I’m afraid it is your problem
I often get asked, what would change your mind? I don’t know. I don’t have to know. If there is a God, that God should know exactly what would change my mind and should be capable of doing it, and the fact that this hasn’t happened means that either that God doesn’t exist or doesn’t want me to know he exists…yet. Not my problem.
Last time I expressed my own skepticism about the intellectual integrity of some skeptics when they claim there is no evidence for God and refuse to even speculate on what might qualify as evidence. Must I really take such a poor excuse for unbelief coupled with a likewise poor and cowardly copout seriously? Try as I might I just can’t.
There are some who are humble enough to at least admit that their skeptical tendencies would likely render any evidence unconvincing, like the Hinge co-host I mentioned in my previous post. And others who do bravely speculate, like physicist and no-friend-to-theism-unless-you-factor-in-his-pompous-dismissiveness-which-reflects-poorly-on-his-position Lawrence Krauss, who proffers that, “It would be easy to have evidence for God. If the stars rearrange themselves tonight and I looked up tonight… and I saw the stars rearrange themselves [and] say, “I am here.” Gee, that’s pretty interesting evidence!”
Meeting the bar, not at it
But then there’s “internet personality” and atheist Matt Dillahunty who gutlessly refuses to shoulder any responsibility whatsoever for qualifying what would constitute as sufficient evidence for God. Not his problem. The above quote is his from a debate on the resurrection of Jesus with New Testament scholar Mike Licona. If he often gets asked what would change his mind it’s because that’s a logical question to ask someone who has determined that none of the evidence that has convinced others meets the bar. In essence we’re asking, what’s the bar? And if he can’t say what the bar is, how can he know that evidence like the coming into being of all matter, space, time, and energy from nothing does not meet that bar?
It seems to me special pleading to require the theist to support why she believes the evidence strongly suggests a God but in him rejecting that, not having to even propose evidence that he would accept. And isn’t it so convenient for Mr. Dillahunty to lack a standard for acceptability so that virtually any evidence can be rejected.
Other options not allowed
I would be interested to hear this atheist’s supporting argument for his claim that since he’s personally not convinced of God’s existence, “either that God doesn’t exist or doesn’t want me to know he exists…yet.” Though he apparently wants to leave open the possibility that God may “yet” reveal himself to him…because as he also says in this debate, he’s not asserting there is no God, only that he’s not convinced (which, of course, relieves him of the burden of providing any positive evidence for atheism)…his limiting of his non-persuasion to only two possible conclusions is plainly false. Theists have good answers to the objection of the hiddenness of God that he surely is familiar with. He’s free to reject them but to ignore or deny them as options is disingenuous.
Just give me an idea
I believe it’s reasonable to expect from an atheist who is unconvinced by the evidence for God some general idea of what he’s looking for. A physical manifestation apparent to every eye at the same time? An unexplainable overriding of the laws of nature, like a parting of the Mississippi? Limbs growing back on amputees? A lot of them do like that one. A personal appearance of Jesus at the foot of their bed inviting them to put their hands in his scarred hands and side?
I’ll conclude with my conclusion from last time, that most who do have an idea what would be sufficient evidence don’t admit it for fear that it will be seen as unreasonable or that it will be shown to be, in essence, no more evidential than what they reject. Or because, as I repeated above, they know they would likely be skeptical of any imagined evidence. I have a lot of respect for those who admit that. And not a whole lot for those like Mr. Dillahunty who pompously challenge God to come through on their terms, because it’s not their problem.