It takes a lot of faith to deny what can’t be seen
I’m watching my phone update 23 of my apps. It’s fascinating. One after another the updates are downloaded and the apps are changed. I stare at it. How does this happen, I ask myself. I neither see nor hear anything entering my phone yet something, somehow, is acting on it from the outside.
Or is it? I know people say that some kind of information travels through the atmosphere with incredible speed and a cell phone can summon it, but I don’t see it. I mean, I literally don’t see this information so how do I know they’re right? It seems more plausible to me that the phone was designed to periodically activate new features that were already pre-programmed into it. Or that it somehow evolves so that the apps most used become more highly developed and adapted to the owner’s needs and activities.
And because the concept of invisible information traveling on invisible waves in the air seems too fantastic to believe, these videos I see on my phone, and computer, and TV of millionaire entrepreneur Donald Trump as our president must have all been preconceived as the most elaborate reality show ever, recorded and loaded onto the devices before I bought them. That seems more rational to believe than that the images and sound magically transmit unseen across thousands of miles and through walls. Or that Trump is really president.
So I’m sympathetic to those who find it difficult to believe in God because we’ve never seen him. Any explanation for why the universe exists has to be preferable to one that says a supernatural, unseen being created it. It must have always existed, and though that still doesn’t explain why it exists, and requires belief in an actually infinite number of things which leads to metaphysical absurdities, at least it doesn’t require belief in a meta-non-physical something. Or, because the evidence strongly suggests the universe did have a beginning, it could have just popped into being from nothing without a cause. Though that also may seem absurd, it’s not as absurd as believing in something I can’t see. Right?
Seeing is believing, as they say. Conversely, not seeing is not believing, I guess. And yet…is everything I believe to be true traceable to one of my five senses? I remember distinctly taking a walk around our property recently and thinking about this very thing. I know that I took that walk even though I don’t know it by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or touching. Should I then dismiss that memory as unreliable?
I also know that contradictory propositions can’t both be true in the same sense at the same time, but I don’t need to have investigated all or even any specific contradictory propositions to know this. I can just sit in my comfy chair here, close my eyes, and think about it. I know it to be true without seeing anything.
So there are ways of knowing that don’t require seeing the thing that is known. I can’t see electrical signals or radio waves but I do see evidence that they exist. And though I can’t see God, I see plenty of evidence that he exists….evidence which, apart from his existence, require explanations much more difficult to believe.
Faith in a God-less universe is faith nonetheless. And when I think about it…when I use my mind’s eyes…I can see that sometimes it takes more faith to deny what cannot be seen than it does to affirm it.
I like your post, and thank you for taking the time to write it. I’m an ex-Christian, currently an atheist. I guess it takes faith to deny Allah, Shiva, Zeus, Unicorns, Leprechauns, aliens, etc. Or it takes no faith at all.
How do you believe the universe came to exist?
I’m not sure. Possibly the Big Bang. I don’t know enough about astrophysics to understand how the universe came to be. I don’t think any of the different creation stories help explain the origins of the universe, be it Yahweh, Mbombo, Brahma etc.
Do you think it’s possible for all space, time, and matter to come into existence at the Big Bang without a cause, or without the involvement of a being which/who transcends all space, time, and matter?
On the teeny-tiny bit of astrophysics I do understand, then yes. And it’s thanks to a Catholic priest (George Lemaitre) that modern scientists discovered the idea of a Big Bang.
Can I ask why you have no faith in other creationists stories or why you ruled out scientific theories?
I only rule out theories that are illogical or nonsensical, i.e. that something can come into existence from nothing or without a cause.
Where did your god (I assume it is Yahweh or Jesus) come from?
God is a self-existent, necessary being. He didn’t “come from” anywhere or anything. He always existed.
I’m not say either of us is wrong or right. But I guess to others both of us may be wrong. I guess the millions of Hindus must think that Brahma is the one true creator god. They have as much faith/evidence as Christians, Jews, and Muslims do about how the universe and life came to be.
There are many reasons why I’m now an atheist. Partly I stopped being a Christian was when I realised just how many gods, claimed to be the “one true god”.
Thank for the discussion. I bid you peace.
And thank you for your cordiality. I encourage you to really investigate the evidence for God, and Christianity in particular. The fact that different religions make contradictory claims means they can’t all be right. But it does not mean none of them can be right.
Caroline, I was a steadfast believer. I’ve studied the Bible. There is no evidence of any gods, not just Yahweh, Jesus or the Holy Trinity.
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Thank you, but I’m unlikely to be convinced that man is made from dirt and woman is from man rib. That Mbombo is any less real than Yahweh, Allah, Brahma, Shiva, Odin, Zeus. I’m not going to be convinced that the god of the bible is a loving god. I’ve done my research, hence why I’m a happy atheist.
There is nothing in modern cosmology that dismisses a ’cause’ of the big bang. What is irrefutable is that the big bang happened. What caused it or what came before is unknown. Nobody knows, not cosmologists nor deists. The information we would need to answer a question like that could not make it through the infinite density moment in the universe’s early history.
“And though I can’t see God, I see plenty of evidence that he exists….”
It would be great if you could share that because nobody else has done so yet.
This kind of comment (nobody has pointed to any evidence of God?) doesn’t even merit a response. But thanks for reading.
You don’t actually have any evidence do you?
Anyone who genuinely wants to know if there’s evidence for God would find it easily. Just google “evidence for God.” Whether the evidence persuades you is a different matter. But to claim that there is no evidence is evidence itself of either ignorance or obstinacy, and most likely the latter.
ATS quite a bigoted reply. Of course I have googled the question.
Many christian writers admit there is no evidence and a god’s existence cannot be proved. Use that have tried have offered ideas that, in closer examination, do not make a causal link. The most common mistake they make is the non-sequitur.
You claim to have evidence then you must have something that the others do not. Why not reveal that evidence?
Although I’m no physics major not am I an electrical engineer… Cell phone technology and computer software are well understood and the ways they work are scrientifically detectable and verifiable.
There is no such traceable evidence for the existence of the biblical God.
And as to your comment that you rule out illogical or nonsensical theories?
Saying, in answer to a appropriate question, that God is self existent and he came from nowhere because he’s “necessary”… You would need to demonstrate his actual existence from evidence rather than argument alone for that to even slightly logical or sensable. And you can’t.
Be more honest with yourself and others please.
On a percentage basis, there are as many confused, arrogant, and mistaken, supposed Atheists, as there are Theists. For one of them to claim without proof that there is no God, is as invalid as for a Theist to similarly claim that there is.
Most, with perhaps a bit more intelligence and restraint, merely state that they have never been presented with a definition or description of “God,” which they find believable.