Once again T H O M has done us the honor of offering us a post with his own unique insights  :

“All we have in any subject matter is information.  That information is of varying degrees of credibility, reliability and reproduceability.  The question of reproduceability does not arise in the area of historical information.  Evidence is information which is claimed to be relevant to the verification of other information.  The historical information concerning Christianity, much of which is contested in any event, is not evidence of the truth-status of Christian belief.  It is (merely ?) evidence of the historical development of a belief system.

It can properly be said that there is no corpus of information concerning the existence of ‘God’.  The corpus of information concerning CLAIMS for His existence includes the arguments of Aristotle and Aquinas (and Feser as well as our own former critic Jim), but also the pre-Christian mystery religions like the cults of Isis, Mithras, Dionysus, Zoroaster, etc., contemporaneous movements of the early Christian period, like those of the Essenes and Gnostics, post-Christian cults like Scientology, and significantly, the modern sciences of astronomy, particle physics and psychiatry.  There are few if any areas of worthwhile intellectual inquiry which are one-dimensional.  Much of the information concerning the history of pre-Christian and early Christian movements has been lost or destroyed or otherwise massaged into different forms by people whose motives have proven less than impartial and pure.

It is, I believe, fair to say that there is a complete absence of reliable information concerning the fundamental tenet of Christianity, namely the existence of an eternal, omnipotent, loving, merciful Creator God who sent His Son to be our Savior.  Once you get into the extraordinary overlay of Catholic doctrine and dogma regarding the Trinity, Christology, Mariology, the Sacraments, etc., the situation becomes almost ( ? – the interrogation is mine : the Editor. Ridenda Religio !) laughable .

To claim that “belief” is “warranted” is a self-serving misuse of language – probably not intentionally designed to mislead and perhaps innocently naïve, but nonetheless self-serving.  For whatever reason, Alvin Plantinga, like Jim et al. (Alan ?  See my comment below : the Editor), each made a decision to believe.  The rest is justification – or attempted justification – for this decision.  Likewise it is fair to say that for whatever reasons, we atheists have made a decision to not believe.  I think the default position of respectable and responsible intellectual inquiry should be one of cautious scepticism.  This position is perfectly and rationally defensible in terms of this stance, which is the only stance, in my view, that is ‘warranted by the evidence’ “.

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