... and part of this burden of proof rests on the person who is demanding the proof. The Buddha advised the Kalamas: "So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness" — then you should enter & remain in them.' The Buddha gave them quite a bit of work that they would have to do on their own before they would attain to certainty. Note that in reply to Dyw I have provided a link to a thread I have posted earlier. That thread puts that statement into context. As I have noted a few times already, I do not consider myself a theist, nor a proponent of a particular religious tradition. I am well-familiar with all that. After much struggle with this line of inquiry, I have come to more and more focus on the meta-aspects of this inquiry, so I shall borrow two more suttas to reply with: Ven. Sariputta said: "All those who ask questions of another do so from any one of five motivations. Which five? "One asks a question of another through stupidity & bewilderment. One asks a question of another through evil desires & overwhelmed with greed. One asks a question of another through contempt. One asks a question of another when desiring knowledge. Or one asks a question with this thought, 'If, when asked, he answers correctly, well & good. If not, then I will answer correctly [for him].' * "There are these four ways of answering questions. Which four? There are questions that should be answered categorically [straightforwardly yes, no, this, that]. There are questions that should be answered with an analytical (qualified) answer [defining or redefining the terms]. There are questions that should be answered with a counter-question. There are questions that should be put aside. These are the four ways of answering questions." * So which is it that drives one's questions and the answers one gives?