Maybe God Didn't Intend His Existence to be Easy to Determine

What’s the evidence for the idea that God exists or doesn’t exist?

Maybe God Didn't Intend His Existence to be Easy to Determine

Certainly the social biologists have put forward arguments that religion could have an evolutionary basis, that we humans are designed in a certain way to look for agency behind actions that we don’t understand. That may then relate to why various cultures over time have identified something mysterious and supernatural outside of their own experience to try to explain things that didn’t otherwise have an explanation. 

I think it’s too simple to basically say, "well that does it."  Either God is true or God is not true.  Either God is real or God is not real.  It’s not a matter of whether you can explain it away by hypothesis.  The question is what’s the real answer? 

I think far too few people have looked at the question from that perspective.  What’s the evidence for the idea that God exists or doesn’t exist?  I think anyone who’s looked at that would conclude that the strong atheist position of saying, "I know there is not God" is not an easy one to sustain.  It basically implies a certain degree of hubris and arrogance to say that "I know so much that I could exclude any possibility of there being a God."

On the other hand, the evidence will never draw people to the conclusion of saying "I know confidently there is a God."  Maybe god didn’t intend it to be that easy. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

No, the Yellowstone supervolcano is not ‘overdue’

Why mega-eruptions like the ones that covered North America in ash are the least of your worries.

Ash deposits of some of North America's largest volcanic eruptions.

Image: USGS - public domain
Strange Maps
  • The supervolcano under Yellowstone produced three massive eruptions over the past few million years.
  • Each eruption covered much of what is now the western United States in an ash layer several feet deep.
  • The last eruption was 640,000 years ago, but that doesn't mean the next eruption is overdue.
Keep reading Show less

Smartly dressed: Researchers develop clothes that sense movement via touch

Measuring a person's movements and poses, smart clothes could be used for athletic training, rehabilitation, or health-monitoring.

Technology & Innovation

In recent years there have been exciting breakthroughs in wearable technologies, like smartwatches that can monitor your breathing and blood oxygen levels.

Keep reading Show less

Do you worry too much? Stoicism can help

How imagining the worst case scenario can help calm anxiety.

Stoicism can help overcome anxiety

Credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY via Getty Images
Personal Growth
  • Stoicism is the philosophy that nothing about the world is good or bad in itself, and that we have control over both our judgments and our reactions to things.
  • It is hardest to control our reactions to the things that come unexpectedly.
  • By meditating every day on the "worst case scenario," we can take the sting out of the worst that life can throw our way.
Keep reading Show less