This video explains it:
As the above video nicely, if ironically, illustrates, the hiddenness of God is a serious problem. And academic books have been written on the issue. One is titled Divine Hiddenness: New Essays (edited by Daniel Howard-Snyder and Paul Mosner, Cambridge University Press, 2002).
And even if you don’t agree that God is completely hidden, most everyone agrees that God is elusive. Thus one way to think about the problem of God’s hiddenness/elusiveness is to observe the striking parallels with the problem of UFO hiddenness/elusiveness (for those who believe in UFOs). These parallels really are amazing, even sobering:
- Like the God question, the UFO question could be solved by one mass visible sighting or clearly transmitted message. In other words, just as God could talk from the sky to everybody in a public announcement and eliminate all doubts about His (or Her) existence, so aliens in a UFO could land on the White House lawn with a big “We’re real!” written on its saucer belly, thereby sassing all UFO debunkers, past and present. That this doesn’t happen means that both religious movements and UFO movements tend to be stuck in a holding pattern; they’re both, as it were, “waiting for Godot.”
- The fact that neither God, angels, nor UFOs show themselves in a dramatic public fashion stands in need of explanation, and consequently people who profess to believe in God, angels, and/or UFOs are in the tricky position of second guessing minds far in advance of their own. Both tend to speculate on the motives of such minds, and why those minds choose not to reveal themselves more obviously.
- Both God and UFOs seem to have favorites among human beings, picking some for special direct encounters with them, and then leaving those individuals to testify to the masses what they have seen and heard. These testimonies are often vivid, and sometimes even compelling, but the events witnessed invariably leave no obvious physical traces in the environment, and thus no clear evidence that the experiences of the testifiers actually happened. Why God and UFOs communicate news of their presence to humankind in so indirect and ambiguous a manner is a total mystery.
- Because neither God nor UFOs leave indisputable physical traces of their presence in our world, both God movements and UFO movements are easy prey for confidence men, hucksters, hoaxers, and cons who fake their religious or UFO experiences, and so ease money from the pockets and purses of the gullible. It’s very tricky to tell which people in God movements and UFO movements are sincere in their “witnessing,” which ones are taking you for a ride, and which ones are simply deluded.
- If God and/or UFOs exist, we have to rethink our scientific paradigms, for some of the things that God and UFOs are said to do are hard to account for via our current understandings of what’s physically possible. Resurrecting the dead and time travel are two examples.
- Like God, aliens presumably know an enormous amount about science and technology. But, curiously, whenever God or aliens are said to talk to individuals, they never actually share anything scientific with them. Their alleged messages are invariably spiritual, moral, or cryptic, and never: “Here’s how to make cold fusion to solve your energy problems.”
- Neither God nor aliens, though in possession presumably of minds and emotions, never obviously intervene to reduce human suffering in the world, raising the question, How come? If they are good, and have the power to advance good things in the world, why don’t they? The Holocaust, for example, poses a problem for both God belief and UFO belief: Where were they when we most needed them?
- Like many God believers, many believers in UFOs think eschatologically. That is, they think that the moment of public and final revelation is just around the corner. But whether it is God or a UFO coming in the clouds, the actual event always seems to be just beyond a receding horizon.
- Because God is said to be invisible to us and has a supermind, and ETs are also invisible to us and have superminds, the rhetorical moves of God believers and UFO believers arrive at curiously similar apologetic convergences, and even similar social movement forms.
Thus, because the hiddenness/elusiveness of UFOs and the hiddenness/elusiveness of God are in need of explanation, both UFO cults and theist religious groups arrive at curiously similar chess moves (both intellectually and culturally).
Why would that be?
Might it be that, like UFOs, God, at least as traditionally conceived, is a delusion? An emperor-has-no-clothes phenomenon?
To put it even more directly, is God “a black cat in a dark room that isn’t there”?