For the sake of having sincere discussion and inquiry about the truth. I have a question for my Theist friends. Since the god of Theism is defined as being good, loving, and all-powerful, why is it that this being is not readily detected in our world? Would not this one question of detectability be a sure fire way of turning the world toward one correct view of god? I’m not talking about the prospect of whether people would want a relationship with this being, I am simply talking about one aspect that could potentially solve all the confusion and apparent deception that Theists believe is prevalent across the board. If you engage me I hope that I’ve demonstrated a new passion for kindness and sincerity. We are all on the same team when it comes to seeking truth. Thanks!

I originally posted this question on Facebook and so far it’s been a very lively discussion! Feel free to pass it on if you’re bored and want to delve into different perspectives!

5 thoughts on “Sexy Questions! (What To Ask A Theist) #1

  1. Howdy Hero 🙂 Good question!

    Would not this one question of detectability be a sure fire way of turning the world toward one correct view of god?

    Perhaps — but I think you’re right on the money in recognizing the appropriateness, in this particular issue, of the distinction between an intellectual acknowledgement of God’s existence and one’s desire to have a reconciled relationship with Him. The more I live as a Christian, the more I am convinced that God is less concerned with people’s intellectual beliefs and is more concerned with the nature of their relationship with Him. James seems to infer this pretty strongly in chapter 2 of his epistle.

    So, I think the real question behind the question is this: Would a universal recognition and acknowledgement of God’s existence lead to a widespread improvement of mankind’s relationship with Him?

    Now, this is mostly from my personal experience in speaking with skeptics, but a number of them say explicitly that they would not worship God even if they became convinced of His existence — so, at least for these individuals, belief would not improve their relationship with God. I could actually see it being a detriment, in fact — for now such a one could no longer reduce God to an imaginary construct invented by theists, and thus whatever reasons they have for refusing to worship Him (whether it be pain in the world, or what have you) would probably fuel an active resentment against this being. Where before there was simply a lack of belief, there is now a forthright resistance against the Lord — which would be a worse situation for them, I think.

    It’s all speculation, of course, but that’s sort of my point: In order to have a valid indictment against the Lord for not revealing Himself universally and definitively, one must be able to demonstrate that such an unequivocal revelation would fulfill the Lord’s primary objective — namely, that individuals would seek, serve, and love Him. If those who have this desire are those who eventually find their way to Him anyway, then perhaps this “veiling” of the Lord’s existence is actually a mercy to those who desire not to love and serve Him, so that they would have less opportunity to compound their sin. John 9:40-41 comes to mind, as well as Christ’s prayer that the Roman guards who crucified Him be forgiven because “they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

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  2. Thanks for your response Seth! I took the liberty of reading a couple of your blog posts and I am delighted at the kind of tone you seek to set in these conversations. I’ve had to do some fine tuning of my own within the last few months and things are definitely going more smoothly as we speak.

    In response to my main point you said, “So, I think the real question behind the question is this: Would a universal recognition and acknowledgement of God’s existence lead to a widespread improvement of mankind’s relationship with Him?”

    Acknowledging that this is hypothetical I would say that many people actually do lack belief simply because they are being honest about the evidence. They would believe in a god that is detected and then from there the question of a relationship is up to the individual. I’m not sure if you would agree but in my thinking we have identified two issues thus far. 1) There is the problem of a lack of belief due to insufficient evidence. 2) There is the problem of whether or not this god is relatable? (many skeptics such as myself have observed many red flags in this department as we’ve evaluated the character of the bibles god as well as how personal revelation is said to take place).

    In either scenario pertaining to your question the lack of concern that this god has (if he exists) with relating effectively to human beings is apparent. In either case there is not a desire to be known to the majority of human beings that have or ever will exist. I’m not sure what your particular stance is on whether hell is literal, figurative, or something in between but I would argue than in any of these scenarios this god is not concerned about the well being of the majority of people.

    It would seem that the majority of human beings are destined to remain cut off from from a relationship with this god simply by surveying and accepting the parameters for heaven and hell that are defined in the bible as well as by acknowledging that this god is not readily detected in our world.

    This appears to be no small problem in my mind and it reflects negatively on all three attributes of this god that I cited in my original question. Since the god of Theism is defined as being good, loving, and all-powerful, why is it that this being is not readily detected in our world? In light of your response I’ll phrase the question to include relatability. I think both of these themes are linked don’t you? Since the god of Theism is defined as being good, loving, and all-powerful, why is it that this being is not available in any effectively relatable way to human beings? (Example: A tangible and indisputable presence like we enjoy with fellow human beings and animals).

    Part of my rebuttal here is that people are prone to misunderstandings correct? The evidence for this is apparent in the fact that there are literally thousands of Christian denominations that disagree on virtually every point of doctrine. So providing a Bible that contains hundreds of verses that are not obviously clear on any given matter is detrimental to establishing relational peace among human beings as well as building trust in furthering a potential discovery of god in the process.

    In addition to this if we are narrowing the evidence for god to include subjective experiences then this god had to have known that many people become atheists after reevaluating their situation further. I had many heartwarming and tearful moments as a former believing Christian but I now realize that it was my body’s response to certain factors in my environment. Get a bunch of emotional human beings together and the energy is, dare I say, quite electric! I’m saying that I personally mistook such things as evidences of god being somehow present with me.

    In response to your point about a potential resistance against the Lord I would happily point out the Old Testament which demonstrates that if this god wasn’t concerned about such resistance in the past when it came to empowering Israel for violent takeover and execution of pagan nations then he certainly wouldn’t be concerned today. If anything it is actually a question of when is your god going to strike next? Since, I’m assuming you believe in a literal second coming of Jesus? If this is the case then we know that Yahweh isn’t done spilling blood and taking vengeance on his enemies just yet.

    So I’m actually still failing to see how this god is concerned about being readily known or relatable to the majority of human beings? In the case of detectability or the lack of it the situation is still looking pretty dim for people save for a select few. It is these select few that claim to have a viable relationship with an invisible all-powerful being. As I’ve evaluated my former experiences and compared them to the experiences of many present believers my conclusion is that it is nothing more than wishful thinking. I’m curious to hear your thoughts though. Thanks for engaging me!

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    1. Sorry, mate, I just now noticed you responded to this! Pretty sure I didn’t get a notification — maybe something’s broken in my settings.

      Acknowledging that this is hypothetical I would say that many people actually do lack belief simply because they are being honest about the evidence. They would believe in a god that is detected and then from there the question of a relationship is up to the individual.

      I’m not so sure about that, actually. I mean, sure, when it comes to human beings, I can choose whether or not to have a relationship with them, with little consequence — but can the same be said of mankind’s Creator? To acknowledge God’s existence brings with it a lot of baggage — heaven and hell, sin, judgment, etc. If one knows that God exists, then refusing a relationship with Him would not be a neutral thing; if a belief in hell, for instance, is bound up in the knowledge of God’s existence, then choosing not to be in a relationship with Him is essentially the same as choosing to spend eternity in hell. I don’t believe it’s God’s intention to bully people into having a relationship with Him — and I think this is exactly what would happen if He revealed Himself indiscriminately and definitively to all mankind.

      In either scenario pertaining to your question the lack of concern that this god has (if he exists) with relating effectively to human beings is apparent.

      I must vehemently disagree, friend, especially if we’re talking about the God of the Gospel — the God who, under no compulsion, sent His Son to die exactly so that we may relate to Him, at least those who wish to do so. If the majority are never able to relate to God, might it be because it is they who wish not to, and not the Lord? Relationships, after all, are two-way streets, aren’t they?

      So I agree with you thoroughly that detectability and reliability are linked when it comes to God — but I think this link actually strengthens my original point, for to force one is to force the other. The choice to love and follow God cannot exist in a world where His existence is without question — and, without choice, you are necessarily only left with compulsion.

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  3. Did I do alright in conveying kindness I hope? Part of my approach involves using a bit of a language razor pertaining to the things that I find rather unsavory in the bible. I don’t mean it with any offense to you personally. I ask all of my friends to keep me accountable because overall I enjoy being a rather charitable and gentle person. Thanks!

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