Wednesday, March 21, 2018

"There's no proof that He exists!"

Here's another train of thought inspired by reading atheists on Reddit.

"If God is so all-powerful, surely He can prove His existence to me! I might believe if there were any evidence!"

Let's be real, atheist friends. I respect you, but I don't think you're giving enough credit here to the human capacity for skepticism. And skepticism can be both good and bad at times.

There was at least one time during Jesus's ministry when an actual voice from Heaven told a crowd, "I am the Lord, this is my Son, listen to what he has to tell you." And some in the crowd said, "Meh, thunder." So, even presented with direct proof, people came up with alternative explanations.

Can you honestly tell me that if I were to show you a sign from God right now, out of the blue, that you wouldn't look for a hoax behind it? Of course you would, and it's sensible to do so. With photoshoppers and video manipulation neural networks producing more impressive fakes all the time, saying "I'll believe it when I see it" doesn't even work any more.

Something else you may be surprised to hear me admit: Religions have long been plagued with hucksters and fraudsters wanting to make a quick buck. But, it doesn't follow from that that all miracles and healings are frauds. Weight loss scams are a dime a dozen, that doesn't mean that Weight Watchers isn't the real deal. Real supernatural miracles don't tend to get many headlines, because the people who God uses in these cases aren't out to make that quick buck.

Even the best evidence doesn't always convince. There are otherwise sensible people out there who will never believe that certain medicines are safe and beneficial, no matter what evidence you give them. Still others will never be convinced of the ineffectiveness of snake oil. Yes, their skepticism hurts themselves and others. But you can't just shove "proof" in someone's face and expect them to automatically buy it. So, I can't shove any "proof" that I may see for God's existence in your face and automatically expect you to buy it, either.

I'm not asking you to give up your skepticism, but I am asking you to be honest about it. Accept that the burden isn't just on God to provide proof, but also on you to accept His proof when He offers it. Accept that just because you haven't seen God's hand in the universe, doesn't mean that others haven't. Many of us who believe, do so based on what we have seen with our own eyes. Quite a few of us have scientific or engineering backgrounds that have taught us to examine evidence critically. You are free to accept our testimony, or try to explain it away. But, I wouldn't lie to you. I gain nothing by it.

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