Savannah Block Professor Carlin November 19, 2010 Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy at the University of Illinois, RobertMcKim, attempts to question if belief in God, with no evidence, truly matters. McKim postulatesthe affirmation of God’s existence would then be easier to obtain in his concise composition,The Hiddenness of God. However, I cannot deceive myself into his train of thought. Paragraphby paragraph, McKim claims that it would be advantageous if God were to prove to everyonethat He exists; through the fact that God is hidden, there are abominations that would not exist ifhe came out of hiding. This is simply not accurate. God is able to fathom the deplorable eventsthat would be a direct result from boasting His existence. It is up to us to decide whether thereasons for His hiddenness outweigh those reasons to validate Himself. McKim begins his argument stating that he does not find the logic behind people blamingthemselves for not being able to find God. If God gave us a clear cut view of Himself, McKimargues, then we would be able to follow, but since He does not, why ought we blame ourselves(255.) Theists around the world would proclaim that we are indeed at fault. Since thehiddenness of God is so closely tied to belief in God, and seeing as disbelief in God is a sin, onecould deduct the repercussions of this evil act would be God’s hiddenness. McKim continues toargue his point, by proposing people do not follow specifically for the fact that God is hidden(255.) Again, it is the human race who is imperfect, and the philosophy of not being able to findGod because we do not believe in Him as a direct result of our own sins, is absurd. As I mentioned above, God has reasons why He does not parade Himself on Earth.God understands us and human nature as a whole. McKim makes a compelling argument,stating that “belief would be easier for us” if God was not hidden (257). I would agree withMcKim wholeheartedly. Yet, as a society, we do not value or fully appreciate something thatcomes cheaply or without some sort of cost; anything that comes to us easily can be just as
easily discarded. God desires nothing more than for people to have to search for Him and putin some type of work; this is why he knowingly conceals Himself from us. Diamonds are a greatexample. Why are diamonds so valuable to us? Finding these precious jewels takes effort andgreat cost, and in the end, there is some monetary payoff. In this case, the payoff would befinding God. Imagine what lessons would be left undiscovered if God came to our door?Attempting to find God teaches us and builds character. Nevertheless, we must take intoaccount that we have the free will to decide whether or not we want to find God. God’s appearance would only result in taking away our ability to choose. It does notseem one is able to exercise free will when he is forced. God knows this all too well, hence thereason He gives us the ability to judge and choose which path we want to take. Just as one isnot completely morally accountable for the actions he commits while a gun is pointed at hishead, the act of God greeting everyone would be the proverbial gun to mankind’s head. Anobjector might suggest that we do indeed have free will even while the gun is pointed to ourhead, and therefore the ability to have free will even if God showed Himself to us. However, theperson’s ability to rationally deliberate between choices would be greatly hindered; the possiblethreat of doing God wrong would loom literally overhead if God were on Earth, therefore onewould not be able to completely utilize his freedom. Throughout his rhetoric, McKim attempts to sway readers into believing that if Godexists, He would provide us with more evidence and proof of his existence. In turn, it must notmatter for us to believe in God since He is hidden. Yet, when one combats this argument withour sinful nature, reasons why God must be hidden, and dire consequences for humankind ifGod would make himself known, McKim’s claims fall short of what we perceived them to be. Ofcourse, this might be difficult to comprehend, but when has anything so profound been easy toexplain? Why should we even begin to assume that God’s hiddenness would be described assomething other than profound? Obviously, we should not assume such a bizarre concept, andtake into account concepts that may nullify McKim’s ideals.