I actually saw a Christian on Twitter challenging atheists to a challenge. This is something I brought up a while back, having rarely ever seen such a thing, but as expected, it was a toothless tiger. The theist challenged atheists to sincerely pray for God to come into their lives and for Jesus to touch their hearts.
It’s not a new challenge, I’ve run into that kind of thing in the past. Theists seem supremely convinced that any atheist who dares sincerely ask God to reveal himself will magically become heartfelt Bible believers. Of course, this being a somewhat common belief, I’ve done so quite a few times in the past, since I gave up Christianity, and I’ve never felt a thing. Believers will declare that any failure to get the “God feeling” means that you were not sincere and there’s really no way to prove sincerity, but I can assure you, I’ve done it as sincerely as I am capable of and not a damn thing has happened.
The problem is that the Christian would only set the challenge, not participate in it. If the atheist prayed and some conditions were met, the atheist had to agree to be a Christian, but apparently, the Christian didn’t have enough faith to accept the reverse, that if those conditions were not met, the Christian should agree to stop being a Christian. I find that very troubling. After all, in every “atheism challenge” I’ve seen, if the theist managed to prove their point, the atheist has said they would cease to be an atheist and convert to whatever brand of theism was demonstrated. Why, then, are theists so afraid to do the same? As I said, the system is rigged and any failure will be excused as a breakdown on the part of the atheist, for not believing strongly enough or for missing the clear signs that God was real. As far as these theists are concerned, there is no possibility that they are wrong, thus no reason to even consider the prospect.
Or at least that’s what they say. From where I’m sitting, it’s a clear and obvious sign of their lack of confidence in their own position. They aren’t sure enough that their God will make himself known in an unambiguous way that they’re willing to put their faith on the line. They can’t even do it for the sake of argument, especially since no one could force them to stop believing in their deities if they wanted to. No, they have to remain “strong” in their faith, even if it makes them look terribly weak to all the non-believers around them. It’s all just an excuse after all, I don’t know that they really believe that any of these “prayer challenges” actually work anyhow.
But what would happen if an atheist, just for shits and giggles, took their “prayer challenge”, prayed for God to reveal himself to them, and then reported to the theist that it wasn’t God that answered, but Krishna? Or Thor? Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? It wouldn’t phase the theist one bit, even if it was true because they cannot conceive that they might even remotely be wrong. Any response other than what they expect will be rejected out of hand. That’s why it’s utterly pointless to engage in these kinds of exercises, they’re just not honestly suggested.
In the end, we couldn’t convince our theist friend that his challenge was flawed, or that he was too afraid to even deal with it fairly and he went back to spamming the #atheism hashtag with the same load of nonsense he had done all along. Fanatical faith doesn’t prove anything, except how absurd the mind of the faithful really is.