The western mind is very analytical and in this day and age it wants proof. They want proof in not just religion but EVERYTHING. We think like this…”I will start from the position of unbelief and it’s your job to convince me. So…convince me. I’m not picking on you…I demand this of everything. I want evidence so compelling that I feel forced to concede or regard myself as a fool for not conceding. I ask this of everything so why would I treat religion any different. “
“How do you know the events happened the way they were written?”
“How do you know that person was who they claimed to be?”
“How do you know this person did what they said he did?”
“How do you know they were not just working themselves up?”
“How do you know your experience of “God” was not just you working yourself up?”
“Why should I follow your book and not the others?”
I’m asking these questions in just the same manner as I would ask of anything. It’s not unreasonable for me to ask these questions. It’s unreasonable of you to expect me to follow your “way” on “faith” because what you have just said to me is…”follow us for no solid reason or conclusive merit.” And by your reason which is “faith” I could just as easily choose any of the other religions that are in the “boat of unverified claims” such as ALL of the religions are….
Well…to answer your questions to all of these…you don’t know. There is not enough evidence in any of these things to “force” you to concede. We can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus was the son of God. We can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt Mosses parted the red sea. We can’t even prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Earth flooded at some point.
“So why on Earth should I follow you?” …you ask? “Why on Earth should I take any of this crazy food out of nothing, raising the dead, walking of water stuff seriously? It is utterly ridiculous for you to expect a grow man to submit to stories his intellect finds grossly improbable and likely fabricated.”
BUT… theism does not originate with your intellectual conclusions or experience (except in very rare occurrences). Think about it…very little that you do originates it’s compelling motivations from “intellect.” Most of what you do originates from instinctual hunger. Your desire for food, love, sex, safety, respect all come as per-programmed desires that your intellect then aids you in obtaining. And it is by this that you can conclude a personal God an absolute truth because no instinctual hunger exists without a reciprocal end.
One person mentioned that a child is not born with knowledge of God but is taught God. But I would point out that that same child was not born knowing what food was,…it had to be taught what it was and how to get it. But…you never had to teach a child to be hungry and its very hunger emphatically testifies to the child that food must in fact exist.
It is accepted even among atheists that a human child left to it-self will come up with the idea of God on its own without being taught it. In other words what is causing theism and then religion is innate in mankind. Not only is it innate but it’s strong enough to cancel out the other powerful instincts such as food, sex, and even self-preservation. THAT…is a strong instinct. Had it not been an instinctual desire then the general majority would have cared less about the subject, just like they could care less about every other scientific theory out there. We just don’t really care unless that science helps us get the things our natural desires want. We could care less about your string theory unless it somehow gets me more food, sex, safety, respect or power.
Okay…so what…what does all this have to do with the fact that you can’t prove 99% of what you want me to believe?
And that is just it… want…The very start of theism and religion. But it’s not about what I want,… it’s about what you want. And you want it naturally. The bible didn’t make you want it. The bible didn’t cause your hunger…it’s just the food. You priest today didn’t cause it and the priest a thousand years ago didn’t cause it. You naturally desire a connection with the divine. Mankind has obviously felt this since the day they were man. And if you don’t have this desire then you’re not interested anyway. It wouldn’t matter if God stood in front of you. If you don’t have the desire for a personal connect ion with the divine then it wouldn’t matter what proofs were given. You don’t care…really.
That’s why we tell you to believe us and follow Christ. Because we don’t necessarily have to prove it any more than I got to prove this bowel of fruit is good for you. I don’t have to prove it because you’re going to get hungry and you naturally know what food is. You can smell it and good food tastes good. A baby doesn’t need to be taught that milk is good for it and it doesn’t need proof that it will cause it to grow. It tastes it and it knows it wants THAT.
If you don’t believe us and you don’t take that leap of faith that your natural hunger dives you to jump then I guess you get to stay hungry. You get to mop around like rock stars do surrounded by material goods and pleasure and still crying about how sad life is because you have simply rejected the food handed to you.
Jesus would often say crazy things that were just too hard for a grown man to swallow and it caused most of his followers to leave but Peter said it best when given the option to leave. He replied, “Lord to whom shall we go?”
The same question is before you and everyone else. If you don’t take the leap of faith and just “decide” to reach for the divine through Christ then where are you going to go?…Buddha, Mohamed, Zoroaster? Are you just going to wonder around by yourself getting a nibble here and a nibble there? No one with a true hunger will accept this. They pick. And every one of them is a leap. And if you don’t feel compelled naturally then you probably were never going to anyway. This natural hunger is the origin of all theism.