From a post by John C. Wright where he responds to one of his readers.
I’m fairly certain, if God is indeed maximally good and therefore would do everything he could to draw people, free agents, towards him, the greatest good, that logically, the best option would be to reveal himself not just occasionally, but always so that there can be no doubt as to his existence.
For though the heart of the atheist and other non-believers may be hard, and their minds closed off, I’m fairly certain even Dawkins and Osama Bin-Laden would have gotten on their knees and prayed for forgiveness and most likely would NOT have even needed to do so if God was always undeniably present.
What deficiencies, if any, are there on this option
Have you ever been an atheist? I was. I would have defied God to his face, and blasphemed the Holy Spirit. I solemnly assure you that I would have. The coyness of God is the only thing that saved from the one thing the Bible clearly says is an unforgivable sin. …
Now I can certainly identify with that. The idea that even if you see a miracle that you will instantly accept God really does not necessarily follow. It is a common complaint among atheists that both deny God and demand that he reveal himself to them. It is a nice idea that when we are provided by evidence that our philosophies will instantly change to take this new information in in. A nice idea absolutely refuted by human nature.
I know from my only life that what Mr. Wright says about defying God to his face is not just hyperbole. I know this since I have done such. Once when returning from an pre-deployment workup at sea my wife had told me about a miracle, one that she and our kids witnessed and that she had the benefit of. I have never had any reason to doubt the testimony of my wife or my children, but in this case I could do nothing but doubt. My philosophy as an atheist did not allow miracles and such they could not exist. So I was quite willing to totally ignore their testimony and come up with alternate theories to explain it.
Years later I was to experience an aspect of what they witnessed. This happened as I had started to believe in God. I accepted that there were miracles, but still I tested what I experienced to see if there was a natural explanation. I realized later how this was juxtaposed in relation to the testimony of my family. As a believer I could accept miracles, but deny or question specific ones and subject them to reason. “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” (1 Thess. 5:21) As an atheist I could only deny them with no need to question further.
A nice antidote to this idea of God revealing himself to remove all doubt need only to read the Book of Exodus. God continuously revealed himself to them and yet they disobeyed him at every corner. They witness countless miracles and did nothing but whine and build idols. Now even for those who do not accept the events in the Book of Exodus, still you can read this as literature and find nothing contrary to human nature. I have a hard time for even a skeptical reader to read the story and then say “There is no way they would act such after seeing such miracles and the constant presence of the pillar of the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.” You could reject this as a story, but not reject that is was an accurate portrayal of human nature.
Another interesting example is the story of Nobel laureate Alexis Carrel who witnessed two miracles at Lourdes and still could not bring himself to believe it was anything more than natural forces at work. For details see this article by the late Rev. Stanley L. Jaki.
Note: Post title is lifted from Mr. Wright’s post title.
((( I’m fairly certain, if God is indeed maximally good and therefore would do everything he could to draw people, free agents, towards him, the greatest good, that logically, the best option would be to reveal himself not just occasionally, but always so that there can be no doubt as to his existence. )))
There’s no doubt in my mind that GOD (Good Old Dad) could and does draw people through His Only Begotten Son “Jesus The Christ”.
I believe that the problem lies in The Angels that GOD created first who were perfect but some had different ideas as to who and/or what they should like. Before we talk about “MAN” who was later created to become in His Own Image, we gods have something to say. God had given all of US (usual sinners) a share of His Free Will. Let’s not forget that He also did the same for His First Children “The Original Angels”. OH Yes! I hear YA! He had made them too perfect and they were invisible to booth and as most Catholic Children who’s parents were allowed to give them a good Catholic Schooling will probably tell YA that some of His Angels like many of us Atheist, “I” mean humans didn’t see eye to eye with GOD. As a matter of spiritual fact, I’m willing to bet some of my so called imaginary seven per sent age “Jesus Cells” of Victor’s Kingdom, “I” mean body, that none at the time had met Good Old Dad but never the less and never the more, some Angels decided to stay the course, “I” mean they quietly said to themselves, YA can gamble for money, YA can gamble for silver and Gold, the stakes may be thick, “I” mean heavy and/or low but long story short, they decided to gamble for LOVE and LOVE. Who else had the most LOVE to give butts, “I” mean and as a matter of spiritual imaginary fact, the angels species that had been cast down knew that this imaginary Good Old Dad had so much more LOVE right, “I” mean Left. His LOVE was so great that “IT” believed anything and everything if YA simply had a little faith like the size of a mustard seed. For example, HE being a LOVE sick fool right, left some of the angels that were doomed hang around in Paradise with The Animals that Adam was in charge of naming because they showed a little faith. Anyway, these invisible angels told GOD in so many invisible words that they no longer wanted to walk back word, “I” mean backward with EVIL so GOD allowed them to spend “Time” with Adam and St. Eve, “I” mean Steve, no, no, “I” mean… They spent too much time with Eve cause She was so beautiful and they were so lonely cause they had lost Lucy, “I” mean Lucifer and longer story shorter, so began the oldest profession in The World below and and……………………………………………and…………………………………………………………………………………..and…………………………………………………………….and…
END YA SAY sinner vic? DON’T BE LIKE THAT! BE NICE NOW!
Go figure brothers and sisters? LOL 🙂
God Bless Peace
I almost wish that idiot Salvage was still around, to try to argue against this. And even he would have to admit that Human Nature is showing through very well.
Of course God *does* reveal Himself always, through creation. The fact that many deny Him in spite of it supports your argument.
There may be some atheists who would defy God to his face, but the larger problem for most unbelievers is the lack of any practical, everyday evidence of God’s existence.
Yes, of course I know all the ways God is said to reveal himself — in creation and in providence and in answered prayer and whatnot. Add it all up and it’s simply not very convincing. There comes a point where it is almost impossible to make a convincing distinction between “God is real” and “God is simply a concept in my mind.”