Formspring Question – “Why do you believe in God?” (asked by an anonymous person on Formspring)
I have been asked why I believe in God a lot in the last 12 years. I have probably believed in God my whole life but it was 12 years ago that I realised that the existence of God required more than passive believe and that it was something that demanded a response from me. That’s when I eventually became a Christian, so I guess people ask it more now because the influence it has on my life is more obvious than it was before. I always answer differently depending on the person asking the question, but I’m not sure if I have ever really written down my answer to an anonymous reader before. The answer is one that has built up over years, as the default belief I once had has been reinforced firstly through critical thinking and research and then eventually through experience. I think in this entry I’ll only talk about the initial default belief as I think this is the thing that the questioner is asking about. There are many, many other reasons for belief in God. I’ll talk about how my beliefs were later reinforced in a later entry.
When I refer to having an initial default belief it isn’t because of the family I was born into was a religious one (because they weren’t), rather it seemed (and still does seem) to be a logical explanation for the world around us. Every child seems to know that something that is created and designed has to have a creator/designer. The big bang is a simple notion and it will only get you so far. One thing I wondered as a child when thinking about it was if the big bang occurred what caused it to occur. I didn’t realise it until much later but what I had adopted instinctively was a simple, childish version of “the Kalam Cosmological Argument”. The Kalam Cosmological Argument is a philosophical argument that basically says: anything that began to exist had something cause it, the universe began to exist, and therefore the universe had something that caused it to exist. In other words, as Julie Andrews sang “nothing came from nothing, nothing ever could”. So from the earliest time in my life belief in God made rational, reasoned sense.
Apart from my initial belief though, reason and science and math and logic have all pointed to the existence of God. To me looking back on my belief in God, the intricacy and order of nature is probably another thing that caused me to have an assumption there was a creator. I am still talking about an extremely young age, younger than I can even remember. I am to this day yet to find a better explanation for the intricacy of the universe than God. If we flew to Mars and found a library, and in that library were thousands of books and machines, we would logically conclude that there had been intelligent minds on Mars before us and that they had built the physical structure of the library, written the books and designed the machines. What I saw around me as a child was structure, order and design that is far more complex than the greatest buildings, computers and machines that are around today. This is another thing that caused me to believe as a child that an intelligent mind created this world.
As I mentioned before the belief in God was passive and assumed. It wasn’t until much later that I began to research the belief. Over the years I would read a lot, and learn a lot, and actually tried to debunk the notion of God. When I later saw what an important question the existence of God was I didn’t want there to be a God, but the more I tried to not believe in the idea of a creator the more evidence I found to support it. I eventually became convinced not only that God exists but that His existence demanded a response. It was after that I began looking at various religions, eventually stopping at the bottom of list with my least desired religion: Christianity. I found Christianity to be true. Once I became a Christian my evidence became more experiential, as I experienced God in ways I could not imagine, and these experiences supported Gods existence even more.
Each day of my life I have added to the evidence I have found for God existence with objective, reasonable, rational evidence as well as wonderful subjective personal experience.
To me it seems like the evidence for God is extremely abundant, and it seems to be the default belief for people in light of the evidence. For that reason the question isn’t really why someone would believe in God but why the heck wouldn’t they believe in God? There is no explanation that is more logical.
I am keen for more comments and discussion if you are willing. How do you respond to this question. Do you believe in God? Why? If you don’t believe in God, why not? Feel free to respond anyway you like, no comments will be censored but just discussed.