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Daily Archives: April 26, 2011

Amputees

Have you ever been accosted by an overzealous atheist who demands to know why there is evil in the world if God were really in existence? Perhaps, you might have also heard skeptics demanding to know why God doesn’t heal amputees, or feed all the homeless. I must confess that I am always amused by the “Why Wont God Heal Amputees” objection by atheists. I suppose that for them to establish that God does not exist, they’ve imagined that all they need do is pose some challenge for God to come and meet. Mighty presumptuous of atheists, won’t you say? To assume that God amounts to no more than a circus dog who is trained to jump through hoops. And so, for them, God must meet their demands or he doesn’t exist.

But pray tell, if a skeptic were presented with evidence for a case of something miraculous like the miraculous disappearance of cancer against the diagnoses of qualified doctors, or even the case of some spontaneous regeneration of limbs, would that do anything in the slightest bit to compel belief in God or the supernatural from an atheist? Will it rather not be the case that the atheist would reject the evidence before his very eyes, and seek to attribute it to some natural phenomena? And furthermore, if the requested miracle ever happened, what’s to stop the atheist from raising the bar? I mean, what’s next, “If God exists, why not heal all amputees and not just this one?” or “If God exists, why not remove all diseases and illnesses–surely he is a good God, and why would he not do so anyway?”; or what about “If God exists, why not remove suffering completely? Is he not capable of doing so?”

Such is the inflexible nature of willful unbelief: the systematic rejection of all inferences to God or Theism turtles all the way down. There is perhaps no gain in entertaining these amusing objections. It is useful to remind these skeptics that ultimately God performs miracles only in so much as they accord with his providential sovereignty over creation, or they glorify him. Deeply dissatisfying answer to a skeptic, but unfortunately you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

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