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May
07

Does God Really Exist?

Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods.
-C.S. Lewis

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?

About the author

Danny

I am Danny Kohn, writer and designer for this site and owner, software engineer and consultant for Inspirations Software Design. My three greatest passions in life are sharing time with my family, software design and sharing inspiration with others. I have the incredible privilege of being able to spend a significant amount of time every day doing each of those three things. I am a single father of Tristen, our 6 year old son. It has been such an incredible joy to watch him grow up and learn so much. Everything he does and says overwhelms me with adoration. We have a wonderful evening ritual of reading books together in a beanbag chair. Nearly every night, we have a laughing attack together. I smile and giggle constantly in his presence and feel truly inspired.

Permanent link to this article: https://beinspiredeveryday.com/2008/05/07/does-god-really-exist/

6 comments

  1. Erik says:

    “The question of whether or not God exists may have significance beyond any other.”

    God’s existence IS trivial. Who really cares if you know God exists. What really matters is the question ‘what is God’. It is clear that there must be a cause, an anti-thesis to our consciousness. When Descartes wrote the ontological argument, it was correct (in so far as Descartes consciousness was uncaused and there must be a cause to it).

    Sartre writes that “consciousness can exist only as involved in this being which surrounds it on all sides and which paralyzes it with its phantom presence” but when he says this “being” he means something VERY different from God. In fact, the being he is talking about is contained in the self insofar as it is the Derridan deconstructive anti-thesis of consciousness. It is that which the division between existence and non-existence that is the contrapositive to existence.

    So, who cares if God exists – we already know that answer – I want to know what is he and what does his existence mean? If we cannot know these things, what good is knowledge of his existence?

  2. Danny says:

    @Erik – Thanks for your thoughtful and thought provoking comment.

    Yes, Decartes’ and Sartre’s arguments demonstrate that existence of our consciousness can be proven and that there is some force, being or cause to our consciousness, but whether that “cause or anti-thesis” fits into the generally accepted definition of the word “God” is questionable.

    When I use the word “God”, I am referring to an all powerful, creative, conscious, willful force. I think that this is generally what people refer to when using that word. Semantic arguments aside, I believe that the question of this force’s existence is quite significant.

  3. Tony, Shirley and Brick says:

    “no scientific method…has yet proven the existence of God.” Neither could I. In fact, I got convincing evidence in the opposite direction. Nevertheless, I think the question of God doesn’t really fall into the scientific realm. Jesus said “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” That is where the whole question really is answered. The neat thing about it is that it’s like a test that one could never fail. Each and every one of us has an answer, and each answer is right I am sure. At the very least, each one of us has the right to our own answer, whether it be right or wrong. It is sad that there are so many who would impose their answer onto others without regard for the rights of their fellow man(woman, whatever). For myself, the question is not nearly as important as it is for my to continue working to rid myself of all the petty prejudices that I somehow picked up. When I became aware that I was nurturing these things… Well, I’ll just say that it’s not easy to throw some things away.

    Faith, Paul said, is the evidence of things hoped for, the substance of things not seen. Not really my cup of tea. I’m actually too pragmatic for that type of thing. In my secret place, I like to thing that “dog” is spelled that way for a reason. Nah, I’m no Anubis freak, but I sure do have a great time with my dogs.

    I’ll be real interested in reading about how you justify the path of faith. I can think of a couple compelling arguments.

  4. Danny says:

    @Tony, Shirley and Brick, Thanks for sharing your personal insight.
    I’m very interested in hearing your compelling arguments regarding the path of faith. I am posting on that topic next Tuesday. I hope you are able to comment with your ideas.

  5. Wolf says:

    To be honest,I believe more in science than in faith.There are even no proofs that God existed…I believe Jesus was an ordinary man,a family guy.About creation part,it`s simply ridicilous…

  6. Matthew says:

    It seems like a lot of people confuse belief in God with practicing religion. They are often related, but you can do one without doing the other. You can believe in God without being religious and you can be religious without believing in God.

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