Last week I solicited best-shot arguments for why we should NOT believe.
I’ll give a free copy of Daniel Taylor’s The Skeptical Believer to what I think is the best argument for doubt/disbelief…there’s still time. Lemme know.
I have received a lot of responses so far, some predictable, some ancient and intractable and others truly, profoundly (dare I say…Christianly?) moral.
Here’s an argument that echoes an experience I had in my first theology class at UVA. It was a small class and our TA had been slicing and dicing Thomas Aquinas’ proof for the existence of God on the chalkboard when a classmate spoke up, like he was talking to himself:
“That all makes sense, logically, but why is it that some people have an actual experience of God but I never have?”
A reader of the blog put a similar point this way:
“I’ve never had an experience that’s even remotely close to anything described by other believers….no miracles, no healings, no “encounters with the risen Christ,” etc. All I’ve had is the vague sense of rightness in the world (this world screams “I love you”) while walking through the woods while the sun is going down. Stuff like that.
Without an experience of God of any kind, how can I believe on the same level that others do?
And why would I be expected to? And why would the God who created the human brain reward me for essentially silencing it?”
It’s a good rebuttal, if not of God then definitely how religious people so often speak of God. If there is a God, then why is it that so many haven’t experienced God’s presence or reality? And why have others?
Does the fact that so many people never experience God for themselves ‘personally’ call those people into question? Or God?
Is it more likely that religious people who claim to have experienced God are actually deluding themselves? Attaching the ‘G’ word to their own psychological experience?
Or does God simply keep his people, actively or passively, from experiencing him?
And thus keep people from believing in him?
And if so, even if God is real is such a God worth
I suppose you could say its’ their fault, that such people have allowed their doubt or cynicism or rationalism or apathy to close them off to the possibility or presence of God (and I’m sure in some cases that’s exactly the problem).
But then isn’t that not a little like blaming the victim? Is big enough to take the blame?