The Hidden God

Austin Dacey has inspired this post. Someone I follow put up a blog about it, and then within the same week Youtube recommended the video to me. Austin Dacey uses many arguments, but this one is the most interesting to me. He calls it the Hiddenness of God but when I wrote that WordPress’ proofreading tool highlighted it as a hidden verb. As a viewer of TED videos, I also recognise the word “hiddenness” as a nominalisation. So I got rid it; it’s a writing style choice.

The reason I’m babbling already is because there isn’t really a lot to say about the hidden God: He’s hidden.

According to the Abrahamic religions God seeks and deserves our worship. Not only does He seek our worship, but He will punish us infinitely if we fail to worship Him. Also, according to Abrahamic religions in particular, God loves us. Sorry if I sound presumptuous, but if God loves us then God does not want us to go to Hell or suffer any other infinite punishments. Let me just reiterate this: God does not want us to go to Hell, but He will send us there if we don’t worship Him. So He should take all the steps available to Him to let us know, at bare minimum, that He at least exists.

I’ll overlook, for now, that God could stop sending us to Hell, which of course He could. If we weren’t good enough to join Him in Heaven we could either just die (as I believe we do, anyway) or He could create a second Heaven, in His absence, which we could still enjoy. If He loves us this option is still available. But I’m overlooking that. What I want to focus on is all the ways that God could convince us He is real.

I’ve been told before that if God provided evidence for His existence that He would be limiting our freewill. Well, that’s simply not true. There are people who believe the earth is flat; evidence does not always control what we believe. Not only that, but if God is real, then God gave us all the evidence we have for everything we know: gravity, electromagnetism, chemistry, medicine, biology. Is that not controlling our will as much as providing evidence for His existence?

Some people have access to a deep awareness to God; some people have relationships with Jesus or God. According to some people, God is giving them evidence of His existence (and controlling their will?) while choosing not to give me analogous evidence. Does God not love me? Does God want me to go to Hell? Why are some people blessed with this evidence and others of us are not?

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11 thoughts on “The Hidden God”

  1. Does God not love me? Does God want me to go to Hell? Why are some people blessed with this evidence and others of us are not?

    Different people, different test. Different test, different answer…

    The higher the grade, the question are more difficult.
    If grade is lower, the question can be simple as “Do you believe in God”, and you answered “Yes”.. Then, you pass.

    If the idea is to pass the test, lower grade grade is better than higher grade because passing mark is way to low. If the idea is to be excellent, the higher grade is better, but with a risk of lower passing rate…

    So,

    Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.
    It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned….. (2:286)

    1. That doesn’t really answer the question. Some people only have to believe things for which they are given a deep awareness of (i.e. they are given their belief= whereas people like me have to find belief amongst a hidden God.
      That is an unfair test, and people given the easier test cannot fail.

      1. Unfair or not – I don’t know; but everyone have their chances. In one of hadiths al-Tirmidzi:

        “O Messenger of Allaah, which of the people are most sorely tested?” He said: “The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A man will be tested in accordance with his level of religious commitment. If his religious commitment is strong, he will be tested more severely, and if his religious commitment is weak, he will be tested in accordance with his religious commitment. Calamity will keep befalling a person until he walks on the earth with no sin on him.”

        Every human being have given an instinct to seek for truth. Instinct to justify right and wrong. Instinct to to know between justice and cruelty.

        Faith can not be inherited; it need to be learn, feel and understand. This is the main different between animal and human being – the wisdom and reasoning.

        The are a good Quranic’s stories for people like you, story of Abraham.

        http://hifzanshafiee.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/abrahams-childhood/

  2. Hi,
    Have you read my testimony to the end? I know it’s long, but I think it’s worth the read. If you decide to do this, I think it would be good for you to pay special attention to the part that says I only gave God my UNDIVIDED loyalty – for just A COUPLE OF MINUTES! Here’s the thought… “To give me a chance to prove myself to you.”… [I put these words in quotes because it sounded like a “voice” that came from outside me.] Does this make sense? You can grab your skepticism back after only a couple of minutes. You don’t have to be a traitor to your beliefs, you only have to “set them aside” on a very short temporary basis. You’re totally allowed to get them right back – if you want them that is.

    It was this TEMPORARY undivided loyalty that worked the magic which transformed me from a tried-and-true skeptic to a tried-and-true believer. “Undivided” means to make a full-on leap into FULL BELIEF in EVERYTHING the Bible said about Christ being the ABSOLUTE TRUTH. This will be very hard work!! But, take my word for it, it can be done!

    Why did I do this HARD WORK? [for it was a great leap I took – not knowing where I’d land] I was in great agony from NOT DRINKING!! I’m alcoholic and, from reading your blog, I think you might be too. If you REALLY want to be an investigator of this faith business, you have to give up the alcohol! I’m really serious here. Stop drinking!! I mean REALLY stop drinking! If you’re alcoholic, there will eventually be pain from doing this. DO NOT start drinking again! Even if there’s great, great pain and discomfort involved DO NOT start drinking again! You might find yourself up against the wall like I was. And, maybe when your back is up against the wall, you’ll become willing to take this great leap into total, nonsensical belief in the bizarre. You may not have to do the stopping drinking thing to take this full-on-leap. I hope you can do it without the pain involved, like I had to have, to do it.
    Love – and everything like that,
    robin

    1. Sorry about my slow reply (I think). I’ve only just found your comments in a spam folder (which is new, normally your comments are automatically approved). I see where you’re coming from, although I’m not entirely sure how you define an alcoholic (I have a series of posts number 1 – 10 where I drink very little, and it’s a pretty exhaustive list of what I got up to).
      I’ve tried to give God my undivided attention before, and all that I learned is that I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know how to give my attention to something that isn’t there (and to my experience, God isn’t there).

      1. But that’s the whole idea Rhys! I pretended! And I only pretended for a couple of minutes!!! I didn’t believe that there was anything out there either. I grew up where I was told over and over again “Jesus is a myth. Love is a myth. The whole thing is a myth” by atheist parents. But I played a game [sort of – a very serious game – a life and death type game] called “Lets pretend”. Have you ever played a game like this when you were young? Like “Cowboys and Indians” and like that? Tell me what pretend games you played when you were young.
        love you buddy,
        robin

        1. I used to play games of all sorts: that I was sonic the Hedgehog, that I was one of the street sharks, that I was a professional wrestler. The problem is that when it comes to God, I don’t know what to pretend; I don’t know what God to let in.
          I am not religiously insensitive: I have friends with religious experiences. One friend had an experience in Malaysia that confirmed her Muslim bringing (not disimilar from your own testimony), another had an experience with a relative’s death that strenghtened her Christian upbringing. Only one of these two is still religious.
          I have read the Bible, and I have tried opening my mind to the God desscribed in the Bible to no avail; I have read fragments of the Koran and I can’t open my mind to that either.
          So what, exactly, do you open your mind to? Remebering that I think God is a self-contradicotry nonsense that is incompatible with reality.

  3. Thank you for writing this post Rhys. You got my blood pumping so that I’m going to print this comment as a post to the general Atheist community. Not that all of them are alcoholics, but I bet that many of them are “using” something to keep them from getting their backs up against the proverbial wall.
    love to you my buddy,
    robin

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