As one does, I got involved in a bruising little debate between “Lili” and “Mike” on Facebook today.
Lili, a feisty and opinionated mid-teens schoolgirl was being taken to task by Mike for posting one of those silly greetings cards that pop up all over the Net.
This one had a 1950s family of Dad, Mom and two kids leaving an old-style church with the headline: “Well, that was a bunch of bullshit.”
She repeatedly challenged Mike to “prove” God’s existence. Mike repeatedly ignored her. This was my response: I’d be interested to know what you think.
“I think, respectfully, Mike, that you are not providing answers to Lili’s challenge. Because the only possible answer to “Prove to me that God exists” is surely “I can’t.”
But not because, in my considered opinion, that he/she/it doesn’t exist.
But rather because if we could prove God exists then there would be no point in faith, and faith is what makes life meaningful. Jesus makes this point himself with the Doubting Thomas episode … it is one of the most significant passages in the Bible.
Lili, I applaud your scepticism. I would simply suggest you keep an open mind, not a closed one. To me, as a believer, the appropriate response for someone who is not convinced that God exists is agnosticism, not atheism. Atheism is a very hard row to plough. It means you have to dismiss the vast literature and experience of God throughout human history.
Please note, I say God, not religion.
Plenty of skeptical, liberal people, plenty of scientists, for example, in all different cultures around the world, nevertheless report having experienced something so other-worldly as to be both beyond coincidence and inexplicable.
To be an atheist is to accuse ALL those people, every single one, of being either deluded or stupid. Big call.
I believe that no one ever reaches a knowledge of God through study, or even through the remonstrations of others. Jesus said “I stand at the door knocking, if you open it, I will come in.”
It is my life experience that many people answer that challenge at some stage of their life, and become, through it, convinced that God exists.
Not that they understand “It”, or that, even, they are particularly comforted by the experience.
Simply that they experience something they cannot otherwise explain.
I would therefore urge you, simply, to leave enough of the door ajar to consider that all those people are not idiots.
Agnostic I can definitely understand. Atheist? That seems much more problematical for me.
Oh, and by the way? I think God enjoys your questioning, and your intelligence, and your compassion. Go for it.”
Does my argument have any value? I’d like to know what you think. If you disagree with me please be as blunt as you like, but keep it nice 🙂