Yet one more way to reduce the ‘no evidence for God and/or Christianity’ meme to dust is to simply note that testimony is obviously and undeniably evidence–just listen to any court of law to see this fact proven–and there is an overwhelming amount of testimony from people who claim to have seen God, and/or felt God, and/or experienced God, etc., and so this testimony, in and of itself, thus serves as evidence for Christianity and/or God; now note that in this particular case, and for the sake of argument, I am not necessarily saying that this testimony is good evidence (although I think it is), nor am I saying that this testimony might not be explained in some other way or rebuffed, but the fact remains that such testimony is evidence, at least to some degree, and so the claim that there is no evidence for Christianity and/or theism is patently false bullshit.
As stated earlier, there is a modern atheistic meme that there is “no evidence” for God and/or for Christianity, and yet an asininely simple way to refute such a nonsense idea is to simply point to the fact that it is utterly unreasonable and, in fact, idiotic, to believe that all the Christians and/or theists in existence, many of them some of the smartest people to have ever lived, and some of them converts from other worldviews, simply believed in Christianity and/or theism on the basis of absolutely no evidence whatsoever, and so the very fact that Christianity and/or theism has been believed by intellectual luminaries, academic giants, and reluctant converts, and is still believed by such individuals, is “evidence” against the idea that there is no evidence for Christianity and/or theism; and lest the atheist truly wishes to claim that every Christian and every theist who has ever lived and believed simply believed what they believed on the basis of blind faith rather than on evidence / argumentation, I suggest that such an atheist not only think about how utterly ridiculous such a thesis sounds, but also that the atheist bears a massive burden of proof for such a bold claim, and thus we have no reason to actually believe the claim until and unless it is amply demonstrated.
Amongst today’s atheists, there is a moronic atheistic meme in circulation (exemplified, for example, by KIA in a comment to my last post) which demands that the Christian theist (or just the theist) provide “evidence” for his claims rather than just “arguments” or “reasoning”, and the reason that such a request rests upon a peak of stupidity is because for some fact or observation or piece of data to count as evidence for one hypothesis (H1) over another (H2)(and there are always multiple hypotheses that can be articulated to account for the data in question), the fact or observation or piece of data needs to be more likely / more expected (less surprising) on the first hypothesis (H1) rather than second (H2), and only then can it count as evidence for the hypothesis in question (H1), all of which means that a fact or piece of data does not become ‘evidence’ without ‘argument’ or ‘reasoning’ that it is more likely or expected on one hypothesis over another, which is precisely why, in a criminal trial, the prosecution and defense counsel ‘argue’ and ‘reason’ about different facts or data in order to determine whether those facts or data do or do not count as ‘evidence’ for the charge made against the accused, and so to demand “evidence” without ‘reasoning’ or ‘arguments’ is about as idiotic as demanding testimony without ‘speaking’ or ‘writing’ or ‘communication’; and so, in light of this, it is no great shock that certain atheists never see “evidence” for God given that, as my previous post argued, they are always willing to find a non-theistic explanation, no matter how ridiculous, more likely and expected for some fact than a theistic explanation, so it is thus no surprise, and no great point of note or worry that some atheists never accept anything as evidence for God, for such is to be entirely expected given the mental make-up of such atheists (and as a further and final side-note, the atheistic demand for “evidence” rather than arguments or reasoning is doubly funny given that an argument, such as a deductive argument, is more certain than some piece of evidence is, and so providing an argument is actually more powerful than simply providing a piece of evidence (as opposed to a full cumulative case), which is why deductive argumentation should be intellectually preferred to a mere piece of evidence).
One of the things that a believer must never forget when speaking with an atheist, and especially when speaking with an atheist who intones the ridiculous meme that “There is no evidence for God”, is that the atheist can always deny, quite literally, any evidence that God could provide for His existence, for the atheist, if he is willing to do so, can embrace a skepticism which is so hyper-selective and/or embrace any other naturalistic explanation no matter how preposterous that even if Jesus Christ Himself returned tomorrow riding on clouds of lightening, the atheist could claim that he had just gone mad, or that it was just an advanced alien playing a trick, or that it was a mass hallucination, or that strange things happen in a multiverse, and so on (not to mention that the atheist would also likely claim that the miracle was not big enough to base his belief off of), all of which simply goes to show that even an omnipotent God, by definition, could not cause someone to freely come to believe in His existence no matter how much empirical evidence He provided for it; now all of this is not to say that all atheists are like this, or that such atheists who are like the aforementioned ones are reasonable (for they are not), but noting the above fact 1) does help to explain why God does not perform the various circus-tricks that atheists ask Him to perform before they claim they will “believe” in Him, for there is little point to do so given that God knows that even if He did so, many atheists would continue denying His existence, and 2) the above fact also shows that the so-called problem of divine hiddenness is at least partially overblown given the fact that even if God were not hidden and readily apparent (and a good case can be made that He is), atheists would nevertheless still claim that God was somehow hidden, so either way, God could not convince such pig-headedness freely…and as a side-note, and in keeping with the theme articulated in this particular thought, I have often wondered whether, at death, and at the judgement that follows, certain atheists will still be claiming that everything they see and hear is a hallucination, or dream, or strange multiverse occurrence, and it would not be surprising if some did.
Although I am simply thinking out loud with this thought, and though my thought may actually be deemed theologically heretical in orthodox Christianity, I have always been interested in the idea of both ‘reincarnation’ and ‘resurrection’ and as to whether a reconciliation between these two concepts can ever be made, and thus I wonder if it would at all be possible–and of course it would be “possible” in a logical sense, but here I mean possible in a theological sense–that the way to reconcile the idea of reincarnation and resurrection in a Christian context would be to claim that God allows the continual reincarnation of people on this Earth (as people, not animals) until they are reincarnated in a time and place where they are fully and properly exposed to the Gospel, and then, and only then, after freely and with full knowledge choosing to either embrace or reject the Gospel message that they have been exposed to, does God allow such people to finally and fully die in the earthly sense; in this way, not only could the ideas of reincarnation and resurrection by reconciled and both be true–essentially, that you are reincarnated until you are properly exposed to the true religion (first Judaism, then Christianity), then judgement and resurrection–but it would also serve as one possible explanation as to why the Christian faith is to be spread to all corners of the world as well as serving as an answer to the objection that it is unjust for God to judge those who have not heard the Gospel (although this objection is also easily answered by other means)…and so there are a number of reasons to contemplate this idea, and yet, as stated, I am not necessarily endorsing this view, but just expressing some musings about the matter.
Unbelievers and other anti-Christians often rail against the idea of Original Sin (that we are born with the sin of Adam, and that this sin unavoidably taints our minds towards sin in this world, but not uncontrollably or completely so), and such people claim that Original Sin is an idea and a theological concept which is demeaning and disgusting, but though holding to the concept of Original Sin is neither necessary for salvation nor absolutely fundamental to Christian belief, it should nevertheless be pointed out that the anti-Christian attacks against the idea of Original Sin are completely misguided and foolish, for, ultimately, Original Sin is a beautiful and kind thing that we should be thankful and grateful for, for it shows the mercy of God; now though the unbeliever will claim that saying the latter is sheer folly, in his dislike of this Christian doctrine, he does not see the bigger picture and thus misses the mercy of Original Sin, for just as in a human court, if someone is born with a condition that uncontrollably predisposes them towards some negative trait, that innate condition actually serves as a factor which mitigates both their personal responsibility for the crime in question and serves as a factor which is used to reduce their punishment for the crime as well, for we all understand that a man who is not fully responsible for his actions cannot be held wholly responsible for those same actions, and so it is with Original Sin, for given that this affliction uncontrollably predisposes us towards sin, it actually serves, in the eyes of God, as a mitigating factor towards the sins which we do commit, which is exactly why God, in His mercy and love, allowed Original Sin to be transmuted to us rather than having to have us take the full weight of sin onto our shoulders when we stand before Him in judgement (and make no mistake, we would all fall like Adam, so receiving Original Sin ahead of time is a mitigating mercy for us to embrace, not a curse to be spat at)…and for the individual who then objects as to why mankind needed to fall from grace in the first place, I briefly respond that God, in this life, wants and needs us to choose between Him and His desires or us and our total freedom, and the only way that we can justly choose, in a free sense and actually informed sense, between God and total freedom, is to experience total freedom, which means to know sin, and so God has to allow us to sin in order for us to be able to make a genuinely free and informed choice about whether to be with Him or to go our own way, and so we would have to sin anyway, which thereby returns us to the fact that if we had to sin anyway in this life in order to be able to fulfil the purpose of this life, then at least God, in His mercy, mitigates our responsibility for this sin by giving us Original Sin.
One of the greatest problems for the understanding of Christianity today is that today’s culture has an utterly desiccated and wrong-headed view of what love is, for most men today consider love to be a feeling or an emotion, and yet that is precisely what love is not, for love is not a feeling but a will to do what is best for another despite what one feels, and that is why love in the Christian sense is so hard to not only understand today but to do today, for people today are all to often swept to and fro by their feeling and emotions, thereby thinking that it is their love that bends and shifts when it is not but their emotions; indeed, if only people today had a proper grasp of what true love is, that true love is to do what is best for others regardless of our feelings about those people–just as God loves us eternally and does not have feelings to sway Him–then much of what ails our culture would be remedied.