I'd like to react to this one too. I'm running behind in this thread...
I'd use both. After all, I trust Galilei's ideas, not because I've known him and trust him in person, but because I can repeat his experiments and see for myself that his ideas were true. So here you've got the other way around - the trust is there because of the evidence.Instead if I really wanted to convice the fish I would use a different approach by trying to win his trust. Then he might simply take my word for it instead. I would do this because it is easier to convince the fish this way then by trying to convince him that the evidence really was evidence.
I know a lot of nice priests, religion teachers and other believers I highly respect. No hard feelings. I didn't lose my religion because of the sex scandals in the Belgian church or something (I lost it before they became known). I've lost it because of lack of evidence. Of course, it helped that the atheist who kept on asking me questions was a good friend. But then again, I've got good believer friends too and they were in the majority.And this is the approach that I think God has taken. He has sent trustworthy people like Jesus or Mohammad or Siddhartha to guide the rest of us. The decline in modern religion, I believe, has nothing to do with science. Rather it has to do with a lack of trustworthy religious leaders. Rising from the dead was just as irrational 2000 years ago as it is today. But people believe these things in spite of them being irrational because they trust the people giving the message. I became a Christian because I trust the authors of the New Testament. I also trusted the pastor of the church I've been attending the past several years. However I don't particularly trust either the Pope or Rick Warren or any other major religious figure I see on TV. The public figures give religion a bad name and I think that affects a person's view of religion more than any scientific evidence (or lack thereof).
About Newton and Socrates - of course they weren't ignorant and irrational. They were only wrong about some things. Newton devoted most of his life to alchemy which turned out to be false. I don't blame him for that - nobody had proved before that the alchemic ideas were false! That's what scientific progress is. If you do research, it's very well possible you're researching something that will turn out to be wrong. Reseachers don't have a teacher who knows the right answers. They are building brand new knowledge. Just because I think this is very important: while researching, you don't know whether your ideas are right or wrong. That's exactly what you're trying to find out.So even though I believe in God I don't think science will find any "evidence" of God's existence. Not unless they find a way to measure the immeasurable. However I think anyone with doubts or skepticism could be made to change their mind if they found a believer they could really trust. Talk of evidence is misleading because no one has been convinced by evidence even though many of the greatest minds in history have believed in some sort of God or transcendent entity. Were Isaac Newton or Socrates really ignorant and irrational people?
And Russell and Einstein aren't dumb either - they didn't believe in a personal god. Einstein used the word "god" to express his awe for the universe but he didn't believe in a superbeing. Russell was very much an atheist - he's the one with the "you prove there is no teapot on orbit between Mars and Jupiter" idea I've borrowed already.
The difference? They came LATER in history.