If you’re not sure if an intelligent higher power called God actually exists, you’re not alone. People have questioned the existence of God as far back as the early 1700s BC.
Brilliant minds have wrestled with the concept and put together arguments for both sides of the debate. Great thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, Nietzsche, Russell, Dawkins, Hawking and Zacharias have all weighed in on this topic. Try searching “existence of God” online and you’ll discover thousands of listings.
Today we use words like atheism and agnosticism for the belief systems that state there isn’t enough evidence to know for sure that God exists. For various reasons, some people don’t want gods of any kind to exist. Others believe humans created the concept of God for our own purposes. And lots of people use the argument that since you can’t prove God exists, it puts the whole thing in doubt.
This reaction is most common in Western societies where scientific reasoning is demanded for proving everything-from crimes committed, to moon landings, to the existence of the Loch Ness monster. If you can’t provide scientific proof for something, its reality is questioned. (It should be noted that in many other societies, the skepticism is the opposite: prove that God doesn’t exist.)
In some ways it’s true: we can’t prove God’s existence (or absence) using traditional scientific means. There are no test-tube results, DNA evidence, molecular studies, explicit photographs, or anything else that a scientist would use to prove that a being exists.
But if you think about it, we don’t always demand scientific proof to believe something. As long as we have the right kind of evidence, we feel assured that something did occur or is real. Sometimes we use logic, deduction or personal experience as arguments for what we believe to be true.
For example, if you return from a vacation and walk into your home to find a sentence spray-painted on your living room wall, it’s logical to assume that someone broke in. You have nothing to prove it-no fingerprints, no sign of forced entry, no footsteps, no DNA evidence, no photographs or video footage, no testimonials from the neighbours-no “proof” that a human being did this.
But if someone told you it just happened, that it was just some random occurrence, you would laugh at them. You would say, “Look at the wall. This was not here when I left for my trip. Someone did this. I don’t know who they are or why they did it, but what you see before you did not happen on its own.”
For many people, that’s the way it is with the question of God’s existence. They look around at the world they live in and can’t help but believe that an intelligent being is responsible. There seems to be an order to it all, an incredible complexity that is unexplainable in human terms.
That may not be enough for you. You want to feel like you’re standing on solid, undeniable rock when it comes to these things. “Either God exists or He doesn’t and I need logic to prove it one way or another.”
The fact is, no matter how much “proof” is provided, there will still be an element of faith involved. You will have to take what you read here, and in the books we recommend, and then make your own decision. All we can do is state the case and let you be the judge.
The next sections outline some of the arguments that are used to affirm the existence of God. We won’t go into great detail on all of them-you can research them further on your own. But we are providing a summary of some of the most accepted ones.
If you’d like to dig deeper into this area, we encourage you to buy a book or two suggested at the end of each section.