Proving God is Real

Perhaps this is true. But most skeptics, likely the ones who are high school age as displayed by the poster, are not going to bring to the discussion the deeper philosophical issues that come up when discussing the proofs of God’s existence. Indeed, one can easily find summaries of various proofs that can be quite edifying for one’s own faith and at the same time justify that faith to others. Not saying this justification will be sufficient to convert others from being a skeptic, but neither will the arguments be sufficient for such after some years of studying.

CS Lewis, in Mere Christianity, has very good arguments for God’s existence. Fr Knox, in his Belief of Catholics, goes through Aquinas’s proofs in a good, short manner that should be adequate for the OP’s purposes.

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I recall a Protestant Critique re: Aquinas’ Summa (which presents proof of God’s Existence).

“As If God has nothing more to do than simply Exist” – and it made an impression…

Focussing upon Getting to Know Jesus - such as directly from the NT - goes further with me…

_

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As a non-believer I’ll confirm this. I don’t get into debates or discussions in real life often, and I never initiate them, but I’ll certainly appreciate when I see someone has given a good deal of thought to the subject and isn’t just reciting bible passages or repeating things they’ve been taught to say. There are certainly believers that do mostly just take what they’re taught at face value and never think deeper on it, but there’s non-believers who do the same. I can’t imagine much productive conversation happening there, but if someone has thought about the topics and underlying ideas, even if no one is ‘moved’ by the conversation it’s at least meaningful.

Mutual respect is also important, non-believers are also accused of things like “just wanting to sin” or likewise not having thought about the issue. For the subset of non-believers who started within a faith I’ll say I’m not sure I’ve known a group of people who think about these things more.

The other important thing I feel for both sides is to avoid misrepresenting the other sides argument. Trying to understand the other side is good, straw-manning is bad. If someone says something like, “Catholics worship Mary more than Jesus”, you’re not going to listen to much more of what they say, even if they have a valid point or two it’s lost because they clearly have misconceptions about Catholicism. Likewise if you tell a nonbeliever “in your heart you know there’s a God, you just want to be able to do bad things without consequences”, you’ve lost them.

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The story of Our Lady of Fatima and the details of what happened in 1917 is something very concrete that you can present. The date and time was given in advance, there were thousands of people present to witness the dancing of the sun. The resulting WW2 soon after helps to impact the importance of what was said at Fatima to the children.

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You may not convince anyone with your arguments. Try to think of yourself planting seeds that need time to put down roots. You may not see the green sprout but trust someone will be there to water it down the road.

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I wrote this in another thread: Need tips for a debate with wife

I think this article demonstrates better what I’m trying to say in my first 2 points: https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/can-gods-existence-be-proved

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Greetings my young friend. When you get to be my age, 62, you’ll have the right answers but won’t think of them until later. :grin:

I think the answers you’ve received thus far cover the topic well and I have only two thoughts to add. First, as far as the existence and resurrection of Jesus go, clearly something astonishing had to have happened in the first century to have kick-started this whole Christian thing. People willingly died to defend what they believed they had witnessed and experienced. Granted, people of other faiths have also died en-masse in defense of belief, but this in no way negates the early Christian experience.

Secondly, your foundational question regarding the existence of God is one of my favorite topics. I have found, in my years of pursuing all avenues of Christian thought, that the greatest weakness in arguing for the existence of God comes down to definition. If we choose to define God as a being especially one with a definable place of residence, we are easily defeated by well informed detractors. It tends to back us up until we have no further retreat and can only state that we believe and that’s the end of it. But we will have done nothing to either give pause to the opponent or reinforce our own reasons for said belief.

When I think of God, and it has taken me many years to retrain the default images I was given as a child, I no longer picture a wise and powerful Santa Clause-like man sitting on a throne “somewhere up there”. Rather I try to imagine the massive energy that powers the universe, that supports all known life, and which permeates all of existence. This energy, looking at it in a very basic way, is to my mind, conscious, aware, and involved. It’s what we, through the ages, have called God but is not in any way related to most of our preconceptions of God.

Bishop Robert Barron quotes Augustine saying, “If you can understand God, then that is not God”. It’s simply beyond the scope of our human mind to comprehend so it seems to me we are not expected to convince others of God’s existence. God just IS. There’s really nothing more I can add. Blessings to you. :slight_smile:

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Nature itself is proof that God exists. Think about the mountains and the trees and flowers. Think about butterflies and bears and horses and cows and platypuses. Think about the way the human body works. Such an incredible design could only have come from an all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God. Think about it this way. Imagine you are walking along the beach and you come across a big, beautiful, sandcastle. Sandcastles don’t just build themselves. You’de wonder “who made that?” In the same way, someone had to create the trees, flowers, humans, mountains, oceans, fish, etc… If that isn’t enough for you, we just have to trust that he exists. That’s why he doesn’t just show himself to people - he wants to see who trusts him and who doesn’t. Also, many miracles have been attributed to Jesus. Think about the time he raised Lazarus from the dead or the time he healed ten lepers, I hope this helps!!! God bless!!! :hearts:

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The way the human eye works, how the brain interprets that information, to give us sight is a remarkable feat of design, with the minimal amount of working parts.
Then think of all the different eyeball designs that exist in the world. Incredible.

Don’t even get me started on the liver. lol

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Well said!!! And so very true!!! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Yep . All of Creation offers the necessary evidences to lead an honest and open person to God…

Yes, slow are some who are unaware of God, and who, from [good] things seen, have not been able to discover Him-who-is, or, by studying the works, have not recognised the Artificer.

Fire, however, or wind, or the swift air, the sphere of the stars, impetuous water, heaven’s lamps, are what they have held to be the gods who govern the world.

If, charmed by their beauty, they have taken these for gods, let them know how much the Master of these excels them, since he was the very source of beauty that created them.

And if they have been impressed by their power and energy, let them deduce from these how much mightier is he that has formed them,

since through the grandeur and beauty of the creatures we may, by analogy, contemplate their Author.

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I don’t want to take away from the beautiful sentiments, but these are good examples that aren’t going to be effective with people who don’t already believe. They aren’t going to start with the same assumption that the world we see had to be designed unless you can back up that assertion, which is going to require a much deeper knowledge of a lot of subjects. You’ll also be called out for cherry picking the ‘nice’ things to think about. If we think about flesh eating bacteria and cancer and parasites that prefer to eat the eyes of their hosts and poison ivy and other such unpleasant things one might be left with a different impression of the world.

Again not trying to argue with you just trying to help OP be prepared for what they’re likely to encounter.

Again addressing OP, avoid accusing your friends and schoolmates of being dishonest and closed minded as the nature of your argument.

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That’s from Scriptures (WISDOM CHAPTER 13)
and I tried to tone it down as much as possible
so as to avoid that sort of response which
undermines the POINT that Evidences of God’s Existence do indeed exist.

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Imo, all we have to do is look around…

Like one priest on EWTN said, people are always looking for miracles, not realizing that we ARE the miracle. Each unique with the individual talents He’s blessed us with.

Amen. :heartbeat::latin_cross::dove:

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Personally I’d suggest that you don’t try to engage them at present. You don’t need to defend your position. As to how to learn, I think it’s helpful to ponder God, ponder the bible verses you read and hear, as well as the homilies, look for ways to love your neighbour in practice to recognise the why, read the topics that interest you on here to see how they have well reasoned answers and consider these questions and answers yourself more fully. I think that learning is a lifelong journey, it’s not about reading this book or that book necessarily, although I’d recommend watching the Fulton Sheen and Fr Mike vids on Youtube :wink:

Rather than proofs I’d focus on faith and reasons… after all that’s what our faith is based on. Take a look at the witness statements. I’d look at Who was promised and Who came, and look at the beauty of what he’s teaching us. Making sense of your own faith is important, but not so you can prove anything to others… there will always be scoffers and that’s just how life is.

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Exactly - those who demand signs … have thusly blocked the path to FAITH

FAITH is the Key which Opens the Door to God

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