Imagine if I doubted my wife’s existence.
Imagine if I experienced sleepless nights filled with anxious uncertainty, wondering if the person lying next to me in bed was real. It would be quite strange if I did. Imagine if I one day called myself an a-Cori-ist, and wrote a book called The Cori Delusion. It is at this point that Cori would probably punch my arm and demand that I stop being such a fool.
My point is this: there are few who doubt my wife’s existence. I’ve never had to use apologetic-like arguments to convince anyone that my wife is in fact real.
Of course, someone on the other side of the world might reasonably doubt that my wife exists, because they have never seen or met her. But think of something much larger than my wife: say, the moon. Most people around the world, barring the few solipsists, would not even think twice about doubting the existence of earth's natural satellite. After all, there are no lunar apologists out there trying to convince us that there is indeed a large rock revolving around our planet. My wife’s existence is quite obvious to those who know her; the moon even more so.
Now, imagine something much larger than my wife or the moon, something so large that it exists everywhere in the universe. This thing is not simply an object, but a sentient being of immense proportions. Not only is it all-powerful, but this eternal being was the creator of the universe. This being is also intricately involved in human affairs, and its ultimate desire is to have a relationship with every single human being. Shouldn’t the existence of this being be more obvious than the existence of my wife, or the moon? One would expect so. But as it turns out, the existence of this being – called ‘God’ by the multitudes – is not that evident to many people.
I thought about this the other day: why do apologists spend so much time compiling complex arguments and printing hundreds of books that argue for the existence of God? Well, apologists make money from people’s doubt, and the very fact that they are in business is because there are many individuals out there who are uncertain about God’s existence. But why all the uncertainty? The only answer that I can think of is that God’s existence is not that obvious, a fact that seems inconsistent with the claim that God is great, omnipresent, and personal. Maybe the very existence of the field of apologetics, the branch of theology that aims to defend theistic beliefs on intellectual grounds, is an implicit admission of this weakness: that we do not observe what we would expect to observe if God – the one portrayed by the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions, at least – exists as generally described. Shouldn’t God’s existence be obvious? If it was, there would be no need for apologetics.
What do you think?