In one debate atheist Edward Tabash from California asked why can we not have super natural events to help us believe in a super nature creator, and I wonder:
#1 has there been any more research or progress made on this answer?
#2 Is my response in danger of any logical errors?
I would have told him that the people who lived in primitive times experiencing parting seas and burning bushes or resurrection appearances are at a bigger disadvantage because they lack all the arguments that have been developed today. People living in eras prior to the enlightenment had less rational reasons for a belief in the miraculous… I would have given him that answer …and is it wrong or am I missing something?
You are right in the way you are thinking through the issue. As you have put it, the atheist seems to claim that God has no good reason for refraining from frequent supernatural displays of himself. In responding to this challenge you provide a plausible reason why we may not need such supernatural displays since we have such good arguments to form a basis for belief.
I suspect that you and the atheist may wind up talking past each other, however. The atheist is asking why God has not engaged in more supernatural demonstrations and you have given an answer as to why we should not need such demonstrations. The atheist may simply say, “Great, why hasn’t God further supplemented those arguments with supernatural displays?” Your response deals with what WE should or should not need while the critic’s challenge is along the lines of what GOD should or should not do.
Although I have not seen the debate that you are referring to, I would want Tabash to make more explicit the challenge that he is making. If he asks, “Why do we not have more supernatural events to help us believe?” then we can simply answer, “I don’t know. What of it?” It seems the unsaid claim of Tabash is, “If God really existed, he would provide more supernatural events to help us believe.” Why should we think this is true? The overwhelming majority of the world’s population are not atheists, so it seems an odd suggestion that belief in God is difficult to accept. Most people do accept it!
If Tabash is to pursue this line of argument he would need to provide some reason to think that God, if he exists, should provide more compelling evidence than he has. This certainly seems like a difficult challenge.
Chapter Director, Reasonable Faith
Master of Arts in Apologetics,
Luther Rice University and Seminary