In the raging debate about whether God exists I keep hearing the assertion that the onus of proof lies with those that claim that God exists. Somehow this keeps being connected with the issue of unicorns or fairies.
I’ve heard a few times that someone could make any claim, such as ‘unicorns exist’. And so, if you claim the existence of unicorns or God then you have to prove them.
This has a lot going for it. I agree in so many ways that the onus would lie on the one making the claim.
However, the unicorn example is just a little belittling isn’t it? Whether or not a unicorn exists actually has no particular significance. ‘So what, the horse has a horn on its head!’ It changes nothing, really. (Sorry to all fantasy readers and writers in the world, but it really does change nothing.)
However, the claim of whether or not there is a God is a bit different. I would think this claim is so important that the onus is on the claimer and the hearer. For there are claims just like this, on which the onus is shared.
What if we, you and I, dear reader, were standing on the crest of the road, right in the middle of it, and I made the claim that I just saw a semi trailer coming around an earlier corner at great speed? Who would the onus be on then?
Now, you might doubt my claim, as I scurry off the road, but the claim is so monumental and so much is at stake (your life and mine) that you would not just stand there asking for me to prove myself and while taking no real interest in the issue. You too would join the search for proof.
Some claims are so important that the onus is on all who hear it.
Christians make the claim that there is a God for many reasons. But an important one is that there is a Mack Truck just around the next corner and the name of the truck isn’t ‘Big Mommas’ but ‘Death’.
Our death is just around the bend. Will we disappear into oblivion or will we meet a being beyond our imagination called God who will judge our lives? The onus is all who are alive to investigate the claim.