I’ve been thinking of objections to this – to the reply to the reply to the claim that belief in God is no more a “faith position” than is empirical science because our belief that our senses are a reliable guide to reality cannot be justified. One reply to that is we all assume our senses are a reliable guide to reality, while belief in God is an extra; reply to that reply is
if we accept (ii) [there is a God], then (i) [our senses are a reliable guide to reality] is no longer an assumption. We can justify it by appealing to (ii) (in the style of Descartes – a good God would not allow us systematically to be deceived). So, each belief involves an equal amount of “faith”.
Stephen asked for comments. I said
It seems to me we have to accept both (ii) and (iii) for (i) to be no longer an assumption. (ii) was “there is a God”; (iii) is “the God there is is good”. So the amounts of faith aren’t equal; (ii) and (iii) are at least double (i).
I’ve been thinking of (iv), (v), (vi) and so on – actually I thought of a couple of them at the time but wanted to keep it simple, not to say stark. But it takes a lot of steps to get from ‘there is a God’ to ‘a good God would not allow us systematically to be deceived, therefore our senses are a reliable guide to reality,’ doesn’t it? You could just change (ii) to ‘there is a good God’ in an attempt to eliminate (iii), but it would be cheating, since the game is counting items believed in order to compare quantity of faith needed for theism and atheism. So those are two, and then there are more. (iv) the good God there is had and/or has something to do with the way our senses are. (v) the good God there is that had something to do with the way our senses are has no way reliably to inform us about itself, despite having had something to do with the way our senses are. (vi) the good God that did these confusing things is not bothered by the fact that there is a convincing alternative explanation for the fact that our senses are a mostly reliable guide to reality. (vii) the good God that arranged this even more confusing situation is not bothered by the way we carry on.
The items you have to believe seem to keep multiplying, and the more of them there are the less sense they make, yet they can’t be eliminated. (Can they? No doubt I’m missing something, or everything, but I don’t see how they can.)