Do You Doubt God’s Existence? Do You Know Why?
SOME respond with a skeptical shrug of the shoulders. Others, with a candid denial. That is the way many today react to the question of God’s existence. Are you one of them? If so, it would not be surprising, because the number of people who doubt God’s existence has been growing.
Why They Rejected Belief in God
A young German woman explains her situation in this way: “My parents did not believe in God and were not religious, so I grew up without religion and without God. The mention of religion brought a smile to my face, and I did not understand why some people believed in God. At the same time, I could give no real reason for my inability to believe.”
A 32-year-old Belgian, explaining his lack of faith, says: “Even while in school, I was encouraged by my parents to earn money and to strive for material things. Materialistic thoughts replaced any thoughts of religion and faith.”
Do you have doubts about God’s existence? Do you know why? Could it be that you are simply drifting along with the crowd? If so, are you really acquainted with the “proofs” the crowd has to offer? Have you, in all honesty and seriousness, subjected their explanation to a test of its reliability?
The Need for Satisfying Answers
Reaching a definite conclusion as to God’s existence is more than just a matter of deciding who is right and who is wrong. It is a decision that can have a profound effect upon an individual’s life. It is a key factor in our finding satisfying answers to those questions about the meaning of life.
Let’s investigate two “proofs” frequently presented by people in explaining their rejection of God’s existence.
At the outset of the space age, over two decades ago, The New York Times reported that the following statement was made in a Moscow radio program: “The fact that satellites and rockets have not detected the All-Highest, angels and so on, bears testimony against religious convictions and strengthens disbelief in God.”
Do you consider this to be a proof? If so, are you willing to accept all the consequences that such a line of reasoning would involve?
The distance that man can hear and see has been extended far out into the universe by giant telescopes. Let’s reduce this to comprehensible dimensions. Suppose the earth were the size of an apple. On that scale, the visible universe would be 2.9 thousand million miles (4.7 thousand million kilometers) in diameter. And just how far have manned and unmanned probes and spaceships been able to move away from this “apple”? They are still away inside the apple box!
Besides, regardless of how far spaceships might venture into space, humans could never expect to see God, either with their literal eyes or by means of man-made cameras. They speak as if God were a man, made of flesh and blood, but the Bible says, “God is a Spirit.”—John 4:24.
Actually, things caused by forces unseen to the human eye are happening around us all the time. While you are thinking about what you are now reading, complex thought processes are going on in the more than 10,000,000,000 nerve cells of your brain. Advanced technology can measure brain waves, even represent them to the human eye by projections made on a screen or a strip of paper. But WHAT you are thinking cannot be made visible. Every word you speak, every conscious movement you make, is the result of a process invisible to the human eye. On the basis of this observation, what would be the logical consequences of sticking to the principle: “I believe only what I can see”?
But many state the following:
The Schweizerische Akademiker- und Studentenzeitung (Swiss Academic and Student Newspaper) contained a thought-provoking article dealing with the theory of evolution. Under the heading “Can Order Come Into Being Accidentally?” it said: “To arrange a library or a stamp collection in an orderly way requires a plan, a measure of intelligence, and a certain amount of exertion. Were we simply to toss everything into the room with our eyes closed, hoping that chance would ‘arrange things’ for us, we would soon discover that this is not the way order comes into being. In fact, without our constant attention, things can easily get out of order again, as when the children take things out and put them back in the wrong places, or as when a sudden gust of wind ‘arranges’ our stamp collection. Daily experience teaches us that order does not come about accidentally. . . . On the other hand, from the existence of order we can deduce that intelligence has been at work. A well-arranged library, for example, bears witness to a good librarian. In principle, the same thing applies to every kind of order.”
As an example, consider the brain. Think of the amazing things the human brain can accomplish with language. With the help of only 20 to 30 different letters (out of which most nonpictorial alphabets are composed), our brain is capable of forming an endless number of words and expressions and of grasping the different thoughts that they are meant to convey. Some languages have hundreds of thousands of words. In addition, new words and word combinations are being formed constantly. All of this with only these few letters of the alphabet. A brain trained in the mechanics of musical composition can do something similar. Who can count the number of different melodies that have been composed from just seven basic tones of the musical alphabet?
As to other wonderful functions of the human brain, a reference work speaks of its “10 billion nerve cells, any one of which may connect with as many as 25,000 other nerve cells. The number of interconnections which this adds up to would stagger even an astronomer—and astronomers are used to dealing with astronomical numbers.” The German publication Architektur der Schöpfung (Architecture of Creation) adds: “Researchers of the capacity of the human brain have likened it to the activity of thousands of big-city telephone centers working at top capacity. . . . It has been estimated that in the process of a lifetime of 70 years the human memory can store up as many as 15,000,000,000,000 individual experiences.”
Do these facts agree with the claim that “everything has come into existence accidentally, without God”? Or do they fit better with the Biblical argumentation that “every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God”?—Hebrews 3:4.
The Wisdom of Reaching a Decision
In 1981 Hans-Jochen Vogel, the opposition leader in the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany, said: “I think more and more people are becoming fearful that present conditions might suddenly take a turn for the worse, yes, that even catastrophes of previously unknown intensity are no longer impossible. And more than a few consider an evolution of things in this direction to be inevitable and as unavoidable as an avalanche that has already broken loose and is picking up speed on its plunge into the valley.” Is that all that the future holds for you?
People convinced of God’s existence, and who study his Word carefully, are persuaded that God is influencing things in a positive way. Based on the Bible, they see a very bright future in store for believing mankind, despite present world conditions.
Because of what this means in your own life, if you doubt God’s existence, we encourage you to ask yourself, ‘What reasons do I have?’ Try writing them down. How many do you have? How satisfying are they?
Might it not be high time to start giving consideration to the reverse question: What evidence is there that there is a God?
[Blurb on page 9]
“I believe only what I can see, and I have never seen God”
[Blurb on page 10]
“Everything has come into existence accidentally, without God”
[Pictures on page 11]
Order requires intelligence, as a systematically arranged library shows
Think of the variety of music you can compose from just a few basic notes