The question of whether or not God exists may have significance beyond any other. It affects the roots of our priority system. It molds our perception of the meaning of life. And, it changes the way we feel about the experience of death.
But, no scientific method, whether philosophical or physical, has yet proven the existence of God. Conversely, no scientific method has yet proven the lack of God’s existence. It’s not likely that it will ever be the case that any one of us in this life will have solid, intellectual knowledge one way or the other.
How Do I Know God Exists?
As a skeptic and one who favors intellectual proof, the lack of solid evidence of God’s existence presents a challenge for me. The fact is, in the intellectual sense, I don’t know that God exists. Knowledge of God’s presence in my life is merely supported by personal experiences, feelings and evidence in the form of events I might otherwise think of as coincidences or luck.
I see the effects of prayer and meditation in the world around me. I feel God’s presence when I meditate or when I practice kindness toward another person. These things build faith in me without building solid intellectual knowledge. In each case, my faith builds as a result of my actions.
How can we live with intention and inspiration without concrete knowledge of God’s existence?
Knowledge or belief of God’s presence wavers for most of us. Such is the nature of faith. Even the most spiritual people on Earth experience doubt.
Faith is not based on knowledge, so it is not something we can just learn about and have. It is something we exercise and practice. It is an investment in our spiritual well-being and requires some commitment. The challenge, then, is making an investment in something in which we have little faith in order to build faith.
Believe to Know
In order to know that God exists, we must first believe. Those who believe see the world differently than those who do not. They see evidence where others see nothing.
Because of this apparent catch 22, building faith takes time. For most of us, it doesn’t start with great leaps of faith. It starts slowly with small commitments and little hops of faith. As our faith grows, we begin to make larger commitments and leaps.
Why Practice Faith?
If building faith seems like a lot of work and you’re not sure it makes sense to work so hard to put faith in something you can not prove, you may want to read my upcoming post: Why Practice Faith?