I recall a debate between Sam Harris and WLC where Harris said at that very moment God could do something to make his presence known. It seems to me that there would be a very easy way for God to prove he exists. After people die and have been buried or cremated, God could let them reappear on earth for a day to assure their loved ones. Why doesn’t he?
God doesn’t feel the need to prove anything.
There is enough empirical evidence to suggest said existence, as per Rom 1:19-20.
And even IF one were to rise from the dead some would choose not to believe in any case, as per Lk 16:31.
To name but a few.
Context is important on those Davo. He (Jesus) was clearly referring to people who already believed in God, but being of the mind to blaspheme against the manifestation of his son. This is a case where they would attribute it to the devil, not God. But it really has nothing to do with no believing in God perse, but about believing certain things about him.
The silence really makes no sense to me from a Christian perspective. From a deist perspective, or from a perspective that we really are not the center of the universe, or the apple of his eye, then it makes a bit of sense that he would not reveal himself. Because it really doesn’t matter.
But if, as we say, life or death in the next life actually exists and that we must get it right, then God would have the utmost obligation to make himself known, or at least the rules of conduct.
Well that certainly IS true… and the one or major reason behind or what motivates much agnosticism or atheism in that people reject (and understandably so) the God religianity on the whole has presented them — I reject it too.
Doesn’t then said silence (as you see it) therefore indicate that… “we must get it right” is NOT the crucial obligation religianity makes it out to be — I would contend God got it right in Christ ON BEHALF OF humanity, period.
But apart from all that… some might simply content God ALREADY HAS revealed himself — in Christ; and some still weren’t convinced, as per my 3rd point above.
Well, Gabe’s point has to be taken in the context of Christian religion. Your point David is well taken but what Gabe says is both valid and needs to be addressed. Your notion of ‘God got it right’ is both true and somewhat hard for others to understand. Both of you seem to be championing for mankind, and that is good.
You may be right but I’m not altogether convinced. God’s revelation in Christ was to Israel — Jesus didn’t come to start a new religion… he came to end an old one.
Perhaps, God making himself known in the sense above, removing all doubts, would eradicate free will. Apparently God has made Himself known in sufficient manner to achieve his goals while allowing for his creatures’ choices.
And it also appears clear that:
"“It has pleased (God) to encompass us from our birth by difficulty and allurement, to place us in a world where wrong-doing is often gainful, and duty rough and perilous, where many vices oppose the dictates of the inward monitor, where the body presses as a weight upon the mind, and matter, by its perpetual agency on the senses, becomes a barrier between us and the spiritual world. We are in the midst of influences, which menace the intellect and heart; and to be free, is to withstand and conquer these.” WEC
The implication of that is that ignorance is essential to free will. I would contest that. I will also add, that if God fully revealing himself removes free will (and thus the possibility to be immoral?) then there’s no need for postmortem punishment, as others and I have previously said.
People’s ignorance of God is ethical, not factual. There is plenty of evidence for the existence of God; but that has never been the issue. We were created, it appears, to grow and enlarge in love, choice, freedom - the important things. This is where we fall short; and when we do, we start to judge God, not ourselves.
And who said God will fully reveal Himself postmortem? I don’t believe that. I do believe He will reveal himself when He wants and for the reason He wants, and for what is best for each and every person.
According to what seems to be the predominant school of thought, philosophers posit that free will exists if one was free to choose other than what one chose. The providing of full information such that no doubt remains does not stop that. There is no logical contradiction in choosing other than what one actually chose despite no doubt remaining about the choices.
I also question the importance placed on free will in Christian apologetics. Was Saul of Tarsus robbed of his free will on the road to Damascus through the provision of information that removed all doubt? If the provision of information that removed all doubt meant he was robbed of his free will, then being robbed of free will is not a fatal problem in getting one to believe, in this case, not a fatal problem in believing that Jesus is the son of God. If the provision of information that removed all doubt did not robb him of his free will, then the provision of information that removes all doubt is not a problem for the exercise of free will.
The point I’m laboring to get to is that it’s a big step to judge God and claim it is all His fault, that He could do more. The case can be made, particularly in scripture, that the fault is always ours.
What type of information is ‘full information’? What does God have to do to satisfy a sinful and rebellious humanity? Die for them, or something?
There is a human craving for certainty that will not be met on ‘this side’.
But Jesus, himself, admitted that some would have believed if they had more information.
Matthew 11:21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.”
Luke 10:13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.”
The people of Tyre and Sidon died unrepentant, but would have repented, according to Jesus, had they witnessed the miracles.
Yes, but the miracles weren’t done there. So either God is once again at fault - is that your stance? - or Tyre and Sidon already had enough ‘proof’ of the right sort to enable them to repent.
Are we trying to say that God has failed?
Hey, I’m just reporting what the Bible claims Jesus said. Jesus identifies the miracles as evidence that would have made a difference to the repentance of people of Tyre and Sidon. So, whatever background evidence did or did not exist, the miracles would have tipped the scales, changing the unrepentant into the repentant in those two pagan cities. (Jesus continues with this story in Matthew and Luke by saying Tyre and Sidon would have, as a result of their would-be repentance, a more tolerable judgment. So, the counterfactual world does, in this case. have an effect on the real world.)
Did God fail? Maybe not. Remember, it was Chorazin and Bethsaida Jesus was chastising in these verses because these Jewish cities indeed witnessed several of the miracles and some (many?) didn’t repent. The Bible says nothing further of Chorazin and Bethsaida after the chastising. Maybe the stark and shocking comparison to the would-be repentance of the two sinful, pagan cities, Tyre and Sidon, gave the miracles an indirect impact–through the shaming of Bethsaida and Chorazin–even when they did not have a direct impact, in getting more people from Bethsaida and Chorazin to repent. Who knows?
Why doesn’t God prove He exists? Who asked that question? Presumably Qaz, since his was the first post in this thread. That is sufficient for me to believe that Qaz actually exists since he wrote and posted something, thereby enabling me to read and comprehend what he wanted me to read and comprehend.
I am a simple man. I believe God used the writers of what we call the Holy Bible to write down truths about Him, about us, about the world in which we live, including how that world came into existence. I know envy is listed as one of the cardinal sin. Sorry, but I can’t help but feel envious of the simple faith in the theory of Darwinian evolution that I suspect some of my friends on this forum have signed on to. I am left to struggle with having to understand and interpret the vast number of scriptural texts that appear to contradict Darwinism. I am sufficiently convinced by these texts that God created this universe, furthermore that He did so within the last 10,000 years, probably fewer.
Article 2 of the Belgic Confession spells out that "we know God by two means:
"First, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe, which is before our eyes as a book, wherein all creatures, great and small, are as so many characters leading us to contemplate the invisible things of God, namely, His eternal power and divinity, as the apostle Paul says (Rom 1:20). All which things are sufficient to convince men, and leave them without excuse.
“Secondly, He makes Himself more clearly and fully known to us by His holy and divine Word, that is to say, as far as is necessary for us to know in this life, to His glory and our salvation”. (Emphasis mine).
Believers know God exists. We experience Him working in our lives. We recognize that He performs miracles every day. Yesterday, I held my 31st grandchild, Isaiah, in my arms and marvelled again how he could grow from a minute ovum and an infinitely smaller spermatozoon in only nine months within my daughter’s womb into a beautiful bouncing baby boy. Only God can create life. Is that not definitive proof that He exists?
Norm, you and I were not brought up in the ‘hermeneutic of suspicion’ - which is the rule of the day in these times.
Ivernessian, I like your answer.
I also agree with what you say here. As it is said, where there is design, there is a designer. For example, when you see a house, you don’t think that the materials just automatically fell into place. You know that someone built it. The human mind and heart are also a testimony to the Creator. Like you, I am constantly amazed by all the miracles I see in everyday life.