Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Is there a God?

I have called this blog "godztuff"? But is there actually a God who has stuff? Good question. This of course is one man's opinion for what it is worth. Then again, it is also the opinion of the vast majority of humans that there is some being out there who we call God.

For me there are some reasons to know there is a God.

In one sense we cannot prove that there is a God. That is, in the absence of incontrovertible evidence we cannot be absolutely certain that there is or isn’t a God. However there are a number of reasons to suggest that the best explanation for existence as we know it is some all powerful, all knowledgeable deity we term God.

1. Majority belief: if we look at the question democratically, then the majority of humanity living today and in known history have believed in the existence of a God or gods.

2. Explanation of existence: The fact that anything exists at all can lead either to the existence of an uncaused intelligent being or an infinite regression of causes. You see, we know from our experience that everything that exists has a cause. Hence when we trace back in time we come to either an initial uncaused cause or to an never ending regression of causes. While in one sense the answer to this either/or question precedes our experience so cannot be known, combined with other evidences listed here, the better explanation is that there was an initial uncaused cause i.e. God.

3. The order of the universe and our world: The wonderful order, beauty and interconnectedness of our world as we see it is a strong evidence of design and so an intelligent creator. Certainly there is disorder, death and chaos as well. Hence any explanation which includes a God or god’s must explain this disorder as well. The Christian explanation for this is the existence of evil centred on a personal force, Satan, whose desire is to destroy God’s world. Hence, God is not evil in any sense or the author of evil, but allows evil to exist. Similarly this makes less likely arguments that our existence is a result of chance (the only alternative to the God-theory).

4. Personal experience of the divine: There are millions of people from across all cultures and races who state that they have in some way encountered God or god’s. To argue that there is no God or god’s means these must all be explained away as misguided, deceit, hallucination or lunacy.

5. Common morality: While there are differences across cultures concerning details in regards to morality, there is undoubtedly a common agreement that human life, property and relationships are of value. The word that best sums this up is ‘love’ which holds across all cultures. This points to some form of common basis for this morality. We would argue that this is God.

6. Science: Some seek to drive a wedge between belief in God and science. However, I would argue the opposite is the case. Science points to an ordered world with definite scientific principles which explain this existence. Science and the scientific method then confirm the existence of order and point to a creator.

For me then, it is not only reasonable to believe that there is a God but that it is the best explanation for our existence. I agree that the existence of God is obvious on the basis of the wonders of creation that people who do not recognise his existence are without excuse (Rom 1:20 cf. Ps 14:1). That being the case, this does not answer the question of who or what God is. This requires further analysis.

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