Thursday, September 22, 2011

Faith Vs. Proof


I'm having a friendly debate (on Facebook) with an atheist friend, whom I admire and respect a lot, but whom I am convinced doesn't really "get" faith. His basic challenge, in a nutshell, is that the burden of proof lies on "religion" to "prove" the existence of God (using the scientific method).

My defense is twofold: 1) You can't use the scientific method to "prove" historical questions. You can really only "postulate" that an historic personage (like Julius Caesar) existed, based on the preponderance of documents produced by trustworthy people claiming to be eyewitnesses. And the preponderance of those eyewitnesses to the existence of God (i.e., the Bible) is significantly greater than it is for someone like Julius Caesar. (And yet, strangely enough, I've never heard anyone challenge the existence of Julius Caesar.)

2) God does "prove" Himself, daily, to millions, through a) the evidence of intelligent design in creation, requiring a creator; and b) the personal experience of people who trust in Him.

This led to a discussion of the value of researching the correlation between people who say they trust in God, and people who say God has proven Himself to them.

My hypothesis is that if you trust in God, then He will prove Himself to you. And that if you don't trust in God, He won't. (This is a very clear biblical claim which I believe makes a lot of sense if you understand the nature of free will and faith. At any rate, it's evidently how God has chosen to roll.)

I'm not sure I can ever "prove" this hypothesis to my friend's satisfaction, but nevertheless I would like to conduct a poll. Here it is:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Please check back next week on this blog for the results!

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