An interesting discussion has broken out in the comments section of the post The weak historical evidence for Jesus that is related to the question of where the burden of proof lies when promoting or refuting a claim.
Those who started reading my blogs only after I moved to Freethought Blogs have been (so far at least) mercifully spared the many multi-part series on some topics that those at my previous location had to suffer through. There is one 17-part (!) series that I wrote on The Logic of Science that is particularly relevant to the question of how we judge whether it is reasonable to believe that figures like Jesus, Socrates, Homer, etc. existed at all. Is the burden of proof on those who say they existed or on those who deny their existence?
I won’t burden you by asking to read the whole series (though it is one of my favorites) but #7 titled The burden of proof in science is a particularly relevant one to the current discussion. It is where I discuss the difference in the burden of proof between existence and universal statements.