is of no concern to me whether he grasps all the relative
positions of the various players on the field, I just want him to react
by immediately passing the ball 90 degrees to one side.  If I can test
my teammate’s confidence in me by telling him to pass the ball based on
faith, God can certainly test our confidence in Him by telling us to
believe without proof.

It’s not as if both Jesus Christ
and Aristotle haven’t independently explained the reason anyhow.  Many
people saw Jesus perform miracles and didn’t believe. And as Aristotle
observed centuries before Jesus was performing those miracles, some
people cannot be instructed by knowledge.  I tend to doubt this
observation of basic human behavior would have escaped God.

burden of proof always falls upon the individual asserting something to
another individual.  If I ask you if you believe God exists and you
tell me that you do not, you have no burden of proof.  You were simply
asked about a simple fact and you have no need to justify that fact to
me or anyone else.  If, on the other hand, you tell me that God does not
exist, then you have made an assertion and the burden of proving the
truth of that assertion lies with you.