[Let’s] examine what you mean by evidence. If you are like most of them, evidence is limited to what may be observed at least indirectly through the five senses and that by more than one person in different places and at different times. This is a minimum requirement for any kind of certainty.
For certainty in argument, proof must be based on deductive logic alone. The alternative inferential logic can give the most reasonable option but can never give the logical necessity required for formal proof. That leaves very little that we can prove in a formal sense. No one-off events, no personal experience, no history, no ethics, no love or other sentiment. To require this kind of proof in all daily living is impractical, even dysfunctional. We do need certainty in scientific areas like engineering and medical research. To promote certainty, we look for outcomes that are both valid and reliable. They are reliable when the rule holds and we get the expected outcome every time. They are valid when the outcomes are what they say they are; they are true to their nature.
Note that the quality of truth applies only to validity. Conversely, some questions are in psychology tests purely because they give a reliable outcome and have no logical connection to that outcome. Statistics only.
So, your demand for ‘proof’ is inappropriate if it includes an assumption of reliability. One-off events and personal experiences are valid on occasion even without scientific reliability. The processes we use to establish such truth involve inferences at the conscious level and intuition sub-consciously. There are also cross-checks that give adequate reliability. We assume these processes in daily life. Without them, we tend to become dysfunctional and experience too many fractured relationships.
Gary: All this may well be true. My child’s love for me cannot be proven scientifically yet I believe it to be a fact. I assume that my child loves me based on factors that cannot be measured, weighed, or examined under a microscope. And when it comes to personal experiences, it is certainly possible that supernatural events occur in the lives of individuals, events which by definition defy the laws of science, thereby making it impossible to validate the veracity of these claims with the standard methods used by science.
However, atheists such as myself do not claim that it is impossible that events which cannot be measured and quantified by science do not occur. They very well may. What we state is that if one is going to make a universal truth claim; a claim that is true for every person, at all times, and in every location, then there must be verifiable evidence to support such a claim using universally accepted standards of evidence. Subjective preferences and personal experiences are not sufficient for universal truth claims.
So, if you as a Christian wish to believe that a first century Jewish baby was born of a virgin mother, fathered by a (holy) ghost, and given supernatural powers that give him the ability to grant you life after death, that is your certainly your choice. But don’t expect most modern, educated non-believers to accept these fantastical claims as fact without quality evidence!
The problem for Christians is: quality evidence does not exist for your 2,000 year old supernatural tale.
End of post.