What Evidence will Satisfy Hard Core Unbelief?
by Robin Schumacher
I was listening to a debate that occurred a few years ago between Dr. William Lane Craig and Dr. Mike Begon on the topic of Is God a Delusion? During the Q&A period that followed the debate, one member of the audience asked Dr. Begon (who took the position that God is a delusion) what type of evidence and criteria he’d require to believe that God is not a delusion.
Begon’s answer was very enlightening.
After first making the rather strange statement that it wasn’t up to him to write experiments for the questioner, he stammered through an answer of how he and others like Richard Dawkins had been asking for evidence for a long time and, according to him, none has ever been brought forth. He then said he was “open minded” and offered to review any evidence offered him.
When Dr. Craig was allowed to respond, he asked the audience member, “You still haven’t heard the answer have you? It’s just astonishing!” In fact, Craig was right as Begon didn’t provide what the person had asked for.
As someone who has debated and dialoged with many atheists over the years, I’ve asked the same question and gotten a similar response most of the time. Such experience really begs the question: When it comes to the Christian worldview, what kind of evidence does it take to satisfy someone who possesses a hard core unbelief?
What is Evidence?
Because many unbelievers say there is no evidence that supports Christianity, it’s first helpful to understand what evidence actually is. One dictionary defines evidence as follows:
1. that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
2. something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign.
3. Law . data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.
This helps frame what evidence is, but next we need to turn to how evidence is evaluated and used to reach a decision about a particular argument or proposal…
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