Go collect fundie evidence for the "will of God" in one hand, and secular evidence for the "brute facts" of the world in the other.
See which one fills up first.
Funny you should mention that. I've long thought that "evidence" is the secular equivalent of "God's will," in that what we already believe defines what we accept as evidence. And if your only defense of your, ahem, reasons is that they're better than fundie hogwash, well, that's not saying much.
There is always only 1 honest interpretation of evidence.
Oh come now. Data have to be arranged and interpreted in some sort of context before they can be meaningful. The way we approach information depends on what we already believe.
I'm nonreligious, and I spent plenty of time excoriating the religious for what I considered the flaws in their worldview (check my posting history if you want "evidence"). But a lot of the time, we approach discussion with believers as a game we rig to our advantage: we demand that they reorganize their beliefs as an evidentiary construct, then we criticize the construct for its shortcomings as something it was never meant to be in the first place. Note that I'm not talking about creationism here, which is just a garbled pseudoscientific conspiracy theory; I'm talking about a religious perspective, the kind of thing Omnivorous was so rabidly attacking.
The point is that we demand "evidence" from believers because we've already defined "evidence" as data from the natural sciences, i.e. something that we know won't support claims about the existence of the big-magic-guy the way it can the existence of gingko trees and glaciers.
Okay. How about the way we process information about social and cultural matters? We always emphasize the importance of information that reinforces what we already believe, and dismiss information that challenges what we believe. The numerous statistics, factoids, and opinion pieces floating around on subjects like abortion or gun control are impossible to approach one by one; we usually just judge them by their sources and whether they tell us what we want to hear.
One question of "is this evidence really indicative of reality" does not leave you with no where to go... it leads you back to validate the information against reality again... which can be done. And can always be done so that all (honest) people will agree. Like having 2 apples on the table.
If ever matter were as simple as the number of apples on the table, sure. But in most other issues in our personal and social spheres, things are much more complex and there's a lot less hard data available.
As soon as you're dismissing information... you're being dishonest. And "we" don't always do that.
Sure we do. Do you really think only other people are prone to cognitive biases and self-validating modes of thinking?
I mentioned the abortion debate, in which two facts are always brought up: the fetal heartbeat and that the fetus gestates inside a woman's body. It's not that either pro-lifers or pro-choicers dispute these points. But pro-lifers emphasize the fetal heartbeat and make it seem all-important in the matter; deliberately stopping a heart, even a fetus's heart, is murder. Pro-choicers emphasize the second fact, and stress that the personhood and responsibility of the woman are of utmost importance; if she doesn't want to undergo pregnancy and childbirth, she shouldn't be forced to do so against her will.
It can happen. It does happen with counting 2 apples on the table.
Since you're determined to handwave away anything I present, let me use your example. What if the apples are wax apples instead of real ones? What if they're pears that look like apples? What if there are more than two apples, but from the vantage point of the viewers there appear to be only two? What if they are holograms?
Wouldn't it be possible for there to be different interpretations of the "brute facts" in these instances?