Sunday 2 October 2011

Why Atheists Need to Stop Demanding I Prove the Existence of God

First off, the majority of atheists, I believe, have no beef with my belief - Christianity, if you're interested - they just think I'm wrong. That's fine, because I have no beef with their lack of belief, I just think they're wrong.
I'm addressing the minority who refuse to accept that my belief is valid or allowable unless I prove it to their satisfaction. I'm not asking you to believe in God, I'm asking you to let me believe in God.

Allow me to make an analogy: suppose there is someone you've met, but I haven't. For argument's sake, let's call him Joshua.
Suppose I came to you, and said: 'I don't believe Joshua exists, and I don't think you should either, unless you can show me enough evidence that he does.'
You might tell me about him, and relate anecdotes. Suppose I replied that I thought you were lying, or mistaken, or deluded. If you got other people who know him to tell me about him, I said the same.
You might show me pictures of him. Suppose I replied that I thought they were faked, or pictures of someone else.
You might go and borrow something of his, such as his ID. Suppose I said that that too was faked, or a coincidence.
Now you might offer to set up a meeting with him, or a phone call.

Suppose I refused to try to talk to him or meet him until you had proven his existence some other way.

I have all the proof of God's existence that I need, because I know Him, but that's not a proof that I can write down and show to you. Maybe He's not who I think He is; maybe Joshua isn't who you think he is. But you accept that he exists; I accept that He exists.
If you want to see whether God exists, you won't get a graph or analytical argument that says so. The only way is to try and meet Him.
If you have not a shred of doubt in your mind that He does not exist, then carry on believing that.
If you are genuinely asking the question, then the only way you will get an answer is to open your mind and heart to Him. Give Him the chance to prove Himself to you. In other words, pray.
You don't have to go to church. You don't have to shout it from the rooftops. You don't have to say it out loud, or tell anyone you're doing it. You don't have to spend hours on it: just try to truly open your mind for a few minutes, or however long you like. You can do it wherever, whenever and however you want. You can do it on the loo if you like: He won't mind.
Just ask Him, if He's there, to show you that He is. If He isn't, what are you afraid of?

1 comment :

  1. I am a staunch agnostic, mainly because I, like you, am irritated by this consistent search for proof. And the constant disparagement of faith and independent ideas.

    Atheism sometimes seems to be a hypocritical ideology, since it is a belief system based upon the tenet that belief systems are inherently wrong. It can also get a bit sneery.

    God cannot be proven or dis-proven, end of story. I mean, in my view God is probably one of the least likely of all possible cosmogony theories. I don't understand why it is easier to believe that all the unintelligible around us is the sign that we are being controlled and guided by an essentially magical superbeing. Merely a method of naturalising the unexplainable ("man made in the image of God" to make it easier for us to concieve and identify with this benevolent force).

    Is it not more simple to merely accept our ignorance than to try and anthropomorphise it?