But how can we non-believers accept something as evidence when that “evidence” is supposed to point to something which is beyond logic, beyond rules? What does “evidence” even mean in such a situation? ...This astonishing complexity of God adds yet another barrier to evidence, as literally anything else is a better, more likely explanation of phenomena in the real world.When thinking about this question yesterday, I also arrived at this conclusion. If evidence is something you can understand, but God transcends understanding, then he also transcends evidence. Hence, no evidence for God is possible. But this is just a silly game of logic. Zara continues:
The idea of evidence for miracles being taken seriously was shown to be unreasonable by David Hume centuries ago...While Coyne sets his position as opposing that of Myers and Zara on the question of evidence for God, I think when it comes to Hume's quote they do agree. This is the common ground they share. Hume wrote:
The plain consequence is (and it is a general maxim worthy of our attention), 'That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavours to establish....' When anyone tells me, that he saw a dead man restored to life, I immediately consider with myself, whether it be more probable, that this person should either deceive or be deceived, or that the fact, which he relates, should really have happened. I weigh the one miracle against the other; and according to the superiority, which I discover, I pronounce my decision, and always reject the greater miracle. If the falsehood of his testimony would be more miraculous, than the event which he relates; then, and not till then, can he pretend to command my belief or opinion.Zara and Coyne both refer to Hume as correct on this issue, Coyne wrote:
To take Hume’s view, when the probability of that evidence adducing a god exceeds the probability that it’s either a trick or due to some unexplained natural process, then I think it’s okay to provisionally accept a god.Coyne, defending his scientific integrity, states this is a possibility, but Zara and Myers do not. I think it is because they take one extra step that Coyne doesn't when Zara writes, following Hume's argument to its natural conclusion "literally anything else is a better, more likely explanation of phenomena in the real world". The possiblity of it is so remote, it has passed the vanishing point. But can't we all be happy that we agree with Hume?