The atheists’ god challenge

Friends, here you shall find what the OP has presented as a challenge. I will, if you allow me, paste the challenge here and then show why the premise upon which the challenge is based can’t stand and advice the author to either formulate a proper challenge or drop it altogether.

The challenge reads as follows

Before you begin the challenge, ask yourself what you consider the probability that God doesn’t exist. You might be 80% sure, 90% sure, 99% sure, or 99.99% sure. So the way this scale works is this: Let’s say that if you are at 50%, you are an agnostic, and at about 75% or higher you are an atheist. If you go too far below 50% you actually become a theist, since you are more sure that God does exist.

Then once a day, for the next thirty days, say these words out loud, with as much feeling as you can muster:

“God, please open my eyes so I can see you. Reveal yourself to me. Demonic forces blinding me, leave me alone.”

Then after thirty days, reevaluate what you consider the probability that God doesn’t exist. If the number goes down significantly, that might be evidence that you live in World B. If it doesn’t, that might be evidence you live in World A.

The first problem with this challenge is that the OP doesn’t seem to know that agnosticism is a knowledge position and one can be an agnostic [a]theist. For agnosticism answers to the question of whether the nature of god is knowable. Having said that, however, it must be noted that there is a bigger problem to be mounted by the person presenting this challenge and that is we must be told what god is! To make the assumption that all of us know what you mean when you talk about god is to be presumptuous.

The next problem with this challenge is the assumption embedded in it, that is, if you repeat certain words several times, then magically it becomes true. Are we back to kindergarten again? What sort of challenge is this you propose to rational adults to engage in? The second assumption it makes is that apart from believing there are demons, he is actually implying that it is these demons that have blinded the atheist! And he has the nerve to call this a respectful challenge! What respect!

So as I told him in my response, let us cut the chase. I can’t even talk about what percentage of belief I hold on the existence of god simply because such a thing hasn’t been defined and the question of its existence is a secondary one. The primary question is and will always be what is this entity and why is it necessary. Once this question is answered, we will move to the next order of day, until then am a naturalist, with no belief in anything supernatural.

And his promise

If you, an atheist or agnostic, are open minded enough to take the challenge, I will be open minded enough to publish your results on my blog, no matter which direction the results lean

To which again, is an offer yours truly will reject outright. My mind is open but not so that my brains can fall off. So, Tim, if you get to read this, you can post it already as a response to your challenge in the knowledge that even if you don’t I have no ill feelings. I think it is a poorly formulated challenge and while you call it respectful, it’s hidden premises border on condescension and insult to people’s intelligence.

I need not say more except to invite you friends to weigh in if there is anything I left out in my response. And while at it, here is a bad way to defend one’s religion.

Man is

his own work before all knowledge and knowledge is merely added to it to enlighten it. Therefore he cannot resolve to be this or that, nor can he become other than he is; but he is once for all, and he knows in the course of experience what he is.

Arthur Schopenhauer in The World as Will and Idea