Heavenly communications: Hello? Is that you God?by Don Lacey on Jun. 26, 2012, under Atheism, Biblical Inerrancy, Christian Self-Righteous Arrogance, Christianity, Critical Thinking, Education, Faith, God & Bible, Materialism, Power of Prayer, Question of the Day!, Religion, Skepticism, Willful Ignorance
George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and Christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd.
A very well-spoken young Christian told me that God talks to him. I asked what he actually experienced when this happened and how he knew that it was God. Does he actually speak in an audible voice? Does the voice sound like Morgan Freeman or Peter Lorre?
He said that God’s communication was usually in the form of signs including random acts of kindness from strangers, unexpected weather patterns, and cues in conversations that reminded him of certain passages in the Bible. These are vague and completely indemonstrable, much like the claims of people who believe the dead speak to them.
Am I being overly dismissive? Does this young man really communicate one on one with the creator of the universe? Nothing he offered seemed distinguishable from tricks of the brain or what one would expect from someone looking at the world through a haze of wishful thinking. A good Skeptic has no choice but dismiss these claims until there is verifiable evidence. The supposed communications from God are easily explained without bringing a God into the discussion. Explanations that invoke a God complicate things and raises questions such as: Why does God give clear signs to you but not to me?
Some believers think God speaks to them in a clearly intelligible voice. I suspect that these people have a very loose grip on reality. I believe when you talk to God it is called Prayer and when God talks back it is called schizophrenia.
The people who really hear the voice of God could put the whole debate to rest by sharing something with us that only a God would know but this never happens. Of all the people that God supposedly talks to, none of them ever get told anything that is particularly useful. Perhaps one of them could get detailed instructions on how to build a cold fusion facility, or a cure for AIDS, or the whereabouts of living beings elsewhere in our universe, or Jimmy Hoffa. It seems that none of humanity’s great discoveries were made by people who had God talking to them but were instead by people using the scientific method.
People who claim to be spokespeople for God never have any new discoveries to offer. They never have any demonstrable evidence of their God, and the instructions they attribute to God tend to be petty or highly self serving.
How do believers know that the voice they are hearing is in fact God? How do they know it is not their sanity slipping away from them or worse? How do they know it is not a devil or demon fooling them? They might say because the things the voice says are good but perhaps he’s just feeding you appealing stuff now to ease you into the evil stuff that comes later. They may also say that it is because “you just know”. I never “just know” anything, and I’d figure an evil supernatural being would probably be skilled enough to come off as something more benevolent, anyway.
Can you prove me wrong? Who among our readers can demonstrate knowledge that could only have been communicated through a higher power? Who has proof that God has spoken directly to them? I invite all of our readers to share their stories with us. How does God talk to you?