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Your responsibility to prove or provide evidence for a claim you have made, without being allowed to change the subject or avoid backing up the claim. The sister term to a burden of proof is a red herring (a logical fallacy tantamount to derailing). When someone has the burden of proof and doesn't want to back up their statements, they will usually either commit a blatant red herring and try to sidetrack the conversation or try to shift the burden of proof onto the other person. Since few people can clearly list their beliefs and evidence about global warming, economic models and policies, and cause-and-effect social claims ("legalizing marijuana will make everyone into a drug addict!"), this will remain a major problem for many years to come.
Guy 1: There is indisputable proof that God exists. Guy 2: May I see this proof? Guy 1: No. It is your job to prove that God does not exist. Guy 2: I do not have the burden of proof here. I claimed nothing.

Guy 1: Donald Sterling is a terrible person. He should lose all of his money, his job, and never be seen in the public eye again. Guy 2: Can you defend the claim that he's a terrible person? Guy 1: I know him well, on the basis of hearing a phone conversation of his. All people like him are the same. They are racists and they need to go down! Guy 2: Slow down there. You have a burden of proof to prove that 1) he's a terrible person. 2) you can judge someone enough based on a brief phone call to know they're a terrible person 3) all such people need to go down (whatever that means). Guy 1: I'm not going to discuss this! He's a racist and that's it! Guy 2: Please be a mature adult and respect that to continue this dispute, you must address your own burden of proof.
by Eric Kazinsky May 31, 2014
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