What is the worst trait a person can have? While pondering this question, few would consider skepticism something that is very bad. In fact, many people consider this a good trait. However, according to the Abrahamic faiths, this is the greatest single determiner between heaven and hell.
People are told they need to have faith in the right god and religion to get to heaven. For some, this faith comes easy. However, for more skeptical people, it does not. One can be very stupid (in fact, lower education levels correlate with greater levels of religious faith), selfish, greedy and the like and still have deep faith in a god. On the other hand, skeptical people often find it impossible to believe the claims religions make about having divine truth.
Furthermore, with faith in god, all is said to be forgiven. Thus, one can commit horrible crimes in life but have them all forgiven simply by believing in the right ideology and asking for forgiveness in the end. At the same time, a skeptical person who led a good life will be damned for all eternity with no hope for the crime of not believing religious claims.
It seems that a merciful, all knowing and all powerful being would find a way to accommodate the skeptical. Since it should know the minds of these people if it created them, why does not it give them a bit of hard evidence proving its existence and preferred ideology so that they can believe too? This would not only save skeptical people from eternal torment, but it would clear up a lot of confusion and conflict between the faithful too.
However, this god fails to manifest itself in any way to save the skeptical just like it fails to stop the most horrible crimes, even when they are committed against the very innocent. The faithful say it is because this god needs to test faith. At its core though, faith is simply the ability to believe things without hard evidence or even logic to back them up. In other words, it is a test for skepticism. Does a test to see how skeptical people are warrant so much pain and suffering?
Furthermore, it is a lot easier to argue skepticism is a force for good rather than evil. A look at human history and the world today will show countless people who have made horrible mistakes because they followed bad people, leaders and ideologies when a little skepticism would have made them stop.
If an all-knowing god needs to test us, it would seem that test should be for other things other than something that centers on how much skepticism someone has. This supposed divine test seems like something a leader wanting obedience would devise instead of one of a loving and all-knowing god.