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Shifting the Burden of Proof

Shifting the Burden of Proof is employed in two ways: by an arguer, to more easily establish a claim, and by an audience, to make it more difficult.

When employed by an arguer, too much of the conclusion is assumed, rather than being established. A special case is when (all or part of) the conclusion itself is assumed and used as a premise in the argument, which is called circular reasoning or Begging the Question.

When employed by an audience, the burden is set impossibly high. An arguer may be told that he must have a solid case proved before he can plead it.

Questions over where the burden of proof belongs (outside the legal system, which has explicit rules about it) can be easily answered with the question, "Who needs to be convinced?"