‘Is it possible for humans to prove God’s existence?’
I think it is fair to begin with an observation that although many theologians have set out to establish the likelihood of a Creator God, none of them have ever been truly successful in this endeavour. By that I mean, no theologian or philosopher has ever advanced an argument or formula concerning God that proves the existence of the Divine beyond all reasonable doubt. These arguments being well constructed and covering areas such as
- The ontology of God (God exists as perfect being)
- How the mechanisms of the world point to a designer
- The cosmos
- Miracles (as evidence of a higher power)
Now, while each of the explanations that have been developed at different periods in history have been convincing for a time, none of them have ever provided conclusive evidence that God exists. At best, their appeal is to an ‘approximate God’ – arguing that the probability that God exists is more likely than He doesn’t exist which lends itself to a ‘guestimate’ about the Divine where people piece together as much of the jigsaw as they can and then imagine God to be somewhere within the gaps that have been left.
Naturally, the requirement of religious experience that requires its adherents to exercise ‘faith’ seems to necessitate that believers are expected to place their trust in something that is presently unverifiable. And of course, if we could proof God as a definite fact, there would be little need for faith – people would make their assessment based on solid evidence.
So, returning to the question ‘is it possible for humans to proof God’s existence?’ I’m going to pre-empt this mini-series with a resounding ‘NO’ because I don’t think God has left us with that option. That said, while humans might be unable to prove God’s existence, this does not mean the Divine is unknowable. Rearranging the question, we might ask:‘Is it possible for God to prove his existence to us?’ and now we are engaging with a set of far more interesting questions which will be teased out in the next few posts…