What is this post about? Well, the title is a dead giveaway, but why write it? A couple of months ago I wrote THE ODDS OF WHAT? In that post Allallt and I debated a post he had written. As a result of that discussion, I decided to write this post (see here).
A little over ten years ago I wrote WHAT IS MATHEMATICAL PROOF? DOES 2 + 2 = 4? In that post we considered the nature of mathematical proof. As I wrote the post it occurred to me that our proofs are based upon the validity of mathematical abstractions, not the real world itself. We use mathematics to model reality. Then we test our models against reality by experimenting with real things. If our model predicts what happens in the real world, we are pleased with it. If not, we try to discover what important factors we have either not included or incorrectly modeled.
Therefore, imagine the problem of modelling God. We cannot construct a decent mathematical model of a person. Nevertheless, in our minds each of us has an idealization of what it means to be human. So when we see and hear another human being, we don’t confuse a person with a cat, dog, snake, or bear. We can even use words to describe what it means to be human. Thus, with evidence that is difficult to ignore we can prove to ourselves and each other that human beings exist. God, however, is infinite, infinitely more complex. Our senses are inadequate to apprehend God. Because we have no way of perceiving Him, we cannot form an idealized conception of God. Why is that a problem? If we cannot describe God — share our experiences of God — how can we prove He exists?
In the process of these discussions, this idea came to light that God should just physically appear before our eyes and show Himself. That actually made me smile simply because people just don’t understand. That would be a bit like flying too close to the sun. At the very least you’d go blind, if not just completely insane. Nobody really gets to “see God” right now while we exist in the physical, because our brains just can’t handle it. That would collapse your psyche, crush your perception of reality, and send your spirit reeling somewhere outside of your body. (from here)
God is infinite. He is the beginning and the end. He is perfectly Holy. He is love. He is truth. He is ….
How is it we can know anything about God?
- We can study His Creation. We can examine Creation to gain some understanding of the character of its maker.
- We were made in God’s image. In ways we don’t quite understand, we are like God. Our minds tell us someone created the universe. Our hearts tell us we need God. Our consciences demand we do good, not wrong.
- We have the Bible, what God has told us about Himself.
If we cannot form an idealized conception God, how then do we prove God’s existence? We can focus on God’s roles, what He does and what He has done.
- We can show the need for a Creator.
- We can point to God as the source of the Moral Law, our innate knowledge of what is right and what is wrong.
- We can consider our history. How could what has happened have happened without God?
- We can look at the life of Jesus Christ. If Jesus was not God, then who was He?
Mel Wild has some posts on this subject as well. His Argument for God is a five-part series that focuses on the arguments of Thomas Aquinas’s brilliant 3,500 page Summa Theologica. also has a post, The Classical Argument for Christ, that is worth considering.
Old Posts On This Topic
- DOES GOD EXIST?: Contains a few more references.
- YOU NEED PROOF?: Looks at historical observations.
- WHO IS RIGHT? WHO IS THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS?: Observes the fact that God owns all the blueprints.
- SCIENCE DOES NOT PROVE THE EXISTENCE OF GOD: Argues that science does not provide the tools to study God.
- Why doesn’t God show Himself?: Reblog of Why doesn’t God show Himself? by .
- HOW DOES GOD PROVE HE IS GOD?: He works miracles?
- TWO DIFFERENT APPROACHES: Different ways of debating Atheists.
- The godlessness of science so-called: A reblog on what defines proof.