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11 Concealment Argument slides 20 February 2009 Eric Rasmusen,

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1 11 Concealment Argument slides 20 February 2009 Eric Rasmusen,

2 2 The Concealment Argument: Why Christians Should Be Agnostics February 20, 2009 Eric Rasmusen Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University This paper: Http://

3 3 Allen, Douglas W. (2000) "The Paradox of Choice: With an Application to Free Will Versus Predestination," The Journal of Interesting Economics: An Experiment in Open Source Publishing (September 2000). Aumann, Robert & Michael Maschler (1985) ``Game-Theoretic Analysis of a Bankruptcy Problem from the Talmud,'' Journal of Economic Theory, 36: 195-213 (1985). Other papers. Brams, Steven J. (1982) ``Belief in God: A Game-Theoretic Paradox,'' International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 13(3): 121--129 (1982). Other papers and book too. Durkin, John T. Jr. & Andrew M. Greeley (1991) ``A Model of Religious Choice Under Uncertainty: On Responding Rationally to the Nonrational,'' Rationality & Society, 3(2): 178--196 (April 1991). Glaeser, Edward L. & Spencer Glendon (1998) "Incentives, Predestination and Free Will," Economic Inquiry, 36(3): 429--443 (July 1998). Heckman, James (2008) "The Effect of Prayer on God's Attitude Toward Mankind," Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor, Discussion Paper No. 3636 August 2008 (forthcoming, Economic Inquiry) Miller, Geoffrey P. (1993) Ritual and Regulation: A Legal-Economic Interpretation of Selected Biblical Texts? Journal of Legal Studies, 22 (2): 477-501 (1993). Other papers. Perry, Motty and Philip J. Reny (1999) A General Solution to King Solomon's Dilemma? Games and Economic Behavior, 26 (2): 279--285 (1999). Smith, Ian (1999) "The Economics of the Apocalypse: Modelling the Biblical Book of Revelation," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 155 (3): 443--457 (1999).

4 4 Premise 1a. God exists. Premise 2. God is powerful. Premise 3. God wishes not to be proveable. Conclusion A. Any effort to prove God will fail. Premise 1b. God does not exist. Conclusion B. Any effort to prove God will fail.


6 6 EVIDENCE FOR PREMISE 3 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that thou mayest know the thoughts of thy heart Daniel 2: 30 At that season Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto babes:.. Matthew 11: 25 What then? that which Israel seeketh for, that he obtained not; but the election obtained it, and the rest were hardened: according as it is written, God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this very day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, And a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, And bow thou down their back always. Romans 11: 7-10

7 7 If valid, the concealment argument dooms many projects to failure: 1. Proving that prayer heals the sick. 2. Proving that miraculous healings happen. 3. Proving that prophets really predict the future. 4, Showing that an intelligent designer is responsible for the many coincidences found in the laws of physics and the mutations which drive evolution. 5. Finding ancient manuscripts and inscriptions to confirm the miracles in the Bible. 6. Proving God's existence by logical argument, e.g. ontological proofs.

8 8 Additional implications: 7. Why there are no Biblical miracles recorded in secular ancient history. (Reason: God does not want anything to be too clear an evidence for Him. ) 8. Why sociobiology can to some extent explain ethical feelings without using God? (Reason: God does not want anything to be too clear an evidence for Him.) 9. Why some people believe in God and other do not, faced with the same evidence? (Reason: God has balanced the evidence finely to generate exactly this result.) 10. Why God allows Christians to suffer. (Reason: If Christians did not suffer, God's existence would be obvious.)

9 99 Good Business Writing 9 January 2007 Eric Rasmusen, G492

10 10 Good Business Writing 9 January 2007 Eric Rasmusen, G492

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