Victor Reppert knocks down the supposed assertion of atheists that there is no evidence for the existence of God.
A lot depends on what exactly one means by evidence. My own view of evidence, in the context of the discussion of God, is something that is more likely to be there if God exists than if God does not exist. Evidence against God would be something that is more likely to exist if there is no God than if there is a God. With that understanding, I think the fine-tuning of the universe is a clear case of something that is more likely to exist if there is a God than if there is no God, so it's evidence for God. The degree and kind of pain and suffering that exists in the world does seem to be something that is more likely without God than with God, so that's evidence against God. Whether the positive evidence outweighs the negative evidence, to me, is the interesting issue. The no-evidence claim looks like a non-starter. - ReppertTrouble is, the "no-evidence claim" is not the assertion that any reasonable atheist would make. Generally, they hold that there isn't empirical evidence to support the existence of God. Some may use the word 'evidence' when they mean 'empirical evidence' or 'objective evidence', but that is not to deny that theists have some kind of evidence for their beliefs. It may be, however, a denial that they have good evidence for those beliefs. Good evidence is objective and factual. That's something theists lack.
I have addressed these issues repeatedly. In particular, in this post, I referred to a philosophical paper, here, that discusses the epistemic value of factual versus perceived evidence. But it seems that every time theists argue with atheists about evidence for belief in God, they reject the kind of evidence that has the epistemic value that would merit belief. Why? Because they know that kind of evidence simply doesn't exist. And instead of admitting that their evidence is lacking in epistemic value, they fault atheists for wanting good evidence.
As a philosopher, Victor should recognize that not all evidence is equal. In his latest assault on reason, he cites two arguments, claiming that one is evidence for God, an the other is evidence against god. He then notes that it is a question of weighing the positive evidence against the negative evidence. So perhaps it would be worthwhile to examine the epistemic value of those two pieces of evidence.
Victor's positive evidence is the "fine-tuning" of the universe. The first thing to note about this is that it is an assertion, not a fact. Theists have a subjective feeling that the universe is tuned to support our existence. This supposed tuning works at at least two different levels. One of them is the existence of conditions within our universe that are amenable to biological life. The other is the existence of physical laws and constants that are amenable to producing our universe in the first place, a world that has stars and planets where there could possibly be conditions suitable for life.
If we look at the first part of this argument, we will note that most of the universe is utterly hostile to biological life. But there are trillions of stars, and trillions of planets, with a vast range of different environmental conditions. Given this wide variety of conditions, it is not surprising that there is at least one place in the universe where the random combination of those conditions is suitable for life. Indeed, it would be quite surprising if there was not a single place among all those trillions of possibilities where life could be sustained. So it seems to me that given the laws of physics as we see in our universe, it is not reasonable to assert that there is any fine-tuning to support biological life. Most of the universe doesn't support life, but we should expect to find some variant among the broad range of conditions that is favorable for life, by virtue of randomness alone.
As for the second part, we can extend the same reasoning to the laws of physics. If there can be multiple universes, each with its own set of physical laws and constants, then we should expect that at least one variant exists among all the possibilities where we would find a world containing stars and planets. Of course, theists will object that we have no evidence that there is more than one universe. Fair enough. But neither do we have evidence that there is only one universe, and they have no basis for asserting that there must be no other universes. What we do have is an understanding of physics that allows and predicts the existence of multiple universes. And given that understanding, there is absolutely no reason to assume that this is the one and only universe. That being the case, the assertion of fine-tuning falls flat on its face. Fine-tuning as evidence has little epistemic value.
Victor's negative evidence is the existence of suffering. The first thing to note about this is that it is a fact, not just an assertion. If this argument has any merit at all, we can say at the least that it is based on objective fact, as opposed to Victor's positive evidence, which is not based on objective fact. On this basis alone, the negative evidence has greater epistemic value than the positive evidence.
If you want to ignore epistemic value, you can say that it's a battle of collections of evidence that argue for or against the existence of God. But if you are interested in having epistemic justification for what you believe, you should be willing to consider the epistemic value of the evidence. And furthermore, you need to consider all the available evidence. It's not really a question of one collection of evidence for and another collection of evidence against. The real question should be what hypothesis best explains all the evidence we have? The fact of the existence of conditions suitable for life is taken into account along with the fact that most of the universe isn't at all suitable for life. That tends to point to a hypothesis of randomness or lack in intention. In a scientific approach to evaluating evidence, there is no room for cherry-picking bits of evidence that tend to support a favored hypothesis (which is what ID does).
Every theistic argument I have ever heard is based on some assumption or assertion that lacks epistemic justification (or just plain bad logic). If theists were willing to open their eyes and take an honest look at the whole body of evidence available, and giving appropriate weight to that which is objective and factual versus that which is subjective or non-factual, they would find that their arguments fall short. Rather than castigating atheists for demanding evidence that doesn't exist, they should look at the evidence that does exist - all of it. There's a very good reason that there's no objective evidence for their assertions of miracles and immaterial beings: because there are no miracles and immaterial beings. The story told by the totality of evidence is quite clear.