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Does God exist?

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Introduction

At this point in my life, I think of God as the tenth planet in our solar system. You know, that tiny, dark rock floating out beyond Pluto. It's so small, so non-reflective, and orbits the sun at such a large radius that no one has been able to observe it. But for some reason, everybody believes it's there. Personally, I do not believe in such a tenth planet, because I've never seen it. However, I do not actively disbelieve in the tenth planet either. I cannot prove it does not exist. Perhaps I will observe it tomorrow. But as for today, all I can say with certainty is that I do not know if it exists. When I ask other people why they believe in God, they almost always tell me one of four things, a compelling personal experience, the evidence of the Bible, some type of logical argument, or personal contact. The first way people justify God is a compelling personal experience. Sometimes, they tell me about their cousin Nathan who died in a car accident four years ago, who HAS gone on to a better place. ...read more.

Middle

The Old Testament must be interpreted in the context of the times when it was written, the Bible is the work of fallible men trying to comprehend the infallible word of God, etc. I concede superior knowledge of the Bible to you in advance. Nevertheless, it does not prove God exists. All the Bible really proves is at some point in history, people believed God exists, and they wrote about it. Honestly, how much can words on a piece of paper prove? The third way people justify God is some type of quasi-logical reasoning. The most common example is because the world exists, or because human beings exist, God must exist. Where else could all this have come from? A random, spontaneous quantum-mechanical event. A source beyond human comprehension. A unicorn's rear end for all I know. The point is the mere existence of the universe does not imply a conscious, super-human entity, especially not one with the specific characteristics imbued in Him by various religions. Perhaps God is cruel and sadistic, creating humans just to watch them suffer. Perhaps not. But I cannot determine this simply by staring up at the night sky. ...read more.

Conclusion

The assumption that our lives are part of a master plan imbues them with new meaning, and the assurance of life after death is a comforting thought from which we can draw strength. In addition, if I believe I am a professional athlete, I will be very confident. I will also be crazy. The mere fact that I want something to be true (or the conviction that it SHOULD be true) does not make it true, no matter how easily or thoroughly I fool myself. And then there are those who claim direct evidence of God, saying He has spoken to them, or even appeared in the flesh. Believe it or not, these are the people I respect the most. I will not accuse such a person of lying any more than I would accuse any person of lying; in the absence of any evidence refuting their claim I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Direct contact is the best reason I can think of to believe in God. If He appeared before me, I would certainly believe in Him. Unfortunately, I have not had the pleasure of such an experience as of today, and I cannot be sure those that claim to are telling the truth. Perhaps He will reveal Himself to me tomorrow. ...read more.

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