Should theists grant that there is some evidence for God’s non-existence?

The short answer is, yes, theists (and Christians) should grant that there is some evidence against God’s existence. To clarify, this does not mean that theists think this evidence is very good, nor that it is sufficient to warrant belief in God’s non-existence.

One reason a theist should be motivated to accept that there is (at least) some evidence against God’s existence is because it seems to be true. For instance, the existence of suffering seems to count as some evidence against God’s existence. This does not mean the evidence is decisive. Afterall, the theist can think there are other pieces of evidence for God’s existence that outweigh the existence of suffering.

A second reason a theist should be motivated to accept that there is some evidence against God’s existence is to make sure God’s existence isn’t rendered unfalsifiable. In other words, God’s existence couldn’t (even in principle) be shown to be false. So, if nothing counts against God’s existence and everything counts for God’s existence, then it seems God’s existence is rendered unverifiable/unfalsifiable. We usually want to avoid a hypothesis if it is unfalsifiable.  Prima facie, there seems to be something irrational about believing something that is unfalsifiable. Or, if something is unfalsifiable, then it seems that it is not likely to be true or less likely to be true.

Thirdly, a theist can be motivated to accept that there is some evidence against God’s existence because this gains credibility for the theist. In other words, a non-theist is more likely to take the theist more seriously and view the theist as more open-minded or less bias.

Finally, a theist could even grant that, for example, that the existence of suffering counts as very good evidence for God’s non-existence. Moreover, the theist could say that, given suffering, God’s existence is improbable.  However, that doesn’t mean God’s existence, given our total background information, is improbable. So, even if God’s existence is improbable given suffering, that doesn’t mean that God’s existence is improbable all things considered.

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