What is the atheist's biggest objection to the concept of "God"?
"What is the atheist's biggest objection to the concept of "God"?
Is it related to the idea that few witnesses exist? Or, is it related to the perceived tenacity of believers attempting to "win" them to belief?"
You will find atheists objecting to all of these. But shoot, I am Christian and object to the last one!
You will get a lot of different answers from different atheists. But if the situation is analyzed, basically, atheists have no personal experience of God and do not accept as valid any of the evidence presented for the existence of deity.
ALL evidence is personal experience: what we see, hear, touch, taste, smell, or feel emotionaly. Theists either have personal experience of deity or trust the experiences of those who say they do. Thomas feeling the nail holes of the risen Jesus had seeing and touch of deity. Christians trust that what is written about Thomas is accurate.
Atheists have no personal experience of deity. Their evidence, therefore, is that deity does not exist. They do not accept or trust the evidence of others.
Over the course of history, there have been hundreds of millions of people who say they are "witnesses" and have personal experience of diety:
"Therefore, before proceeding further, we shall give the floor temporarily to those who claim they have experiential evidence of God, and allow them to clarify what they mean by such evidence. ... However, when it comes to the nature of experience of the presence of God, there is an astounding degree of consensus. The following statements, in order to keep us as close to the source as possible, come not from the past but from our contemporaries, from persons with whom I have spoken directly. They are, however, echoed throughout the history and literature of religion.
"The experience is usually not 'spooky'. It sometimes, though definitely not always, might be termed 'mystical'. It doesn't for the most part consist of events which by their nature overturn or challenge the laws of science. (I've heard only one first-hand account of an event which, if it really happened, would be very difficult to explain by any process presently known to science.) The experience doesn't establish a hot-line to God, by which all questions are answered, all doubts set aside, and complete understanding is reached. ... People are quick to point out that, though they think their experience really is of God, it is, even at its clearest and best, only a partial, human, inadequate view of what God really is and what God is really doing. Experiential evidence sometimes comes in a flash, but it's more often the accumulation of more subtle experiences over a period of time.
"John S. Spong .... 'I do not mean to suggest that I have arrived at some mystical plateau where my search has ended, where doubts are no more, or that I now possess some unearthly peace of mind. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have only arrived at a point where the search has a validity because I have tasted the reality of this presence, if ever so slightly.'
"As to finding God initially, some say they came rather gradually to a realization that the God they'd learned about in books, songs, and from other people, is real. Others on the contrary battered the gates of heaven .. with very sceptical demands for answers, IF such a heaven existed. Their uncompromising intellectuality led them to try to pin God to the wall in ways that might be expected to elicit a lightning bolt rather than blessing. Their requirements for evidence and proofs were seldom met exactly as specified, but there was a moment in the process when they realized to their astonishment that they were wrestling with a real being who couldn't be contained in human descriptions or standards, not a concept or an abstraction. This God was something out of their control, something not fashioned in the image they had formed in their mind ...
"The testimony is of God's leadership being requested and and received at turning points where human foresight and knowledge were inadequate, and of God's leadership turning out to be exactly on target, though perhaps not in the direction one would have preferred. ... God has stopped some persons dead, when they did not want to be stopped, on the brink of serious mistakes. God has changes some in ways human beings can't change themselves even with allthe help of psychotherapy. God has made it possible for them to love the unlovable, forgive the unforgiveable. ... Has all this been 'spritual' help? Not according to these witnesses. God is a powerful and active God, interveining wherever, whenever, and through whatever avenue he pleases. The phrase 'the insidiousness of God' comes from a woman Episcopal priest. God's intervention is not always kind, gentle, or pleasurable. He refuses to play by human rules or indulge our desire to plan ahead. ... God does not always come at our calling, give us what we want, or even shield us from terrible pain or grief ... but God's forgiveness and love know no limits whatsoever.
"Some direct quotes: 'My relationship with God has been by far and away the most demanding relationship in my life." "The Lord has been my strongest support, but also my most frustrating opponent." 'If I didn't absolutely know this is the only game in town, I'd sure as hell get out of it!' "The best evidence isn't some 'wonder' or 'miracle', and it certainly isn't success, happiness, or the peace of having my prayers answered in ways which suit me. It's the extraordinary, topsy-turvy, interesting course my life has taken since I've engaged in this -- once begun, virtually inescapable -- dialogue with God." Kitty Ferguson's The Fire in the Equations, pp 248- 251