Evidentialism

“Like any belief, belief in God must be supported by sufficient evidence. In fact, this requirement applied to all beliefs and was Enlightenment’s standard for rationality:

To be rational, a belief must be supported by sufficient evidence.

This standard is important enough to be named-it’s the same standard of today’s atheists. Let’s call it evidentialism.

Now is a good time as any to point out that, so far, we really have only a “gut feeling” for what counts as evidence. To be sure, we know that evidentialism requires that all beliefs be supported by evidence, whatever evidence turns out to be. But with no clear criterion for what counts as evidence, we can’t actually determine whether a belief has any.

Notice that evidentialism isn’t contrary to religious belief per se, not as long as the belief in question rests on sufficient evidence. According to evidentialism, belief in
God-indeed, any belief, is fine as long as there’s evidence for it. Nearly all Christians have agreed: if religious beliefs don’t conform to the standards of reason, we should reject them.”

(Stokes, A Shot of Faith to the Head, 4-5)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s