Answer by Jim Ashby:
Because they know it's an eminently, transparently and absolutely reasonable explanation. If they accept it, the charade is over. What's to argue? There is, in fact, no evidence. If there were evidence, then believers would hope we actually do cite 'lack of evidence' so that they could then jump all over our explanation with the actual evidence. That should be enough proof for you that there really is no evidence.
I'll prefer the term, 'objective reason', over the word, 'evidence', from here on out and I'll be addressing believers directly.
Objective reason includes evidence, unassailable logic and proof. When you have no objective reason for your belief, what can you do about it? I think the options boil down to variations of two basic positions:
- Claim that your belief is based on faith and, thus, does not require objective reason.
- Resort to fallacious reasoning in an effort to claim objective reason(s).
Position #1 is honest. Position #2 is dishonest.
As I'm wont to do, I remind you now that faith is belief without objective reason. If you accept your faith for what it is, you really shouldn't contradict it with vain attempts to claim objective reasons when there are none. It makes you appear as if you don't really have faith after all . . . or that faith does not satisfy you. The dishonesty does not put your faith in a very good light. I admire honesty, so I would accept position #1 without objection. But I will always challenge those who take position #2: they'll need to put up or shut up.
If your priest or pastor told you that belief boils down to faith, you wouldn't give it a second thought. Because it's true. But if an atheist tells you your belief boils down to faith, most of you can't stand it. Interesting, don't you think?
I've only seen a few believers (mostly Muslims) on Quora take position #1. Almost all believers here take position #2. And they always fail. Look at the questions we get over and over. There's logical fallacies inherent in ALL of them: false equivalency, category error, red herrings, begging the question, etc. It appears that their favorite logical fallacy is false equivalency, aided by another logical fallacy: category error. The category error conflates the subjective (belief/opinion) with the objective (knowledge/certainty).
For instance, "Atheism, like theism, is based on faith because atheists deny that God exists." This false equivalency relies on a subtle category error — substituting the objective case of the word, 'deny', for the subjective words, 'don't believe'. But, of course, atheists don't deny God's existence outright (i.e., as an objective fact). They merely make the subjective claim (i.e., opinion) to not believe in God's existence. An ostensibly objective denial needs to be objectively substantiated — but a subjective belief does not: it's just a subjective opinion . . . albeit, in this case, one convincingly supported by the abject lack of evidence.