Atheism, the belief that there is no God, may be on the rise, but most people still hold to theism, the belief in a Creator or Higher Power (see this Pew Research study). Christians maintain that belief in the existence of God is not just some fanciful hope, but it is grounded in strong evidence. Belief in the existence of God makes good rational sense. In fact, Romans 1:18-23 teaches that while some people suppress their knowledge of God, his existence is plain to us all. But for those atheists who are unconvinced, and for those theists who struggle with doubt, consider these arguments or reasons for the existence of God:
- Causality in the Universe: This is traditionally called the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God (from the Greek word “cosmos” meaning “world”). Every known thing in the universe has a beginning and that beginning was caused by something. The universe itself had a beginning, and therefore must have a cause. A Supreme Being outside the physical universe is the most reasonable cause.
- Design in the Universe: This line of thinking is traditionally called the Teleological Argument (from the Greek word “telos” meaning “purpose”). The universe displays the attributes of harmony, order, and design both on the cosmic level and the molecular level. Since the universe displays the attributes of intelligent design (not randomness), it is rational to believe that it was designed for a purpose by an Intelligent Designer. (You wouldn’t find a watch lying in the forest and assume it was popped-up by accident – there must be a watchmaker.)
- The Anthropic Principle: This principle builds on the teleological argument. Not only does the universe display the qualities of design, but that design is specifically catered to support human life. Scientists can identify over 150 finely-tuned characteristics of our universe that are necessary for human life (i.e. Earth’s rotation and distance from the sun, the gravitational force, etc.). There is a statistically 0% chance that this fine-tuning happened randomly, therefore it is rational to believe that an Intelligent Designer purposefully created the world for humans. (Read more on the Anthropic Principle here.)
- Universal Morality: Often called the Moral Argument, the reasoning goes that all humans experience an innate sense of right and wrong (i.e. lying, stealing, child abuse, rape, etc.). This universal sense of morality can not be adequately explained as the pursuit of self-interest or social conditioning. The best explanation for this universal morality is a Moral Law Giver, outside humanity, who is the source of right and wrong.
- Transcendental Entities: These nonphysical entities – such as laws of logic, science, or morality – are abstract, universal, and invariant and couldn’t exist in a purely material world of chance. If one consistently upholds an atheistic worldview, there is no explanation for the existence of transcendental entities. These transcendental entities can only be explained as being derived from a God who is the Supreme Transcendental Entity.
- The Uniformity of Nature: Using the inductive principle, we can rationally determine future results based upon previous observation of the world (i.e. if you drop a book it will fall to the ground). Inductive reasoning, that the future will be like the past, is based on the uniformity of nature. There are laws of nature which are constant and strictly adhere to particular patterns. Without an Intelligent God guiding the universe, nature would not be uniform and the inductive principle would not hold. If there were no God, nature would be a random collection of events without any predictive patterns.
- The Reality of Human Evil: Throughout history, humans have committed harmful, wrong, and evil acts toward themselves, others, and the world. The reality of these actions cannot be fully accounted for in an atheistic worldview. Atheism and atheistic evolution cannot adequately explain why an intelligent species would deliberately injure and mistreat themselves, others, and the world despite the negative consequences. Such evil in humanity is best explained as the destructive effects of rebellion against a good and personal God.
- The Experience of Guilt & Forgiveness: Humans experience guilt for thoughts, words, and deeds. This guilt cannot be adequately explained as the result of social or psychological factors. This guilt is best understood as resulting from our broken relationship with and internal rebellion against God. Additionally, the faith-led experience of personal forgiveness further confirms a good and personal God who provides freedom from guilt.
- Personal Experience: People across the world claim to have had a personal encounter with God through inner peace, comfort in tragedy, supernatural manifestations, awe with nature, inspiration through worship, etc. These experiences not only confirm God’s existence for that person; but, taken as a whole, these experiences add validity to the existence of, at the very least, a Supernatural Being. Furthermore, an individual’s personal testimony can be a valid argument for the existence of God if it is someone you personally trust and respect (i.e. you will likely believe a trusted friend’s experience rather than assume she is making it up or being deceived).
- The Impossibility of the Contrary: This is the reasoning that lies behind many of the arguments for the existence of God. It states that the theistic position must be correct because a contrary position leaves much human experience and many physical realities unexplainable. A universe without God would render the current state of affairs impossible.
So, which of these reasons is most meaningful to you? Why do you believe in God? Comment below!
While belief in God makes good, rational sense, we still need the Holy Spirit to empower and sustain our faith. And of course, while these reasons might lead us to believe in a “Supreme Being” generally, this alone will never lead us to salvation. True meaning, true salvation, true life can only come through faith in the Jesus of the Bible, the one true Savior of the World.