Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why Doesn't God Give Us More Evidence That He Exists?

According to the Bible, everyone knows that God exists, and people who say that God does not exist have suppressed their knowledge. In Romans 1:18-20, Paul writes:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Nevertheless, atheists often ask why God doesn't provide even more proof, such as writing his name in the sky. This objection assumes, however, that God is simply attempting to convince people that he exists. But this is not the Christian position.

Here's a short video by William Lane Craig on the atheist demand for more evidence.

3 comments:

  1. William's answer is internally consistent but indistinguishable from an ad hoc hypothesis to cover for the lack of specific agent- and intention-identifying evidences in the world. I find neither Paul's nor William's hypotheses adequately explain why vastly different theological perspectives are genuinely believed by humanity and that these religious perspectives are tied to the geography of culture, i.e. there are greater concentrations of polytheists in some areas of the world and greater concentrations of monotheists in others, etc. Both Paul and William appear in a position where they must assert that 1) anyone whose theology is not Christian really don't believe what they say they believe, and 2) the evidence is not ambiguous enough to allow for genuine-hearted people to engage in creative thinking and variety in theological ideas (i.e. clear enough for no excuse of 'oh I genuinely thought this other pantheon existed'). It doesn't seem either of those hypotheses are tenable, and it's a dangerously easy cop-out to say to skeptics or naturalists, 'Oh c'mon deep down you know I'm right, there's no more need for evidence and stuff.' I find that naturalism more readily accounts for the disappearance of supernatural healings and heavenly signs, and the variety of religious experiences and beliefs, than does Judeo-Christian theology.

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  2. David-- Permit me to begin by saying that as a lifelong, well-educated Catholic, I find your theological knowledge, your expository skills, & your debating skills to be absolutely superb. You probably didn't need to hear this, but I couldn't resist saying it.
    On the question of why God doesn't provide us more evidence of His existence, this is an issue that consumed me many years ago, when I was a student. Therefore I have an answer that will commend itself to persons of Faith, but not necessarily to atheists or their close kin. The fact that God doesn't provide us more evidence of His existence is an example of His MERCY towards us. If He did, then after death we could come before His throne with all of our excuses & God, Who Is perfect justice, would say, "No. I gave you all the evidence. You saw Me part the Red Sea, raise dead people to life, & write My Name in the sky with flaming letters, yet you believed not. Get away from Me." But since God has NOT done this, when we come before His throne with all of our excuses He can say, "Yes, I gave you no proofs that I knew you would believe, yet if you had such proofs then I know you would have believed. Truly it is written, 'Some have seen & believed, but blessed is he who has NOT seen & yet has believed.' You have not seen & have not believed, but had you seen then you would have believed. You may enter."
    As for Daniel's points that, "there are greater concentrations of polytheists in some areas of the world and greater concentrations of monotheists in others," and "I find that naturalism more readily accounts for the disappearance of supernatural healings and heavenly signs, and the variety of religious experiences and beliefs, than does Judeo-Christian theology."
    ...Daniel hasn't sufficiently examined his own assumptions.
    1st, polytheists exist not b/c of any specific revelation by a deity, but b/c their remote ancestors felt a need to explain the workings of the world, & did so in a way that involved multiple deities. Modern polytheists simply believe these traditions without examination. The Hebrew & Christian revelations exist in concrete written forms that can & have been exhaustively analyzed, & which bear up very well under scrutiny. Anyone who examines Christian revelation with an open mind will become a Christian.
    ...and 2d, regarding supernatural healings, who said they've disappeared? Lourdes in particular maintains an Medical Bureau on which ANY physician of ANY faith or no faith at all can sit to examine alleged miraculous cures. To date the Bureau has certified dozens of cures as having been miraculous within the state of present medical knowledge, & literally hundreds of others as being inexplicable. Examine the cures of St. Pio of Petrelcina. To take a single case, a young blind girl named Gemma de Giorgi was brought to him in 1947, born without pupils in her eyes. After her meeting with St. Pio she could see perfectly, although she still had no pupils in her eyes.
    Your "naturalism" has to deny that any of this really happened, although the written testimony of the doctors of the Lourdes Medical Bureau & of the doctors of Gemma de Giorgi are on the record. So your opposition really amounts to a denial of medical science-- an odd position for a self-professed "naturalist" to take.

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  3. To quote from the song, Gravity, by the group, Eddie from Ohio.

    "There's no such thing as an atheist on the 32nd floor."

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