Evidence to Convince Me of a God
This is actually trickier to answer than it sounds. The simplest answer, and also the answer that would be most likely to convince me, would be that this god reveal himself to me physically. I want to see it, whatever "it" really is. But its unfortunate that believers tell me that their worshiped god doesn't want to provide this kind of evidence to anyone (even though Christians claim that their god once walked on this Earth as Jesus...lucky for the people who lived in those times). There's this odd "faith" aspect. Gods don't want to present you with concrete evidence of their existence, but want to give you just a taste and then you have to "just believe" from there. ***coughBULLSHITcough*** Ahem, excuse me. The answer to the question I am asking myself I formulated upon the following assumptions of whatever the true god (or gods) really are:
- The true god is omniscient
- The true god is omnipotent
- The true god is omnibenevolent
- The true god does not wish to provide concrete evidence of its existence to anyone, asking us to rely on "faith"
First, allow me to note that if all of these criteria are true, I should already be a believer. This god would know what evidence I require to believe without relying on me making this blog post (omniscient), it would be capable of providing me that evidence (omnipotent), and it should want to provide me that evidence because its such a nice guy/girl/thing (omnibenevolent) and I've asked very kindly and sincerely multiple times before. Yet it has not done so, nor has it done so for billions of other people on the planet, which can only leave me asking "why the wait?". The answer that makes the most sense to me is that no such god exists, or at least if there is one then its either not omniscient, not omnipotent, or/and not omnibenevolent.
Tyler's Divine Evidence Test
Alright, now let me share with you the answer I came up with. First, you will require a human partner to do this. That partner must be a believer and they should make the claim that they've communicated with the divine at least once before. The test involves asking three simple questions. Only if all three questions are answered correctly will it be sufficient for me to believe in their god. The god must use the partner as a means to communicate the answer to you (in other words, you ask the question, the god tells your partner the answer, and the partner says the answer). With me so far? Okay, here are the three questions.
Question 1. I am now thinking of an experience from my childhood. Please tell me what this experience was.
It works best if you recall something uncommon/unobvious to reduce the likelihood that your partner simply guesses correctly. It should be something that you have never shared with anyone, or with only very few people (and certainly not with your partner).
Question 2. Please tell me the answer to the following mathematical constant/equation.
This is one that you will need to have either memorized the answer for or have it written down on a card beforehand. For example, "tell me the value of the golden ratio constant in base 19 up to 10 decimal places". Obviously, your partner should not be allowed time to calculate or research this answer. You should exercise extra caution if your partner happens to be an autistic savant.
Question 3. "....."
Don't ask this one with your mouth. Ask it inside your head. It could be anything at all, but should not be something obvious to guess. If you know a foreign language I would recommend that the answer be in another language, especially if your partner does not know that language. For example, I might ask in my head "How do you say 'black cat' in Japanese?".
There it is! If any believer can answer these three questions for me, I would become a believer in their god. If anyone reading this would like to be my partner for this test, I would love to try it with you. I think its fair game in asking for evidence, but not "concrete" evidence, from the god/gods and I would still have to rely on "faith" to fully believe. Now just to throw this out there, passing this test still does not serve as proof of a god because, after all, if the partner has some psychic mind-reading ability they would be able to pass this test with ease regardless of whether or not a god exists. But I don't believe in psychic powers, and I'm willing to overlook this technicality. I should also note that this should be done with direct questions and direct answers. There is no repeating the question once asked. The partner is not allowed to ask any questions of their own. The non-believer should not feed any "clues" to their partner at all (this is how psychics trick you into thinking that they are speaking with your dead relatives). Once asked, you should keep your mouth shut until the partner answers and then tell them they are either correct or incorrect (or you could ask all three questions and wait to tell them the results at the end).
I will admit that I am skeptical that anyone would pass this test, or even pass a single question, and in fact it wouldn't surprise me if no one is willing to take the challenge with me. Here are some of the apologetic answers I'm anticipating I would/will hear if a believer fails to pass the test as my partner.
- The evidence that this would provide is too strong and my god won't provide it.
Too much evidence, not enough faith...darnit!
- He's telling me the answers, but I'm not hearing god correctly.
Isn't god supposed to be infallible?
- He's not telling me the answers, so he must have some reason.
The ever-annoying "he's mysterious" argument.
Personally I think asking for the answers to three simple questions is a very reasonable request. Ball's in your court, oh mighty creator.