It is easy for people to claim they know things they do not. This is why claims are investigated and exposed as inaccurate every day. However, when people make very fantastic claims about divine truth, they do not give any hard evidence at all. Not only do these claims usually go unchallenged, but those who do raise questions often face criticism, harassment and worse. Is this right?
All the Abrahamic religions claim to have books based partially or entirely on the word of a god. Therefore, people following those religions know at least partially what is on the mind of their god. This is in fact a pretty fantastic and arrogant claim. Does evidence exist to allow people to make such claims about their books and therefore about their knowledge of the universe?
When asked to provide evidence to back up their claims, those claiming divine truth often point to prophesy. None of these prophesies ever give definite specifics though. Predictions like cities will be destroyed and nations conquered are pretty easy to make–especially when so much time is given for them to come true. This has been compared to shooting an arrow at a wall and painting a target around it.
Others point to supposed scientific knowledge discovered in their books. However, these come from interpretations of passages made well after they were discovered by science. If a god wanted to reveal scientific discoveries in a book, why did not he include something like germ theory in a way that could have been understood by the people of the time? Think of the lives and misery that would have saved!
Some also try to use personal revelation as hard evidence they know what a god is thinking. However, these revelations are highly subjective and are contradicted by those following other religions and even those following the same one at times.
The simple fact is nobody has ever produced hard evidence to support their claims their religion is what a god wants, and that they thus at least partially know what is on the mind of a being with the power to create the universe. If someone ever does, it certainly will make headlines!
While this alone is not proof all the religions are wrong, it certainly raises some serious questions. If a god wants us to follow a particular religion, why would not this god take a second of his infinite time to leave undeniable evidence as to what religion it is? Just think of all the confusion, hatred and atrocities that would prevent in this life, let alone the horrible eternal burning it would save in any afterlife (assuming Christianity or Islam is correct).
Why does not this god, in his mercy and infinite power and resources, do this? All it would take is a voice calling down from the heavens speaking directly to everyone at once and saying what the favored religion is. For good measure, some undeniable miracles could be thrown in. For example, if Christianity is the favored religion, why not just magically turn every religious building instantly into a church?
The tragedy of this is that many people give their lives and take those of others in their arrogant certainty they know what some god wants. Many even want all life on earth to end over it! While a simple belief in a god or gods can be kept personal, claiming to know what a god commands is dangerous.
For this reason, it is not only good but necessary to question the beliefs of those who claim they have a book with god as the author. Raising questions and demanding evidence is a good thing. If there are people out there who really do know what a god wants, they should welcome questions and be able to answer them with ease.