By Eddie Miles

We everyday skeptics often come to a point in a debate at which the question is posed, "If God really loves your uncle who was in a motorcycle accident and wants him to get better, why did he cause him to have the accident in the first place?" Now, there are a few different answers that we get for this question but this post is just about one: "God is testing his faith."

At first, this seems like an intellectual dead end, that theistic claim that kills the debate because it becomes a matter of faith over evidence and is therefore unarguable. Fortunately, it's not. The debate can continue from this point and here's how.

Think about the implications of a test. In school, your teacher probably administered many tests. He or she did this to find out how much of the subject matter you actually absorbed. Of course, the best way to do this is to read your mind directly but since a school teacher doesn't have this power, he/she resorts to the next best method: testing. In other words, a test is a way for a being who IS NOT OMNISCIENT to know what's in your mind. A being who IS omniscient would have no use for such tools as said being could directly read your mind to know what you're thinking and what you know or believe. What this tells us about the test of faith hypothesis is that either god isn't omniscient or things like motorcycle accidents aren't "tests of faith" because an omniscient god would have no need for tests and a being who has a need for tests obviously isn't all-knowing.

Posted from The Everyday Skeptic Blog

Views: 127

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Well, it's hard to use the term "original" because it's an obvious conclusion so I'm sure a lot of different people have come up with it before but in the sense that I thought of it and didn't read it somewhere else, yes it's original ;)
I've often wondered this.

Thank you!  This is a great observation. 


Yes, I have also wondered why it's a miracle that someone survives something traumatic, when the traumatic event could have been avoided in the first place.  Unless it's supposed to be something that "shakes a person up" into believing, like a jack-ass-ian show of power, which just sounds cruel to me since many survivors end up with some lingering psychological issues due to the intense fear they experienced. 

Couldn't the argument then turn to "free will"?  That is, the argument that God is omniscient in the sense that he knows everything that can be known, but the acts of a human with free will can't be known until tested.  This all falls apart if I'm mis-remembering, but I think God supposedly granted humans free will.


Now, I'm not supporting this.  But weaseling is a skill I've developed, and that's how I imagine the weaseling would occur.

I guess I was interpreting omniscience as knowing everything that is, not everything that may be.  I looked up the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary, and it wasn't too enlightening - "Knowing everything" - but I can see where knowing what may be would be included in "everything".




Update Your Membership :




Nexus on Social Media:


© 2018   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service