How would you answer the most important question in life? Do I believe that God exists?
- I believe in a personal God
- I believe in a God but not a personal God
- I don’t know if God exists or not
- I don’t care if God exists or not
- I don’t believe in God
How would the answer to that question impact your life, what you think is important, and how you see yourself and others? It may be more profound than you think and worth spending serious time on, no matter which answer fits you today.
So how do we know if God does indeed exist? If God does exist, would it make any sense that he would give us no way of knowing him or what his purpose is for us? We can indeed use logic, reason, experience and even science to help lead us to the answer. I think it was Sherlock Holmes that said, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Maybe Sherlock was real but I think his logic is pretty solid.
In an age of aggressive atheism and scientism, how is it possible that science itself can help to point us in the right direction? The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community is that they universe (or multiverses) indeed has a beginning and that nothing existed before that moment (not time, not space, not anything). We know from physics and logic that anything that began to exists, change or move needs to have an explanation within itself or an external cause. All things in the universe, and hence the universe itself, is contingent and needs a creator, mover, changer outside of itself to explain its existence, movement or change. People may ask if the universe has just existed and had not beginning but the laws of thermodynamics and the continuously expansion of the universe tell us otherwise. Not only would everything have burnt out by now, infinite regression is an illogical assumption since we would have never gotten today if time went back infinitely. If there was a beginning of the universe (Big Bang?) where nothing existed prior, science also tells us that nothing comes from nothing. We needed a catalyst outside of the natural reality to create everything, and that catalyst had to be supernatural, all-powerful, and one that is uncreated, unmoved, and unchanged.
Think about how incredibly fine-tuned the universe is and how unlikely or impossible it would be for just a random set of atoms to get the weakness or the gravitational force just right so that the stars did not burn out, just the right nuclear force to endure the right balance of free hydrogen, just the right density of matter in the universe that could not have been off by one quadrillion to support galaxies, or just the right expansion or the universe needed. The universe is so finely tuned that the odds of such a low level of disorder after the Bing Band needed to support life would have zeros stretched across the universe and be equal to winning 10,000 lotteries in a row while getting struck by lightning each time you won. What is a reasonable possibility for this extreme level of fine-tuning?
If everything in life were only composed of material, a random set of atoms and particles (with no explanation for their existence) – why do absolute truths and morals exist? Why do people have a sense of a soul or meaning, hope and purpose in life? How do you explain love that you know is more than chemical reactions? How do we explain internal states of consciousness? How do we explain personal experiences of God, miracles and the witnessed experience of Jesus who died and rose from the dead? We know in our hearts and souls that more exists outside of nothing but the physical when someone is willing to sacrifice themselves for others, when we experience the beauty of art, music and friendship. We know there is something greater than us.
Now back to people that can’t make the leap from the evidence to believing. Many people are sincerely uncertain while others are locked into not ever believing. Many atheists today ironically more closed minded, less objective, and less reasonable in acknowledging the answers that are either impossible or very improbable. Often mocking anything that falls outside of the answer they want, quickly dismissing even scientific facts that do not support, never mind logic and reason that does not. Atheists such as Dawkins, Kraus, Harris skip over any facts that do not support their view and redefine important concepts as “nothing” as close to nothing. They so easily accept some of the most unlikely conclusions and assumptions if they do fit their predetermined answer – oddly believing that nothing + no one = everything. Odd logic for those that profess to be logical, objective, scientific and intelligent while often acting quite the opposite.
If you are sincerely uncertain but are open to the truth, it is so worth getting through the hurdles that keep you from realizing that an awesome creator that is recklessly in love with you unconditionally does indeed exist. Once you get through misconceptions of God or important questions of suffering and evil that often create a wall, you will find that God is the happiest of all beings that wants you to join in his joy and happiness. You will find a God that loves you with a love that is unconditional, endlessly merciful, and never ending. We consciously or unconsciously spend a lot of our time hiding our true selves to avoid the pain of rejection or seeing happiness in things that never satisfy. With God, we have the freedom to find our true identity, to be loved who we are vs what we do, and the real meaning and purpose our lives were meant to have. The reason it is the most important question you will ever answer is because it makes all the difference in the world – and beyond.
“You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense.” (Rick Warren)