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  1. #1
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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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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    You've got some claims there that I don't think that you can support, except on a personal basis, such as "the complete absence of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means" and the claim that God hasn't revealed himself. You can't actually know those are true for all people everywhere, and for all of mankind's history. Perhaps you could narrow and ask "If God exists, why doesn't he prove it to me?" But making broad claims for everyone else is a pretty big overreach.
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    You've got some claims there that I don't think that you can support, except on a personal basis, such as "the complete absence of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means" and the claim that God hasn't revealed himself. You can't actually know those are true for all people everywhere, and for all of mankind's history. Perhaps you could narrow and ask "If God exists, why doesn't he prove it to me?" But making broad claims for everyone else is a pretty big overreach.
    Do you have an example of the fulfillment of a prayer by supernatural means that has actually been empirically verified as such? Because so far all we have is nothing more than either natural occurrences that are claimed to have been supernaturally caused by a deity, or claims of actual supernatural intervention, or magic, which have not met their burden of proof. I'm not sure which one there is more of - probably the former, like the time God cured my aunt's eczema. If you're talking about a deity which used to actually fulfill supernatural non-mundane prayers but just doesn't anymore for whatever reason, then this still constitutes an absence of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means until there is support that it happened.

    Regarding a deity not revealing itself to everyone, then no, this hasn't happened. At least not sufficiently to make everyone believe, hence the world not being able to agree on one religion by a long shot, which is another one of those facts which makes more sense on the no deity hypothesis. It's no wonder nearly every single religion is based on the forces of nature being granted agency and personified - everyone was just stuck making up their own stories to explain what they didn't understand, and assigning agency to stuff that weirded them out helped a lot.

    If you want focus on someone specific and analyze why a deity hasn't proven itself to me, go for it. I know I can rationally justify my answer instead of having to invoke the supernatural.

  4. #4
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    ...
    It seems from your posts that you expect God to appear and present Himself to you and all mankind. Perhaps a collective viewing of God in the sky, or some other manifestation. And I guess that would have to be a regular event for every generation, forever, so that every person born would get to see God and know He is real. And you argue that because nothing like that has or is happening, God does not exist. In simple terms, is that about right?
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Assuming you are characterizing Christian theology here, can you support that God is able to 'easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe' per Christian doctrine? Otherwise this is just a straw-man argument.
    Well, since it's an ill-defined concept lacking any falsifiability, we are forced to work with what we have in terms of "support". But I guess you could say that a supposedly supreme being that is supposedly powerful enough to create a universe from literally nothing (whatever that means) could, if they wanted to, make sure that there was no reason to doubt their existence (an understatement). Hell, if we go by most claims of the deity also being supposedly omniscient, then choosing to create a universe free of doubt would seem the best way to go - again, if they wanted to. That this hasn't happened with any of the deities forwarded throughout history makes a lot more sense on the OPs hypothesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    It seems from your posts that you expect God to appear and present Himself to you and all mankind. Perhaps a collective viewing of God in the sky, or some other manifestation. And I guess that would have to be a regular event for every generation, forever, so that every person born would get to see God and know He is real.
    I have no idea in what way it would happen, so no, I don't expect what you describe. But, since there's so much confusion about even just the Xtian deity - to the point that many Xtians would claim that what you describe is actually happening for everyone everywhere already - I'd say, why not, that would also work I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    And you argue that because nothing like that has or is happening, God does not exist. In simple terms, is that about right?
    Yes, in simple terms, the deity as described does not exist. The observable evidence supports this as the most rationally justified conclusion.

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    I would only say that certain conceptions of God are not very compatible with day to day experience if you are critically minded.

    I've always found Deism and Pantheism to be hard to directly refute specifically because they claim a hidden God or a God that simply is what we experience.

    It's the theistic claims that say, no-no, what you experience, that's wrong, its this other thing you don't experience that is the real truth. And trust us, its a lot nice that what you experience. That just strikes me as wishful fantasy and their desire to get me to believe is because it helps reinforce the comforting beleif they have. And because they want to share what makes them happy. I can often tell which ones fall into which camp.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I would only say that certain conceptions of God are not very compatible with day to day experience if you are critically minded.
    I agree, but since this OP is intended to go a bit further, for the purposes of this discussion I'll take the position that all of the religious theistic hypotheses which include a personal deity as described should be considered false for the reasons given.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I've always found Deism and Pantheism to be hard to directly refute specifically because they claim a hidden God or a God that simply is what we experience.
    Also true! However, since deistic hypotheses like these posit deities that are indistinguishable from non-existent ones, it's quite pointless to consider them seriously.

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    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.
    Assuming you are characterizing Christian theology here, can you support that God is able to 'easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe' per Christian doctrine? Otherwise this is just a straw-man argument.

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    Assuming you are characterizing Christian theology here, can you support that God is able to 'easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe' per Christian doctrine? Otherwise this is just a straw-man argument.
    There seems little doubt that God could make himself known to anyone that He so chose (a much better way to say this is, God could make His existence known to anyone that wanted to know), however, the "make us all believe" part would go against Christian teachings/doctrine.

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Well, since it's an ill-defined concept lacking any falsifiability, we are forced to work with what we have in terms of "support". But I guess you could say that a supposedly supreme being that is supposedly powerful enough to create a universe from literally nothing (whatever that means) could, if they wanted to, make sure that there was no reason to doubt their existence (an understatement). Hell, if we go by most claims of the deity also being supposedly omniscient, then choosing to create a universe free of doubt would seem the best way to go - again, if they wanted to. That this hasn't happened with any of the deities forwarded throughout history makes a lot more sense on the OPs hypothesis.
    This is a great summation of your opinion on the matter, but I was asking rather for support from Christian doctrine which indicates that God is able to "easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe."

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    This is a great summation of your opinion on the matter, but I was asking rather for support from Christian doctrine which indicates that God is able to "easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe."
    The Lord himself seems to suggest that pretty much anything is easy for him in Jeremiah 32:27 "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?".

    Of course, it could be the case that there are varying degrees of difficulty for certain things as they relate to God and his abilities/constraints. But, generally speaking, if "X" is more difficult for God than "Y" is, it does beg the question of whether there are things that are ultimately too difficult for God - it calls his omnipotence into question. Either he's not omnipotent, or the meaning of the word needs clarifying.

    Also, if a person wanted to point to certain constraints on God's behavior, such as the preservation of free will, which would make him revealing himself "impossible" in some sort of ethical sense, Jesus says plainly in Matthew 19:26 that impossible things are possible with God - “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    So it isn't much of a stretch in any sense - from either the perspectives of difficulty or even plausibility - to conclude that God could easily reveal himself to literally everyone and consequently persuade them of his existence.

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    This is a great summation of your opinion on the matter, but I was asking rather for support from Christian doctrine which indicates that God is able to "easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe."
    Here we're assuming the kind of Xtian theism which holds that the supposed deity is a supreme being with the ability to create an entire universe from nothing and wants us to know it, which is mainstream Xtian doctrine. It simply strains credibility for a being with such power to not be able to do something as simple as reveal itself sufficiently to convince everyone, if it wanted to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Also, if a person wanted to point to certain constraints on God's behavior, such as the preservation of free will, which would make him revealing himself "impossible" in some sort of ethical sense
    Oh, the free will apologetic fails for a number of reasons, not only because it would be an uncomfortable exception to the "nothing impossible" aspect to God's powers. The main reason it fails is because God had no problem encroaching on folks' free will en masse, supposedly, in the past when he wanted to, even violating it outright in the case of Pharaoh.

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Oh, the free will apologetic fails for a number of reasons, not only because it would be an uncomfortable exception to the "nothing impossible" aspect to God's powers.
    I don't understand this. Can you elaborate?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    The main reason it fails is because God had no problem encroaching on folks' free will en masse, supposedly, in the past when he wanted to, even violating it outright in the case of Pharaoh.
    Who's to say that it is a hard rule without exceptions? Are you a parent? Haven't you wanted your children to do something willingly, but sometimes require immediate obedience? I really don't understand your arguments.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Yes, in simple terms, the deity as described does not exist. The observable evidence supports this as the most rationally justified conclusion.
    I think this rests on your own definition of observable evidence, and what you think qualifies. Others believe that the world around them is evidence of a Creator. What proof do you have that they are wrong?

    There are many theories of how life began. I think it needs a Creator. What is your theory, and why is it more likely correct than my belief in God?
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    I don't understand this. Can you elaborate?
    For a deity who can create a universe out of nothing, the idea that while it wants us to know it but for whatever reason it can't possibly achieve that strains credibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Who's to say that it is a hard rule without exceptions? Are you a parent? Haven't you wanted your children to do something willingly, but sometimes require immediate obedience?
    Achieving a world without doubt, if that's what is desired, seems like a pretty valid exception. That it hasn't happened, despite the deity supposedly being able to do it, despite the deity - as per your statement - supposedly being able to make exceptions to a supposed rule against doing it, and despite the deity supposedly wanting to do it, means that either the deity doesn't actually want us all to know literally the most important piece of information ever, or that piece of information is not true.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    I really don't understand your arguments.
    Then I would recommend working through and addressing my responses to you fully. Here is the last one you did not address:
    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    You've got some claims there that I don't think that you can support, except on a personal basis, such as "the complete absence of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means" and the claim that God hasn't revealed himself. You can't actually know those are true for all people everywhere, and for all of mankind's history. Perhaps you could narrow and ask "If God exists, why doesn't he prove it to me?" But making broad claims for everyone else is a pretty big overreach.
    Do you have an example of the fulfillment of a prayer by supernatural means that has actually been empirically verified as such? Because so far all we have is nothing more than either natural occurrences that are claimed to have been supernaturally caused by a deity, or claims of actual supernatural intervention, or magic, which have not met their burden of proof. I'm not sure which one there is more of - probably the former, like the time God cured my aunt's eczema. If you're talking about a deity which used to actually fulfill supernatural non-mundane prayers but just doesn't anymore for whatever reason, then this still constitutes an absence of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means until there is support that it happened.

    Regarding a deity not revealing itself to everyone, then no, this hasn't happened. At least not sufficiently to make everyone believe, hence the world not being able to agree on one religion by a long shot, which is another one of those facts which makes more sense on the no deity hypothesis. It's no wonder nearly every single religion is based on the forces of nature being granted agency and personified - everyone was just stuck making up their own stories to explain what they didn't understand, and assigning agency to stuff that weirded them out helped a lot.

    If you want focus on someone specific and analyze why a deity hasn't proven itself to me, go for it. I know I can rationally justify my answer instead of having to invoke the supernatural.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    I think this rests on your own definition of observable evidence, and what you think qualifies. Others believe that the world around them is evidence of a Creator. What proof do you have that they are wrong?
    The world around us is evidence that there's a world around us. Seeing the world and calling it evidence for something which it is not is simply wrong. If not, then why aren't you an animist?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    There are many theories of how life began. I think it needs a Creator. What is your theory, and why is it more likely correct than my belief in God?
    You think it needs a creator because you already accepted a myth before you even seriously considered the question of the origin of life. So, duh, of course you think there is a need which your myth conveniently fulfills. It's the same with literally every other religion. Whether the origin of life requires an agent of creation has not been demonstrated, so believing this is simply incorrect.

  15. #15
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    For a deity who can create a universe out of nothing, the idea that while it wants us to know it but for whatever reason it can't possibly achieve that strains credibility.
    I'm sure God could make that happen, yes. But you haven't really made the case that He must.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Achieving a world without doubt, if that's what is desired, seems like a pretty valid exception. That it hasn't happened, despite the deity supposedly being able to do it, despite the deity - as per your statement - supposedly being able to make exceptions to a supposed rule against doing it, and despite the deity supposedly wanting to do it, means that either the deity doesn't actually want us all to know literally the most important piece of information ever, or that piece of information is not true.
    A being that wants something to happen doesn't necessarily have to guarantee or ensure that it happens. Ask any parent if they make their kids do everything that the parents want their children to do. If God wants people to come to Him and believe through prayer and faith, then forcing belief would be contrary to that objective.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Do you have an example of the fulfillment of a prayer by supernatural means that has actually been empirically verified as such? Because so far all we have is nothing more than either natural occurrences that are claimed to have been supernaturally caused by a deity, or claims of actual supernatural intervention, or magic, which have not met their burden of proof. I'm not sure which one there is more of - probably the former, like the time God cured my aunt's eczema. If you're talking about a deity which used to actually fulfill supernatural non-mundane prayers but just doesn't anymore for whatever reason, then this still constitutes an absence of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means until there is support that it happened.
    FB, you're passing the burden here, asking me to present a recent case of verified supernatural fulfillment. I'm not trying to make you believe God exists, so I have no burden of proof.


    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Regarding a deity not revealing itself to everyone, then no, this hasn't happened. At least not sufficiently to make everyone believe, hence the world not being able to agree on one religion by a long shot, which is another one of those facts which makes more sense on the no deity hypothesis. It's no wonder nearly every single religion is based on the forces of nature being granted agency and personified - everyone was just stuck making up their own stories to explain what they didn't understand, and assigning agency to stuff that weirded them out helped a lot.
    I can understand how and why you do not believe, but your offering support for your personal disbelief is not support for a claim that God doesn't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    If you want focus on someone specific and analyze why a deity hasn't proven itself to me, go for it. I know I can rationally justify my answer instead of having to invoke the supernatural.
    I don't need to do that, because I have no burden of proof here.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    The world around us is evidence that there's a world around us. Seeing the world and calling it evidence for something which it is not is simply wrong.
    It's evidence to me. Whether it is evidence to you, is not important to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    If not, then why aren't you an animist?
    Because I also believe what the Bible tells me.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    You think it needs a creator because you already accepted a myth before you even seriously considered the question of the origin of life. So, duh, of course you think there is a need which your myth conveniently fulfills. It's the same with literally every other religion.
    The need for a Creator is logical to me. What you think about what I think is of no real concern.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Whether the origin of life requires an agent of creation has not been demonstrated, so believing this is simply incorrect.
    Again, that is your burden to prove.

    It's not our burden to prove you wrong, FB. It's your burden to support your claim with facts or logic. This atheist thread seems, like most of those in the past on ODN, to be saying "I don't believe in God. There is no reason for me to believe in God. So nobody should believe in God." It's a huge unsupported leap from the first two sentences to the conclusion, and you've done nothing to bridge the distance.
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    I'm sure God could make that happen, yes. But you haven't really made the case that He must.
    I guess if it's more of a deistic god that doesn't care whether people know about it, then this would make sense, but it brings the rest of Xtian theism into question since such a deity doesn't interact with reality in any detectable way. Doesn't the Xtian deity want its creations to know it exists?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    A being that wants something to happen doesn't necessarily have to guarantee or ensure that it happens. Ask any parent if they make their kids do everything that the parents want their children to do. If God wants people to come to Him and believe through prayer and faith, then forcing belief would be contrary to that objective.
    And this is the free will apologetic, which has already been demonstrated to fail. There's no reason someone with free will couldn't still rebel against a deity which revealed themselves directly.
    There's also the issue here of god playing favourites. If I have two kids, and I want both of them to know me, and one has actually met me but I don't interact with the other one in any demonstrable way whatsoever, I can't then hold them both to the same standards and expectation of knowing and believing in me, rewarding the one who does and punishing the one who doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    FB, you're passing the burden here, asking me to present a recent case of verified supernatural fulfillment. I'm not trying to make you believe God exists, so I have no burden of proof.
    Let's be clear about the current state of evidence: There are no confirmed occurrences of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means. This is what you questioned. By questioning this fact, you are implying that it's okay to believe that there have been occurrences of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means because we "can't actually know [this fact is] true for all people everywhere, and for all of mankind's history". In order to rationally justify your position, you'd need to demonstrate that this fact is false by producing an example a prayer fulfilled by supernatural means. As it stands, we have no confirmed occurrences of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means and no confirmed occurrences of a deity revealing themselves to everyone. So again, since there is a complete absence of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means, and a 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.
    If you want to question those facts, then you need to produce counter-evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    I can understand how and why you do not believe, but your offering support for your personal disbelief is not support for a claim that God doesn't exist.
    This in no way addresses my statement. Here it is again: Regarding a deity not revealing itself to everyone, then no, this hasn't happened. At least not sufficiently to make everyone believe, hence the world not being able to agree on one religion by a long shot, which is another one of those facts which makes more sense on the no deity hypothesis. It's no wonder nearly every single religion is based on the forces of nature being granted agency and personified - everyone was just stuck making up their own stories to explain what they didn't understand, and assigning agency to stuff that weirded them out helped a lot.
    Again, you questioned whether a deity has revealed themselves to everyone as described in the OP. The current state of evidence is that this has not happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    I don't need to do that, because I have no burden of proof here.
    Hey, you brought it up. I'm making my arguments as they apply to the world and the current confirmed facts we know about the world. You wanted to bring the focus to me specifically. If you don't want to do that anymore, that's fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    t's evidence to me. Whether it is evidence to you, is not important to me.
    This also in no way addresses my statement. Here it is again: The world around us is evidence that there's a world around us. Seeing the world and calling it evidence for something which it is not is simply wrong.
    I get that it's not important to you whether you are actually right about the position you take regarding what is evidence for what, but that doesn't change the fact that you're demonstrably wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Because I also believe what the Bible tells me.
    So you believe in claims without evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    The need for a Creator is logical to me. What you think about what I think is of no real concern.
    Again, you have not addressed my statement, and are simply re-stating yourself. I understand that the need for a creator seems logical to you. I even explained why that is (because you already accepted a myth before you even seriously considered the question of the origin of life. So, duh, of course you think there is a need which your myth conveniently fulfills). That doesn't make your need for a creator rationally justified.

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Again, that is your burden to prove.
    Prove that it's incorrect to believe in something which has not been demonstrated?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    It's not our burden to prove you wrong, FB. It's your burden to support your claim with facts or logic.
    I have. Here they are again:
    Fact: A large majority of people in the world don't believe in the Xtian religion even though that deity supposedly wants everyone to know it.
    Fact: A deity has not revealed itself to everyone sufficiently to make everyone believe.
    Fact: There are no confirmed occurrences of prayer fulfillment by supernatural means.
    Fact: The claimed occurrences of mundane prayer fulfillment have no better success rate than chance.
    Do you question any of these facts?

    ================================================== =======================

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    I agree in essence, if not on all of the particulars. I definitely think that the definition needs clarification in light of Christian doctrine, which is why I have asked futureboy to support his argumentation as such. Right now it remains unsupported.
    See my response to you in post # 12.

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    See my response to you in post # 12.
    I don't see any support in your response, quoted below for your convenience:

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Here we're assuming the kind of Xtian theism which holds that the supposed deity is a supreme being with the ability to create an entire universe from nothing and wants us to know it, which is mainstream Xtian doctrine. It simply strains credibility for a being with such power to not be able to do something as simple as reveal itself sufficiently to convince everyone, if it wanted to.
    What I am asking you to do is support that what you are positing as a core Christian tenet (That God is able to "easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe"), is actually a core Christian tenet and not simply your opinion. If you cannot support it as such, then your argument becomes a straw man.

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    What I am asking you to do is support that what you are positing as a core Christian tenet (That God is able to "easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe"), is actually a core Christian tenet and not simply your opinion. If you cannot support it as such, then your argument becomes a straw man.
    Isn't "a supreme being with the ability to create an entire universe from nothing and wants us to know it" mainstream Xtian doctrine?

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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    What I am asking you to do is support that what you are positing as a core Christian tenet (That God is able to "easily reveal themselves to everyone at any time and make us all believe"), is actually a core Christian tenet and not simply your opinion. If you cannot support it as such, then your argument becomes a straw man.
    Catholics believe that not only can he but he already has:

    "Man's faculties make him capable of coming to a knowledge of the existence of a personal God. But for man to be able to enter into real intimacy with him, God willed both to reveal himself to man, and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith."

    "To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Saviour. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.

    2 So that this call should resound throughout the world, Christ sent forth the apostles he had chosen, commissioning them to proclaim the gospel"
    "Real Boys Kiss Boys" -M.L.

  20. #20
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    Re: The problem of divine hiddenness

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    And this is the free will apologetic, which has already been demonstrated to fail.
    Label it how you like, but it doesn't fail.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    There's no reason someone with free will couldn't still rebel against a deity which revealed themselves directly.
    There's no reason God must follow your line of thinking here. If God wants people to come to him through prayer and faith, then that's just the way it is. Any argument by you to the contrary is personal opinion and irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    There's also the issue here of god playing favourites. If I have two kids, and I want both of them to know me, and one has actually met me but I don't interact with the other one in any demonstrable way whatsoever, I can't then hold them both to the same standards and expectation of knowing and believing in me, rewarding the one who does and punishing the one who doesn't.
    Again, this is just your opinion of God should behave.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

 

 
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