I’m curious what people consider as proof that there is a God, or if you even think proof is possible. Has anyone had what they would consider a miracle happen, seen an angel, seen a person healed by prayer, etc? I don’t believe because I have never seen any proof, so I am curious what others have seen or what they would even consider proof. My purpose is not to try and explain anything away, I’m actually just genuinely curious about other’s experiences and logic on this subject.
People with faith don’t consider anything at all. They just know. However, I’m sure there are times when we (those with faith) question God.
I myself have had spiritual experiences, and that’s all the proof I need. If I ever get into that frame of mind - the one where I question God’s existence - it almost immediately goes away because of what I’ve experienced.
But I think you might get a whole bunch of different answers, because everyone is different and God expresses Himself differently to each and every one of us. Some use reason, others purely faith, most I would assume a mixture of both.
It’s all in how you look at things, I guess. If you are agnostic and want to know how others think or use their reason in believing God exists, a good author is C.S. Lewis. Any of his books of short essays are good reads. I recommend those because he covers a great deal of material in them.
It is very possible that by using just reason you can believe in God. I’ve heard many converts say that’s what brought them to Christianity.
A theophany would go a long way for me. But if Mother Theresa never got one, I doubt I’m worthy of one…
What are the 3 strongest arguments for God’s existence you’ve come across?
Reality vs. worldview philosophy of materialism/ atheism
On the Origin of Life
when a person is open to God, He will make himself known. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. He has communicated with me. when i was unsure if it was my imagination or really God, He confirmed to me the same thing again a week later.
I have met fine atheists and agnostics who are more Christian in the way they live than many Christians but they lack the sense of peace and joy that faith brings. You may argue they are being realistic and not living in a fool’s paradise. But shouldn’t we judge a philosophy by its results?
We are fighting a losing battle if death casts a shadow over our lives because we believe it swallows up everything. We have a source of inspiration and hope if we believe death takes us into the presence of God. A belief that transforms people’s lives positively is hardly likely to be false - especially if it is also the best explanation of why we exist.
I think faith isn’t quite the same thing as proof. I had faith long before I had proof, and my proof is just God loving me and interacting in my life in powerful (to me) and distinct experiences.
I heard his voice once–well, heard/felt a voice within me. It’s very difficult to describe except that it was audible, and made me jump and look around for a second even though it was coming from within. It was during a time of heartfelt prayer that God asked me a question.
There have been other ways that God has made himself known to me, through answered prayers. They are personal moments that mean a lot to me, but others may not see the significance, especially one who doesn’t believe.
Hope that helps!
Care to elaborate on that?
I believe in God because he has proven is exsistance to me many times.
I’ll give you a an example.
When my sister was dying of cancer I was very worried about her 5 yr. old son.
I was so scared because she was a Christian and many pastors and belivers came to her home to pray for her. She found out she had cancer in Sept. and died 5 months later.
With so many positive Christians coming around claiming God’s ability to heal. And talking about the power of prayer and God’s way of answering prayer. I watched that little boy as he listened to all the talk of hope and healing.
One night I was literaly shaking in bed and praying for my nephew. I didn’t want him to grow up hating God because his mother was not getting better.
I don’t know if I went to sleep and dreamed this,or if I had a vision. But I saw a very bright light hovering over me. This light was brilliant and blinding,yet I could make out the figure of a man wearing a long flowing robe. He said," Don’t worry about your sister,she is with me . And don’t worry about her family,they will be fine. I will take care of everything."
I tell you,in the morning I woke up giddy with happiness. I can’t discribe it anymore plainly unfortunetly. But I got out of bed excited about what God had in store. I was excited about the future. Yes it was very sad to see my sister pass away and the funeral two days later.
Well,that was twenty years ago now. Her son had a wonderful life. He’s a respectable young man. The Lord God did take care of everything. My brother in-law remarried. The woman he married took very good care of my nephew. She wasn’t able to have children of her own. So the Lord answered her prayer for a child,when she met my brother in-law.
Here’s another experiance I had.
When 911 happened. The terror of it all overwhelmed me. I said,“Dear Holy Spirit”,and that feeling of helplessness and fear left me. And everytime I saw those scenes on Tv,I would repeat “Dear Holy Spirit” untill I would feel His comfort take control of me.
He is real. He talks to me through His Holy word. And I believe I saw him that night when he told me that my sister was with him.
reply to post #1:
I can’t imagine not believing in God.
I was raised to believe in God, and much later, I got to the subject of whether God exists. As Judeo-Christian faith indicates, we know God through revelation and through tradition.
Our tradition assures us of the intervention of God in history, a long time ago, now, and forever.
Things have happened in my life which I can attribute only to divine intervention. I have accomplished things that I know that I was not otherwise interested or capable of accomplishing.
It is only God, the Bible, all of revelation and tradition, in the Church, which convinces me that it is worth believing in. It is because of God that we know that there are things that are right, correct, good, etc. and that there are things that are incorrect, wrong, bad, etc.
I asked a priest once when I was in high school and he was teaching our senior class religion class. I asked him why he believes, and he said he didn’t know.
The existence of contingent beings points to the existence of a non-contingent being. Postulating that an infinite number of contingent beings does not need a non-contingent being to explain their existence is adding magical properties to the concept of infinity.
"It is because of God that we know that there are things that are right, correct, good, etc. and that there are things that are incorrect, wrong, bad, etc"
That statement sounds good but athiests know what’s right and wrong too.
I have known a few people who claim to be athiests. Yet they know that stealing is wrong, and all the other things that can get us in trouble. I asked one acqaintance how she stayed out of trouble without believing in God. She said it was just the way she was raised,to live life in a way that was law abiding and showing kindness to others. Her parents never talked of God,or any religious reason for being “good”. They’ve never been to a church except if invited to a wedding or funeral.
IT seems odd to me that a priest would say he didn’t know why he believed.
Or I guess we can just say that we are all different. The first disciples followed Jesus,with no questions. Saul aka Paul,had to be struck down and blinded by God himself,before he became a disciple.Some believe more easily then others.
I grew up believing. I never met anyone who didn’t believe in God or Jesus till I was a young adult.
God has responded to my prayers. His responses have given me a broader understanding of reality.
I have asked him to help me many times, and he has. I physically exist here on earth, only because he physically sent me here to the earth. Everyone should ask to be sent. When you arrive you know, where you have come from, who you are, and who sent you.
Most people only have vauge answers to these questions. People get lost in cults because they seek these kinds of answers.
Contemplate the meaning of love. With joy in your heart, ask Him to send you. It is just as simple as that.
Via Con Dios
The 13th century called – they want their metaphysical mumbles back.
Thankfully a lot of good values still remain but things are slowly being muddled to confuse people or make them think bad things are alright (abortion for one thing.) But that’s another subject altogether.
I think this sums up a response quite nicely: “If there is no God, everything is permissible.”
Without God we have no objective good, so we are left with moral relativism. In moral relativism, people decide what is good and bad to them but someone else can decide that what is bad for another is good for them, and we end up with everything being ultimately permissible. There’s a reason we know in our gut when something is wrong, though some get used to and ignore it completely at some point.
As for my own personal experience, I was away from truly being Catholic for a long time (there was doubt, a lot of misconceptions, a huge lack of knowledge and an overall lack of caring for my faith) and during a very hard time in my life I knew and felt He was helping me get through things that may have otherwise ended up tragically. Since then I started trying to get further into my faith on and off until I started listening to shows like Catholic Answers Live that fed my intellect and gave me real and logical explanations about the Church and what I was supposed to know and believe as a Catholic. It all started clicking, making sense, and from then on I’ve been on a road to getting to know Him better. While perhaps not as interesting as actual visions, apparitions, or voices, when I honestly look deep down and just open up my heart I know He’s here.
I’ll be praying for you, Pele that you may also recognize Him in your life.
@geometer: I think you mean “Vaya con Dios”.
IT may justly appear surprising that any man in so late an age, should find it requisite to prove, by elaborate reasoning, that Personal Merit consists altogether in the possession of mental qualities, USEFUL or AGREEABLE to the PERSON HIMSELF or to OTHERS. It might be expected that this principle would have occurred even to the first rude, unpractised enquirers concerning morals, and been received from its own evidence, without any argument or disputation. Whatever is valuable in any kind, so naturally classes itself under the division of USEFUL or AGREEABLE, the UTILE or the DULCE, that it is not easy to imagine why we should ever seek further, or consider the question as a matter of nice research or inquiry.
– David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.
The short version – what you describe is not a problem.
If by choice, or some quirk of fate or biology, a person lacks the moral sense to find mass murder reprehensible and commits it, myself and many, many other people will have the moral sense to capture and punish that person. An “objective” measure of good is not necessary to maintain a civil society.
And with God, I could end up strapping bombs to myself and blowing up a crowded bus.
Without God we have no objective good, so we are left with moral relativism.
Not believing in a god doesn’t mean I have to be a relativist. I have met many atheists and agnostics, and only one has ever been anything resembling relativist. That’s really an unfair caricature of nontheists.
The assumption, of course, is that without some outside being making up the rules of morality, there can be no ethical or moral standards. On the contrary, we can have morality without divine command. For example, I could say that moral behavior is that which increases happiness and reduces suffering. In this case, I am certainly not free to do whatever I want… not everything is permissible.
God is beyond proof. There may be (what some people consider) evidence but there is no proof; there is only faith.
For myself, I had been looking for something for years. I had always envied my Christian friends and associates for their faith and for the peace it gave them. Then I had an experience where (I belive) God whacked me up side the head (metaphorically) to get my attention. I started doing a lot of study and thinking. Mere Christianity and God In the Dock by CS Lewis where just two of the books I read but they were special. God spoke to me.
Proof? not hardly. But I do have reasons. Others told me and I did not believe; you must be open to God. This is your choice, free will. If you are open to Him, Ask and he WILL answer. How will you recognize it? He will get your undivided attention and you will KNOW. This will be knowledge beyond proof however and you will no more be able to explain it than I am.
Actually, his post was one of the most insightful I’ve seen here.
You cannot just write of metaphysics as mumbling.
The principles of metaphysics are the bedrock of science as well. Mr Hume if you want to call something a mumble perhaps you can take apart the various foundational principles of metaphysics.
- Principle of Identity
- Principle of Excluded Middle - if you are smart you might invoke Quantum Mechanics. If you are even smarter than that you won’t use Quantum Mechanics to disagree with this.
- Principle of Non contradiction
- Principle of Sufficient reason
- Principle of Causality.
For your benefit, the principles that you must attack are 4 and 5. Once you accept those there is no way out of a number of ways of proving Gods Existence.