People often ask atheists what it would take for them to believe in the existence of god. I for one can think of an infinite number of things that would persuade me that god exists. When asked I say that if god commandeered all the TV stations in the world to announce that at a particular time the next day s/he would appear in the sky simultaneously all over the world to be seen and heard by everyone and that it indeed happened as promised, that would be pretty conclusive.
What I tell believers is that it does seem a little odd that their god wants us to believe in his/her existence and yet the supposed signals sent to us are so weak and ambiguous that they are hardly persuasive. In fact, believers seem curiously unimaginative at collecting evidence even when an easy opportunity presents itself. You may recall my story of chatting with a street evangelist who told me that he and his wife actually heard the voice of god several times and he was surprised when I asked him why he did not record such a momentous event.
But it appears that believers are realizing the need for evidence. Prophet Paseka Motsoeneng (also known as Mboro), founder and leader of the Incredible Happenings Ministries in South Africa, claims that he went to heaven and, showing great presence of mind, took along his smartphone and took some photos of what he saw there. He initially offered people a sneak preview of them in return for a fee and was later going to upload the photos to Facebook. That was good thinking because clearly Facebook is the best place to provide proof that heaven is for real, concrete reassurance of what people have sought for millennia. But sadly, he lost his smartphone containing the pictures. He thinks someone stole it while his car was at a car wash.
“The pictures were really there, I saw them. We suspect one of the boys washing the Prophet’s car took the phone. But they all denied taking it, even after we threatened them,” said one of Mboro’s body guards. “All those who have deposited money will be refunded.”
As if losing the proof of heaven was not bad enough, Mboro is also facing fraud charges relating to the finances of his church, preposterous as it is that someone who was taken to heaven and returned would be a cheat and a liar.