Stephen Grover

The evidentialist objection to belief in God cannot be sidestepped through any analogy with beliefs that we hold in the absence of evidence, but which it is clearly rational for us to believe. The beliefs about matters of fact and existence that we do hold without evidence in their support—beliefs like Plantinga’s strictly and loosely basic beliefs or Kenny’s fundamental beliefs—are related to sense-experience or to our trust in procedures of belief-formation on the basis of sense-experience in ways quite different from the ways in which religious beliefs are related to that experience and those procedures. Not can religious beliefs which arise directly out of experience other than ordinary perceptual experience be directly evident, for they manifest few of the signs of reliability which ordinary perceptual claims manifest and show signs of unreliability as well. If we regard the belief that God exists as an unjustified and unjustifiable presupposition of the theist’s world picture then we either relinquish any claim to rationality for that belief, or attain the required rationality only at the cost of abandoning the claim to objectivity which genuinely theistic belief cannot go without.

Stephen Grover, God and the Absence of Evidence, D.Phil. thesis, University of Oxford, 1987, p. 185