Book: God, or No God?

Is there a God, or isn’t there?

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Atheists may ridicule you and try to make you feel foolish, ignorant and gullible for even considering the existence of God a possibility. On the other hand, people who believe there is a God may say you have to “take it on faith,” and might judge you for
being skeptical or in doubt.

Your uncertainty about whether there really is a God is no reason to feel ashamed. Don’t let anyone lay a guilt trip on you for a “lack of faith.” While some may pass their entire lives never questioning the existence of God, many of us at some time have felt good reason to doubt it.

How could we not? Nearly every subject we learn in school and college is taught from a materialistic, antisupernatural, evolutionary point of view—as if there were no God. Many with advanced academic degrees, who consider themselves “educated and enlightened,” are sure there is no God. Businesses we deal with each day operate primarily for their own benefit—as if there were no God. And a lot of people we know live their personal lives as if there were no God to whom they will someday have to answer.

Many God-doubters doubt for the rest of their lives. Some, after a period of uncertainty, make up their mind one way or the other: Either they conclude there is no God and become confirmed atheists, or they decide there is a God. Of the latter group, some— but not all—adopt a formal religion.

The fact is, however, that few people in any of these groups have continued a relentless, unflagging quest through research and experience to determine the truth of the matter. Some, who repeatedly hear the mantra “We can’t know for sure,” eventually buy into it. They give up the quest and resign themselves to never knowing for certain if there is or isn’t a God. These people will no doubt remain lifetime agnostics.

Many others attempt to profess a “faith,” while underneath they’re still uncertain of God’s existence. They aren’t exactly hypocrites—they mean well. They’re trying to believe; they want to believe. Consciously they’re striving to convince themselves of some rational basis for a very weak faith; but this kind of uncertain faith may not stand the test of adversity. Intelligent, rational people realize that any faith in a God to whom they’re going to commit their life needs to be based on a much more firm footing than mereself-persuasion.

If you’re reading this book, you’re probably still uncertain. But chances are you haven’t given up your search for the truth. You may be skeptical about the idea of a God; that’s perfectly reasonable, given how little you know. But at least you haven’t made up your mind, as have confirmed atheists like Richard Dawkins, that any belief in God is some kind of “delusion.”

All that being a skeptic should mean is that, before you decide to believe anything, you want proof—or at least substantial credible evidence. You don’t want to be part of the easily led mass who buy into beliefs which later turn out to be fables.

The reality is, not many people have arrived at their points of view—whether the issue is spiritual or material—only after diligently researching the facts and carefully sorting truth from error. More typically, we tend to adopt a package of beliefs handed to us by someone else. It might be parents, peers, professors, authors of books we’ve read—whoever is most persuasive, whoever offers the view that’s most appealing, whomever we most respect, or whomever we most fear to displease.

The idea of independently searching out the truth of a matter is so foreign to most people that—even if they wanted to—they wouldn’t know the first step to take. Nor, at the end of the process, would they necessarily trust their own findings. Nearly all of us have looked at times to someone else to lead us to “the truth.”

Yet in this “information age,” your enquiring mind can find the facts about most any issue. You don’t need to take anyone else’s word for it, when you can verify or debunk almost any statement you hear or read. It can be a lot of work—brain strain—but what is it worth to you to get the true answer to such a fundamental question as “Is there really a God?” The answer you find may determine how you direct the rest of your life.

In this volume, you and I will examine a small sampling of the evidence for the existence of God and give your open mind enough facts discovered by scientists to let you decide whether or not there is such a being. We won’t waste time with unconvincing philosophical arguments or theological apologetics. We’ll confine ourselves mostly to careful observations and calculations by people whose day-to-day occupation is with observable, measurable physical reality and its implications. We’ll document the sources of that information, so you can verify it for yourself—which you should do.