Tuesday, March 10, 2015

An Interesting Challenge

An intelligent young friend posed an interesting question, and you probably know by now that I love a good question.

Here it is,

"What evidence would be sufficient to cause you to disbelieve (or believe) in G^d?"

He said that he liked it because it makes people squirm.

So, think about your own answer, but here's mine.

The evidence that causes me to believe, and the lack of which would cause me to disbelieve, turns out to be a question of balance.  Here are some issues that must balance:
  1.  G^d must be somewhat comprehensible, or else we cannot believe, but if he is too clearly comprehensible, He sounds /feels/looks too much like a human creation. So if G^d were totally incomprehensible, or too simplistic, I am gone.
  2. Likewise with the creation- if it is too simple- if science were truly "figuring it all out" then G^d is too simplistic.  On the other hand, if there were NO discoveries, if there were no recognizable pattern anywhere, then the disorder would be too disconcerting for my belief. so, some major trustworthy scientific discovery showing the cosmos and all of nature to be either too simplistic or too random, then my belief is gone.
  3.  A G^d who is so distant that He disdains mankind is of little use, but a G^d who is too human, too weak, or too simplistic sounds more like a human creation than the Creator and L^rd of all.
  4. God must not be so Sovereign that everything is predetermined, yet he cannot yield all sovereignty or He ceases to be G^d.  By the same token, if mankind did NOT have some exercise of volition, then there is no point, and it matters NOT whether I believe or not, it is out of my hands.  
Note that if ANY of these fail, I disbelieve. That is, if NEW information comes to light, my belief indeed hinges on the nature of the new information.  Thus, my beliefs are falsifiable, given sufficient evidence, and falsifiability was the true driving force behind the original question.  If our belief in G^d is NOT falsifiable, it will never be acceptable to those with a positivist philosophical mindset.
I could go on, but I trust that you get the picture.  If you think about the Norse gods, or the Greek gods, they were so human-like that they were clearly of human origin.

Of course this same exercise could be taken from the general to the particular, from "religion" to Christianity.  Christianity is my belief of choice for the very same reasons.  It is too complex to have been made up.  No one would dream up G^d coming to earth to die.  But, it is simple enough that even a child can understand and believe/disbelieve.

Mathematician Blaise Pascal offered a claim which has come to be known as Pascal’s Wager, “I should be much more afraid of being mistaken and then finding out that Christianity is true than of being mistaken in believing it to be true.”  Ultimately, and I think by design, the decision will always be a decision based on weighing the evidence and placing ones FAITH in one thing or the other.  Simply put, there is NOT an option that avoids making a faith commitment, no matter how repugnant that concept might be.

 My observations would give a resounding YES!  But that's an issue for another day.

What's your answer to the first question?


  1. If I had never heard from Him, in some shape, form or fashion, how could I believe? yet the Bible states everyone hears from Him, and for myself this was abundantly true and clear. How could I disbelieve someone's existence that I've heard from?

  2. My skeptical friends would insist that you had some hallucination or mental lapse.
    How would you provide any evidence that you had HEARD anything??
    Keep in mind, I agree with your experience and point, it is usually NOT convincing to skeptics though.