Is there proof of god?

This is a question I asked my group leader at my Nazarene University. He is a graduate student in Theology trying to become a preacher like his father is. He was one of my favorite people to talk to about religion because he actually had an understanding of the bible and still believed in it. I would like to mention that this is not a way of bashing him, but it is a way for me to share my experience at a religious university that others might not have.

When I asked him if there was any proof of god, he brought up the typical philosophical arguments for the existence of god: Cosmological (Everything except for god needs a cause) and Teleological (The universe shows evidence of design such as the eyeball). Since I understood that these are very weak claims for the existence of god, I brought it up to him after class. The way he explained it away was that it was a "sound argument" and he agreed that some people might use them as a cop-out since they don't have the answer for something.

For me, this was not good enough. Even claiming whatever started the universe as god, it does not make that thing the Christian god. This was a bright neon sign shouting "WE HAVE NO REASON TO BELIEVE WHAT WE DO!" Near the end of our discussion, he made it clear that it was very difficult to prove that there was any god, let alone any specific god.

The lesson I learned from this is that some Christians do not care about proof or evidence or reasons for believing. They see "Faith" as a virtue, and believing something without evidence is an ideal way to live their lives. If you want to get people like this to understand why it is not a virtue, then it would be wise to teach them about other religions. Many people of faith simply do not understand other religions, and if they do, they know very little about them. Getting lots of exposure to other religions will (in theory) allow them to see that beliefs in other gods are kinda funny, and it will allow them to be critical of their own beliefs.

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Comment by B Fletcher on April 12, 2014 at 12:07am

Allen: Maybe, but your story-creation powers would have to be [removes glasses] godlike.

Comment by Allen Dudley on April 10, 2014 at 11:20pm

I agree with Loren Miller. I sometimes wonder if it's possible to make up a story so stupid that deists won't believe it.

Comment by K J on April 10, 2014 at 1:05pm

"Proof" of "god" lies in the subjective recesses of the mind....there has never been "real" "objective" proof as far as I know, and I don't think there ever will be. As a former Christian, and a current Atheist who desperately wants to get out of the ministry profession, it was only when I allowed myself to become educated, to question, wonder, and doubt when I discovered "reality" other than the one I'd been subjected to and indoctrinated in since I was a very young child. Raised in an oppressive and abusive (mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) faith tradition and home, it's not surprising that I knew nothing else. Asked to leave TWO fundamentalist evangelical traditions, I eventually found my way into a very liberal, and somewhat progressive one. However I cannot "come out" and be honest with many people, especially professionally. It was much easier coming out of the closet as a gay man when I was 27. At least there were supports "out there". But in our "enlightened" and "civilized" culture/society, Atheists are not looked upon very nicely. All because of "religion". Hmmmmm....and "they" claim to be about love, acceptance, peace, and treating others the way they want to be treated. HAH! I guess they must not love themselves very much, and enjoy being masochists. At least THAT proof is in the pudding in my opinion.

Comment by Loren Miller on April 9, 2014 at 10:56am

Until someone has EVIDENCE, they are wasting my time.  Faith is NOT a virtue; it is tantamount to consenting gullibility, swallowing anything you are fed WHOLE, which is beyond foolish.

Evidence talks; bullshit walks.  End of story.

Comment by Michael Penn on April 9, 2014 at 10:31am

I have an understanding of the Bible and I no longer believe in it. The book is about an imaginary sky daddy and his "people." It's mostly myth and fairy tale and has very little history value as well. You cannot tell this to a christian, however. They claim that the other religions are false and theirs is the "only true one." How do they know? The Bible told them so.

Circular reasoning here at its best.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 8, 2014 at 11:46pm

I am not interested in changing anyone's mind about their religion. I am profoundly interested in them not having legal control over my thinking and acting; they have no business interfering in public laws. 

Perhaps getting them to understand other religions will make a difference. In my experience, they take it in as just so much static, something that they can cure. Sorry, I am using "killer phrases" to argue against your point and that is just about as foolish as trying to talk to a religious person. 

Valuing faith as a high priority is childish, as far as I am concerned. Having faith that god can make something from nothing is foolish, even as they say that science can't make something from nothing. They are thinking in terms of Bronze Age reasoning. They have no concept of higher forms of reasoning. 

Believing something without evidence is immature thinking. It is like believing the sun goes around the Earth just because it appears that way to the human mind. That thinking is too small and their god is too small. An infantile notion of how the universe works. 

Frankly, life is too short spending it talking with someone who believes there are supernatural forces taking place in the universe and that some power is interested in individuals, answers prayers or provides our needs. What about the needs in Noah's day, or in our day when tsunamis wipe away whole cultures, or when global warming threatens life as we know it.  

I am very interested in figuring out how to stop the causes of global warming, in educating people about the facts we face. I want to wake up those who go on as if nothing is changing. The younger people who grow up in privilege have no clue what it is like for those who have nothing. Some squabble that they have to take the garbage once a week. Well, they are growing up in a world very different than the one you and I grew up in. 

Even as I write this, I realize I have a very strong feeling of awe and wonder at being part of this universe that I cannot even comprehend. Looking through microscopes and telescopes allows me to peek a very little bit at what is out there and in there. Seeing the diversity of life, and the wonders of the development of all the sensory organs and pieces and parts of physical bodies takes my breath away. It is a great thing that I wake up each morning and know I am part of this magnificent universe, that I had no part in creating it, and yet I experience it in so many lovely ways. 



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