The arrogance of the title is deliberate. But the proposition is not absurd. The “Godfather” reference will not escape any of my readers, nor more importantly, God the Father Himself, should He happen to read this.
I am not the first person on the planet to have the hide to challenge God to come out of hiding. As kids, most of us at one time or another, asked God to work a miracle, custom-made for us as individuals, as proof that He exists. It didn’t have to be public or particularly sensational. Just a private deal between the two of us. It could have been a request to make a light-bulb flick on and off three consecutive times, or to have a book turn over its own pages, or have a chair move itself across the room. Kid stuff. Nothing like asking for a sudden two-minute downpour of rain on a radiant cloudless day, or the televised descent of Jesus on to the White House lawn. Of course nothing happened, whatever our request. We probably accepted the fact, realizing later that God had better things to do with His time – and, anyhow, was above being blackmailed by some snotty-nosed kid in short pants.
What I have in mind is a little different. I propose to God that I will publish an explicit renunciation of everything I have written in my Blog (and therefore on Facebook) ridiculing religion and belief in His existence – IF He deposits an envelope with 1001 euros (one euro for each of the Reflection-Posts I have published in my Book and Blog, including this one) in my letter-box.
If He exists, He not only knows what I am proposing, but is perfectly capable of accepting my conditions. It’s not too outrageous and could not be exploited as the absolute proof of His existence, which He has always refused to confirm (though some claim that He did just that already through Jesus and His miracles, through Moses and the crossing of the Dead Sea, or through Mahomet and his divine Koran). After all, one of my devious, dishonest non-atheist readers could stand in for Him and put the loot in my letter-box. (Either way I would be winning !). And if I didn’t fulfil my promise by public renunciation of my atheism, He could always discretely arrange to have me keel over with a final, fatal heart-attack, like Vito Corleone, the original Godfather.
We all know that even if I were serious, nothing would happen. But we should wonder why. Believers would have multiple possible explanations but the main one would be that God not only “works in mysterious ways” but is above playing such silly games with second-childhood old geezers like me. Anyhow we have been taught that He expects us to have faith, and has always refused to provide absolute proof that He is for real. Atheists have another explanation for His inertia and indifference.
Nonetheless I confirm my offer. Watch this space, as I watch my letter-box. Neither of us will hold our breath.