On attempted reversal of the burden of proof

Recently my brother stated that “every time you and Megan get together, you relapse”. To believe this, he must ignore the last time in 2013, which happened to be the time I stopped using drugs on the day she arrived with Aishah who was then a baby, and he must ignore that she stayed for two years, the first two years of my time clean, which incidentally is the one and only time that I cleaned up and stayed clean. (“One and only” is OK. This is something I will never need do again because sobriety is for life for me.)

While it is true that there is a higher probability for addicts to relapse if they used to use together, in our case we firstly are not together, and secondly you can’t ignore those last two years, when I initially cleaned up with her there. So clearly “every time we get together” is not true. She may not be staying for much longer anyway, thanks to him and other things. I want to write about that, but I’m holding back for now. (Barely.)

He also implied that someone might make false accusations against me. Ironic because someone did in those first two years. It could only have been either him or his ex wife, both of whom deny doing so.

I blame religious thinking for their kind of logic. The burden of proof lies with the one making the claim. I could go ahead and claim my neighbour is a paedophile, just because I don’t like him. But I expect (and hope) nobody would believe me. When you accuse someone, it is not up to them to prove they are innocent, it is up to you to prove they are guilty. Likewise, if you accuse me of using drugs, it isn’t up to me to clear my name. It’s up to you to prove your claim. In any case, if that happened, the first thing I’d do is go to a rehab, one whose tests are recognized by court, and get myself tested. I’d do so at my expense. But what I’d do is not the point and I really wouldn’t have to.

It seems that religious thinkers get so used to reversing the burden of proof every time they discuss their religion with non-believers, they forget that outside of that subject (where the majority of people have religious beliefs and thus get it wrong), this is simply not how it works.

I have lost count of the number of times I’ve perused Facebook atheist vs theist debate groups, reading posts where someone with a pea-sized brain demands that we prove their god doesn’t exist, or asks, “How do you know God doesn’t exist?”. Again… Not how it works.

I’m not going to explain why that isn’t how it works, because frankly if you don’t get it, you still won’t even if I write a ten thousand word argumentative essay that explains every facet of why.

2 thoughts on “On attempted reversal of the burden of proof

  1. Hallelujah, Jerome! And Good morning!

    Religionists and woos want – and imagine – to live in a binary world.

    According to them there are normally only two alternatives, A and B, to consider

    If A, then not B.

    If not A, then B.

    If you live together with Megan, then you’ll have a relapse.

    If you don’t hang out with Megan, you won’t relapse (or at least you reduce the risk of relapse).

    Jerome, you are a grown up man. You are intelligent. You are full of reason and logic. That is, you know how to handle the situation. You don’t need any advice from self-proclaimed pundits who more often than not seem to suffer from the Dunning-Kruger syndrome. Try to ignore the stupid ones in your neighborhood. Remember, stupidity can sometimes be contagious. Therefore avoid them as much as you can.

    Liked by 1 person

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