If God exists, why do so many people doubt?


#222

Actually, it makes more sense than the proposition that existence has no meaning whatsoever and everything that exists just does as a brute fact without purpose. That would mean all the human suffering and life itself is purely empty and devoid of any significance or meaning, and any real sense at all.

All those individuals who suffered grievous torture and death at the hands of Nazis and Communists will have no justice, no reprieve and no redemption to any promise of life and justice after death. Their suffering was entirely for naught. Every child who is born with a horrendous condition or suffers from debilitation or serious disease, that is all they will end up having. No meaning or sense to be made of it at all. Every pain, every sacrifice you have endured, every ache of heart will ultimately have no reason or no explanation, just cold indifference as far as existence is concerned.

What we do know with great certainty is that Jesus did walk as a human being some 2000 years ago. We also know with certainty that Jesus claimed to be God walking among us. That is the only way his crucifixion makes any sense. The Romans didn’t crucify individuals who went around spreading messages of love and peace. Neither would the Jewish Sanhedrin have seen someone spreading human “good news” as a threat to them or as an issue. If Jesus truly was God and he let himself be crucified – then we know that God does have infinite concern for each of us and that our sufferings and sacrifices are his sufferings and sacrifices – God himself bore and eternally bears our sufferings with us.

The great mystery regarding our suffering is reflected back to us when we consider why God – the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and all that exists – would permit himself to undergo that kind of torment seemingly unnecessarily when he didn’t need to.

Why he does not simply reveal everything when we demand to know is a lesser mystery, but it all boils down to whether we trust God (and trust that existence Is ultimately meaningful and purposeful) or we don’t. The alternative is, in the end, nihilism. I have tried it, it leads unquestionably and literally to hell.


#223

Well, I guess the Romans must have been oblivious to the fact that the Jews would just give up one of their own, Jesus of Nazareth – who, you say, simply believed as they did – to a heinous crucifixion at their hands for no particular reason. I suppose the Romans would also have been completely unaware of the fact that the Sanhedrin and Jewish leaders engaged in their own severe persecution of Christians (the Way) very soon after the crucifixion of Jesus. And that Jewish synagogues across the Empire were the most hostile group to Christians from the beginning.

Just maybe the Romans weren’t as clueless and unaware as you make them out to be?

In Acts, for example, Felix the Roman governor says he is “well acquainted with the Way.”

Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.” He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs. (Acts 24:22-3)

That doesn’t sound like “…the romans could not even have identified Christians so soon after the death of Jesus,” nor that “they just thought they were Jews.”

For someone who prides himself on the need for evidence to prove things before you will believe them, you sure do appear to believe a great many things on mere impressions and without much in the way of rational justification.


#224

Well, for one, the Romans and Jewish leaders were very antagonistic to Christianity. Having an eminent Apostle or disciple recant would have been a powerful weapon against the spread of early Christianity because it would demonstrate that some of the so-called “founders” themselves didn’t really believe what they were proclaiming.

The lack of any recantations on record is evidence that there were none from the early evangelists.

The burden of proof for both sides regarding historical evidence is to take the available historical data and construct an account that best explains all or most of that data.

Skepticism gets us nowhere with regard to delving into the past. It isn’t enough to say, “I am skeptical.” You need to provide a better explanation of the data than the one you are criticizing.


#225

I wouldn’t say the Bible is lying but that there are statements or passages in the Bible that are misleading. There are many examples.


#226

You know this with certainty however, Jews deny this. And you have to admit that Jews are pretty smart people, or at least it seems that way when you look at their population and the percentage of Jews who have won Nobel prizes, writers, scientists, chess players, mathematicians, chemists, doctors, lawyers, historians, etc.


#227

The interesting thing about Faith is that is indifferent, for the most part, to I.Q. or degree of learning. It runs the spectrum in both directions.


#228

That does not mean it’s not the truth. Taking the blue pill is more comfortable, but if you wanna know where the rabbit hole ends, it’s red pill or nothing

Dude we don’t even know if they’re in Hell. Do you realize how crazy that is? A loving God, and we can’t even close the door on the fact that He may have sent people who died of horrible torture to HELL! I would take the void any day of the week before that

Yeah, infinite concern… just not enough to erase sin once and for all. If anything, all it shows is He is a sadist and a masochist for permitting and choosing to endure extreme suffering


#229

So what precisely do they deny? Do they deny that he was God or do they deny that he claimed to be God?

Clearly, even the Sanhedrin denied the first but they, just as clearly, affirmed the second, which is why they brought him to trial – for blasphemy. He was charged for being a man but claiming to be God. So the evidence – his crucifixion – supports that Jesus claimed to be God.

I am sure the Jewish leaders at the time were just as accomplished as modern Jews, but that doesn’t prove that they would or could recognize God when they see him – even if he were to stand directly in front of them – does it?

In fact, many modern, accomplished, AND secular Jews deny that God even exists, which implies there is nothing for them to recognize with regard to God.

I suggest you read my post again.


#230

“I give myself very good advice
But I very seldom follow it”
-Alice

(Sorry for the diversion, well maybe not, idk, all threads need a pic or two in my opinion.)


#231

Perhaps not, but it doesn’t excuse those whose bewailing of suffering is their principal motive and justification for avoiding it at all costs.


#232

What is your point?


#233

Perhaps not, but we can know with certainty that the infinitely loving, merciful and just God would only consign individuals to hell if they justly deserved to be there.

What you seem to be proposing is that we have no idea whether God is malevolent and unjust or omnibenevolent and infinitely just.

There are very good reasons for not thinking of God as the former and Jesus stands at the front of the long line of those reasons.

So if you are using the possibility of God being unjust and malevolent to justify or excuse your own sinning or malevolence, I would suggest you rethink that motivation.


#234

On the other hand, a small weasel of a soul that cannot tolerate the least annoyance or pain demonstrates that an empty and shallow life devoid of all suffering isn’t exactly a great making or virtuous one.

Think snobby, pampered, shallow souls so stuck on themselves that they cannot tolerate the smallest infraction upon their narcissistic self-adulation. Nothing like searing pain or well-timed suffering to remind a person that they exist in reality and need to refocus away from vain self-absorption.


#235

NO NO NO! You missed the point completely! All I’m saying is I have a very basic question.

How do you reconcile an omnipotent and all-benevolent God with eternal torment of fire and worms?


#236

Once again, that’s true. But WHY?! It’s not like God had no other choice but to make it so!!!


#237

Both. Jesus claimed that:
No one knows the day or the hour, except the Father. So the Son does not know and the Holy Spirit does not know. The Jews and the JW will deny the Trinity.
Also, they may deny the reliability of the New Testament, at least some passages especially the Gospel of John and some of the translations are not accepted. The JW, for example, have their own Bible in which their translations of certain passages will differ from the Douay Rheims.
The JW do not know with certainty that Jesus claimed to be God, although you may know this with certainty.


#238

You KNOW that how?

Short of being omniscient there is no way that you could know that with any degree of certainty.

Oh, sure, it scores rhetorical points with those with a leaning towards atheism, but unless you have complete access to all of what it means to exist as a human and as God your objection to suffering and why God would permit it is kind of hollow gongish.

My guess is that I am three times your age and, therefore, have likely experienced in my life three times the amount of your suffering, assuming it can be quantified. I can honestly say that no matter how bad it got, the suffering itself never made me worse off, although I could see how it might have that effect on someone hellbent on avoiding it or seeking vengeance for having been made to experience it.


#239

I’m 22. And once again you’re making this personal for some reason, but it proves nothing.

How do I know He’s omniscient? Doesn’t your church say that?!? All-powerful and all-good.

For my part, I’m not sure he exists now


#240

You guys are tiring me out. Who would like to go hiking? :slight_smile:


#241

Not sure what your point is here. We can dig up all kinds of people who will deny this or that – most people live in denial about something or other. Usually it is the denial of the strongest truth that makes a claim on their time, commitment or concern. Denial is kind of built-in to the human psyche.

Jesus claimed to be God and that is why he was crucified. Merely because there exist people who deny this does not falsify the fact that he made the claim.

That Jesus was crucified is likely the most accepted historical fact among historians. There is no other event in all of ancient history that is as well attested and aligns so well with and explains as well all of its repercussions down through history.


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