This is a response to a post on another thread:
rather than clutter up that thread I thought this subject deserved it’s own.
[quote=dolffn]I would also like to note that atheists should feel free to pray to God to make Himself known to them on occasion, as an atheist doesnt really have anything lose if they are wrong. If nothing else, think of it as an expiriment.
Mike, I’m an atheist who has been doing this for many years. And for me, the lack of a response is pretty strong evidence that God doesn’t exist.
And it’s not like I’m asking for tomorrow’s lottery numbers. I’m asking some pretty basic stuff like whether he really does exist, what religion he wants me to follow, which human beings really speak for him and which are the frauds, how he feels about abortion, etc. I’ve been met with silence every time. No voices in my head, no voices from the sky, no feeling that anyone is listening, no discernable signs that anyone had heard my prayer. Life continues on as if no one had heard a word I said.
How should I interpret this lack of response? I can think of five possible explanations:
- God is unable to “hear” or understand my prayers.
Objection: If God is omniscient then this cannot be true. I think every Christian would agree this is false.
- God hears and understands me but chooses not to respond.
Objection: This seems to contradict the assertion that God wants me to believe in him and wants to have a personal relationship with me.
- God hears and understands me and wants to respond but is unable to.
Objection: If God is omnipotent this cannot be true.
- God hears, understands and responds to me but I am unable to perceive the response.
Objection: Again, if God is omnipotent then he would surely be able to respond in a way that I could perceive.
- There is no omniscient, omnipotent God that wants to have a personal relationship with me.
Since the other possible explanations have been eliminated assertion #5 must be true.