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This is a story about “somebody”. It seems that somebody is surreptitiously lurking around our house, invisible to the naked eye, influencing matter and leaving no trace. “Who left their dishes on the counter,” inquired my wife. “Not me”, the oldest and wisest daughter quickly replied. “Me neither!” number two sounded off, following the lead of her older sister. Number three jerked his head a few seconds too slow, realizing he was trapped. He sat silently, perhaps contemplating the complexity of his delayed response before he decided to go for it with a high-pitched retort, “I cleared my dishes!” Assuming there are no ghosts eating in our house, my wife volleyed back, “Well somebody did it,” and then she turned to me. “I’m still eating, see, here’s my plate!” I offered innocently, holding my plate up in the air. My case was so solid even Vincent Bugliosi, the infamous L.A. prosecutor, would not have won.
Over the next several days the same scenario repeated itself about candy wrappers, the lights being left on and somebody not flushing the toilet. Late one evening after the giblets were all in bed, my wife and I were doing the mail and I noticed there were some unexplained withdrawals from the bank account. I asked my wife, “Did you take out cash with the ATM card?”, pointing to the date and transaction on the statement. “Hmm, nope, wasn’t me. Must have been you,” she said. “No, it wasn’t me,” I replied. “We’ll somebody did,” she quipped with a smile. Now somebody is taking money out of our bank account as well eh? I sure would like to get my hands on this secret somebody.” All I heard was a long “hmm, me too,” as she kept her head down doing bills.
All this talk about somebody was on my mind as I walked off into my office to research my next radio show on the topic of God. As I prepared, I noticed that a defense used by atheists to justify the nonexistence of God is an apparent contradiction of Divine Providence. Theism holds that God is the creator and absolute perfect being that exerts influence over all of life. Moreover, God is always good. The problem is that life can be full of pain and suffering. Some atheists argue that by the definition of Divine Providence, there can be no God because clearly if there is, either God is not in control or is not so good. It occurred to me that these people were talking about somebody, and I felt a paradox coming.
The Atheist Paradox
“If there is a God and God is good, as Divine Providence tells us, atheists conclude that God must not exist since clearly the world is full of pain and suffering. The contradiction in this logic is that it only works if you assume there is a God and God is good. You cannot accuse someone for doing or not doing something, if that someone does not exist. Therefore any atheist who uses this as a defense must be confused in understanding their reasons for disbelief because they are using the existence of God to deny him.”
Based on anecdotal evidence, I can personally vouch for the fact that it is possible for somebody to manipulate physical matter and not get caught, even when it is right under your nose. Extrapolating this phenomenon, it certainly seems possible to me that somebody might actually be out there doing something in the universe and eluding our ability to catch him or her in the act. I just wish that this elusive somebody would start putting money in to my bank account, instead of just taking it out.