It has long been a tradition of theists to cast themselves as having belief which is founded on evidence. We know the bible tells us that
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
~ Romans 1:20
This verse, and others like it, form the biblical basis of evidentiary faith. But what does the bible say about faith?
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
~ John 20:29
For we walk by faith, not by sight
~ 2 Corinthians 5:7
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
~ Hebrews 11:1
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
~ Proverbs 3:5
Faith is the evidence of things not seen; much turns here on the metaphor of sight, but what does it mean to have evidence by faith and not by the senses? Just what exactly isevidence, anyway?
The notional meaning of evidence is something which supports the truth content of a theory. How does that work? Say we have a theory in the existence of many Donald Trumps, each with their own unique personality disorder, but they all share the narcissistic personality disorder. You claim there are 5 Trumps with disorders A, B, C, D, E. I claim there are 5 Donalds with disorders B, C , D , E, F. We catch a single Donald Trump in the wild, determine that he does in fact have narcissistic personality disorder, as well as disorder C.
Does this fact support your theory, or mine?
We can use very simple math to find out. For every claim of a particular theory which is found to be true, we increment the theory's body of evidence + 1. In order to determine who has the best evidence, you sum up the true claims of each and subtract them, and the theory with the highest remainder is the more likely.
Now I know you've already realized that these two theories have a zero sum. This of course means neither can claim support from the Donald in captivity, and sadly, he is released. As there is no supporting data, there is no evidence. This is the most basic evidentiary standard, without which evidence could offer no corroboration.
So the question for theists who believe their faith not to be blind is, what evidence have you?
The question of those of us who disbelieve and were formerly call atheists, may we be again, what evidence have you?
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