Argument from “Yeah but it’s impertinent to ask God to show himself”

Argument from “Yeah but it’s impertinent to ask God to show himself” October 31, 2015

I had, as I do, pointed out that many people falsely think that evidence is any data that’s consistent with their claim. There’s a lot more to it than that… but someone took issue, and decided to slug a quote at me, from someone who thinks people like me are being silly for wanting evidence to support the god claim.

Emphasis mine:

As the Being of God Almighty, despite its brilliance, is utterly hidden, this physical system that is spread out before our eyes is not alone sufficient for its recognition. That is why those who have depended upon this system and have observed carefully its perfect and complete orderliness together with all the wonders comprehended in it, and have thoroughly studied astronomy, physics, and philosophy, and have, as it were, penetrated into the heavens and the earth, have yet not been delivered from the darkness of doubts and suspicions. Many of them become involved in grave errors and wander far away in pursuit of their fancies. Their utmost conjecture is that this grand system which displays great wisdom must have a Maker, but this conjecture is incomplete and this insight is defective.

The affirmation that this system must have a creator does not amount to a positive affirmation that He does in truth exist. Such a conjecture can not bestow satisfaction upon the heart, nor remove all doubt from it. Nor is it a drought which can quench the thirst for complete understanding which man’s nature demands. Indeed, this defective understanding is most dangerous, for despite all its noise it amounts to nothing. In short, unless God Almighty affirms His existence through His Word, as He has manifested it through His work, the observation of the work alone does not afford complete satisfaction.

It is a great mistake to imagine that God is like a corpse which has to be brought out of its grave by man. If God has to be discovered through human effort, all our hopes of such a God are vain. Indeed God is the Being Who has ever called mankind to Himself by announcing: I am present. It would be impertinence to imagine that man has laid Him under an obligation through his understanding of Him and that if there had been no philosophers He would have remained unknown. (Ruhanikhazain)

To me, this is little more than word games.

The “Ruhani khazain” (or various other spellings) are a set of writings by the late Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad…. who this quote (and others this commenter decided to bombard me with) originated.

I’m struggling to figure out what kind of legitimate point this person thinks he/she is making. What is it? It’s like some bizarro version of Sagan’s dragon in the garage.

Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad: “Allah is in the garage.

Me: “Where? I don’t see him.

Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad: “He doesn’t exist in such a way we can have any evidence.

Me: “Then how can we tell that he’s here?

Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad: “Revelation. He revelations your brain.

Me: “How do we tell the difference between a person who was revelized, versus someone who is just making stuff up?

Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad: “Look, Allah doesn’t have to prove himself to you! How dare you!

I’m not even sure what the person is trying to do… excuse himself, from his perspective, of having any burden of proof? Trying to be convincing doesn’t appear to be very high on that list of priorities.

The “conversation” didn’t go much further, as the person didn’t actually engage in any of my objections. That’s how I can tell whether they’re actually interested in whether or not the assertions are true. Otherwise, I can just go through each of the sentences and reply, “Undemonstrated assertion rejected due to lack of evidence.”



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