Increasingly when I engage in discussion with theists, they seem to have given up on the evidential approach of trying to prove God via the classical arguments of Christian apologetics. It becomes quite clear to me that at least some theists I interact with don’t base their beliefs on evidence. To me nothing makes this more apparent to me, than when they go ahead and ask me that I should “ask God/Jesus to show himself to me”.
I see a few problems with this request which I want to outline here.
First of all which God should show himself to me? Both Christians and Muslims have requested, that I should ask God to show himself. Yet their positions are mutually exclusive. Logic dictates, that at least one of them is wrong and that therefore this approach is unreliable. Why should I take this approach for finding truth, when it’s demonstrated, that it can land me in error. There is of course a difference to the scientific method as it is self correcting in nature, so that I will zero in on truth. But that’s just a side note.
My second big objection would be, that if I do that, I already assume my conclusion and I may fall prey to good old confirmation bias. If I just say “okay God, I believe in you and in the resurrection now, please God show yourself to me” and I fully expect a sign, then it is not inconceivable, that my brain will give me the exact confirmation for my beliefs that I seek. the human brain is notorious for being subject to all kinds of biases and illusions as well as halucinations. I think we have all had the experience, that we were one hundred percent sure that we saw something,maybe even something that we wished for, however in the light of new evidence we had to conclude, that our senses were probably mistaken.
Thirdly, I find this to be a profoundly dishonest approach. I’m an Atheist so I don’t believe in God. I have yet to come across any evidence, that would convince me of his existence. If I were to now ask God, half heartedly as the attempt would be, to show himself to me, do you think God would be proud of me? I just find it ridiculous, that any deity would want me to either force myself to believe in him or to make dishonest attempts to reach him as I wouldn’t truly mean it.
The forth problem I see and this is a big one: Why should I be the one to take the iniative to begin with?
Isn’t God the one who wants to have a relationship with me? Doesn’t it say in 1 Timothy 2: 4 that he wants everybody to be saved? Well if that’s the case, then it sure would be awfully nice of him to seek me out and to make me aware of his existence, so that we could start the relationship he so desperately desires. If the proposition of Christianity is true, I am completely unaware of it, so why would I seek out something, that I believe to be nonexistent? He knows I exist, he is the one who wants a relationship, so why is it on me to seek him, instead of the other way around.
So God, if you exist and if you’re a good compassionate kind hearted deity, then I’m waiting right here for you.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation