There are some Christians who cannot be sure if their god is hiding or not. Their answer keeps changing. In debates, they sometimes speak of how all creation points to their god, or how speaking in tongues shows his holy spirit is real. They may speak of healing that could only have come about with their god's help, or how Bible prophecies being fulfilled is proof it was divinely inspired. In their eyes, God isn't hiding. Proof of his existence is all around us!
But at other times, they speak of the importance of faith – believing he is real even when we have doubts. If his existence was so obvious, why would there be doubts? Why would a leap of faith be required?
Bible stories show there wasn't always a need for thinking like that. God was always showing off his powers. He actually walked around in the Garden of Eden speaking to Adam and Eve. He flooded the entire Earth. He came down and split the languages. He sent plagues of Biblical proportions when freeing his people, ending with an almighty demonstration of his power when creating a temporary dry escape route through the Red Sea. God certainly wasn't hiding in Biblical times!
Why would he be so secretive now? Apparently, in order for the entrance test for heaven to be fair, he had to give us free will to deny him, and it would be very difficult to deny his existence if he was always showing he existed. That's why faith became an important tool for Christians.
Anyone who agrees God has to remain hidden, but who also tries showing he exists in debates, has to decide what they're arguing for. It can't be both. By the rules of their own theology they can't say it's obvious God exists. They can't put forth any convincing reasons to believe, not because a non believer disagrees, but because it would go against their own belief system.
If it was clear the Biblical god existed, practically everyone on Earth would know, the same way practically everyone knows Earth isn't flat. That wouldn't be a fair test if God wanted to give us the freedom to not believe. We can't believe Earth is flat; all we can do is imagine if it was. The evidence for a non flat Earth is so strong it can't be denied.
It isn't clear the Biblical god exists. We realize this by noticing how most people who aren't indoctrinated in a sect of Christianity don't come to accept it later in life. The best thing we could say about the evidence presented is that it's very poor evidence.
Could lots of these reasons pile up so that we can be more sure of God's existence? Like a jigsaw puzzle, could each piece join to create a whole new perspective on God's existence? Even taken as a whole it doesn't appear to be that convincing. It wouldn't make sense to think all we need is the time to examine more of the reasons. A ten year old who's had less time to do research can believe in a god, while a thirty year old who's heard many more reasons won't necessarily have a stronger belief. They might be atheist!
If someone says they have a jigsaw of a scene showing a snow capped mountain, and each individual piece is black, you end up with a black picture – not what they're claiming. Same if you want to make a cake, and each ingredient in the recipe is something inedible, like sand, nails and leather – you don't get something good to eat from all those bad parts. Just one bad cake recipe. So much so, it couldn't even be called a cake recipe.
Lots of bad reasons don't create one good reason. Quite the opposite. We just get a bunch of bad reasons to believe and realize that overall, the belief is bad. If I said I could read minds, but couldn't tell you what number you were thinking of, that's bad evidence. If I offered more terrible reasons to believe me, like saying I can read a murder suspect's mind and claiming they did it, only for a solid alibi to prove me wrong, you don't gather a larger picture showing my mind reading ability is real. You just end up disbelieving me.
Attempts to use persuasive arguments in light of what they believe about free will isn't the only thing that doesn't make sense. Some say God gave us free will, then speak of how God helped prevent a murder, or helped a family member get a job. To interfere in that way makes a mockery of the potential murderer's free will to murder, and an employer's free will to select the worker they want. These type of thoughts from Christians don't even have to reach the hurdle of rational arguments from non believers, as they've already failed at the theological starting blocks they're coming from.

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Comment by Bryan Oates on August 17, 2011 at 1:51am

Couldn't have said it better myself. Very nice!


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