The previous remarks generally converge to suggest that if ever God exists, He is well hidden. Now let us be more specific about the question at stakes, and the possible evidence for its answer”.
Let us examine the doctrine of theism, and whether observational evidence can be proved or refute it.
To say roughly, as is traditional:
Theism = the existence of an omniscient, benevolent and almighty God.
Well, let us be a little more general, and rather than expecting God to be almighty (which too clearly disagrees with observation), just expect Him to have at least a slight, soft and silent bit of power. Does He ?
In terms of metaphysics, we mentioned that as suggested by some theoretical considerations, in essence all souls are connected. However, that be it true or not, may not be so relevant. A more important question is about what happens in practice: is there any effective, accessible connection between souls, that is something that puts all information of individual lives in common ?
We may imagine a God that is a sort of conscious entity that “contains” all individual souls and lives.
Metaphysical considerations suggested that such a whole would exist somehow inside (or connected with) the deepest nature of each individual soul.
Such an entity, is the whole of existing consciousness. It may be called “omniscient” by definition, as an abstract collection of all what exists. However, as we said, this “all what exists” only contains the past, not the future; it will only contain the future after it will have happened, when it will be too late to have any effect on the present.
However, for this to be meaningfully called “omniscience”, it does not suffice to consider a concept abstractly defined as the set of all information on existing souls; it would also have to operate some intelligent synthesis out of this mess. Such an intelligence condition is fuzzy and gradual, as there is a long progressive range of possible hypothesis on the intelligence levels by which such a synthesis might be done, and how reliably it might be able to guess possible futures. For example, would it be better or worse at synthesizing information than the CIA, or the Google Rank system, any such advertizing or intelligence services, or anything like this ?
But this still would remain irrelevant to our lives unless there is a way for such an information to be received on Earth. If “God exists”, and is imaginative and intelligent enough to make clever deductions from the present situation of the world, then He should be able to find out examples of “messages” that would be very helpful for people, individually or collectively, if ever such messages would theoretically exist (in a way that would be predictably useful in God’s eyes, as deduced from the information of the state of the present world).
Then, if moreover God is good then He wishes this information to be effectively transmitted to Earth.
If moreover He has any power to guide or inspire anybody on Earth (even the slightest such power to a handful of people), then such messages should indeed be received.
Finally, we can define the question of theism in operational (verifiable) terms, though at first sight this definition appears incomplete (it is not expressed as a yes/no alternative defined by a yes/no question on observables):
If an extraordinary coincidence happens or a message appears from an unknown origin, with the remarkable property that it produces very beneficial consequences for the world, while there is no “natural” explanation for the composition of this message or occurrence of this coincidence, then this supports theism.
(Still it is not a priory clear that this “real effect” condition is an observable condition, as such a revelation event might happen unnoticed despite its consequences, for lack of clarity on whether the good effects have a natural or supernatural cause. But…)
Now let us express the negation of theism in operational terms (though it is not exactly the absence of the above observation supporting it):
If there were people on Earth deeply receptive to God’s will, and if we have an abstract proof of the mathematical existence of a message (while there was no way to discover its specific contents on time), for which a clever God knowing all the present world should know that the transmission of this message to one of the available recipients would be highly beneficial, but such a beneficial message transmission did not happen, then this refutes theism.
Now it seems a priori unclear whether these operational definitions of theism, indeed suffice to scientifically determine its truth, as it would be conceivable (though surprising) to get both such evidences for and against it; and it seems not clear to be able to get any of both sides of evidence either.
However this is a very crucial question, because of the billions of people who belong to a theistic religion (Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam), and think that messages from God were already released, and that some prayer, piety or meditation may lead one to receive direct guidance by God in their life. It is important to know whether what they are worshiping and obeying is really God, or some inferior spirits, or just their own ignorant beliefs and “holy” texts: it is such a pitiful waste to dedicate one’s life to search for God where He cannot be found, and to obey what one thinks is the will of God, if no such a guidance happens to be really involved in this work.
But, as there are already millions of people so seriously dedicated to the search for God, giving Him their life and obeying to His will, how the hell could evidence of His guidance still be missing if all their dedication was not a pure waste ? Indeed, such an evidence ought to be overwhelming if the Gospel’s words were true (and once again, notice how selfish are the desires these words aim to please) :
Now let’s look at concrete examples. Joseph Waligore has quite a deal of them. One example among many others:
“We went to London to fly back to America. While on a bus in London, I had an extremely strong feeling to get off the bus right away. After we got off the bus, I turned around and saw an airline ticket office. We bought our tickets and a day or two later went to Heathrow Airport. There we saw many Americans sleeping in the airport as they could not get a flight out because it was snowing in London. They had been in the airport for days and were not sure when they would be able fly out. But that wasn’t our situation. Because of my intuition, we had bought tickets on the one airline that was flying that day while all these other people were stuck. They had the money but because of my sensitivity, we had the connection. So we flew to America on a mostly empty plane while they languished in the airport for who knows how many more days.”
Such a case might be interpreted as an evidence for theism. (This man does is not himself Christian, but his stories are quite similar to what I also happened to hear from many Christians speaking about God’s hand in their life, which they hold as evidence of the truth of the Gospel and of their life with Jesus, since such miracles sometimes happen to be focused on how to convert people). Here are his words for describing this, from a 10-lines paragraph by which he proudly signs each of his essays :
So, is that right ? Is this really God’s hand leading him ? It might seem so in the eyes of narrow-minded people. But, hey, wait a minute.
First, it all looks like that the main will of the Universe on his life, consists in leading him to proudly repeat every time to everybody that he is following the will of the Universe. Is that fair ?
Then, it turns out that so many of his examples of guidance (at least among those I read, as I did not read all) have the same character as the above one: they are deeply selfish.
Indeed, by this above guidance only let him the chance to get a plane ticket for himself. It would not have led him to share to other people the tip of how they could buy their own tickets. You may say that the specific circumstances of the above event, did not let the possibility for such an altruistic outcome. The problem is that all his other examples are similarly selfish, or at least much more in average than should be possible.
Generally, he tells how the flow of the Universe led him to get a lot of dirt unfair chances and privileges, financially and emotionally, to get a successful career, to make everybody else jealous, and to sell a lot of books that anyone has to buy if they want to know how they can themselves follow the will of the Universe, which is no more, no less, the only way for them to get similar selfish advantages from the flow of the Universe.
So, it does not matter to me whether his stories are true or not. Anyway I have moral objections against worshiping such short-sighted conceptions of God.
Now, let us list some negative evidences (against theism). In fact, a huge lot of them can be found (and how amazing it is that not more people noticed them). With all the many people praying and listening to God around the world there should be no problem to get messages from Him.
- Why did nobody warn the CIA about the preparations of the 9/11 attacks before they happened ? Or was it the will of God to let them happen (but yet not to warn Bin Laden to flee before he would be killed) ? If God did not warn anybody about it, is it really because, as most Christians usually argue, the highest moral value in the eyes of God is to respect man’s freedom, disregarding the consequences ?
- Why do we sometimes hear people that had an intuition to not board a plane or anything that would have an accident, but never warn other people about it ?
- Why do we have no spiritual warnings for earthquakes and tsunamis, maybe except from animals ?
- Why did nobody suggest the police to investigate places where kidnapped girls where kept hostage and regularly raped ? Is it because of God’s absolute respect toward the freedom of the rapist, or towards the freedom of the police to continue their fruitless investigation in their own way without disturbance ?
- Why were not scientific discoveries made long before they were finally made ?
- How could pious people never get any genuine sense of morality, no clue of how precisely does the world suffer from a lack of love, but all their behavior and way of thinking remained heavily insane and full of fallacies instead (as we shall develop later) ?
- Why did nobody write me an email to tell me where I will find my future wife (or from her reporting that her finding about me on the web came from such a surprise email) ? Or, if against all my intimate evidence you think I don’t need or deserve this, then you can replace myself by anyone else in this question: why did nobody ever receive a surprise email from an unknown person revealing where to find one’s mate ? (this should matter for God, since so many people said it was the hand of God who led them to their partner, and so many religious moral codes are also obsessed with issues of sex and relationships)
- A few cases may have happened that mediums contributed to police investigations. However, once again, the purpose there was quite limited to individual cases of problems, following requests by humans rather that God, and not done in the name of Jesus nor following any theistic religion.
(Another important example will come later after some necessary developments in Part V.)
We can already infer from observation, that if ever some people on Earth do receive information from a supernatural source, in other words from some other spirit(s) than those currently incarnated, then this source is clearly no more clever than the CIA to collect and process its own information before taking a decision of what instructions to give (if we assume it to be benevolent, of course).
Indeed, if only the opportunity of spying anywhere at will, including inside homes with no risk of being seen (a basic ability to be expected of any low-class angel), moving very fast (as many NDErs could do) and occasionally reporting their conclusions even to a very limited range of occasional recipients, was given to a team of CIA agents, then surely more terrorist attacks could have been defeated.