Dirty Trick: Shift the Burden of Proof


Dirty trick: Shift the Burden of Proof

Make a claim, and instead of bringing reasons forward to prove your reasoning, ask your opponent to bring up reasons.

These natural catastrophes, flood, earthquake, drought, do you know the reason behind them? People’s ungratefulness, being ungrateful.

Someone stands up and says:

— Do you have a reason, proof, explanation or evidence to support your claim?

He says:

— Prove to me that it’s something else. Prove that the reason is not people’s ungratefulness. If you prove this, I’ll take back my words.

The person made a claim, and when asked what their reasoning was, took the responsibility of proving it if their own shoulders and put it in someone else.

Let’s see another example:

— Hey, are you in a relationship with that girl?

— No.

— I know that you are!

— I’m not.

— Prove that you’re not.

In this case who should bring proof? The person making the claim. The person saying I know you are in a relationship, they have to prove what they say themselves.

A dirty trick is that a person states a claim and put’s the responsibility of proving it on other people’s shoulders.


Richard, L. E. (2012). The Thinker’s Guide to Fallacies: The Art of Mental Trickery and Manipulation.