Why Believe in a God We Cannot See?
WE LIVE in a highly scientific age. Scientists have produced many impressive inventions and have performed spectacular feats, even sending men to the moon.
Because of such accomplishments, many people accept the conclusions that scientists reach regarding other matters. For example, when they claim that humans evolved from beasts, it is widely believed. When they assert that life came into existence by itself in some primeval sea, many believe it.
As a result of such teachings, when some scientists say that there is no God, this too is often accepted. Also, since we cannot see God, there are those who conclude that he must not exist. So, atheism and agnosticism increase. Belief in an invisible and purposeful Creator diminishes.
However, are there sound reasons for not believing in God because we cannot see him? Should we put so much confidence in science? And does it make any difference whether we believe in God?
A HUGE DIFFERENCE
It makes a huge difference whether we believe in the existence of a Creator. If he does exist, then surely he must have a purpose in making this earth and creating human life on it.
It would also be reasonable to expect that such a wise and powerful Creator would determine the future of this earth and of the human family. So our attitude and actions toward this Creator could make a big difference to our future.
However, if there is no God, then the future prospect for humanity is quite dismal. Based on the record of history, it would be a continuing trouble-filled existence, or worse. If there is no unseen Creator who has a purpose for us, then it would seem to make sense to “eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.”—1 Cor. 15:32.
BELIEVING THE UNSEEN
Can we believe in a God we cannot see? Well, do we believe in only what we see? No, we very much believe in things we do not see.
In fact, our very lives depend directly upon something we cannot see! What is that? The air we breathe. Without it, we would die in a few minutes. We cannot see the air, but we certainly know that it exists. If you were to hold your breath for sixty seconds, you would appreciate very quickly the air that you cannot see.
We cannot see the wind either, but we do see trees waving in the breeze, and ocean waves tossed about by the wind’s power. We believe that the wind exists because we see its results.
Electricity is invisible. But what amazing things it can do! It lights lamps, heats homes, drives huge machines and makes kitchen appliances work for us. No sensible person doubts that electricity exists just because it cannot be seen.
Radio, television and radar beams are transmitted through the air, unseen. Yet we know that they exist because of the sound or pictures they produce.
Can we see gravity? No, but without it, everything not firmly attached to the earth, including people, would tend to float off into space. A similar force is magnetism. A magnet attracts iron, yet the magnetic field is invisible to our eyes.
The nucleus of the atom is bound together by a powerful, yet invisible, force. But we know the force is real because fantastic amounts of energy are released when the atom is “split” in atomic explosions.
We cannot see X rays, but they can penetrate the body and take pictures of our bones. What would a doctor say if you told him that X rays did not exist because you could not see them?
We do not see odors, but our nose picks them up; bloodhounds even track people by the invisible smell. And we cannot see sound waves either, but our ears pick them up; so we know that they are real.
Thus, we believe in many things we cannot see, because we observe the evidence, the results they produce. In the same way, we know an unseen Creator exists because we observe the evidence, the results of his handiwork. The Bible says: “For his invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.”—Rom. 1:20.
When you see a house, what do you conclude? Do you conclude that the wood, concrete and metals accidentally arranged themselves into a house, complete with rooms, a heating system, plumbing, electrical wiring and furniture? No, you acknowledge a maker. Even relatively simple things such as a box or a pencil do not come into existence without a maker.
Yet, such things are insignificant compared with an atom, a tree, a human, a planet, a sun, a galaxy, a universe. If simple things do not come into existence without a maker, then what of these far more complex and intricate things?
Physicist G. E. Davis says: “No material thing can create itself.” In line with this, the Bible logically declares: “Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God.”—Heb. 3:4.
Then, too, if you saw a code of laws, such as those in a nation’s constitution, what would that indicate? If you saw even a simple sign at a street corner saying, “Stop,” what would it show? Laws indicate the existence of lawmakers.
The universe has far more impressive laws. Why, the moon landings by astronauts would have been impossible without taking into consideration, and depending upon, the precise and reliable laws of gravity, motion, acceleration, as well as the laws that govern the orbiting of the earth and the moon. Those superior laws indicate the existence of a superior Lawgiver, the invisible Creator.
Hence, it is not difficult to understand why the Bible says of those who ignore or deny the abundant evidence of a Creator: “They are inexcusable.”—Rom. 1:20.
But why is God invisible to human eyes? Well, would you expect to survive a journey to the sun? No, you would burn up long before you got there. God created the sun. Hence, he is far too powerful to be viewed by human eyes. That is why God says in his Word: “No man may see me and yet live.”—Ex. 33:20.
However, what about the claims of scientists who say that living things evolved from inanimate matter, that humans came from apelike beasts?