Nonbelievers: How Would You React to the Following Events

  1. Assume I was mentally ill and try to get help.
  2. Assume I might be mentally ill, but also that this might really be happening, which would cause me to rethink what I understood about the universe.
  3. Same as above.

What does this even mean?

Even in a hypothetical with a super-powered being that claims to be the one and only God, it’s still a very good question as to whether or not it is. Especially since, once we hypothetically allow for there to be one super-powerful creature that defies our currentl level of understanding, there can be a second. And a third. And so on.

Yes. And “Dopers” doesn’t mean Der Trihs.

That wouldn’t make your statement true. I can give you cites for Dopers being pro-religion.

I suspect Walmarticus thinks that being a non-believer is equivalent to being “anti-religion,” or “anti-God.” The old “atheists are mad at God” fallacy.

God as typically described is paradoxical and therefore cannot exist even hypothetically. Non-paradoxical definitions of God on the other hand suffer from the problem of still being wildly implausible; the OP can say that God talks to me, but with so many more plausible possibilities, why would I believe it was God, even if it was God?

You’re wrong about me. I think many of the people here simply dislike religion. I think some of the people here are anti-religion + stubborn in such a way that they won’t even throw the OP a bone and, in a scenario contrived so that the existence of god is a given, they would accept it.

I take it that, since the OP says the voice in his hypothetical is god’s, I’m not to question the origin of the voice. Hypothetically, it’s god’s.

I’d only believe that it was “God” if I was under mind control. If I’m under mind control, then the answer obviously is that I do whatever I’m being controlled to do. If I’m only under control as far as believing that the voice is God and otherwise free, then I panic over the fact that I’m under mind control.

The hypothetical doesn’t work precisely because there’s no way to verify the bona fides of the voice. Voices of God are a dime a dozen once you have a universe populated with supernatural beings. I understand that the OP wanted to set up a hypothetical such that it was “God tells you this…” but all that’s really set up is a hypothetical in which “Something that says it’s/that you think is/that seems like God tells you…”

Exactly. How can you tell it wasn’t Satan? Or Zeus? Or Cthulhu? Or Oberon? Or Professor X? Or Anu? Or Arioch? Or any of the other fictional/mythical entities that could effortlessly fool a mere human? Why would I buy that it is a specific Bronze Age mythical being? Why would I even believe that it was a being out of human fiction, and not something I’ve never heard of?

If I were to find my car vandalized, “it must have been orcs” wouldn’t be very high up in my list of explanations.

These questions require a bunch of background hypothetical assumptions. The first two should be rephrased:

  1. You hear a voice claiming to be God while awake and engaged etc etc.

  2. You hear a voice claiming to be God and etc etc.

Already in the way the hypothetical was stated, we apparently already know it’s “God”. How would we know it’s not Vishnu, or Zeus, or Ra? Because the hypothetical named it God. Is it the old testament God, or just a generic supernatural deity that is often just called “God” because people aren’t that creative? Just name dropping “God” doesn’t get us very far because who or what “God” is means something totally different to each individual.

To narrow it down for you, if a voice claiming to be the character from the Bible suddenly started talking to me, I’d react just as if a voice claiming to be Homer Simpson or Indiana Jones started talking to me; I’d seek mental help.

If you made the questions more general, rather than specifying your personal version of “God”, you probably would get more interesting responses.

Because the OP said so. In his hypothetical situation, we didn’t just hear a voice, we hear god’s voice. It’s supposed to be a given.

At least, it’s a given in the way I’m reading it.

How do we know it’s God’s voice? Even if it really was God’s voice, I’d still make all the same assumptions.

But the scenario is fatally flawed because even if, as per the hypothetical, it really is the Voice of God, there is absolutely no way to verify that or to believe that it is the one-and-only-judeo-Christian-God rather than any random supernatural being.

He asked how we would react; the answer is, with doubt that it is “God’s voice” to begin with. Saying that we just accept that it is God means that we aren’t reacting how we would, and invalidates the answer.

You’re reading it wrong. The OP isn’t asking what you would do if you heard God speak and you know it’s God; he’s asking what you would do if God spoke because he’s interested if it would be enough to convince you that the voice was coming from God- which means it is not a given to you that it is God speaking.

I think if it is a question of hearing the voice of God and being able to recognize it as God, why wouldn’t God just instantly have everyone on the planet understand what he wanted them to know without having to hear anything?

Because then God wouldn’t get to have any fun damning anyone to Hell for lacking faith.

I read it as though the “voice of god” is self confirming. You know it is god’s voice simply by hearing it. It has some sort of godly authenticating signature, for which we have been imprinted to receive, or something.

If that was the case, QSH wouldn’t have responded the way he did in post #3. He would instead have advised Lobohan that he misunderstood the OP.