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  1. #1
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    Sep 2011
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    The problem of divine hiddenness

    This OP is about the kind of religious theism which claims that there's a deity that interacts with reality in a detectable way, and wants us to know it and have a relationship with it. It's mostly about Xtian theism, bu can also apply to other types of theism.

    Simply put, the fact that a large majority of people in the world don't believe in the Xtian religion indicates a real problem with the idea that the deity exists and wants to have a relationship with us.
    Since an omnipotent being could easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe, the fact that this hasn't happened supports the conclusion that it doesn't exist.

    To add to the problem of hiddenness, we also have the issue that there's absolutely no evidence that a deity actually exists, or at least interacts in reality in any detectable way. Many will try to reject this as an argument from the absence of evidence, but there's actually more to it. I agree that, in many cases, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. However, in cases where we would expect our reality to be a certain way if a theistic claim were to be true, the fact that we don't see reality being that way is evidence that the claim is false. One example is the complete absence of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means, and the failure of naturalistic prayer fulfillment to achieve a success rate greater than chance. If a deity which answers prayers is claimed to exist, then the fact that we have observed no prayers actually being answered is evidence that this deity doesn't exist. Other examples include the numerous errors and inconsistencies within religious texts which, assuming a deity that is intelligent and able to communicate, count as evidence that such a deity does not exist.

    The issues above make a lot more sense on the hypothesis that the claimed deity doesn't exist, and that theists' often wildly differing attempts to answer these problems are nothing more than sophistry. Indeed, the very existence of "apologetics" only further supports the hypothesis.



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