The late Christopher Hitchens — one of the infamous “new atheists” — made this claim: “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” If you have had conversations with atheists about belief in God, this view — known as “strong evidentialism” — probably sounds familiar. In fact, if you hang around skeptics and freethinkers long enough, chances are you will hear about William K. Clifford’s essay, “The Ethics of Belief.” In it, he claims: “It is wrong, always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”
Are these reasonable claims? What is the proper role of evidence for belief? Is it improper to hold beliefs without empirical evidence?
Copan makes his case here: http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201304/201304_028_believe_evid.cfm