What evidence is there for GOD?
The question of whether or not God exists arises in other pages here. This page is only looking at the debate from just one very simple aspect, and that is: what evidence do we have?
If you were to ask me if I believed in God then in order to answer your question I would require that you first define what you mean by 'God', otherwise we could be talking at cross purposes. Once you had done that I could then answer if I believe in the same concept of God that you do. I think that's obvious.
In order to continue on a sensible footing, let's outline a 'sketch' of God that we can all relate to in general terms. This God created the universe, His son, Jesus, was born in Bethlehem, the mother of Jesus was Mary. God and Jesus both performed miracles. Jesus died on the cross. God is in heaven.
I won't add more to this definition because the more I define God the more chance there is that we will disagree on some minor point or other. The idea is to simply agree on a very broad definition in order that we will be of the same mind when we talk about 'God'.
So why do people believe in God? This is a tough one, very complex. The main reason may well be because we were raised to believe in God. Then there is the church of course, reinforcing this belief, and the Holy Bible. Also add peer pressure- conformity within our social group, and just wanting to believe in order to give life a purpose or meaning. See Is there a reason for our existence?
What evidence do we have? In the purely scientific sense, none of course, but what can we take as 'supporting evidence' in a more general sense?
God created the universe? Not really acceptable- see Where did the universe come from?
The Holy Bible? A collection of writings of various sorts from many different sources over a period of hundreds of years. None the less an impressive historical record. Not to be taken too literally of course, it was written in the language of the time for the people of the time, but interpreted with a modern approach to its meaning still yields much first class historical information. It is clear that a good many people believed Jesus to be the son of God and that he performed miracles. That Jesus actually existed seems highly probable. As to his being the son of God, that's another matter entirely. Many, many people over the centuries have made that claim, or claimed to be prophets of God, it doesn't mean they were. Jesus claimed that he was the son of God, but it doesn't mean he was, or that he even believed it himself. That thousands of his followers believed he was the son of God doesn't mean he was. People of that era believed in prophets and prophecies, they were desperately waiting for events to happen, just as prophesied. It is known that Jesus deliberately staged events in order to be seen as fulfilling prophecies. They saw 'signs' in everything which encouraged their expectations, a classic example of a 'self fulfilling prophecy'. The bible is very persuasive, but not proof, of the existence of God, but a very strong case for arguing for the existence of a man called Jesus.
Miracles? Let's put these into two categories, those in the bible and modern day miracles. Biblical miracles took place over 2000 years ago, you either believe they happened or you don't. We can't go back and 'test ' them. Todays miracles? What miracles? These come in many forms, ranging from 'impossible' recovery from terminal illnesses to 'narrow escapes'. The term 'miracle' is applied too loosely and too freely. A miracle, as defined in Collins New English Dictionary is: "a super-natural happening". Recovering from illnesses that had obviously been incorrectly diagnosed as terminal is not that uncommon, it is not 'super-natural', it is misdiagnosis and/or lack of knowledge of the bodies ability to heal itself. The fact that the recovery took place after a visit to Lourdes does not alter the fact that the 'dying' person would have recovered anyway if they had instead stayed at home and watched the Simpsons.
And what has happened to all those 'spectacular' miracles of 2000 years ago? Why did they stop? The seas do not part anymore to allow refugees to cross, the starving masses are not fed with a few fish. Why not?
I can not bring myself to believe in miracles. Either then or now. Also, think about it from a physical point of view. If God created the universe and all the laws of nature, do you think it possible that He can change those laws once they are in place? In just one location, for a brief period of time, and then change them back again? And all this having no lasting effect? The universe carries on just as before as if nothing had happened? Ok. Ok. I know what you're going to say, He can do anything! Personally I doubt that very much. If He can, why not feed the starving masses. He was happy to intervene in the past, according to the bible. Miracles of this sort, 'real 'miracles, have not taken place for over 2000 years, if we are to believe they ever took place at all. Odd that.
Perhaps there was a God once, perhaps there is now, perhaps there isn't. Maybe there never was one. Maybe it's all just wishful thinking. Perhaps if God ever did exist He doesn't exist now. Perhaps He died.
Has God Died? As to whether or not God existed in the past is open to debate. But is He here now? There is no indication that He is. No messages booming down from the sky, no miracles, no sign whatsoever. Why not? If He expects us to believe in Him, surely it is not asking too much that He gives us a sign every once in a while? Is it? To expect us to take it on trust for over two thousand years is asking a bit much. Perhaps He hasn't died, perhaps He can't, so where is He then? I suppose He could be busy elsewhere, making another universe or something. Doesn't seem very God-like to abandon us in this way though does it, we could use a little help just now. See Our final destiny, immortals
Heaven? I am going to raise a final question regarding God. If you believe in God then you presumably believe in heaven. Here is the question based on the belief that only good people go to heaven, as per the bible. Would someone born with a brain tumour that eventually caused them to become insane and commit murder be allowed into heaven.? If not, why not? They didn't chose to have a brain tumour. At what stage of development do we 'qualify' for judgment. At birth, before we have actually done anything? At one year of age or 22 weeks in the womb? Define 'bad'. It's all a bit arbitrary isn't it.
Heaven is something that I just can not accept as a sensible concept. ( Hope I'm right)!
What do I think?
I'm not sure, sometimes I believe, sometimes I don't. Mostly I don't. Almost always I don't, but just sometimes I have this little nagging doubt, and that's because I was taught as a young child to believe in God. See Are all religions false? So I ask myself this question: Had I been raised in a secluded society where nobody believed in God or had ever heard of religion, would I, by my own experiences and philosophy, have come to believe in the existence of God? The answer is, I believe, no. I would have no reason to. The next question I ask myself is: Having been raised in total ignorance of any religion or God, when I die, would I go to heaven? The answer to that, I think, is yes. If there is a God, why should He prevent me from going to heaven (providing I had led a decent life of course) just because no one had told me about it? Not my fault is it. If He refused me heaven that presumably means I would go to hell (I don't know of any in between place) and I would consider that to be grossly unfair. And God is just! so I would go to heaven. So, on appeal, He lets me in. Just as He does all those people who attend church on a regular basis, pray, worship, donate money to the church, etc etc. Bet they wouldn't think it fair! (Is there a court of appeal for admission to heaven?)
So there you have it. You either believe or you don't. Logic has nothing to do with it.
It seems to me that it really does not matter one way or the other what we happen to believe, the truth is the truth regardless of belief. There are so many different religions to choose from, and if any of them are right it can only be one of them. All the others are wrong. The mathematical odds dictate that you have probably chosen the wrong one! Does that make you a bad person?
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