Revelation November 27, 2006

I’m trying to think through some of my newfound beliefs and am pondering some of the “hows” and “whys” behind the Christian story of how God revealed himself to man. Sometimes I think it makes a lot of sense, other times it seems implausible.

That’s from Jennifer. She used to be an atheist. Now, she’s on the way to becoming a Catholic. Before the rips on Catholicism begin, and people start saying, “It’s implausible,” let’s get this straight: That’s not the point.

The point is this question she poses to readers:

… pretend that you’re God for a minute. You created everything in the
universe, including humans. You love humans, you want them to know you and your guidelines for how they should live, and you also want them to have free will.

Given these parameters, how do you go about revealing yourself and your plan to them?

Would Christians have answers different from the biblical story?

What would atheists answer even if it is just a hypothetical?

[tags]atheist, Christian, Catholicism, Catholic, revelation, Bible[/tags]

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  • AnonyMouse

    Is it too late to answer the question?

    Firstly, I don’t have a problem at all with the parameters established. These are the parameters applied to the God she is learning about, after all. There’s no reason to criticise her for asking what we would do in the same situation.

    And it is indeed a very good question. If you were God, how would you ensure that your followers knew where your rules came from (without overwhelming them with your presence, as some have pointed out)?

    I’ve got a couple of ideas on the subject, but this is the one that appeals to me the most:

    I would choose a percentage of my people (say, about ten percent) to deliver my message. One night while these people slept, I would visit them all in their dreams and deliver my message (and any subsequent commandments). I would do this to each person at the exact same time, and I would choose these people from a wide variety of social classes and locations for maximum believability. After the initial reveal, I would “come out of the closet” in a manner of speaking, performing some great inexplicable task in a location easily accessible by several eyewitnesses (preferably hundreds). I would continue doing this sort of thing on a frequent basis (at least a couple of times per generation) to remind my people that I am indeed present and watching.

    If anyone asked for my help (through prayer or whathaveyou), I would give them immediate assistance, no questions asked. I would follow through on my promise to provide adequate survival to anyone who believed in me, preferably by dropping food from the sky or some other obvious method. If someone chose not to believe in me, I would retract assistance and allow them to sink or swim based on their own ability; I would also not intervene in any affairs unless I was directly asked (or, as above, had promised in advance). (That means you name the person you want healed. Don’t give me a general statement like “heal the sick” or “end hunger for all.”) Most importantly, if someone asked me for a sign that I existed, I would give it to them following the same procedures as for prayer. No one who sought me would be ignored.

    Ironically, this performs somewhat of a double function: it answers the age-old question, “What would it take for you to believe in God?” If I got even one direct response to a prayer, that would pretty much do it for me.

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