A Dumb Comment (if my blog ever gets popular I think I have an idea for a new feature) appeared under my previous post about Theology as a discipline (hint; I think it's stupid), and I feel like I need to address a common error made even by atheists, which I believe represents a depth of philosophical thought everyone who is an atheist should have attained but very few actually do.
The error in hand is "You don't have any disproof of god" or "You have no evidence god doesn't exist", to which the cookie cutter response is "The burden of proof is on you!", however I have observed that atheists are often incapable of recognizing both that theists, by definition, do not comprehend what proof is or why it is needed (and, by extension, why 'disproof' does not apply to their beliefs), and that they themselves have not provided any information simply by stating "You're making the claim; you need to prove it" given that these people don't have any philosophical comprehension of what proof is and how it is used to characterize certain claims.
When addressing this question you have to think about the nature of things which do and do not exist. Allow me to talk to you like a stupid child for a moment, as I explain the nature of extant and non-extant things, even though I am aware that you're probably a stupid adult.
It goes like this:
"Things which exist interact with other things. This is the nature of existence. We can look at these interactions characteristic of the interacting agent and say 'This is proof of a thing". Similary we can look at another interaction and recognize that it is not characteristic of that thing and say 'This is disproof of that thing' in that particular instance.
Notice that both proof and disproof are characteristics of things that exist. If a thing can both be proven and disproven then we know it exists."
"Things which do not exist do not interact with other things. This is the nature of non-existence. We cannot look at any interactions by a thing that does not exist because it does not exist to interact in the first place. We have no interactions with which to say 'This is proof' and we have no interactions to say 'This is disproof'."
Notice that both lack of proof and lack of disproof are characteristics of things that do not exist. If a thing has no proof or disproof then we know that it does not exist*."
*Ahem*, now that the philosophy is out of the way, let's go back to the original person saying "You have no disproof of god". This should be sweet sweet music to the ears of an atheist, because there is no disproof then we have a thing for which there is no proof and there is no disproof. We have a thing possessing all the characteristics of something which does not exist.
Remember my first post, in which I spoke about how it's easy to tell a lie but massive philosophical revelations are required to see through it, including comprehending the nature of lies, truth, proof and how they relate to the physical universe? This is one of those revelations. I will leave it up to you to decide whether 'most' people told that a god exists would come to comprehend the nature of falsifiability on their own, and if not I prompt you to consider what percentage of them would, and does this account roughly for the percentage of religious people seen in your own society? I think it probably will.
*There is one slight proviso here; for the sake of philosophical simplicity we are assuming that all evidence is known, simply because it is a meaningless trick by religious apologists to say 'well it *could* be proven, ignoring the fact that they already believe it despite the fact it hasn't been.