...The issue is whether evidence requires trust, or whether trust requires evidence. And, clearly, it is the latter, since trust may be misplaced, we need evidence to decide who (or what) it is we should trust. ...
I'm glad you are doing this kennethamy, because you are prompting me to think of every possible way to navigate through your objections. The only thing I ask is that you go back and answer my two posts that you never answered, because it doesn't seem fair that you should decline to answer, then, later, maintain your position, re-phrase or re-constitute it, and expect your fellow inquirers to repeat things that they already said. How can I not interpret that as an evasive tactic?
In response to your latest ...
Evidence is something I create in my mind
when I experience something and process that experience. This may be the critical juncture.
You seem to want to insist that the evidence is "out there" having some kind of self-creative, self-sustaining existence. The whole issue is that we don't have immediate access to what's "out there." We create the world "out there" by experiencing with our senses and creating mental constucts that are translations of what is "out there."
In order to create evidence, I have to trust my sensory perception and my reasoning powers. To say that something is evidence is once again saying you know something. It just puts you in the business of searching for evidence to support your evidence.
I may choose, and I ought to choose, in certain circumstances, to trust a proposition or a person or a bridge only when I have what I choose to believe
is sufficient evidence. But how do I get that evidence? I have to create it myself. I have to harness those same old mules, sensory perception and reasoning. I have to trust my senses and my reasoning powers before I can create any evidence.
The person who claims to know something always has the opportunity to ask, "How do I know that?" And, as you have been insisting, the answer may be and should be, "Because I have sufficient evidence." Now that person has the opportunity to ask, "But how did I come by this evidence?" The answer, so far as I can tell, is always, "I created it myself. It's a biproduct of my
sensory perception and my
reasoning powers, and if I choose to trust them
, I can create some evidence, and then I can know something."