It’s an age-old question, “Do you believe in God?” Do you have faith that a Creator, Supreme Being or Intelligent Designer (insert title of choice) really exists? Are you utterly convinced that there is no such entity at all? Or are you yet to be convinced one way or another? Those who believe in an all-powerful being do so with complete conviction and faith that we are watched over and guided by a God while those in the opposite camp view this as an entirely fanciful idea. Some of us remain endlessly curious, yet to be persuaded one way or the other, open-minded, heuristic, questioning everything but convinced of nothing. Is there any proof one way or the other? Is it true that a God exists or is it mere coincidence that many people (even societies) have independently arrived at that conclusion?
There is an argument called Argument from Desire that claims The fact that so many societies have independently come to religious belief requires an explanation. Is this just a coincidence? Or is religious belief a natural psychological defence-mechanism against the difficulties that life inevitably throws at us? Or is there some truth that this widespread instinct to look beyond the physical world leads us towards?
That so many societies believe in such a being is not, of itself, sufficient proof that it exists, neither does it make the argument in favour any more plausible. Many children, for example, believe in one version or other of a Santa Claus but we know, in that case, that belief is not proof of existence; if it were, then Santa would be a reality not a happy childhood myth.
If believing does not make reality, it follows that lack of belief is no proof that a God does not exist. This has all been argued by philosophers and great minds down the years; all highly plausible arguments that are still no closer to resolution. The believers and the non-believers remain divided, both sides convinced that they have the truth of the matter. But what convinced them?
At some point in the life of every believer or non-believer, something must have happened to persuade them that they were right … or is their point of view simply that of their parents and they have never thought to question it? Well I have a question. It is addressed to people who firmly believe one way or the other, that there is, or isn’t a God. What happened in your life that persuaded you to your current point of view? If you are a believer, what has actually convinced you that the God you believe in is not simply the subject of myth, legend, fable … call it what you will? What proved it for you … beyond any doubt? What was the evidence that finally convinced you of the reality? Those of you who do not believe, what was it that convinced you that such a thing as a God could not possibly exist? Why do you see such an entity as being possible only in fairy tales? Why do you NOT believe?
Why do you believe there is a god, why do you believe there is not? Is there anything you could say to another person that would actually persuade them to believe that you are right?
What would you say to me that would convince me that your belief is correct, and what evidence can you show me to support your position?.