Mighty Timbo appears to be upset with me for failing to follow whatever script he had in mind for my part in his proposed “debate” (which, as he may recall, I declined to participate in). I’ve been examining his post entitled “Why Doesn’t God Show Himself To Us and Prove He Exists?” and showing how (a) it fails to give the full scope of the apologetic difficulties inherent in God’s failure to show up, and (b) it fails to give an adequate answer even to the question as he proposes it. Apparently I’m not supposed to do that. Skeptics, it would seem, are only allowed to raise carefully-framed softball objections that can be easily dismissed by facile and disingenuous sermonizing.
Well I’m sorry, but that’s not really my role as a skeptic. The role of skepticism is to examine both the claims and the evidence, to expose any internal or external inconsistencies, and to prefer those conclusions that are more consistent with real-world facts than competing claims, rejecting any that are manifestly inconsistent with themselves and with the truth. Thus, when Timbo points out that Bible accounts of God’s appearances are followed soon after by accounts of people rebelling and falling away, there’s an underlying inconsistency there, in that this is a remarkably poor outcome for Someone as great as God is supposed to be. As a skeptic, it’s my role to point out that Timbo is glossing over this problem when he tries to use the disobedience of men as a mere excuse for why God doesn’t show up. I’m not supposed to just blindly follow his script and say, “Ok it must be all man’s fault then.” My job is to cross-examine his evidence and give it a more comprehensive context.
Timbo objects that I’m misrepresenting his argument.
At no point did I ever argue that God “Can’t show up”. I didn’t even argue that he shouldn’t. The crux of my reply to the question was that despite evidence presented to the contrary (and you were presented with actual evidence)many people like yourself simply rationalize God away.
This is precisely the argument I addressed in my reply, however, when I pointed out that there is nothing about such blame shifting that really accounts for God’s failure to show up. Nor did I ever state that Timbo was trying to argue that God can’t show up. I merely pointed out that, whether his argument is true or not, it would not prevent God from showing up if He wanted to. And according to the Gospels, He does want to be with us forever, participating in a personal, loving, two-way relationship and interaction. So where is He?
Sadly, I’m out of time for today—the day job beckons and there’s plenty to do, so I’ll have to pick up tomorrow with the rest of Timbo’s testimony.