There is currently in our society a great debate over the existence or not of God.
We refer here specifically to the current definition of the Judaeo/Christian/Islamic God, as we, the American people, have dismissed , for the most part, all the other gods, i.e. Brahman, Odin, Baath, Ra, Spaghetti Monster, etc. etc. With few exceptions, in the U.S.A. this is the god that is accepted most widely of the one true god. Hmm...
Belief in god then is firmly based upon faith. Faith as we all know is the belief in something without any evidence. As in, there is currently absolutely no empirical or factual evidence for the existence of any god whatsoever, yet we the American people in general, still insist upon said belief in this one particular god.
On the other side we have the scientific community who, regardless of their personal belief(s), require facts and evidence only to provide probabilities about those things in the cosmos that are yet unknown and as yet to be discovered. Both sides have their arguments.
The faithful require no evidence whatsoever, the non-believers require evidence. To be sure, the sole basis of the religious community for their argument as to the existence of god is their book, written during times of absolute ignorance to the true nature of reality. On the other hand, science refuses to accept any notions of reality based upon anything but empirical and evidence-based facts, based upon keen observation and critical experimentation, reviewed and critically purview-ed by all within the scientific community.
Apparently there is only one solution to this debate. Unfortunately the solution would be somewhat detrimental to both sides and of course, until it actually happens, be totally hypothetical.
What IF, said god finally and actually exposed it's existence to all of us? However and regardless of the manifestation, my hypothetical solution here is to state that this god's exposition would remove all doubt and with no ambiguity of God's actual and true existence. OK?
The scientific and atheistic members of our populace would be compelled as is their modes, to re-visit any and all of their theorems and as they always do, to throw out any of their previous conceptions and conjectures and re-assemble their inquiries and mathematics to account for said new information. But there would be no love lost as the scientific community, historically, is and always have been compelled to re-think and re-view their theories based upon any new and in-controversially evidence. Not a big deal from a scientific point of view. Happens all the time.
However, as the term 'god' never enters into the scientific realm, there would be absolutely no real changes necessary, other than the why?, questions of course.
The theistic crowd would finally be vindicated and the world in general would be compelled to accept the new reality that belief in God was the correct and unequivocal way to go.
But herein lies the rub.
So far faith is the one and only inarguable foundational argument for the religious point of view. So, in the hypothetical solution stated above, proof positive of the religious belief in god would dispel any need for faith at all. Religion, in other words would be completely stripped of it's faith if god's existence were to be proved unequivocally as absolute truth. So, if it is, that faith is the engine for which drives our society's religious belief system and as has been stated over and over again both to me personally and in public debate(s) by the faithful ; "Without faith we are nothing" , so how then would the faithful proceed? Your belief will be vindicated yet your faith will be rendered useless.
My point is then, whether or not god does indeed exist, faith cannot possibly be the mitigating factor in the actual belief in any god. For, if it is ever proven god does not exist, faith wanes reduced inexorably from the truth. If it is ever proven god does indeed exist, the faithful as mentioned above will have become, in their own words, "nothing", for with truth, faith means nothing at all. So may we ask upon the religious faithful to pray collectively as hard as they can to ask of your god to present itself once and for all to alleviate us from this tedious and never-ending debate?, for y'all constantly insist your god does indeed answer your prayers! And you won't. Why? Because......
If God did answer such a prayer, faith, and indeed religion itself would inexorably dissolve into mere acquiescence of the real truth and the need for either would well become moot.
I have often wondered what would be the reaction of Christians if a real God did reveal herself. What if God was not what was expected. I have come to the conclusion that most theist would simply reject God as some sort of evil being like a devil or false God. God could not live up to or manifest itself as theist would want, believe, or expect therefore it would not matter what God was. As God is a construct of human imagination it is unlikely God would be accepted it it did reveal itself, so what would be the point? Ironically God would have a much more likely following from atheist or more appropriately former atheist that simply rationally added up the facts and accepted God for what it actually was. Ironic isn't it?
Yeah, a sketchy person of Middle Eastern extraction who thinks we should help the poor, turn the other cheek, and chase the money exchangers out of the temple isn't a demographic the Repugs are chasing.
The god argument is a no win situation on either side. Believers take the argument by "faith" because there is no rational or logical way to view it. Since gods apparently do nothing the argument is coming out of a desire to understand things that we do not know and give them a meaning. Suddenly the believer claims he "does know" but the faith issue was not valid in biblical times. The cognitive dissonance here is dismissed but yet the situation remains that god did everything in his book but does nothing now.
That's because it's all a big storybook. Regardless of which scriptures and writings you use it's a story only.
As a non-believer I can use logic, reason, and evidence to see and know this and still claim that "I know" even when I do not know. This is because I am honest enough to admit what I do not know while believers simply continue to make things up. That's because neither side has any real evidence. The best we can say is that if there really is a god being he has chosen not to make any contact with us for any reason and also not to interfere with us in any way. This would make such a being unknowable and all claims in books about what the god being did or created to be out of the minds of men.
How would such a being become known to us beyond doubt? By choosing not to hide and becoming known in a fact checking sort of way rather than through ancient writings that cannot be verified. BTW, the evolution arguments, DNA arguments, big bang arguments, et al only prove that people can argue. Nothing can be proven by using an ancient holy book. Such writings reveal nothing really as they are static and dead beyond any possibility of new discoveries without the magic "faith" ingredient.
Give me science, logic, and reason any time.
Michael, I love your mind!