Like everyone, humans contemplate the existence of God as they live. Does a God who created this world exist? Is there a God who looks after me? I have conducted my own ceaseless contemplation and research to find answers to these questions throughout my life.
The opinions of theists and atheists are starkly different. They use numerous philosophical knowledge and scientific evidences to persuade others, arguing that God exists for this and that reason, or God does not exist for other reasons.
To perfectly persuade the other side, whether in theism or atheism, one must have knowledge beyond that of experts. Experts in the field establish and develop theories and proofs even in the minutest areas unknown to (or even uninterested to) the general public. It’s unlikely that an ordinary person knows all these details. They merely believe in the new facts presented and logically explained by renowned scientists or theologians.
In the movie ‘God’s Not Dead’, a freshman college student with a lifelong faith and an atheist professor appear and engage in a debate. The professor, who became a staunch atheist after praying to God in vain to save his mother from cancer in his childhood, represents a case of profound disbelief.
The student tries to persuade the professor and other students using church sermons, various books on creationism, and research from notable scholars refuting atheism. Meanwhile, the professor counters with atheistic philosophers and renowned scientists’ research materials to disprove the existence of God.
Who is right? Setting aside the movie’s ending, such debates are still numerous and unresolved.
I, too, have once tried to prove the validity of evolution from an atheist’s standpoint and the righteousness of creationism from a theist’s standpoint. However, the conclusion I reached is that the existence of God is something humans cannot prove.
Arguing that God does not exist because evolution is correct, or vice versa, is not desirable. Proving or disproving God’s existence with human intelligence, scientifically or logically, is impossible.
We know that the universe was born through the Big Bang. We also know that humans share a common ancestor with monkeys. This is more about belief than knowledge, as we have no means to observe past events. The theory of the Big Bang gained validity through observations of the universe’s expansion and temperature changes, and evolution is inferred through experiments or discoveries like species divergence, survival of the fittest, and natural selection.
But what existed before the Big Bang or how the first life was formed remains shrouded in mystery. If one aims to prove God’s existence, these are the minimum issues that need addressing. However, theists, or atheists, arrogantly try to prove or disprove God’s existence with only the data currently available.
Can we say God does not exist just because evolution is correct? Even if the Bible is proven wrong, it doesn’t necessarily disprove God’s existence. If the creator designed life to evolve on its own, then using evolution to argue for atheism is incorrect.
Similarly, can we claim God exists just because some aspects of evolution are incorrect? Can we assert God’s existence just because the earth is found to be only 6000 years old? We might dispute the scientists’ dating methods and the theory of evolution, but that doesn’t logically prove God’s existence. For instance, natural selection could have compensated for the shortcomings in evolution, or a highly advanced alien civilization might have created Earth 6000 years ago. Regardless of the path humanity took to reach its current state, the possibilities of that ‘path’ are infinite.
If errors in the Bible are revealed, should believers stop believing in God? If a time machine is invented and scientists directly observe Jesus performing miracles, should they stop believing in science?
What we know is what we know, and what we don’t know is what we don’t know. There’s no need to add anything to it or to blindly believe in it. Whether evolution is wrong or the Bible is wrong, it doesn’t negate the entire field of science or the existence of God.
Claiming to know the unknown is what ‘faith’ is. Scientists believe in the Big Bang theory, and religious people believe in a creator. If a devout believer’s mother dies in an accident, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist. Just as we can’t pray to God to change cold weather to warm, everything in the world is intricately connected with its own rationale, and just as we can’t know the source of this intricacy, we can’t know the existence of God.
In the presence of God, there is only sacred ‘faith’, and prejudging this faith through scientific refutation is foolish, both for theists and atheists.