Q & A with Dr. Craig: Why Bother?
Q: I am a very open minded person and consider all possibilities. I am open to the possibility of a God and an afterlife. I am also open to the possibility that this God could be one who demands and expects that I obey and serve him or that I would be condemned to a horrible afterlife. I have been doing some open-minded research on the subject of life after death. As of right now, it doesn’t matter what anyone says to me or what claims other people present to me in regards to God’s character, if he is real or not, or if I am a blind sinner or not.
The reason why it doesn’t matter to me is because, like I said, I am very open minded right now and am open to alternative explanations of the things people offer up here. I am a very wise open minded individual and I do not jump to any given conclusion based upon some things I read online or a holy book such as the bible. There is so much more to look into and have an open mind to. Even things that sound very compelling cannot be trusted since there are plenty of things out there that sound compelling, but are actually not.
However, I have very little to no patience at all since I have no interest in doing research or in dedicating my life to a Christian or other religious lifestyle in order for God’s presence to be known to me if he is real. That is no different than expecting me to dedicate my life to a certain career such as dentistry when I have no interest in that career. It is just an unfair and unrealistic expectation of me. If God is real and I really am a sinner who is in need of saving, then why can’t God swoop into my mind right now and convince me he is real?
If it’s because I am not worthy of a God who would be so frantic as to do all he could to convince me right here and now rather than expecting me to dedicate my life in trying to find him, then why did God even go through the trouble of inspiring a holy book or making a sacrifice for our sins? If he thought mankind was worthy of this and he so loved his human creations as to do this deed, then why can’t he take it a step further and make his presence known to me right now considering I have no patience and no interest in seeking him out?
I have done what I could right now in trying to seek out the Lord if he is real and I am not going to do anymore because, like I said, I have no patience and no interest. But if God is real and I do meet him after I die and he says to me that I am a sinner who has one last chance to repent, then I would not be foolish. I would completely give myself unto the Lord right then and there. Any other way would result in a horrible afterlife of misery and there is no way I would choose that.
But considering the fact that I would have to dedicate my life in trying to seek out God and be convinced of his existence if he is real and considering the fact that there are so many people out there who have already done this with a truly open mind and heart and were still not convinced, then it is a waste of my time and I have no interest and no patience for this. As for those who were convinced in a reasonable time frame, then I have no way of knowing if their conviction was through a truly open mind or if they were close minded and just decided to believe God is real. This lack of knowing further makes my point here that it is all a waste of my time.
Dr.Craig Answers: You’re unusually eager to assure us of your open-mindedness, Gabriel! I won’t dispute the point. But you need to understand that closed-mindedness is not the only obstacle to coming to a knowledge of the truth of Christianity. There is also apathy and laziness. An apathetic person could have a mind that is utterly agape, but since he doesn’t care, he won’t exercise his critical faculties to assess Christianity’s truth claims. Again, a person who is lazy just can’t bear to get off the intellectual couch in order to do the work of investigating Christianity. Your obstacle to faith seems to me to have more to do with apathy and laziness than with closed-mindedness (though appearances may be deceiving).
The key to your justification of your passivity is your statement: “I would have to dedicate my life in trying to seek out God and be convinced of his existence if he is real and considering the fact that there are so many people out there who have already done this with a truly open mind and heart and were still not convinced, then it is a waste of my time and I have no interest and no patience for this.” There are two claims here that I would challenge…
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