Father Dwight Longenecker is a blogger and parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Greenville, South Carolina. Recently Father Longenecker responded to one of the more frequently asked questions on his blog. His response concerning the evidence for the existence of God is worth a read.
The most frequently asked question by atheists who come to this blog is “What evidence do you have for the existence of God?” My reply is always to ask what sort of evidence they require, but not one of them has ever given me a straight answer. My question is an honest one. What sort of evidence would someone be looking for if they wanted evidence for God? I ask this because there are many things in life that we know exist, or whose existence we accept without question for which there is evidence, but the evidence is not of a scientific nature. I’m thinking of Love, Beauty and Truth for example. These virtues are very real, and the evidence for them is solid, but someone who wished to ‘prove’ their existence to a doubter would be hard pressed.
Similarly, we know that certain historical figures existed and certain events took place in the past, but the evidence for them is slim. Historians believe King Arthur existed, for example, but there is scant evidence for him.
We believe in certain scientific principles or properties, but the evidence for them is of a certain kind which is appropriate for that particular principle or property. See here, for example, a discussion on whether energy exists.
Until atheists are willing or able to discuss what they mean by ‘evidence’ and what sort of evidence would be appropriate to show the existence of God it is impossible for theists to answer their question.