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 IAmAnAtheist » Tract #10: Can God’s Existence Be Proven?

Tract #10: Can God’s Existence Be Proven?

Download tract #10: Can God’s Existence Be Proven? (PDF). See page #3 for printing instructions.

Can God’s Existence Be Proven?

Is it possible, in principle, to find compelling evidence that God exists? Or, as a supernatural being, is God beyond proof?

There are certain aspects of God which are definitely open to inquiry. For example, any incident in the physical world attributed to the work of God can be investigated. We can examine miracles, test the efficacy of prayer, research stories of visions and faith healing, etc.

God’s properties can also be tested with logic — if any two of His proposed properties are logically inconsistent, then we can be certain that one or both of them is incorrect.

But while testing physical manifestations and defining potential properties might help us set limits on what God might be, they do nothing to prove whether or not the divine being actually exists.

There are large difficulties facing someone who wants to prove that God exists. For example, any event that appears to be a sign of divine existence could have a more likely, completely non-supernatural explanation. For example, it is possible that God created the universe, but it is also possible that the universe came into being through a natural process (and even a process that is currently unknown might be judged a more likely explanation than an all-powerful deity).

Another difficulty is that God is immaterial, and since science can only investigate material things there is no way that science can directly investigate the existence of God.

Recognizing these difficulties, there are three ways you might be compelled to believe that a deity does indeed exist.

First, evidence could appear that cannot conceivably be explained without appeal to a deity. For example, it might be discovered that no matter what language you speak you can find the text of a lengthy religious work unambiguously encoded in the digits of pi. It would be hard to conceive of a non-supernatural explanation of such a thing.

Second, you could receive a divine revelation. God could use supernatural power to force you to believe that He exists. People might think you had gone mad, and your experience would not be compelling to others, but you would have no choice but to believe that God exists.

And third, an unassailable argument for the existence of God might come to light some time in the future.

Now let’s imagine that through one of these methods you become convinced that a deity exists. Can you prove that this deity is indeed God and not some other supernatural being just pretending to be God? Likely not. There is no trick of logic or science that would be guaranteed to wrest the truth from a supernatural being.

So even if you were compelled to believe that a deity existed, it would still be an act of faith to conclude that this deity was God.

3 Responses

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  1. Written by Unintelligent Evolution
    on November 20, 2010 at 4:10 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    Designers are not intrinsically detected when observing their designs. This is testable. Thus, why would anyone expect to observe God or see him actively doing anything in the universe?

    Is your hypothesis, that “Undirected unintelligence made your intelligence”? Show me a test proving that un-intelligence made your intelligence. Otherwise you have blind faith.

    I fact, we can test that intelligent designers made artificial intelligence. Therefore, the atheist hypothesis that undirected un-intelligence made our intelligence is contradicted.

    Every designer was the son of someone. Thus, it follows that the designer of the universe was also a son (the Son of God or Jesus).

    Time is a human experience that had a beginning. Creation requires time. Why would God be dependant on time, and thus be subject to creation, if he was the one who created time and exists outside of time?

  2. Written by Tom_M
    on May 28, 2011 at 6:54 am
    Reply · Permalink

    Unintelligent Evolution,

    In the finite limitation of your assumption, you’re expecting God to act ‘supernaturally’ in a way which the universe can detect.

    What about God acting THROUGH the universe, by causing natural phenomenae to occur (which we *assume* does not reflect His direct involvement)?

    The triune godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are linked to a state of being before creation (Gen 1).

    Time is an invention of mankind – to measure progress through a mortal lifespan. It’s a man-made scale. Creation required a set of causes and effects to take place (either in parallel, serially, or a combination thereof). The sequencing of a serial string is NOT dependent upon ‘time’. Time is a scale against which mankind *describes* what it sees, in order to make sense of it.

  3. Written by Unintelligent Evolution
    on November 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm
    Reply · Permalink

    Tom_M said, “In the finite limitation of your assumption, you’re expecting God to act ‘supernaturally’ in a way which the universe can detect.”

    No. I’m observing human designers then forming testable hypotheses as indirect evidence of a Designer.

    “What about God acting THROUGH the universe,”

    Sure, intelligent human beings cause forces. Thus, it would make sense that the forces of nature are caused by an intelligent Being.

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