Commentary: Evidence for God
In a comment to my last post “The Atheist Protests Too Much“, a commentator asks:
Alright let’s assume atheists are wrong & you’re right. Let’s assume there is evidence for your god as you maintain. My next question is all too obvious. What evidence?
Well, this is a rather simple question to address, but in order to do so, we must first define the term ‘evidence.’
The Oxford Dictionary defines evidence as follows:
The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
Information drawn from personal testimony, a document, or a material object, used to establish facts in a legal investigation or admissible as testimony in a law court.
And, even more specifically, the Legal Dictionary defines evidence in the following manner:
Every type of proof legally presented at trial (allowed by the judge) which is intended to convince the judge and/or jury of alleged facts material to the case. It can include oral testimony of witnesses, including experts on technical matters, documents, public records, objects, photographs and depositions (testimony under oath taken before trial). It also includes so-called “circumstantial evidence” which is intended to create belief by showing surrounding circumstances which logically lead to a conclusion of fact.
Now, both in the past and the present, there is plenty of testimony for the existence of God and/or gods. The same is true of documents, such as the Bible, that claim that God and/or gods exist. And since there are also numerous arguments for the existence of God and/or gods, all of which are based on ‘surrounding circumstances’ or data points from the world–such as the beginning of the universe, the reality of change, fine-tuning, the existence of moral duties, etc–then this is circumstantial evidence as well. So, there is plenty of evidence for God and/or gods.
Of course, an atheist is perfectly free to argue that this evidence is not sufficient, in his mind, to make it rational to believe in the existence of God and/or gods–which is fine, given that assessing evidence is partially subjective–but that does not negate the fact that these things are evidence. Indeed, the atheist can claim that this evidence does not establish the ‘God/gods’ claim beyond a reasonable doubt, or that this evidence is countered by other evidence (such as the Problem of Suffering), but again, that does not undermine the fact these things are evidence.
And if the atheist claims that these things are not evidence, and that only “scientific” evidence counts as evidence, then he is either fallaciously moving the goal-posts or he really does not know what he is talking about.
Thus, there is evidence for God and/or gods. As I said, simple.