I became an atheist through the back door, as explained elsewhere. It wasn’t until after I had been godless for several years that I began to discover the usual arguments that, for most non-believers, led to atheism. It was only as Christians tried to bring me back to God, ironically, that I began to see how ridiculous Christianity and the other revealed religions were, & how bizarre the jump from believing in God to believing in this or that particular revelation.
So Silent He is Not There
After reading Francis Schaefer’s He is There and He is Not Silent, I realized for the first time how silent God actually was. Sure, it was claimed that God had been loud thousands of years ago, that even today God spoke privately to the hearts and minds of individuals, but — and this is the kicker — publicly God is silent. Imagine, I realized, if Congress passed laws but never published them, instead only letting certain “blessed” individuals know, in private, what laws they had passed. In such a case, how could anyone be certain what the laws were, or whose claims to know the laws were legitimate? Yet that is the situation with God’s laws.
That is the great flaw of revealed religion. It is always a matter of a few individuals claiming to be “blessed” with knowledge of God’s laws and intentions. The rest of us always receive the revelations of revealed religions from other humans, not from God direct. In fact, anyone can claim that God spoke to them and therefore that they speak for God, but there is no way to confirm or deny those claims. Unless God speaks directly and universally to all of us, speaks publicly, we have no reliable way of knowing his intentions — other than by studying the nature of the world itself. Continue reading