On the So-Called Failure of the Outsider Test for Faith

I will offer a brief response to Thrasymachus who claims that the Outsider Test is a failure.

I'll place his words in blockquotes:
I’m not a believer, but I’m also not convinced that the OTF is the rhetorical silver bullet it is made out to be. I hope to clarify and augment the OTF to avoid some of the more common criticisms, and hopefully cut through some of the confusion between Loftus and his detractors. In the final reckoning, though, I will show the OTF isn’t a significantly persuasive force for Atheism.
The OTF is no silver bullet. There are no silver bullets. If that is the standard then all counter Christian apologetics fail.
What’s the test?

What exactly is the outsider test? “to test their own adopted religious faith from the perspective of an outsider with the same level of skepticism they use to evaluate other religious faiths” isn’t entirely clear. This lack of clarity – both from Loftus and his critics – makes the argument very hard to dissect indeed.
I'm sorry, what isn’t clear about it? I first proposed it on a blog post and have refined it since then. What matters is how I articulate it now.
It’s most modern statement is this: Loftus (2010).

Rational people in distinct geographical locations around the globe overwhelmingly adopt and defend a wide diversity of religious faiths due to their upbringing and cultural heritage. This is the religious diversity thesis.

Consequently, it seems very likely that adopting one’s religious faith is not merely a matter of independent rational judgment but is causally dependent on cultural conditions to an overwhelming degree. This is the religious dependency thesis.

Hence the odds are highly likely that any given adopted religious faith is false.

So the best way to test one’s adopted religious faith is from the perspective of an outsider with the same level of skepticism used to evaluate other religious faiths. This expresses the OTF.
There’s a big problem, though, pointed out by Paul Manata and Victor Reppert: it isn’t a valid argument! There’s no way [2] follows from [1], nor [3] from [1]&[2], nor [4] from [3].
I’ve already responded to Reppert who simply agrees with Manata right here, so I won't repeat myself.
In practice, however, the ‘outsider test for faith’ takes on more than a few different meanings, in part because of ambiguity surrounding ‘outsiderness.’ It is often implied that to be rational, believer’s need to take an ‘outsider’ perspective. To subtract away evidence only available ‘inside’ a given religion. Insofar as these implications are made, they are wrong. Suppose you are floating on the wreckage of a downed ship, and you hear the BBC world service say your ship was lost with all hands. This would be very good reason for an ‘outsider’ – that is, someone outside your immediate ‘epistemic locality’ to believe you are dead. Yet of course you, clinging to the wreckage have very good reason to believe you are alive. The fact you have no means to convince an outsider of this fact doesn’t mean you should disregard this sort of evidence. In short, on this subtraction story, failing the OTF is the reasonable thing to do.1 What you should be committed to is some sort of epistemic parity commitment – that a reasonable person, finding themselves in your particular epistemic situation, would form the same beliefs that you do. But everyone thinks that.
I have defined the outsider as the consistent skeptic, a person who uses the same level of skepticism to evaluate all religious faiths.

Besides, this analogy simply does not work. This example is of an ordinary rather than an extraordinary claim, for one thing, which means that there is available evidence to an outsider that he is still alive. Once he is rescued there it is. Where is the evidence for one religious faith over others? Furthermore, no reasonable person says that if something is true there ought to be evidence for it. There are lots of things that no reasonable person should accept even if they are true, because the evidence is simply not there to think so. That’s why a murderer might get away with his crime if there is no evidence to indict him. I merely maintain that even if Christianity is true there is no reason to believe it as an outsider, just as there was no reason to believe this man was still alive as outsiders, and just as other religionists do to the religious faiths they reject, and that's good enough. It's all we have short of personally experiencing a miracle ourselves.
Perhaps we can do Loftus an intellectual charity.
This is always appreciated. Few people do this. It’s the intellectually respectful attitude toward an argument! However, given my response above his reformulation based on Stephen Maitzen’s argument does not express the OTF, and I said that in footnote # 5 in my chapter on it for The Christian Delusion. So while he says some interesting things I’ll not comment further except to point out that I have also responded to Steve Hays right here, and to Victor Reppert in my book and also right here.