Evidence for God


Well, I guess I shall instead ask the natural question, which are:

"Can you provide any evidence towards the existence of God?

yes, but i would use different 'kinds' of evidence for different 'kinds' of people, and there are different 'levels' of starting points one would need to begin with--depending on where the individual that the evidence is being 'given TO' is in their epistemology, historical sophistication, orientation toward logic, modernism, etc...but more on this below...

Or, what makes you convinced that God exists?"

this is slightly different than the first question, because now you have narrowed the 'audience' down to me...

I personally am convinced AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE (not necessarily earlier) of God's existence, on the basis of statistically significant patterns in my life...to wit:

  1. i have seen prayers (i.e. requests I have have of an invisible deity) answered--beyond my ability to manipulate either the 'ambiguity' in the request, or the 'outcome' itself;
  2. i have seen changes in my character beyond my 1) ability for self-improvement thru 'positive thinking' or 2) 'wish fulfillment' etc. or 3) normal maturation and growth processes;
  3. i have seen events occur (un-solicited, and at the time, unwelcome) that correlate too highly with a pattern of 'protection'--beyond the reasonable definition of 'coincidence'
what the experience of these patterns over twenty years has done, have impressed upon the 'clear and distinct' impression of an Invisible Person active in my life...communicating thru patterns much as an invisible roommate might or as a secret friend might use coded messages...

So, at this point--TO ME--the long-running EXPERIENCE of an active (and often UNPREDICTABLE!) Personal agent is altogether overwhelming (epistemically speaking)...but, it has not always been so...

It's interesting, but of all the Christians I have spoken to, none can give me an answer that isn't one of the following two:

hmm, how odd...i am surprised that no one recognized the relative ambiguity in the below and pointed to history instead of nature... how many have you actually confronted with this question (in a serious context)?

* Look at the birds and trees and the blue sky

There are some schools of Christian thought that hold this position...that the experience of nature/creation communicates at a subconscious level the existence of God, basing the argument on Romans 1 and Psalm 19..They assert that all they have to do (indeed, all they CAN do) is to 'point' to reality and use ostensive means to confront us with God...for them this is all the evidence that God have made available to general humanity.

* If you analyze it closely, it could all be explained as coincidence, but I believe it was God.

the first one you mentioned above, i have read of many, many times in Christian thought...but this second one, i have never heard a Christian argue that 'it could all be explained as coincidence'...where have you run across that view? And i find it likewise odd that someone would offer the FACT THAT THEY BELIEVE IT as 'evidence towards the existence of God'...

have i misunderstood your comment here?

All the nice words and ideals seem to me to be useless without knowing that God exists and so far, noone has really given it a good shot (to me, at least). Be my guest to be the first.

Okay...but the space here is very limited...i have a 20-30 page analysis of this question in the Christian ThinkTank, under the "long-winded, low-key argument for the faith" piece...it goes into this in much more detail and deals explicitly with issues that must remain implicit in this HYPER-brief account...i recommend you look at that in some detail, if you are seriously open to considering the evidence...

What i basically start with is the agnostic position. I believe that starting blank, nature and creation and existence as we know it today is just TOO AMBIGUOUS to use as a basis for 'deriving' some notion of God. The data of the world is TOO contradictory--e.g. if we look at a beautiful sunrise, we decide god is 'good'; if we look at a hurricane, we decide god is 'cruel'...the agnostic position is essentially the stronger position--WHEN STARTING WITH NATURE.

By the same token, the agnostic position cannot even speculate (must less 'decide') on the existence or non-existence of some transcendent, invisible, and generally silent Deity...IF a God exists, we could NEVER 'figure it out' starting from where we stand!

THE ONLY WAY we could know would be IF this god-thing 'broke into' history somehow, made the outrageous (to us) claim that He/she/it/they was/were a 'GOD' and gave some strong evidence as to 1) what a 'deity' WAS and 2) that he/she/it/they WERE such a 'deity'...without a direct, visible, 'weird', outlandish communication from a deity--we would be forever simply guessing, with our puny 'he exists' or 'he doesnt exist' or 'he/she/it cannot exist' etc...

so, when i look out across history to see if we had any people making such 'ridiculous' claims (i.e. "I am god from the other side") and to see if there were any records of data supporting that claim (e.g. miracles stories, abnormal events, confrontation with religious authorities, maybe a strong 'exclusivity'), and finally if any contemporaries seemed to buy-in to these claims WITH TOTAL CONVICTION... i see one obvious candidate--Jesus of Nazareth...

most of the other religious DONT MAKE the outlandish claims of Jesus/NT writers...and as such, look like 'just another man-made philosophy' and therefore open to criticism of agnosticism...

so then, i have to drill down on this Jesus-thing...we have these documents (which have to be checked for basic honesty of the writers, general historical fidelity to words said, event recorded, places mentioned, etc.; opportunity/motivation/ability of writers to 'legendize' the leaders claims into something as bizarre as a man claiming to be god, etc.)...

and, in case you haven't looked thru the 100's of pages of my research on the reliability etc. of the NT/OT that i have posted up on the ThinkTank, MY HISTORICAL research and analysis says that this Jesus person actually DID claim to be such a 'God', demonstrated extraordinary abilities (beyond those of even the best of the 'prophets' of his nations heritage and history; including rising from the dead!), and DID somehow convince his followers that such a heretical notion as a God-man dying/rising from the dead was TRUE ENOUGH to give up careers, fortunes, and eventually...to be executed for!

[for the evidence for this last paragraph, you will need to look at the material i advance in the thinktank--if you have trouble finding it, let me know and i will email you the exact URLs for those pages]

so, from a basic standpoint, i would offer the person and actions of Jesus Christ (as best we have access and understanding of) as evidence that a 'god' exists...He broke into history and 'showed Himself'...

Like i said about, i have left MANY MANY ISSUEs implicit here (why i believe the NT authors are historically trustworthy, why i dont believe Jesus was insane, why i believe the resurrection occurred, etc.) but many of those item i devoted pages and pages to in the Thinktank...

well, that's a start..any questions?

Gee, I must have too much time on my hands today. Talk about asking for a flame war.

you wont get any flames from me...and i wont circulate your name to ANYBODY!

thanks again for taking the time to write, and for your willingness to consider these matters...one of the side benefits MIGHT BE that you discover an INCREDIBLE source of affirmation, friendship, challenge, direction--in this Hidden God...

thanks again...glenn



The Christian ThinkTank...[http://www.Christian-thinktank.com] (Reference Abbreviations)