Worth the Effort

A few years ago I engaged a fellow in a doctor’s office in conversation and by that discovering that he was an atheist.  He used the argument originated by Bertram Russel that, although science could not disprove the existence of God, neither could it disprove the existence of an orbiting teapot.  This kind of an argument is commonly used stating that the probability of God’s existence is so small, that seeking to investigate it would not be worth the effort.  But is it true that there is no more evidence for God’s existence than for the existence of an orbiting teapot, or unicorns?  Is it true that searching for God’s existence would be a great waste of time?

This has been addressed on many levels even using Bayes Theorem to mathematically show the probability of God’s existence.  However, the problem really goes back to the problem of worldviews, or paradigms.  If one accepts a materialistic/naturalistic worldview, then any evidence of the supernatural or God’s existence must be interpreted in a naturalistic way so automatically eliminating it as real evidence for God’s existence.  I have shown in previous posts that such a paradigm is arbitrary and necessarily involves an exercise of faith.  Furthermore, the use of such arguments as the teapot is necessarily circular for it assumes  that there is no good evidence for God’s existence when that is actually what is in question.  A fair approach would be to look at the evidence and compare the interpretations of that evidence by the different worldviews.  Usually this is done by comparing which interpretation fits the evidence the best explaining the most phenomena the most consistently making the best predictions.  However, as I have also already demonstrated, this is not so easily done because our own paradigms will affect how we decide which worldview does this best. But certainly, there is no reason to assume without investigation that such an investigation would be fruitless.  This is all the more clear in light of the millions who claim to have a personal relationship with God and have been convinced by evidence of His existence.  The same cannot be said about orbiting teapots or pink unicorns.  That analogy just does not hold.

Christians are often accused of being closed-minded ignoring the evidence, but I would argue that often it is the atheists who refuse to examine the evidence based on their prejudice disguised as science falsely so-called.   Indeed, there are many examples of honest seekers, even atheists, who have changed their minds because they honestly examined the evidence.  Furthermore,  the importance of the subject itself practically demands an open-minded investigation as seen in Pascal’s wager.  If there is no God, then the Christian has really lost nothing, but if there is a God, then the atheist will lose his soul eternally.  Certainly, the search for God is well worth the effort.

The real problem is that of desire.  Most atheists do not care to know if there is a God or not because they are dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:1), they love their lifestyle and do not want to know if there is a God Who may judge them for that lifestyle (John 3:19).  Thus they are blinded by Satan (II Corinthians 4:3, 4) and are “willingly ignorant” of the evidence (II Peter 3:5).  It is the ministry of all Christians to demonstrate the reality of God in their lives (Matthew 5:13-16; Galatians 1:14, 15; II Corinthians 4:1-6) and point others to His self-revelation (II Corinthians 4:6; 5:18-20; I Peter 3:15): and it is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s reality to man through our efforts using His word (John 16:7-10; I Corinthians 2:9, 10).  I will, in my coming posts, Lord willing, seek to survey my approach in pointing others to God’s self-revelation.  I believe those who honestly seek to know if there is a God can find Him in His own revelation and so know that finding God is more than worth the effort for “he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6).

Categories Apologetics, Faith, Philosophy, Uncategorized

4 thoughts on “Worth the Effort

  1. I am really enjoying your series, and this is a well-argued post. The empirical evidence of the sheer number of sincere believers in the world should not be so easily dismissed by atheists.

    I come from a science background, and am a theist. My dad was a geologist, and a creationist. Science is full of people who misuse the tools of science to rationalize their atheism or agnosticism, but there are also many believers, who simply view science as a tool to understand the world which God created. Science is such a useful tool!

    But I do want to clarify one thing about how scientists look at evidence. A scientist looking at a natural phenomenon does not have the luxury of invoking a miracle. As soon as you point to a place in the process and say, “This is where the hand of God does something,” then you have stopped your scientific inquiry. And as soon as you stop the scientific method, then you stop discovering and learning with those tools, and you never figure out all of details you could discover about the natural phenomenon. Even a scientist who is a believer, who really does believe that the hand of God is in that process, has to keep asking questions and probing the boundaries of what we know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In fact, I mentioned the necessity of procedural naturalism in science. I understand and agree with your point; however, the problem is that many scientists would then deny that there is any truth to be discovered that cannot be discovered by scientific methodology. I am arguing that there is spiritual reality that is revealed by God and not discovered by scientific methodology (I Corinthians 2:9, 10) and should be the basis of our worldview through which we interpret the data that is discovered by scientific methods.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Another good post. I do hope you at some point will present well known atheist who honestly sought for God and found Him and give some quotes. Testimonies often help bring home the point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dr. Bergman’s book Persuaded by the Evidence is filled with testimonies. Josh McDowell and Dean Kenyon are good examples. Those who have Netflix should watch The Case for Christ, the true account of atheist and prize-winning journalist Lee Strobel’s conversion. I may well give specifics in the future, but not really soon.

      Like

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