The Question

The question of whether God exists or not is very odd, if you think about it. It is much like the question of whether the earth rotates or not, which troubled many natural philosophers long ago. A skeptic could pose several arguments that sound persuasive on the surface. If the earth is constantly rotating under our own feet, wouldn’t it be obvious? Wouldn’t we feel ourselves being pulled along in a circle? If the ground was in motion, wouldn’t a vertical arrow shot fall to the ground some distance away?

There are perfectly logical answers, of course, to all of these. Many things we experience are true without being obvious, including how air oxygenates the blood and how disease is transmitted by microbes. The earth is an inertial reference frame, which means we can only “feel” a force relative to its rotation. The earth’s movement transfers momentum to the layers of air above it by viscous forces, so that on average the lower atmosphere rotates along with it.

The odd thing is that these answers are not intuitive, that it takes a certain amount of study in physics and fluid mechanics to convince yourself that these are logical. It takes a certain detachment from your own body’s experience to see the earth’s behavior as an outsider, even while standing on it.

If God exists, wouldn’t it be completely obvious? If God is watching over us, wouldn’t he answer directly when questioned? Wouldn’t double-blind experiments prove that God answers prayers to heal the sick? Wouldn’t he simply display himself to everyone and end the argument all at once? Wouldn’t he intervene to stop a horrific crime? Or a terrible accident? The answers are similarly logical, yet counterintuitive. They require a certain detachment from your body and your emotions, an ability to think analytically, as an outsider.

Many people do not require this exercise, but do indeed have an intuitive knowledge of God’s presence. For others, these questions are haunting, and they cannot rid themselves of the sense that they inhabit a very small speck beneath an infinite nothingness. Still others relish this last conclusion, and feel free from an oppressive divine authority. I have no anticipation of persuading this type, but I do believe in miracles.

In this first series of seven posts, I will make several arguments that I find to be decisive in favor of God’s existence. First is an argument about base assumptions, then on the origin and complexity of life, then morality, then reason, and finally on the human perspective. All of the questions above will be addressed, most in the post about perspective. The last two more poignant ones I will answer in the epilogue, wherein I will address what most persuaded me to have faith, which is not a detached argument but an inductive conclusion based on a deep intuition.

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