Question: Why doesn’t God just show and reveal himself to everybody to settle the matter?
Answer: This has been a very common question for a long time, why doesn’t God just show himself? To begin with, as theists, and Muslims, we already believe that God has revealed himself.
He has revealed himself through a number of ways, such as through revelations. Through certain periods of history, God has come into communication with certain persons, people we believe to be prophets and messengers. These prophets and messengers were given messages-revelations from God to communicate to the masses, revelations-messages such as the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel, and the Quran.
Secondly, we believe that God has revealed himself through his creation, such as the creation of the universe, the planet earth, and life itself. All of these creations are an indication of a creator. For example, when one looks at a baby, we know there is a mother, when one looks at a painting, we know there is a painter, and when one looks at a building, we know there is an engineer and so on. Similarly, when one looks at the universe etc, we know there is a creator and one who was responsible for its formation.
Nonetheless, even though we believe that God has indeed revealed himself, it is true that he has not shown himself directly to the masses of people, which is what the atheist is asking for. So why doesn’t God just directly reveal himself, rather than reveal himself through revelation and creation? The answer is quite simple, at the end of the day, if God directly revealed himself to everybody and saying “here I am, you have now directly seen me, so believe in me”, the matter would be settled (which is what the atheist wants) and everybody would be believers. But that’s not what God wants, at the end of the day, belief in God does require faith from the believers, because we have in fact not seen God, so some faith is required to believe and trust in God, in essence it is a test.
Let’s give a good example, which person would you rather have in your company and as a trusted follower of yours. Let’s say person A said he would not follow or remain with you unless you gave him a million dollars right now and upfront for him to remain with you. Then you have person B who says he will remain and follow you even before you eventually give him the million dollars, and that he has trust in you that you will become successful. The answer is obvious, you would choose to have person B, and it’s the same with God, God doesn’t simply want believers who believe after he has shown and given them everything, what’s the merit or point in that? He wants real believers, who put their faith and trust in him, not stubborn people who demand everything and if not given everything, they will remain non-believers.
But even for the sake of argument, assume that God tomorrow would reveal himself, would atheists actually believe? The fact is, even if God were to reveal himself directly to atheists, they still wouldn’t believe in him. Atheists would come up with all sorts of theories to explain what happened, that it was a hallucination, or some magic trick played by someone, or some other medical-scientific reasoning behind it. In fact, there are people in our times, who have claimed to be in direct contact with God, and how do atheists react to such claims? They ridicule those people, claiming they are crazy, and that they need medical help. So the reality is that this would be the case if God revealed himself to atheists as well, they would come up with some medical diagnosis to try and explain it away.