A little note from God

I jumped into the argument with Nicholas Beale, and – like several other people there, ended up surprised and a little shocked at his evasiveness, or shiftiness as Eric called it. NB said on Thursday about the putative Loving Ultimate Creator:

If a LUC exists then (s)he is unlikely to be incompetent and will therefore have some communication with the people (s)he loves. So if (s)he exists it’s reasonable to suspect that at least one of the major religions has a substantial core of truth.

I pointed out that the LUC hadn’t communicated with me, for one. He replied:

of course God communicates with you. But he doesn’t force you to listen or respond. That is freedom – and love.

I find that kind of thing annoying – downright rude in fact. No God does not communicate with me, and it’s presumptuous for strangers to tell me it does. Then of course what NB said is silly nonsense besides. I retorted, and got an even sillier response:

Surely you have heard of Jesus of Nazareth? A really fundamental difficulty that a lot of atheists seem to have is that they don’t seriously consider the possibility that Christianity is true…I’d hope that everyone on this blog would (at least on reflection) agree that if C is true then the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is a genuine communication from God.

No, I don’t. Even if ‘Christianity is true’ (and it’s not clear what that means) the fact remains that I have received no communication from God. It can’t be called a communication if I remain unaware of it and/or don’t believe in its validity. I don’t take the stories in Mark, Matthew and Luke to be anything other than stories with perhaps some traces of truth in them about what Jesus said. They’re words in a book; books can be wrong, they can be faked, they can be corrupted in transmission, they can be garbled. I don’t take some words in a book to be a communication from God, and I don’t think it’s sensible for anyone to take them that way – yet it proved to be impossible to get Nicholas Beale to deal with that question instead of a different one of his own choosing. He didn’t answer anyone else’s question either. Altogether it was not a very impressive performance.

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