For past few weeks I’ve been involved in a debate in one internet discussion forum. The subject is, “Why do people believe in God?”. Since, I am a believer, I thought, let’s join in. Let’s see what happens. So, I presented my reasons in a simple manner. Starting from the cosmological argument, then to the intelligibility of the universe, then history and finally my own experience. However, since I entered the discussion, it has really heated up. However, what I get asked for a LOT is the scientific evidence of God’s existence.
Now, as I see it, the phrase “Scientific evidence of God’s existence” is a paradox in itself. Since, science has made it’s business to explain things, to give evidence of God’s existence in scientific terms requires me to explain God. But this is impossible. So, the next thing I get asked for is a bit more reasonable but equally unreasonable plight to provide the evidence of a miracle. This again, can’t be done without a miracle.
Why? Because miracles are miracles. Miracles do not happen in a pattern. If they did, we wouldn’t call them miracles. Miracles are the things that science can not explain. So, to provide evidence of a miracle, one must predict where a miracle is going to happen and then record it(in a video or picture or something) or hold a public exhibition and call all the skeptics let it happen right in front of their eyes. In the first case of video or a photo the skeptics will most probably say, it is faked.
However, the second scenario, God wouldn’t allow. That is because he has given us free will and he won’t violate it. Thus, he won’t take any person in position where that person is forced to do something (in this case, believe in something) without their own will. Because of these two reasons, atheists can claim that there is no evidence of a God. But that’s not true. The right way to say is this: there is no evidence of a particular kind. The kind that will force people to believe in God.
So, now that little prelude is aside, I want to get to the heart of the issue that I think is the problem. What’s the problem here? What’s going on? This whole thing is so complicated that I’m not really sure if I can really express it adequately so that you can understand. Still, I will try. I think, the problem is, people have trapped themselves in a single kind of mentality which they believe to be true. That’s the core of the problem. Now, let me go into the details a bit.
There are certain groups of people that identify themselves with a certain kind of methodology. For example, atheists. They put a great deal of emphasis on reason. For them, everything must be reasonable. And for that part, I totally agree with them. However the problem arises when they limit their sources of information. The main source of their “reason” is the scientific methodology. Test things in test tubes. The findings must be independently confirmable. The conclusion must be verifiable.
All these things have their use. I’m not denying that. That’s the definite way to go to do science and to further our technologies. However, when one bases a whole worldview on a single methodology, it comes up pretty short handed. That’s why atheists have immense problems when they get in any debate about morality. Very few atheists acknowledge that. However, that’s not the point I want to make here. The point I want to make here is, why do atheists have problems? It is because they rely on a single specific methodology for their information, and the evidence for their arguments.
Still, atheists are not the worst when it comes to applying a single methodology in everything they do. They are still reasonable enough, and I believe, honest atheists will eventually find God in some phase of their life. Their problem is much less severe than other group of people I’d like to talk about. Atheists have only limited their ways to find out the truth, and the way they have chosen is an adverse one, to say the least, for the reasons I described above about the evidence of the miracles. Nevertheless, at least, they do not jump to complete contradictory conclusions. That is the trademark of the other group I want to discuss.
The other group is, new age believers. The people who believe in the methodologies of new age spirituality. They all practice similar methods to reach the… um… spiritual state. To be one with the universal conscious(am I using the right word?). The peculiar thing is, they also believe in complete relativism. Everybody practices the same things. However, everybody can come to their own conclusions. What’s moral for me won’t be moral for the person sitting next to me. And then they have this nonsensical conception of truth. Everybody has their own truth. Everybody must find their own truth! How? Using our methodology. Is there any guarantee? Nope.
Again “new agers” believe in their methodology. The thing that is completely mind boggling to me is that how can someone trust a methodology when it produces complete contradictory results? Still those who believe it have accepted the methodology as the truth. I think this is the most dangerous thing our generation has fallen into. The trap of one thing.
Why do I think it is dangerous? Because it is the complete opposite of what bible teaches. There is only one truth and you can come to that truth using many different methodologies. Take philosophy, history, cosmology… Personal experiences. Everything points to one truth. Not different ones. Because atheists have limited their point of view to a mere scientific one, they have created hindrances for themselves when they try to find the truth. However, in new age spirituality, the complete opposite is happening. There is only one methodology, and a lot of truths.
In the discussion, “Why do people believe in God?”, one of the main reason for me to make it long and touch on different topics was, to not make it one trick pony. I was pretty sure that it will be challenged. So, I made it broad enough so that it doesn’t get stuck in a single field. Because, if that happens, the argument will be one sided. And in my mind, winning an argument in a single field doesn’t amount to much. It’s like um… one trick pony. It does only one trick. However, except that trick, it does terrible at every other trick. I didn’t want the discussion to be like that. That’s the weakness of getting trapped in a single field. It becomes a one trick pony, good at only one argument and terrible in every other argument.
There is also one advantage of being able to confirm something through multiple fields. Every time a thing can be confirmed through multiple methodologies, there are less chances of it being wrong. If a thing can be confirmed by only one methodology, there are pretty good chances that it can be wrong. However, if it is confirmed by two, then the chances of it being wrong drops down. With three, even more so. And on and on… So, if a thing can be confirmed by multiple methodologies, there is very little chance of it being false.
However, the problem is that the current generation doesn’t understand this. When I provided my reasons, they were pretty much overlooked and the thing I was asked for was “positive non-circumstantial evidence”. And since I could not provide it because of the reasons given above, all my other reasons/arguments didn’t held any value! This came as a bit of shock to me.
I think this generation has reached a point where it is preoccupied with a single thing and is ignoring all the other things. The people around us believe anything that is told to them in the name of science. It doesn’t matter if it’s science or not. Just because it’s labeled as science, it must be true. However, we as christians must not fall into this trap. We must confirm our beliefs by multiple means. And we must never, ever, be preoccupied with anything other than Jesus.