Being Skeptical Part 2 — Conditions, Evidence and Excuses

Here is the second of two articles that originally appeared elsewhere (Part 1 is here). I have edited this one a bit as well.

The sceptic-tank-ical approach. That is, the constant denial of evidence.

If you insist on irrefutable, absolute proof before you will accept or believe something, you will have pitifully little to believe at all. What would happen in the court systems if they took that approach? Witnesses are expected to differ on details because of their knowledge, observations, personalities and whatever else; everyone has their own perspective. They use reasonable evidence, and not just iron-clad positive proof. Otherwise, there would be few convictions indeed.

Edit: Demanding physical proof of a transcendent God is a category mistake, a logical fallacy.

It's funny in a way that "everyone knew" that Casey Anthony was guilty, and were outraged that she was found not guilty. But "everyone" was not in the courtroom to have the evidence presented. But boy, did "everyone" have an opinion on the case, without actually examining the evidence. Their reactions were based mostly on emotion.


It is one thing to reject a piece of evidence, especially if it involves something of great importance. To continually reject each piece of evidence shows a bias on the reviewer's part. There have been times where I thought the evidence that I offered someone was icing on the cake, so to speak. They were not convinced. Well, that wasn't the point. I was adding to the mountain of existing evidence, it was not my intention to have it be a knock-down in and of itself.

On a recent broadcast of "Faith and Reason", I heard an atheist caller make a statement similar to what I have encountered several times before. He said he would believe that God exists if God telepathically beamed that knowledge into his head. Some have said God could write, "I am here" in flaming letters in the sky. One atheist in a debate said that if the podium lifted up and did aerial acrobatics, then that would convince him.

In the first case, the guy backed off and showed his bias by saying that it could also be his imagination or a mental illness. Flaming letters? I have no doubt that an excuse could be found to explain that away. In the last example of the atheist at the debate, he was not convincing; the Christian debating him said that he would excuse it away. And the atheist did not argue the point.

I have a vague memory of a collection of novellas in a book called The Day the Sun Stood Still. I only read it once, about thirtysomething years ago. Something stood out to me in one story that a worldwide request was made to God to show that he exists; the "long day of Joshua" (Joshua 10.12-14) was reenacted. People promptly looked for every excuse under the sun (heh!) to deny that it was God; everything from UFOs to group telepathy. If someone is predisposed against the evidence, well, any excuse in a storm, huh, Cupcake? People make up some outrageous things that they pretend to believe, rather than to seriously consider the evidence.

This is almost an extension of the point above. In addition to making excuses for disbelieving evidence for the existence of God and the validity of the Bible, people make demands on God. Just think of how outrageous this is: "God, if you are there, make this chair spin around", or, "Beam it into my head", or some other unnamed condition that has never been voiced so it cannot be met (self-fulfilling prophesy). He is the Creator of the universe. And you think that you are so special that you can make him meet your demands? That's pretty arrogant.

No, he's the Creator, and he makes the rules. You don't have to like it, but that's how it is. There is plenty of evidence available for the honest seeker. But his revelation, his existence, salvation itself — sorry, but you have to humble yourself and receive him on his terms, not yours.