Christian Apologist Tom Gilson Tries But Fails to Defend his Faith

I had a discussion about faith with Christian apologist Tom Gilson on Facebook. You need to read it. He blogs at Thinking Christian and edited the book True Reason. *cough* Our discussion began with a video and my initial salvo:

In the clip above forget about Mel Robbins's religiously charged language and whether talk of motivation is garbage. She hits it when she forcefully and eloquently says:

"The way that our minds are that we are not designed to do things that are uncomfortable or scary or difficult. Our brains are designed to protect us from those things because our brains are trying to keep us alive.....The way our minds are designed is to stop us at all costs from doing anything that might hurt us."

Robbins goes on to say we're just one decision away from having a new life! But our brains keep us from choosing it because it's uncomfortable scary or difficult. When we come upon a new life changing idea we hesitate. That's our brains keeping us from changing our lives.
I think this is the number one reason why believers don't abandon their faith in light of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They are made comfortable with their myths in a society of believers who reinforce each other, especially when there's a hell to pay if they get it wrong. So because of our evolved brains atheists face a monumental uphill two-steps-forward-one-step-backward struggle. Belief is easy. Doubt is hard. Belief is still socially acceptable. Doubt could separate us from our loved ones.

I have a friend named Mark who attended a lecture I did about six months ago for the FreeThought Fort Wayne group we're a part of where I handed him a copy of my book, "The Outsider Test for Faith." Sheila saw him yesterday. They talked. She asked him if he has read it. He said he's picked it up a few times but got a "weird" feeling about it, so he put it down. That was his brain dong the talking. The reason he won't even read the book is because he doesn't want to doubt. That's because doubt is hard. If he ever decides to read it he'll probably do as another good friend of mine did, named Brenda. I handed her a copy of my magnum opus and she said this prayer every time she opened it: "Dear Lord, don't let me be deceived by what I read today." This was her brain doing the talking. It was keeping her closed-minded while she read it.

So I put it to you. Given this fact about our brains how can we come to know the truth about which religion is true, if there is one? Remember, our brains have a vested interest in keeping us away from the truth, if the truth is something we were not raised to believe. Taken together with another fact, the fact of religious diversity, we know most people, billions of them, have been raised to believe something false. I've proposed we should treat what we were raised to believe with doubt as agnostic outsiders, who require sufficient objective evidence before we accept any religion, or none at all. What's wrong with my proposal? What is the alternative? I'm serious. Be honest
Tom Gilson "overwhelming evidence to the contrary"? Sorry. No.
John W. Loftus: Tom, our brains will even keep us from seeing that there is "overwhelming evidence to the contrary." Clinical studies confirm this.

My final response.

Notice that Gilson confuses the reasonable need for a god's messages (or actions) to be objectively detectable by us, with science itself. There is a difference. Sense data (or experience) can sometimes deceive us, like a mirage, a voice out of the blue, subjective feelings or emotions, or four people who describe the same accident. The difference is that science determines what sense data has the best evidence for a particular phenomenon by requiring objective corroboration according to the scientific method. So in order to defend his faith Gilson must stand against the most reliable way to verify sense data, science. LET THAT SINK IN! Gilson will even produce false analogies of knowledge due to subjective states of the mind without objective evidence to them as proof he can know which god's revelation inside his head is the true one. Subjective experiences folks, are only evidence of subjective experiences. Period. If you want to know what's true then any subjective experiences should be objectively verified. How much they should be verified depends on the experience. In this case, it's crystal clear any purported feeling of a god or his voice in one's 's head must be verified with objective evidence.

What I'm saying is that, given the wide diversity of people claiming to have their own divinely revealed messages, which are different and even mutually contradictory, any such claims must be objectively detectable and probablistically verified. Subjective messages do not count if there's a god who wants us to believe or fry, especially if he wants reasonable people to believe those who claim to have received these messages. While Gilson objects to science (typical believer), science is the most reliable method for detecting objective evidence that we have developed.

Lest I forget, there is no such thing as data without reasoning in science, no such thing as science without logic. But there are times the evidence overwhelms any attempt delusional people like Gilson have to explain the evidence away. Rational thinking without any evidence is delusional thinking. That's what it means to be a "Thinking Christian: as Gilson claims.