Why God Is “Hiding”

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (S-A) argues that a decent God would present to His creatures much more powerful and incontrovertible evidence of His existence. My reply follows.

1) More evidence is impossible.

God is fundamentally unseen, even to angels in their purely natural state, except to a creature in the state of glory in heaven, and even there not comprehended. No amount of evidence in this world will cause God to be seen as He is, and therefore any evidence can be rejected by a sufficiently perverse individual. One reason God is hiding is to avoid putting such sickos though this trial, wherein they reject divine overtures despite God's every attempt, and in so doing earn sure damnation for themselves.

2) More evidence is unnecessary.

In my view, evidence for God is not only adequate but optimal; thus, Moreland and Craig write:

If God were to inscribe his name on every atom or place a neon cross in the sky, people might believe that he exists; but what confidence could he have that after time they would not begin to chafe under the brazen advertisement of their Creator and even come to resent such effrontery?

Another problem with any such "brazen advertisement" is that arguments for God establish God's attributes together with His existence. But what wisdom would we learn about God from a neon cross in the sky, other than that He won't leave us alone even for a second?

It is clear that the neon cross would involve God into human affairs unbecomingly. Philosophical contemplation of nature leads to knowledge about God with sufficient force. S-A claims to have "refuted" various arguments for the existence of God, because he does not "see any ways to get around his criticisms." (381) Well, I guess case closed.

3) More evidence would be counterproductive.

Moreland and Craig continue:

Of course, in order to believe in God, we must have belief that God exists. But there is no reason at all to think that if God were to make his existence more manifest, more people would come into a saving relationship with him.

Mere showmanship will not bring about a change of heart. (Lk 16:30-31)

Again, those who reject and hate God even upon firm conviction that He exists would incur great guilt. Perhaps God wishes to spare these wretches by taking a more subtle approach.

Thus, S-A should consider the possibility that he is not so much intellectually mistaken as morally corrupt.

4) Human glory is best earned and seen away from God.

Soul-making proceeds best when man is on his own, relying on his own wits and strength alone, rather than having God wait on his every whim and soothe his every failure.

5) Soul-making stops completely in heaven.

Being filled with the divine Light causes one's personality to crystallize and one to be unable to improve.

The darkness within us is sometimes evil but more important, potency, what we can become. The Light fills one with bliss, but it also confirms one in his present self -- it eliminates all darkness and prevents the possibility of further spiritual growth.

6) Sinners would be destroyed upon seeing God.

God's showing himself to a sinner might destroy his very identity by forcing him to reject instantly his wicked desires and impulses. Such a radical change is dangerous. Each person must have the ability to improve slowly enough to remain himself.

I'd say that God has done rather well for us.

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