Dennis Prager, best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, asks a fundamental question and comes up with an answer that may surprise both believers and non-believers.
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What would it take for you to believe in God? - Transcript
"Hi this is Dennis Prager and this is the five minute University. A lot of people say, "Oh if God will only reveal himself," who wouldn't like that. So I was thinking, let's say God did reveal himself; what would he have to do to prove to you that he existed.
Think about it. Not just you, the entire world. What would God do?
Let's say that God appeared to everybody and said, "How you doing; I'm God, I'm here," in their own language. Now you might think: "Huh!" – that would convince everybody, if all of a sudden it got reported in the papers of the world and on radio throughout the world: "God appeared to everybody at the same moment," in Tagalong, in Swahili, in English, in Spanish, in Venduka, in Finnish, in every language -- even in Click language, and said, "I am the Lord."
Would that do it? I'll bet you, people would say: "Nah, not convinced, somebody tricked, it's probably a Republican, religious, right trick!" So that wouldn't work.
Let's say God would do something else, what do you think God might do? Really, think about it. What do you think God could do, to prove to you that he exists?
How's this one, what if God cured everybody of an illness, everybody who had cancer, all of a sudden they got up, "Hey! No more cancer!" Would that do it? No way. How would it do it? People would think that something had happened in the natural world to change it; anyway what happens the next day, would nobody contract cancer forever?
Because, if let's say, God did in fact save everybody who had cancer one day and then didn't the next week, we'd go back to the same exact question:: "How come he let person 'A' die, but he saved person 'B'?" Not only does God not exist but if he does exist he is very, very, very temperamental – or at least very capricious.
So, I am still stumped, and it's something to think about. What would convince everybody in the world that there was a God?
Frankly, I don't think there is anything God can do. It might work for ten minutes, it might work for ten years, but you see, people always ask, "What have you done for me lately?" And then God would have to do this stuff every day -- but if God did this stuff every day, we would say that this is part of the natural process, and so we wouldn't think it's miraculous, because anything that happens every day doesn't seem like a miracle -- does it!?!
So I am convinced that there is nothing that God can do that would make his existence absolutely verifiable, absolutely, positively, undoubtedly, by all humans, there is nothing he can do. That's why we have prayers that say, "Everyday your miracles are with us," because every day there are miracles with us, but we don't think that they're miracles. We don't think that we're miracles, right?
Come on think about it? "Oh well, of course if you just have enough time on enough planets, and you do enough things, then it will come out." It's like the old one: if you put enough monkeys on enough typewriters, one of them will in fact type Shakespeare's play, "Hamlet."
So guess what, a bunch of scientists in Britain, I think in Birmingham, decided to put a lot of monkeys in a room, with a lot of keyboards, and see what would happen. Now, obviously they are not going to type "Hamlet," but will any of them even type, "the," or "it."
Well, they did put a lot of monkeys with a lot of keyboards, and they found no words -- but a lot of poop on keyboards. And that pretty much ended that particular argument of "enough monkeys on enough typewriters" and you will get "Hamlet."
So, it comes down to this: the truth is there really is nothing that God can do that would absolutely make his existence unquestionable to all of humanity, for the rest of humanity's existence. Nothing. And that's why, the fact of the matter is, you look at the world and you conclude: either, yes, it is a miracle that conscious beings exist, that we didn't go from paramecia to Bach, blindly – something did it.
Or, you just conclude -- it happened on its own; there is nothing he can do to prove himself forever.