Answering Once and For All The Christian Complaint That Skeptics Would Refuse to Believe No Matter What God Did

This objection comes in several different forms. Christians complain that skeptics demand that God should make his existence obvious to us with undeniable proof before we will believe, or that God should make all religious diversity disappear, or that we wouldn’t believe no matter what miracle God did before our eyes. Some atheists have even said as much, including PZ Myers, who recently said he would seriously consider that he had gone mad rather than believe a miracle had happened before his eyes.

The Christian then shoots his double barrel shotgun at us: 1) If we wouldn’t believe should God’s existence be obvious, then why would God bother providing more evidence in the first place? We simply have hardened hearts. If the present amount of evidence will not convince us then no amount of evidence will convince us at all. 2) If God’s existence was made to be obvious then it would eliminate the possibility of real choice, for it would equally be obvious what we ought to do. And if we would know what God requires of us and that we’d be punished if we disobey then “who but a complete fool would not do what is right?” Let me respond once and for all.

I have previously written a post on what would convince me to believe right here. Read that post for the details of what I’ll summarize briefly below.

Concerning God revealing himself in the Bible:

1) There would have to be nothing morally repugnant in God’s revelation. Hey, there is no way as a democracy loving peaceful person that I could ever believe in a God who commanded genocide, child sacrifice, the subjugation of women, capital punishment for religious disagreements, witch killing, gay killing, and the ill treatment of animals.

2) God's revelation would have to be independently corroborated through empirical data coming from such things as archaeological support for the story of the Exodus, and scientific studies on prayer. But the empirical sciences continually disconfirm such things.

3) God's revelation would not be indistinguishable from what ancient superstitious agency-detectors could have written in their times. But there is nothing in the canonical Bible that shows any signs of divine inspiration.

Concerning God’s supposed revelation in nature:

4) There would not be so much massive suffering in the natural world if a good omnipotent God existed. The probability that such a God exists is reduced in direct proportion by the amount of suffering there is in the world, and there is way too much of it to suppose he does.

5) There would not be so much religious diversity around the globe if there is a God who wants us to believe in him. The probability that the Christian God exists is reduced in direct proportion by the amount of religious diversity that exists, and there is way too much of it to suppose that he does.

6) Modern science would not be able to offer much in the way of alternatives to the “God did it” explanation. The probability that the Christian God exists is reduced in direct proportion by the amount of reasonable alternative scientific explanations there are for religious claims, and there are way too many of them to suppose that he does.

Okay? The reason why skeptics like PZ Myers say they will not believe is because God has not previously provided items 1-6 for us. So until God does something different then when something stupendous happens directly in front of us we can’t believe at that late stage in the game! It's already too late, you see. We already know it’s not probable for such a God to exist.

One last thing. None of this matters. For God knows what to do in order to convince us that he exists even if skeptics deny that we would believe if God provided it, and even if we can’t say what it would take for us to believe. He could even snap his fingers and take away our critical thinking capabilities so that we would believe despite the fact that there isn’t enough evidence. Q.E.D.

What About Free Choice?

God supposedly made Moses, Gideon, and Paul the apostle believe without abrogating their free will. If he can do that with them, then he should be able to do that with everyone. Q.E.D.

Nonetheless, this second Christian complaint depends on the truth of the Christian faith, which is something I find so delusional I don’t have the space here. Let me ask just a few rhetorical questions: 1) Why does God care whether or not we believe? 2) Are we truly responsible for what we believe when we cannot believe differently than what we do? 3) Does God really expect belief and obedience from a kid raised in a Detroit high rise bullet ridden apartment complex by a single mom who is a drug addict prostitute who never darkens the doors of a church? 4) Can God really expect us to love and obey him when he withholds his love from us, even if we agree he should withhold his omnipotent power from us—do people really expect that prospective lovers will respond with love to a half-hearted effort? 5) If God wants our true heart-felt obedience at all, why then does he threaten us with eternal punishment if we disobey—is this any reasonable way to gain such a thing?

That’s enough for now. This is after all, just one post. But I think it’s sufficient to dispel these twin Christian complaints once and for all.