Friday, August 21, 2009

It is reasonable to believe in God. PT. 1

Can the existence of God be proved? I don't think so. There are very few things in this world that can be proved 100%. I cannot prove to you that I am not just a brain hooked up to some weird scientific equipment. I cannot prove to you that I am not just some part of your imagination.

Nevertheless, it is completely reasonable to believe I do, in fact, exist. I live my life as though I do exist. It is not proved completely, but instead it is just reasonable to believe.

Most of our beliefs are in this area of knowledge. We do not necessarily have certainty, but it is more reasonable than not to believe the way we do.

Belief in God, I think, falls into this category. Belief in God is rational and based on evidence.

Over the next couple weeks, I will present several arguments for the existence of God. None of these, it seems, proves God's existence 100%, but they all make it reasonable. In fact, I would argue they make belief in God more reasonable than the alternative.

Now, one might argue that if none of the arguments can prove the existence of God with certainty, then there is a huge problem. They might say this means the arguments have holes and therefore they do not help each other to show the rationality of belief in God.

One popular example is called the leaky buckets objection. If you have 5 buckets with holes, no matter what you do water will leak through. These buckets cannot help each other to contain water.

However, the arguments I espouse are part of a cumulative approach. This means I think they are stronger together than they are apart.

For example, consider a chain-link fence. Apart from the whole of the fence, each individual strand of metal is not that strong. It can be bent, ignored, broken. However, when together, the cumulative strength of the metal strands adds up to something more. W. L. Craig uses the example of Chain mail armor in a similar fashion to show the cumulative strength of the arguments.

When the value of each argument is taken into account, the whole is much more powerful than only one.

Also, it is important to remember, reasonableness is in reference to the best explanation. This means it is always more reasonable to believe the explanation with the most explanatory power, than to believe other assertions.

There might be other possible explanations for these arguments, but this does not mean they are the most probable or best explanation.

When this series is over, I think it will be clear that the existence of God is the best explanation regarding the evidence put forth.

Next: The Kalam Cosmological Argument.