If we as Christians are doing our due diligence, we should know a thing or two about evidence. Evidence for the existence of God, the resurrection of Jesus, or even just that miracles are possible. Skeptics often like to claim that there is no evidence for God, when the truth is quite the opposite. However, when presented with said evidence, you may face some pushback with a question like this. “If the evidence for God and Christianity is so good, why don’t more people believe it? Maybe the reason people don’t believe it is because your evidence isn’t actually good.” Regardless of how it sounds, this is a pretty weak argument for multiple reasons.
1. Evidence Does Not Always Convince
I find it a little bit ironic when I hear skeptics ask this question. Given how often they complain about religious people only listening dogma, you would think they would understand that evidence is not the only thing that persuades people. Just because we have insurmountable evidence that the world is round doesn’t mean Flat Earthers will stop existing. Or more seriously, just because we have evidence for the millions of deaths during the Holocaust does not mean we will successfully convince every Holocaust denier. Sometimes you will have to accept that evidence will not persuade everyone.
2. People Believe Things for Other Reasons
But why do people believe things if not for evidence? Surely it must just be they are ignorant of the evidence, or have been brainwashed otherwise, right? Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple even for scientists. We might hold onto a belief regardless of evidence because of other commitments and feelings we hold to.
Few people have laid this out quite as clearly as J. Warner Wallace, so I’ll direct you straight to him on what the 3 “Shuns” are that determine why we believe something.
Idealism or Naivete?
This question presumes the best in people. It assumes that if we are presented with sufficient evidence, we will believe something. But humans are not singularly logical beings like Vulcans. We are swayed just as much, if not more, by our emotions. If we do not want something to be true, we will often find a way to deny it. If we are already committed to one view, we will try and find a way to reject another. Thankfully we are not bound by that, and can change and be persuaded by evidence. But to think that we always will be swayed by evidence is verifiably false, and the person asking the question probably already knows this. The challenge holds no weight on its own, and is little more than a distraction to dismiss the evidence we have.
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