Proof of the Christian God

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To my atheist readers, let me begin by saying you cannot prove that something doesn’t exist, let alone a supernatural being.

However, proving that you cannot prove something doesn’t exist is not the same as proving that it does exist.

In order to prove that God exists, we must first describe what God is.

Here’s a thought experiment to describe how this would work. Suppose you wanted me to prove that water exists. I would first detail the characteristics of water:

  • It makes things wet.
  • When pure, it is a clear liquid at room temperature. It is a solid below 32° F. It is a gas above 212° F. (All at standard pressure, of course.)
  • It is composed of two parts hydrogen gas and one part oxygen gas.

Each of these are different ways of proving the same thing. Some are more objective than others. For instance, “wet” is hardly a scientific term. It could probably mean “covered with water”, which would be circular. The other two are based on thermodynamics (from physics) and chemistry.

Given the above description, I can come up with a very large number of experiments to prove that water exists. When I demonstrate these experiments, you would have to conclude that water does exist, or that I am very good at tricking you.

So to prove that God exists, let’s examine some important characteristics of God.

  • He is supernatural, beyond the laws of nature and logic.
  • He is the same sort of being as man, but He is the man above all other men.
  • He created the universe and the world. The universe and world are ordered according to logic because He made it so and he likes logic.
  • He is the source of good and evil. God is good, everything else is evil. He gave us free will, the ability to make moral decisions for ourselves.
  • He gave us the Savior, Jesus Christ, who died and was resurrected and atoned for our sins.

Proof by Comparison

It’s rather simple to prove that such a being as the infinite man must exist. If you can compare two men and say one is better than the other, then there must be some man who is better than them all. This is God.

This is the simplest proof of all.

We can apply this to other realms beyond mankind. Is there a “god” cow? Yes, there is. Is there a “god” number? Yes, and it is infinity. Should we worship these things? They don’t promise anything, so no, don’t waste your time.

Now, Anselm takes this line of reasoning to prove that God exists, since men that exist are better than men that are mere fantasy.

We can go through every measurable attribute of man and figure out what is “better” and what is “worse”. For instance, is it better to be mortal or immortal? Is it better to be intelligent or mentally retarded? Is it better to know more languages or fewer languages? Is it better to be logical or random?

Proof by Pattern

There is another sort of proof. When you see a cow, you are really looking at something that is entirely distinct from all other cows. Why do you call it a cow? Because you have, in your mind, a template, a pattern. The creature you are looking at fits that pattern well enough, and so you call it a cow. Now, someone who is familiar with cows but never saw a buffalo nor conceived of a buffalo, will see a buffalo and say, “That is one weird cow!” That’s because it deviates quite a bit from the “cow” pattern.

Man also has a pattern. What is it that makes a man “man”? The pattern is, itself, God. Such a pattern exists, and even materialists who deny the reality of the supernatural realm must admit, that it exists at least as a concept in our mind. This pattern contains all the information on what a man can be, what a man should be.

Just like we can find a lot about what a “cow” pattern is by looking at lots of cows and finding their similarities and differences, so too, by looking at humanity, we can learn a great deal about God.

Proof by Cause

This one is more esoteric but it is important.

When we describe things in the universe, we see that everything has a beginning. And at that beginning, things did not spontaneously pop into existence, they were brought about by other things. If we are persistent, we can go all the way back in time and find cause after cause after cause.

Now, those of you who don’t like infinity (probably because you haven’t understood calculus) will look for the First Cause, the one thing that gave cause to everything else. This First Cause is God.

Those of you who do appreciate calculus will say, “So what? It’s an infinite series.” Well, where did the infinite series come from? That is God.

In other words, God is the “causeless cause”. God didn’t exist from something else. God has always existed and surpasses the entire causal relationship of things.

Note that atheist physicists struggle with this. What caused the universe? The Big Bang. What caused the Big Bang? Well, we don’t know, but we do know it must be supernatural in origin, since nature cannot explain itself here. If there was a Big Bang (and I am one of the few who doesn’t think there was), then God was behind it. In fact, many Christians cite the Big Bang and the perfect proof of God, since only God could’ve done something like that. (I think the universe is infinite, but whatever.)

Proof by Nature

Let’s leave the realm of logic, at least slightly, and look at the world around us. Why does the world and the universe conform with the rules of logic and math? This is the greatest mystery of all. There is no logical explanation for why the universe should be logical, except that it was made so. Whatever or whoever created the universe, it made a decision that it should be logical and so it was. This is the only logical explanation. There can be no logical explanation for it otherwise.

Logic itself doesn’t exist without assumptions. Logic is an assumption, in the end. If we start with no assumptions at all, then there are no logical manipulations we can apply to form new statements.

The universe itself is a careful arrangement of fundamental constants. The slightest variation of these constants and the universe could not exist at all. Why is the universe this particular combination of constants? The only logical explanation is that it was made that way.

Some physicists try to argue the following:

  1. There are a very large if not infinite number of universes with random combinations of fundamental constants.
  2. The only universe that supports life is this one.
  3. The only universe that will ever be observed is this one.
  4. Therefore, this universe has the precise combination of fundamental constants to support life, especially life that can observe and reason about the universe.

This is a rough summation of what is commonly called the “Anthropic Principle”.

This line of thinking is not only absurd, it leads to bad science.

First, let me demonstrate why it is absurd.

  • We have never observed another universe.
  • If they did exist, this doesn’t explain where the universes, including this one, came from.
  • Whether or not we are here to observe the universe, it still exists, just like the other universes would exist.

Until we have some evidence of other universes, it is complete fantasy to consider the idea that they exist.

The idea that something doesn’t exist until it is observed is ridiculous. Did the planets orbiting distant stars exist before we saw them?

Now, let me demonstrate why this leads to bad science.

Suppose I roll a dice, and it turns up a 6. I can say, “Well, this dice always rolls a 6!” or I can say, “Sometimes it rolls a 6, but sometimes it can roll other numbers.” Which is correct? The Anthropic Principle is trying to make some sort of determination about the nature of the dice with only a single roll. Worst of all, if my theory was “The dice only rolls a 6 one time out of a trillion” then I can use the Anthropic Principle to say I just got really lucky. Of course, if the fundamental constants were set randomly, there is no range to what values they could’ve taken, but there are a finite (at least 1) combination that is our universe. In essence, our universe, if there are random universes out there, has a 0% probability of existing.

Good science says to roll the dice again. If you can’t roll the dice again, then the best assumption is that the dice always rolls that number.

This line of thinking continues and explains everything we see around us. After all, when we look at nature, we see evidence upon evidence that things were not the products of random chance. Mathematically speaking, evolution is not only highly improbable, but impossible. The naive person, looking at the diversity of life on the planet, is left to conclude that someone put it here. The scientist, understanding some of the most intricate details, also concludes that it was not chance or happenstance, but that there is obviously evidence that some super-intelligent being designed everything around us.

There is really no other plausible explanation for everything.

The Problem of Free Will

Philosophers have struggled with the problem of free will, morality, good and evil, and such for all time, and they still struggle today.

The simple fact of the matter is that either we are free or we are not.

I choose to believe that we are free.

In order to be free, you must have some capacity to choose for yourself and you must have some capacity to see the consequences of your choices before you make them.

If we are able to choose, then we are not robots, programmed and destined by the giant machine that is the universe. No, something must allow us to override nature and let us insert ourselves into the equation, and it must be supernatural in origin. Physics stops where free will enters into the equation. We can only explain the natural behavior of things once free will and acts of God are eliminated.

In that sense, every tiny decision you make is really a miracle, no different than when Jesus turned the water into wine or cured the lepers. Nature was going to resolve itself one way, but you asserted yourself and interfered.

If we were to interfere without the ability to see the consequences of our actions, then what is the point? Did you really make a choice or are you just adding more randomness to the universe?

Being able to see the consequences of our actions means we need to understand, at least a little bit, about what is going on around us, and understand, at least a little bit, about what our actions will accomplish.

If we are to have moral agency, the ability to choose between good and evil, then that means that good and evil must exist and that we can determine whether something we do is good or evil.

Is morality relative? That is, can we each choose for ourselves what is good and what is evil? Of course not. Moral relativity is no morality at all. There must be a universal morality that is objective and available to all.

Is there some way to calculate good and evil through some examination of the intrinsic qualities of the action? If there is, we have not found it yet. All attempts have failed. This is one of the problems of morality: It surpasses the natural world as far as we know.

If there is a universal morality, and it isn’t intrinsic to the universe around us, then it can only exist in the supernatural realm, the realm of thoughts and logic and numbers and fantasy. Someone must set the rules for morality, and it can’t be us. Therefore, it must be God. Either God defined good, or God defines good. Meaning, if God didn’t write the rules of what is good and evil, it doesn’t matter: He always does good. If God did write the rules for good and evil, then whatever he does is good by definition.

Now, if we have moral agency, and I believe we do, then somehow God has to tell us what is good and what is evil. This requires revelation. It requires a sort of communication. You cannot truly understand what is good and what is evil without first consulting with God. If you cannot consult with God, and He cannot communicate with you, then you are not free to choose between good and evil because you do not know what good and evil is.

Thus, if you believe in moral agency, then you must also believe that God communicates with mankind.

Historical Proof

This brings us to the next point. Having determined that if God exists, if good and evil are real, and God is the author or ultimate practitioner of good, then He must tell us. And what proof do we have that He has talked and does talk to people? We have history.

History is what was written down. If someone wrote down, “Today, I went to the store” then it is a matter of history.

But we don’t believe everything everyone wrote. Oftentimes, historical records disagree with each other.

Our first test is, was the author trying to record what actually happened? For instance, we don’t believe Odysseus to be history because we know it was a story. Now, some of the things in Odysseus could be historical. For instance, in the various adaptations of the history of the 300 Spartans, the creators of those works have adapted some things from history. But largely, we can ignore works of fiction.

Our second test is, do we believe the author? Suppose we found a record from the 1200s that was written by a monk who says he was writing history. In it, he recorded the visit of the magician Merlin, who could teleport through time and space and perform all sorts of miracles. Obviously, we wouldn’t believe he was being serious. On the other hand, let’s suppose he recorded the various mundane acts of a king who lived right before his time. We’d be much more likely to believe that account, even though he may embellish some things or even contradict himself in some places.

The test for believability is not how fantastic the claim was. It is how many witnesses do we have and how fantastic the claim was.

If we have 500 authors recorded the acts of Merlin, and they all agreed, and they were from similar times, then we would have to admit that Merlin was real even though it is unbelievable.

Here’s the ultimate historical proof: Jesus Christ was resurrected.

This fact isn’t the idle words of a few people. We have books upon books written on this very topic. In one book (Luke), the author claims to have gone to extraordinary lengths to validate the claims. In another, we have the records of Paul who thoroughly examined each of the claims of Jesus (he himself not being an eye-witness to the events). Paul regularly questioned the specific actions and words so that when he communicated it, he would be as accurate as possible.

The New Testament is full of proof upon proof.

You know what did it for me? I asked my Jewish friend, “Was Jesus made up?” Remember, he comes from a tradition that dates back to that time and rejected Jesus. All he had to say was, “Yes, Jesus was totally fake.” But he didn’t say that, because he knew it wasn’t true. Instead, he said something like, “Jesus went into the temple and read the name of God when he wasn’t supposed to, and so he was a sort of magician.” Was Jesus resurrected? “Yes.”

The Jews at the time couldn’t lie about what happened because so many people watched the events unfold with their very eyes. Not only was Jesus resurrected, but thousand upon thousands of others were, and they went to visit the people. No Jew can deny the events that were described in the New Testament today anymore than they could at the time.

Some people try to justify the claims of Jesus and his resurrection by saying that equally strange things have happened in other cultures at other times. Regardless, none of those are as well attested-to as Jesus’ resurrection. I feel comfortable calling the other stories fantasy but I cannot, in good faith, deny the historical fact of Jesus’ resurrection.

Jesus Atoned for Us

The final proof is the only proof we really need.

Suppose I offered you a magic box. “If you flip the switch on this box,” I tell you, “all your worry and regret and doubt and sorrow will go away, and it will be replaced with joy and happiness you cannot possibly understand now.”

How do I know? I have done it for myself, and it actually works.

Would you flip the switch?

In Moses’ time, God sent venomous snakes to Israel and many people were bitten and suffering and dying. God told Moses to make a snake out of brass and put it up on a pole so everyone could see it. All they had to do was look at the brass snake, and they would be instantly healed. You would imagine that everyone would look at the snake, but surprisingly, many did not. They died. Are you that sort of person that would pass up that sort of chance?

Well, let me show you this magic box, the brass serpent. I’ve done it, it absolutely works, and I know it will work for you.

Read the Bible, especially the New Testament. Read about the things Jesus did, how he healed the sick and raised the dead. Read about what he taught. Ponder on what it all means, what Jesus really thinks about people who are broken

Find a quiet place, go there by yourself, and kneel down. Open your mouth and pray to God in the name of Jesus. Ask for forgiveness of your sins. Promise to live according to the inspiration he gives you.

If you do this sincerely, meaning, you actually will do what God tells you in your heart to do from then on, then I guarantee you that you will feel the weight of all the sins you have ever done in your life wash away. Worry and fear will be replaced with happiness and faith. It may happen in an instant, it may take some time (most people go through a process that takes time), but it will work for you too.

I have not yet met anyone who did these things and it did not work. I have seen it work hundreds of times. In other words, I keep rolling the dice, and it keeps showing a 6, meaning, I am very certain it will always show a 6.

Why I Know God is Real

As to why I believe in God, despite whatever evidence people try to create to convince me otherwise, this is the simple answer: There is no other source of happiness, and happiness is all I really care about. Happiness is all you should care about too. What good is it, to understand the true nature of the universe, if you cannot also be happy?

PS: Materialism

If you are the sort of person who only believes the things they can see, feel, and touch, there really is no hope for you. Have you ever seen, touched, or felt the number 1? Then what is math? What is logic if there are no abstract statements? I beg you to reconsider and adopt Platonic Reality with the rest of us.

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