David Parker has noticed my commitment to a subjectivist Bayesian model of belief acceptance. I should add what Monty Python said about Camelot: "It's only a model!" However, I don't see a better one. I believe in openness to evidence, but I don't believe in neutral perspectives. I believe in rationality, but I don't believe in artificial standards of rationality. And I certainly don't believe that people should claim to have achieved objectivity when they really are far from that lofty goal.
Parker wonders if my commitment to a Bayesian model of evidence commits me to the idea that all evidence is physical evidence, and hence will have to support physicalism by definition. I don't see why. Why these constraints? With Richard Swinburne, I see no good reason to suppose that there can't be evidence for theistic hypotheses. If I physically observe someone alive on Thursday, dead on Friday, and alive again on Sunday, that is prima facie evidence for the claim that that person was resurrected supernaturally from the dead. It is what I should expect if there was a resurrection, and what is very puzzling on the assumption that there was no resurrection. Now, I might, on further investigation, decide that indeed there was no resurrection, but the idea that I must rule a supernatural resurrection out from the outset strikes me as absurd. Or, to use my favorite example from atheist philosopher Keith Parsons, if the galaxies in the Virgo Cluster were to spell out the words "Turn or Burn! This means you, Parsons," then I suspect we have evidence that strongly confirms the claim that a deity exists who is threatening my atheist philosopher friend with eternal perdition.
I am unpersuaded of "trajectory of science" arguments which suggest that as we investigate further we will find greater and greater support for reductionism. Two aspects of the materialistic vision of the world as it has been historically understood are the following:
1) The universe had no beginning, and has always existed.
2) The universe is deterministic, and as we do science we will come closer and closer to finding determining causes for everything.
Now, thanks to the development of the Big Bang theory in the first instance, and quantum mechanics in the second instance, confidence in both of these theses has eroded in comparison to what might have been thought in the early days of the 20th Century.
Now, of course, naturalists have revised their conception of what is naturalistically acceptable to accommodate a universe with a temporal beginning, and a universe with quantum level indeterminism. But the point is that science frustrated the expectations of what at the time were the expected results of the naturalistic thrust of science, as it was understood at that time. This gives me some serious doubts about the idea that we can predict that the future of science will confirm physicalism, as we now understand it.
With respect to the analysis of mind, I see a lot of bravado about reductive analyses but no real hard evidence that reductions are going to be successful. In fact, given the fact that "the material" or "the natural" has to be defined in terms of the absence of the mental, it looks to me as if reduction of the mental to the physical is logically impossible, and that the more we study things scientifically the more evident this will become.