There is a great post about the burden of proof that I kind of disagree with, but really appreciate the long and entertaining discussion it has generated. By far my favourite comment so far (because it doesn’t seem to be drying up) is this:
But I will put to you the test,when asking me whether God is real. You ask God if he is real, that he show you. If God IS real, wouldn’t he show you? Yes, he would. Have you ever asked? Dare Him to show you. You have nothing to lose. As a matter of fact, you only have something to gain. If God isn’t real and he shows you nothing (over your lifetime – remember he has your whole life) then you have proven your point. If he does show you that he is real and you can gain an eternity in Heaven you win again. Ask Him.
I was reading the ‘dare’ and thinking, what an odd thing to say to an atheist. Ask them to dare something (in their head, on paper, by YouTube?) they don’t think exists to give them a sign. Odd for the atheist, but surely a deity would be insulted! Anyway, my favourite, favourite, favourite part of this is that the deity gets a whole lifetime to show you something: the concrete proof that this god God exists.
Let me think about this. I was brought up a Christian so I was keen for signs that I was indeed ‘saved’ as a child. I remember seeing the face of Jesus before me one time when half asleep and ill. I was delighted. I didn’t dwell too much on the fact that he came to be in the form of a two dimensional painting and that he didn’t say anything to me. I saw him, so I was special, and worth a visit. I also remember as a child, on another occasion half asleep and ill, receiving the vivid revelation that I was a princess put on this earth to find a way to save my people on another planet. I was delighted about this too. Slightly concerned and suspicious that I’d forgotten about it. But pleased to be reminded of my duty, and pleased to be special.
How else could a sign be sent? My next thought was all the crazy dreams I’ve had in life. As a young adult, I had a very vivid dream about an old school friend who I hadn’t seen in about five years. He was in a field with some very odd looking cows and sheep. The next day, I bumped into him in a funfair, holding stuffed animals! Unbelievable I know, and I’m sure you now realise I’m a psychic dreamer! Except for, many years later, I can’t quite pinpoint another time such a dreamy coincidence has occurred. I’ve dreamt about earthquakes the night before they happened … but I soon realised that I didn’t dream about them every time they happened. I dream a lot, a lot of real life events happen. With a bit of imagination there’s always scope to make a ‘magic’ link. If the god God appears at some point in my dreams – is this a sign?
Now, I don’t want to suggest that the sign a deity sends everyone might be along the lines of a two dimensional Jesus painting floating before their eyes or psychic dreams, but I would suggest that when you spend your whole life looking for an indistinct ‘sign’, or indeed signs, anything can really do the trick. Life is full of bizarre moments, thoughts and coincidences that shake your boots. But I’m afraid there isn’t anything that can’t be explained by the chemicals in your head, a drop of science and good, old fashioned chance and probability.