What would convince me that your god is real?

     Some people act like they want me to believe that their particular god is real.  So, it may be useful for them to ponder the question of what would convince me.  Well, one thing that would convince me is if it actually showed up.  This seems to confuse a lot of people.  I’m not sure why.  If it showed up and demonstrated that it has the various abilities you claim for it.  I would be quite convinced.  There is a caution, though.  I have to see it myself.  A storybook saying it showed up for someone else 300 years ago isn’t going to cut it.

     Another possibility that I would find rather convincing is if the stars were changed to read out “<Name of your god> is real.”  Now, for this, I mean for the stars to act like the blobs of ink in newsprint.  It must be the pattern of light and dark that allows me to read it.  I will not be impressed by games of “connect the dots.”

     I can’t think of any other possibilities at the moment.  But, if you could display something that would reqire a being like your god to happen, I would be impressed.  I am not talking about you saying your god is necessary for something.  I must agree in advance that it would require such interference.  Don’t bother telling me that your god is a necessary precondition for me thinking.

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3 thoughts on “What would convince me that your god is real?

  1. I think it’s an interesting question, though.

    For example, UFOs. Even if one landed on the front lawn of the White House, how many people would actually believe that it was legitimate? Unless people actually saw it for themselves, it’d be easy to dismiss as creative CGI on the evening news, or something similar. Even if I actually got to see the UFO on the White House lawn myself, I wouldn’t be as convinced as if I could walk right up and touch it. Even if I touched it, surely I’d want to someone enter it, take off and zoom out of the atmosphere then land again in a few seconds. Even if I saw that, would I be convinced it wasn’t some secret government/military technology?

    I hope you see what I’m implying. I can imagine “Jesus exists!” written in stars being able to be dismissed without too much trouble.

    I’m not disagreeing with you. I just think, as annoying as those “what would it take to make you believe” questions are, they make a good point.

  2.      Well, I would not be able to dismiss “Jesus exists” written in stars very easily. Deliberately moving the stars into a desired configuration is a huge undertaking. And I don’t think the world’s governments working together could pull it off. Any being that could effect such a change in the night sky would, for all practical purposes, be a god . And I would be entirely satisfied.
         Your UFO example is rather interesting. It leads to an interesting question. Which is more likely, that an extraterrestrial craft lands in my general vicinity, or that a major government willingly reveals its secret technology to me? I’m not holding my breath on either one. But I am actually inclined to think that space beings are more likely.

  3. I guess my example wasn’t specific enough. You wrote:

    Any being that could effect such a change in the night sky would, for all practical purposes, be a god
    How would you differentiate between the stars themselves having been moved VS mistaking something else for the actual rearrangement of the stars? As a presumably sane adult and someone whose critical thinking skills are actively in use, what would you think if you looked up at the night sky and saw some stars spelling out the words “Jesus”? Would you think “God”, or would you think “Holy fuck what is THAT”?

    Which is more likely, that an extraterrestrial craft lands in my general vicinity, or that a major government willingly reveals its secret technology to me? I’m not holding my breath on either one. But I am actually inclined to think that space beings are more likely.
    Who says they’re revealing it to you personally? All you know is that you’re able to walk up and touch some UFO-ey-looking thing on the White House lawn…

    In general, what kind of information will it take for credulity to win out over incredulity? Can you imagine different situations in which “White House UFO” would seem believable, vs seeming unbelievable?

    I’m sure you can – so given a vague scenario like the one we’re talking about, could there ever be context that would cause you to disbelieve in what your first impression told you (re. White House UFO)?

    I’m guessing “yes”

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