Renowned atheist (and author of The God Delusion), Richard Dawkins once said that faith is “one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate…[It’s] belief that isn’t based on evidence [and] the principal vice of any religion.”
Contrary to his baseless misrepresentation, faith – to a large extent – is an important part of our lives. We plant crops with the assurance that the seeds will sprout. We accept employment hoping to get paid and obtain loans, expecting to pay them back. Since none of us have seen God, nor were we present when the universe came into existence, whether we believe in God or not, our views largely involve a degree of faith.
The uncertainty of atheism is evident in the fact that none of its claims explain how the Big Bang allegedly started the process that led to it and by which laws and mechanisms it came to be. None of them definitely tell us by what conceivable process life arose on earth. None of them can explain how the energy that comes from the sun is being carefully controlled in order not to spiral into decay or disorder as the second law of thermodynamics state. All they have are different theories – which atheists have to put faith in – none of which are convincing.
It takes more faith to believe these than to believe God sustains all things by His power. It takes a whole lot of faith to believe that atoms and cells could do the remarkable things they did by their own self-generated power or by an explosion that occurred 15 billion years ago than to believe in an Intelligent Designer. The ancient Babylonians, Persians, Celts or Aztecs believed their objects of metals or sticks could control the weather, create life or sustain the earth, yet today atheists believe virtually the same, that atoms had such amazing powers to form all things without any supernatural aid.
Biblically, “Faith is…the evident demonstration of realities not beheld.” (Heb. 11:1). Our faith in God is based on evidences. On the other hand, the atheist’s faith is based on science which (as a variant of philosophy) starts with unproven axioms – as every imaginable belief system does. Many great historians, scientists and legal experts have become Christians not by emotion or a mystical experience, but by verifiable evidences and sound arguments.
In Philosophy, an argument means a reason or set of reasons given in support of an idea, action or theory. Most atheists will say “No religion has yet shown me any evidence for God’s existence. We are all ready to change our minds for evidence.” These are mere empty and dogmatic claims. Its also based on the empiricist view of atheism that unless something is experimentally observed, its a myth. How many of the evidences Christians (or other theists) present are atheists ready to accept? They don’t even regard them as “evidences!”
If they were ex-Christians, how many Christian theological, apologetic or philosophical works have they read? Most of them have not even seen one let alone crack it open. These folks disdain and ignore evidences and then turn around to say no one has presented any evidence rather than admit that they are trusting in their own dogmatic inexperience of what they seek. Such blind belief rivals that of a fanatical cultist. Denial is a hallmark of dogmatism. In Christian theology, there are several arguments for God’s existence:
1. Cosmological argument
The term cosmological comes from the Greek word cosmos meaning “world.” This argument is based on the fact that the world exists, and since something can’t come from nothing, there must be an original cause for the world’s existence. Every effect must have a cause. So, by examining the evidences of the cosmos, we can conclude that God exists. Every house surely has a builder (Heb. 3:4)
2. Telological argument
The word telological comes from the Greek word telos, meaning “end.” This argument is based on the order and useful arrangement in a system imply intelligence and purpose in the organizing cause. From the way the universe is ordered and usefully arranged, there must be an Intelligent Cause behind it – which is God (Ps. 8:3-4; 19:1-4). Where there are evidences of intelligence, purpose, and harmony, there must be an Intelligent Designer behind it. Its irrational to attribute intelligence, complexity and orderliness to random chance.
3. Anthropological argument
The Greek word anthropos means “man.” Thus, contrary to the secular humanists who sees man simply as a biological being, the Bible presents man as created in the image of God. This image of God in man is spiritual, not physical (Gen. 1:26-28; Eph. 4:24). Man is not just a physical being, but also a moral being with a conscience, emotion and will. As a work says “A blind force…could never produce a man with intellect, sensibility, will, conscience, and inherent belief in a Creator.” (Lewis Chafer, Systematic Theology, 1977, 28)
4. Moral argument
This is related to the anthropological argument which acknowledges that man has an awareness of right and wrong, a sense of morality. Where did this sense of moral justice from? Random collisions of molecules in man’s brain? Absolutely not. If man is only a biological creature, why then does he have a sense of moral obligation? Its the height of folly to attribute moral standards and concepts to any evolutionary process. The only satisfying answer is that God has placed a sense of moral justice within the human race and it distinguishes us from all other creation (Rom. 2:14-15)
5. Ontological argument
This argument is distinct from the preceding ones because its deductive and a priori; it begins with an assumption and then attempts to prove that assumption. The term ontological comes from the Greek present participle ontos and means “being” or “existence.” The ontological argument is philosophical rather than inductive.
The argument reasons that if man could conceive of a perfect God who does not exist, then he could conceive of someone greater than God, which is impossible. Therefore, God exists. This argument rests on the fact that all men have an awareness of God. Because the concept of God is universal, God must have placed the idea within man. Anselm (1033?- 1109) was the first proponent of this view. In the thinking of some, this argument has limited value, and few would affirm the usefulness of the ontological argument. (Paul Enns, Moody Handbook of Theology, Moody Press: Chicago, 2008, 187).
I also need to point out that most atheists have this almost stultifying habit of putting belief in God on par with belief in tooth fairies, leprechauns, Easter bunny, Santa Claus, unicorns and imaginary friends etc. These are fundamentally silly analogies. Even a rational person can distinguish between the two.
There are innumerable, logical evidences (and defenses) proving God’s existence than man-made, superstitious folklore. God has made His existence so clear to millions of people, that its more plausible and rational to accept that the universe came about by His power rather than “random chance.” Its left for man to either accept or deny them. In upcoming posts, I will be providing more detailed examples of the arguments for God listed above.