The Christian Perspective
The conclusion does not seem reasonable to me.
First, the premise is very unclear, and I will explain what I mean. Second, in the only way I can see that the premise could be considered true, the conclusion does not seem to be reasonably based on it.
AN UNCLEAR PREMISE
First, the premise seems unclear in that it seems to suggest that evidence is the only way to justifiably be convinced of something. But note that rational thought cannot exist without reason behind it. If there is no rational creator god to rationally cause our beliefs, then there is ultimately no possible reason for our beliefs.
Another way of saying this is that the most basic proof of God is that if there weren't one, it would be impossible to prove anything at all. So, if we know anything, then it necessarily follows that God exists. If rational thought is possible, then there is a rational creator God.
I would not personally place a proof like the one I just offered into the category of "evidence". Evidence, in my mind, is never absolutely conclusive. Evidential reasoning always entails some kind of deductive fallacy. This does not mean it isn't useful -- it is. It simply cannot be absolutely certain. Evidence simply cannot go that far.
Instead of calling human rationality "evidence" of God, I would call it "deductive proof" of God. If it is possible to be justifiably certain about anything at all, then God.
So, if there were no "evidence", it wouldn't matter -- we have deductive proof.
This is one way in which the premise is unclear: it seems to suggest that evidence is the only thing that can convince anyone of anything. If this were true, then deductive proof, apparently, cannot convince anyone of anything. But this is surely not the case.
Further, the only kind of "evidence" that can exist for anything at all is "evidence" that is interpreted based on our own personal sensory perception. In other words, evidence by its very nature is always subjective and interpreted according to personal presuppositions.
This is a second way that the premise is unclear. It seems to suggest that evidence can somehow be convincing without being experienced or observed in a subjective manner. But how could this be? What kind of evidence is neither experienced nor observed?
It is through "subjective experience" that a human recognizes that he is standing up. Or sitting down. Or walking, talking, or reading. Such "evidence" does not justify absolute certainty, but it does justify firm conclusions. This kind of evidence is what scientific inquiry is based on -- subjective, experiential evidence... because that's the only kind of evidence there is.
So that is a second way in which the premise is unclear. It makes it sound like evidence can possibly not be subjective. But all evidence is subjective.
THE CONCLUSION DOES NOT FOLLOW
Now on to why the conclusion does not seem to follow from the premise. Given that we have deductive proof as explained above, if the only evidence (non-proof) that we have is subjective experience, it certainly does not follow that God wants His existence to be a mystery: He's proven it!
What's more, even if we didn't have this proof, there are many conclusions humans draw quite reasonably based on subjective personal experiences. Indeed, every single scientific theory is grounded on nothing more than observation -- a subjective personal experience!
So if subjective, experiential evidence were the only kind of evidence God gave us, and as a result we claimed that He wants us to be confused about whether he exists or not, we also ought to be confused about whether germs cause diseases or not, whether gravity attracts masses or not, whether our friends and family exist or not, etc. All of our conclusions about all of these things are based entirely upon subjective, personal, experiential evidence.
I seriously doubt the questioner would say that any of those things should be doubted in the same way that he hastens to suggest that God should be doubted. Yet, if the conclusion followed from the premise, we should doubt all of the above -- every scientific conclusion, every conclusion based on experimentation and observation, ever arrived at!
This is why I've said that the conclusion does not follow from the premise. If it did, the questioner would be throwing out the scientific method and every conclusion it has brought the human race, since every single one of them has come from subjective experiences.
THE QUESTION IS MISGUIDED
In sum, the premise is unclear, even misleading, and the conclusion does not seem to follow from it. Further, we have deductive proof that God exists, such that anyone who denies this fact must also deny all possibility of their own rationality.
However, on the topic of evidence, there is plenty for the Christian faith.
EVIDENCE FOR CHRISTIANITY
Fulfilled prophecies provide powerful evidence that Christ was not just your average human being. Multiple manuscripts, dated earlier than the time of Christ, provide prophecies of the coming Jewish messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus. These include Daniel's prophecy of when the messiah would arrive in Daniel 9:25 (manuscript circa 150BC), Isaiah's prophecy about how he would meet his death in Isaiah 53 (manuscript circa 100BC), and the town in which he would be born in Micah 5:2 (manuscript circa 200BC).
Further, Christianity has a plethora of historical and archaeological evidence to support it. Insofar as it is possible to archaeologically or historically confirm or deny anything the Bible asserts, the claims of scripture have been repeatedly clearly confirmed, and never clearly denied. Examples include the Hittite kingdom, the Israelites' exodus from Egypt, and the reign of Belshazzar.
Christ's coming and existence have been testified to by numerous eyewitnesses, including the authors of three of the gospel narratives, Matthew, Mark and John, not to mention Paul, Peter, James and Jude in their epistles. Multiple witnesses have asserted their observations not only of his life and death, but also of his resurrection! Some of these purported eyewitnesses were so dedicated to their claims to have seen the risen Christ, that they were willing to die before they would deny them. It is reasonable that someone would die for a lie if they sincerely believed it to be true, but it stretches credulity to suggest that people would die for a lie that they knew was a lie, as the apostles would have, if it had really been a lie.
Christ's birth, death and resurrection are the unique doctrinal foundation of Christianity, and it is upon these historical events that the Christian rests his everlasting destiny.
We have all been created by our rational creator God. And each of us has certain obligations that we are morally required to follow -- commands of God. But each of us has, in some way, failed to do what we knew to be right. In Christianity, we call this "sin". The Bible states that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and that the payment we have earned for our sin is death (Romans 6:23). But, Christ was executed in our place, according to prophecy and multiple eyewitness testimonies (1 John 4:10). If we trust His sacrifice on our behalf, we can be forgiven by God for our disobedience and be made right with God forever (Romans 10:9-10).
This is the hope we have in Christ.
I'm sorry for that sounding rude, I respect your academic accomplishments completely, but I notice most of your answers to these types of questions are really curt, and if you've retained anything from basic high school english, you'd know that in order to form a credible explanation/argument, you'd be better off by attempting to appeal to one of the three basic human reasoning instincts (Ethos, Pathos, Logos). At least, one would expect some sort of counterargument. This response, though I'm sure it's anything but, sounds uneducated and evasive.
Hoping for some sort of reply.
Junior in High School, Danny
Personally speaking, I would much rather have Richard's short, to-the-point answers than Tim's torrents of verbiage. I should also point out that Richard actually does attempt to answer questions as they have been put.
There is nothing unreasonable to conclude from the premise about "subjective experience" that 'God (might) want to remain mysterious' because no one can say for sure if the premise/assumption is wrong or not. "Reasonable" is not the same in meaning as "logical", although closely related.
Besides, McCabe enjoys being argumentative, as all wrong 'word gamers' do. Afterall, Christianity and some other religions are about subjective experiences, not trying to prove it as in the Sciences
But to be fair Tony, you haven't fairly sampled Richard Carrier's (the Atheist columnist) answers. He can be just as curt or harsh in his replies, as well as being a pseudo-intellectual himself. See https://www.godcontention.org/atheist/what-is-bad-about-your-worldview
as an example
I will consider your open offer and apply in due course.
However, this is a new and unknown site to me. But I would love for it to be a polite and civil place where there is honesty and fairness because there are people distressed and/or struggling with issues of religion that impact their lives
This is great website idea, by the way.
Well, if you had read carefully, I was referring to the current few columnists' and the website's same citizenship. Not to you or any other commenter
The World has only ever had views from males on religion and many other topics. It's time to change that. The Webmaster is amazingly fair to invite a new perspective - coming soon to this website
A staunch supporter of Richard...? Perhaps, but just because I don't engage with him as much as I used to with Tim doesn't mean I agree with him on everything. I do find it more instructive and informative to engage with those with whom you disagree though.
I did understand your point about the columnists but it behoved me to point out that the commenters weren't *all* so homogeneous, in case you were under a misapprehension.
I only dip my toes in the water here every now and again since Tim stopped playing with me. I guess there are only so many times you can be called "delusional" before you decide to take your ball and go home.
I look forward very much to hearing your perspective.
That's encouraging to know you are from the UK and look forward to it, thanks...but at this point in time, 4 April 2018, I'm still haggling with the webmaster as there seems to be no category suitable enough for me, but that's actually due to other people's misjudgments; and I've discovered that I have to keep a misleading secret while being judged in any category except one. Can't say more