And, for that matter, what is the evidence that materialism is true?
What is the evidence that a materialist demanding evidence on the internet is a good and fair judge of what should be considered evidence?
It seems to me that there are basically three ways that the materialist who is used to asking for evidence for God can answer these questions:
First, we can look at the matter, applying the same standards of evidence that are routinely taken toward theism.
Under this method, materialism and moral relativism fail abysmally. They aren’t remotely supported y anything like the kinds of evidence regularly insisted upon by the same people defending materialism.
Second, we can revise the concept of evidence so that the reasons people give for believing materialism and relativism count as evidence.
This option comes the closest to my own approach. Of course, its drawback for the materialist is that theism has a great deal of evidentiary support under this system. Most who defend atheism on the internet would lose their main (and, often as not) only argument if we take this approach.
This brings us to option number three. We could try to give some reason why the same standards of evidence don’t apply to the atheist’s philosophy of life as are being applied to religious philosophies of life.
In my experience, this is the direction most atheists take. It is the home of the (very poor) “I simply lack belief”, and “we’re not talking about my view” arguments. For all that is said about religious views by this group, on would think they’d be eager to prove that their life-approaches and moral systems meet higher standards of evidence.
But I don’t find this to be the case. In fact, I find the opposite. Very few want to talk about specific options to theism at all. But simply refusing to discuss the issue does nothing to show why it shouldn’t meet the same standards of evidence as theism. It simply ignores the issue.
And this is where we always end up, I think: the insistence that there is some view out there which is better than theism, along with a complete refusal to hold that view up to any scrutiny at all.
Once we do start taking a serious look at materialist views, however, theism is clearly the more plausible option.