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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

God is a Nonexistent Babysitter

[I brought up this analogy in my "God's Atrocities" post, and I liked it so much that I decided to just do it as one post and expand on it.]

Consider this scenario:

You are a six-year-old child, and one night your parents tell you that they are going out for dinner. They tell you that they have hired a babysitter to look after you, just like any parent would do. However, they tell you that the sitter is not actually coming over to the house to watch you. Instead, the sitter is going to be keeping an eye on you from across the street. Your parents insist that even though you can't see or hear the babysitter, the sitter can hear and see you. You have never seen this babysitter before. You've never communicated with this person in any way whatsoever, whether directly (in person) or indirectly (phone call, texting, email, fax, skype, etc.). You don't know this person's name, or even if the person is male or female.

At most, your parents give you a brochure that discusses this person and what a great babysitter he or she is. It even comes with testimonials. However, the testimonials offer very little, contain contradictory information about the sitter (for example, one says the sitter doesn't get angry easily, but another talks about how the sitter has been angered numerous times), and only the first names of the testimonial authors are given (very common names, like "Matt," "Marcus," "Lucas," "Johnny," "Pete," "Dave," etc.). And ultimately, the brochure could in fact be fake. So with that, your parents leave you and go out to eat.

I think it's pretty obvious what's happened here. There clearly never was a babysitter at all. Your parents just wanted a night out with each other and didn't want to spend money on a sitter. So instead they just whipped up a fake brochure about some babysitter and put fake testimonials on it. And now the main question: if you can tell that this scenario is BS, why do you think any different of the idea of God? Have you ever found it odd that God has never spoken directly to you or anyone else? Don't you find it just a little bit strange that your main piece of evidence for God's existence is a book written thousands of years ago by unverifiable authors? As humans, we put our trust in those we know for a fact exist and can safely put our trust in. That's a burden everyone should meet. But God has not done this. So why should we bother trusting him and believing in him? In the beginning, mankind couldn't account for what existed in the natural world. They needed somebody to take care of them and the world. So they simply made up their own nonexistent babysitter to explain it all away.


  1. Hi Adam,

    Why believe in a babysitter? If you're a youngster who is at home alone, you might want to believe that there is a babysitter who is looking after you. In the case of a youngster whose parents have told her that there is a babysitter, whether she believes them probably depends upon how much she trusts her parents.

    On the question of Jesus, do I want to believe that there was such a person? Indeed, yes I do! He's the best person I know of. And if He is really God, who endured all that humans normally endure, and died as all of will eventually do, and rose from the dead so that we too might have life, then this is very good news, indeed! Why wouldn't I want to believe it? Do I have good reason to believe it? I believe I do, But I have been on the road for a while, now, with many experiences to confirm my belief.

    You, on the other hand, are still young. We could go into all sorts of philosophical, historical, or scientific debates. They might convince you, They might not. Instead I suggest that you try asking Jesus if He is there, assuming you are prepared to follow Him if He answers you.

    1. Bilbo,

      It's not about what I want to believe. It's not about what anyone wants to believe. It's simply about establishing what the facts are. Regardless of how trustworthy the parents may have been in the past, this kind of scenario should set off alarm bells for anyone.

      For the record, I did believe in Jesus and thought I was talking to him for well over a decade. I was a believer. I went to church fairly often. I really wanted to believe in God. But the evidence shows no sign of God at all.

      But does that mean I'm not asking Jesus if he's there? No. I'm more than willing to believe if God shows me real evidence. I'm not close-minded. I read books and websites that discuss both sides of the argument. I happen to attend a religious university, so I'm certainly exposed to the information well enough.

      And even if I were close-minded, why should that keep God from communicating with me? If God is all powerful, nothing should be able to stop God from speaking to me. Right? Or is my will so strong that even God can't get through to me? Then God is limited. And if that's the case, then why call him God?

      As far as I can tell, there is nothing I'm doing that would keep God from communicating with me. And he can't possibly not want to speak with me because I happen to be a non-believer. That would be quite out of character for him, wouldn't it? Why should I not get the same chance people like Paul and Thomas got? I want to see the evidence, and I look for it. I would think my sincerity would count for something. If not, that says much more about God than me. All I can really conclude at this point is that asking Jesus is pointless, because there's simply nobody to ask.

  2. Hi Adam,

    I don't think you're closed-minded. I look at your face and I think, "There is a Philip without any guile!" So just do yourself a favor and ask Jesus one more time: "Jesus, I'm 99% certain that you aren't there and probably never even existed. But just in case I'm wrong, show me that you are there and I will follow you." Then it's up to Jesus to show Himself to you. If He doesn't then it's not your fault. And He may not show Himself to you right away. He may be waiting down the road for you somewhere. That's between you two.