Staks Rosch makes the typical claim that atheists would gladly convert if you just provided them with some valid evidence. But then he lets the cat out of the bag:
So what does valid evidence consist of? That’s a great question and I’m not really sure the answer. I guess they would have to present some form of evidence that can be independently verified under controlled conditions designed to filter out confirmation bias and subjective sensory data.
Before entertaining such requests I think it is important to pin the atheist down. He needs to get to a point where he is relatively sure on his answers to at least the following questions (feel free to suggest additional questions):
- What is evidence? Is invalid evidence still evidence?
- What does independent verification consist of?
- How does one control conditions so as to filter out confirmation bias?
- What is subjective sensory data? How does it differ from objective sensory data?
- How does one control conditions so as to filter out subjective sensory data?
Rosch continues by fielding what he takes to be a likely objection:
Oh, you see! The atheist’s standard for evidence can never be met! Wrong, this is the very same standard of evidence that everyone uses for pretty much anything that really matters to them.
But the problem is not so much that a standard of evidence can never be met. The problem is that he is not really sure what valid evidence is. Regardless of the evidence presented he will not be really sure if the evidence is valid or not. He’s putting the cart before the horse. There is also the irony that he does not appear to have valid evidence for his belief that “this is the very same standard of evidence that everyone uses for pretty much anything that really matters to them.”