The Existence of God
Does God exist? This is arguably the most important question that one will ever ask. The answer to this question will change how one views reality, morality, ethics, values, and life’s decisions. The existence of God determines how one sees life and interprets reality. The answer has eternal ramifications. American philosopher and author Mortimer Adler said, “More consequences for thought and action follow the affirmation or denial of God than from answering any other basic question.”
C. S. Lewis once remarked that God is not the sort of thing one can be moderately interested in. After all, if God does not exist, there’s no reason to be interested in God at all. On the other hand, if God does exist, then this is of paramount interest, and our ultimate concern ought to be how to be properly related to this being upon whom we depend moment by moment for our very existence. So people who shrug their shoulders and say, “Does God exist? What difference does it make?” merely show that they haven’t yet thought very deeply about this problem.
—William Lane Craig
Pondering His existence
In today’s ever-changing and increasingly complex and computerized world, more and more people find themselves so caught up in the frenzied rush to become successful financially, they often have little time to ponder such seemingly “abstract” matters as the meaning of life, peace of mind, love for their fellow man, or even the eternal welfare of their own souls. After all, such concerns could be quite distracting or actually detrimental to the pursuit of the most popular “god” of this world, a god that commands the world’s worship and devotion—money and material wealth.
From the time they are very young children, many people have it ingrained in them that the only way to attain happiness in life is to:
1) Get a good education, preferably with a degree from a prestigious university.
2) Land a promising job with a successful company or corporation.
3) Make enough money to purchase a new automobile, a nice house or two, and furnish and equip it with all the various luxury items and hi-tech electronic gadgets that are equated with success.
This route to riches usually requires a lifetime of blood, sweat, tears, and toil. But as the years pass, people often find that company or social pressures have filled them with stress and anxiety, not peace or satisfaction. Their private lives often suffer as a result, as they’re unable to find enough time to spend with their families and loved ones.
This world and all of its treasures and fleeting pleasures can never truly satisfy the soul of man. Material things may temporarily satisfy, but they can never satisfy the eternal longing of the soul or the spirit of man for lasting joy, peace, and fulfillment that can never be met or fulfilled by mere material gain.
This is why the rich and powerful are often the most miserable of all men. They already possess everything that most people think can satisfy them and make them happy. They’ve already attained all the material things their hearts could desire, and to their sorrow they discover that things cannot satisfy or fill their empty hearts and starving souls
Although many people today take little time to ponder the existence of a Creator, of God, when a personal crisis or tragedy suddenly strikes—an unexpected accident or critical illness, a death in the family, a great personal loss of any kind—all the goods of this world and the pleasures of this life can do nothing to bring back a loved one who has passed through death’s door. Houses, lands, and a stockpile of luxury items can do nothing to rekindle a love that has grown cold or heal a heart that’s been broken. It is during such times of crisis that people frequently realize that the true values of life are far more important than mere material wealth.
“What is life all about? What am I here for? Is there a purpose, a plan for me? And if so, what is it?” Questions such as these have stirred the soul and imagination of man throughout the ages. Regardless of our country, color, or creed, our hearts all hunger for the same things—for lasting love, genuine happiness and peace of mind, truth and beauty, meaning and purpose.
—David Brandt Berg
The evidence of His existence
It certainly is reasonable to suggest that if there is a God, He would make available to us evidence adequate to the task of proving His existence. But does such evidence exist? And if it does, what is the nature of that evidence? … Every material effect must have an adequate antecedent cause. The Universe is here; intelligent life is here; morality is here; love is here. What is their adequate antecedent cause? Since the effect can never precede, or be greater than the cause, it stands to reason that the Cause of life must be a living Intelligence that Itself is both moral and loving. When the Bible records, “In the beginning, God…,” it makes known to us just such a First Cause.
When it comes to ultimate things, the specific question at issue is whether “someone is there.” Should we believe there is a God who stands behind all that we see, or should we conclude that there isn’t? Or that no one can ever, really know. How do we generally decide if “someone is there”? Of course, the easiest way to know that someone is there is to actually see the person. That would constitute direct evidence. In courts of law, direct evidence of identification is usually quite helpful. But there are other, equally valid ways of knowing, such as by deduction or inference. The footsteps you see in the sand are pretty powerful indicators that someone was recently walking by. Mail in your mailbox did not spontaneously appear. We may not know much about the source of these things, but we would be wise to conclude that they did not appear on their own.
When it comes to talking about God’s existence, the word “proof” generally enters into the discussion. Yes, I have heard the statement, “You can’t prove the existence of God.” The problem with this statement is that we have an equivocation issue with the word “prove.” So if mathematical proof is required for the existence of God, then I will agree that God’s existence cannot be proven in this way. But if by “prove” we mean we are required to give ”adequate evidence for,” then we can prove the existence of God.
Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.
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