Can God’s Existence Be Proven?
It is impossible to prove whether or not God exists.
This statement may be a Q1 violation if you are not examining this issue as rigorously as you might examine other issues or if you are using the word "prove" in a way that you would not use it in another context.
This statement may be a Q2 violation if you would not allow someone else to use arguments similar to yours to demonstrate that the existence of something other than God cannot be proven or disproven.
If you believe that the existence of God can be neither proven nor disproven, it is likely because you assert that anything that appears to be a sign of divine existence could have a more likely, completely non-supernatural explanation. For example, if you hear that someone walked on water, you would conclude that it’s more likely that it either was a trick or was misreported than that it was a miracle.
Alternatively, you might conclude that the existence of God is unprovable because God is immaterial, the immaterial cannot interact with the material, and science can only investigate material things so there is no way that science can investigate the existence of God. If this is your belief, then how do you propose that God created the universe if God cannot interact with physical things? Similarly, how could God perform miracles? If you do not think that God could have done these things, then is it possible that you think it is impossible to prove whether or not deities in general exist but that the existence of the Christian god is logically impossible?
Regardless of the root of your belief, are you sure that there is nothing that would make you believe a deity exists? For example, what if it were found that there was a series of digits in the number pi that encoded clear, meaningful, unambiguous messages from God in all the world’s languages?* And what if an omnipotent deity exists and decides to remove all doubt from your mind that He exists? You would have no choice but to believe in that case (since your belief was being compelled by an infinitely powerful being), and although you could not compel belief in others, you personally would believe.
As an aside, if you have concluded that the existence of God cannot be proven or disproven, how do you present your beliefs? Do you call yourself:
- An agnostic? If so, do you call yourself an agnostic when faced with other issues that cannot be proven or disproven?
- An atheist? If so, do you make it clear that you are an atheist because there is no compelling reason to believe in God (as opposed to because you assert that there is no God)?
- A theist? If so, do you have clear reasons why you believe in God even though His existence can’t be proven?
*This is an expansion of an idea suggested by Carl Sagan.
You are encouraged to leave your answers to the questions posed in this post in the comments section. This post is based on an excerpt from Ask Yourself to be Moral, by D. Cancilla, available at LuLu.com and Amazon.com. See the 2Q system page for details of the philosophical system mentioned in this post.