The issue of arguments for (or against) God’s existence continually crops up in my thinking. Sometimes I wonder if they’re a misguided use of time and energy. At other times it seems like the very continuation of faith in our culture depends upon it.
It can easily be understood that, in a pluralitstic society that embraces relativism, arguing for anything that is to be understood as objectively true is a problematic project from the get-go. “True for you” is a byword of our place and time, and we ignore this to our peril. I would suggest that conservative Christianity is disdained in the broader culture more for its adherence to objective truth than on account of its particular teachings.
Furthermore, there is the problem that Christianity is an historically revealed religion. Even if we succeed in proving that there is a God, the question then becomes: “which one (or ones)?” The great mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal famously differentiates between the god of the philosophers and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Arguing philosophically for the existence of God can, at best, produce some perfect Being who would probably not be at all concerned with humanity. Philosophy can possibly produce a transcendent God, but it can known nothing of an immanent God. Christianity affirms both.
It is also too easy in arguing for God’s existence to let atheists and agnostics define the rules of what constitutes acceptable “proof.” This tends today to gravitate towards scientific notions of truth, which produce disasters like “creation science” and the recent Ray Comfort debate debacle. Scientific naturalism is a specific worldview that already assumes the non-existence of God. There is no way to present any acceptable proof for God’s existence within a framework that already assumes that God does not exist.
But, as I said at the beginning, I think that there may be some pretty good reasons to argue for the existence of God, but I’m going to save those for another post. My question is this: what do you think? I’m definitely hoping to move towards actually picking a side on this one, as the pendulum that is my mind is getting tiresome…