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Must one believe in God on the basis of reasons, arguments, proofs etc.

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by dms1972, Apr 23, 2021.

  1. Soyeong

    Soyeong Well-Known Member

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    A belief without what someone considers to be a valid reason is a belief without cause, which is not humanly possible. Someone might not be able be able to be able to do a good job of articulating a reason why they believe that something is true and they might not be able to convince anyone else that it is a valid reason, but if there wasn't a reason for why they considered it to be true, then they would never have formed the belief that it was true. Someone might reason from existence rather than towards existence, but would still be using what they considered to be a valid reason.

    There is an argument that everything that begins to exist has a cause and that the universe began to exist, therefore it has a cause. Someone might challenge whether the form of the argument is valid or whether the premises are true, but if someone considers the form to be valid and the premises to be true, then that proves the existence of the cause of the universe, which is a being with a property commonly attributed to what we call God. If an argument has its conclusion built into the premises, then that is not logically valid, but that doesn't mean that there aren't valid arguments for the existence of God.
     
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  2. PaulCyp1

    PaulCyp1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Of course not. True, there is a great deal of objective evidence, that leads many logical people to believe He must exist. But the ultimate evidence of His existence is actually meeting Him, coming to know Him personally, and experience His activity in our lives. It's just like knowing anyone else. If several of my friends each tell me they know Jim Smith, then I take that as reliable evidence of Jim Smith's existence, even though I haven't met him personally. My friends may also tell me various facts about Jim Smith, so that I gradually learn quite a bit about about him, but I still don't know him personally. Then one day I actually meet Him, and start spending some time with him. Now I can say I actually know Jim Smith personally. Which is exactly how it works with God.
     
  3. HatGuy

    HatGuy Some guy in a hat

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    In answer to your OP and this point.

    I would start with simply reading the Gospel accounts of Jesus and deciding what you think of him.

    History has a way of bringing reality back.

    Then decide on the historicity of the resurrection. The resurrection is the real turning point. If Jesus was raised, it really does change everything.

    Faith in Jesus means trusting Him, the person. Thats more than just believing He exists or believing facts or ideas but going beyond that and saying, "He's alive and I can trust Him now, personally."

    It's a trusting for everything - trust Him to ground you in reality, trust Him to ultimately save you ("salvation" is a large concept that could be described as "putting everything right").
     
  4. ClaytonP

    ClaytonP New Member

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    Faith is WHAT one believes. It is not "a leap" as suggested by Kant. It is not blind. And it is not 'hope.' Faith is the combination of belief and will.
    I observe that it is a cloudy morning. Based on this and the weather report, I believe that it is going to rain. That is my belief. But it is not until I grab the umbrella is my faith manifested. Thusly, just as I am saved from a drenching because of my faith, so I am saved by Christ by believing in Truth.
    Herein lies the answer to the original question.
    WHAT one believes about God is vastly more important than to simply claim to believe. Believe what? Belief has content. And if one believes a lie, then they will act different than the will of God, because one can act only in accordance to one's beliefs, regardless what they claim to believe.
    We must use the gifts of reason and logic to the best of our ability to understand what God is telling us in the Bible. With the knowledge of His Truth, one can act with confident faith.
     
  5. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    Science is the search for and the subsequent taxonomy of the laws of creation. That's why Galileo and Newton had no problem being Christian.
     
  6. Toro

    Toro Oh, Hello!

    +12,138
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    Science, true science. Is nothing more than the pursuit of a truthful answer to a multitude of questions, such as : "How?" or "Why?"

    There is ZERO reason that science and theology can not coexist.

    The problem with "science" today is it is no longer about a search for truth, but more the "How"s and "Why"s of the narrative they wish to spin and the only real questions "scientists" today ask is "Who" is funding the research and "How much".

    Gaining knowledge through truly scientific endeavors can be celebrated as a testament to "man's greatness" or to God's. The only true separation SHOULD only lie in who recieves credit for the discovery, God for His revealing more of His marvelous creation to humans.... or... man for simply observing it.

    Scientific theories such as evolution are based on opinion and regardless of what one chooses to believe, the narrative of mutations from a single cell organism all the way up to humanity..... or God simply creating humanity directly... with higher purpose.

    Both have their gaps where sheer faith takes over. Evolution, faith at every missing link between the single cell and the complex marvel that is the human body, both insanely resilient and incredibly vulnerable and weak.

    Or.... God just knows what He is doing and is far greater and more powerful than my simple mind can comprehend.

    There is nothing wrong with intellect, nothing wrong with contemplating different ideas of why and who God is.

    The problem comes when we step away from the word and intent if God... for even the Pharisees, with all their knowledge, all their intellect, missed the mark because they pursued what they perceived as loopholes in the laws so that though they did what was right on the surface, they had all the right doctrines and truth.... the denied their hearts from being changed.... the true offering God wants... our hearts. Not so much our minds, bodies or bank accounts.... for if our hearts are changed.... the rest, mind, body and all our dealings.. will follow.

    It doesnt mean we will understand fully the A-Z of all there is to know and understand of God, but we WILL understand A, C, K, T and MAYBE Z to some level as we need it.... the rest will remain a mystery to our limited human understanding until all is revealed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  7. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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  8. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't think there is a gap, at least with the existence of God. Atheism may want to claim he is 'the god of the gap', saying that the need for a beginning causes the leap in logic. But that is words. The truth is, besides the several 'proofs' from centuries ago that atheists and others have raised objections to, but never disproven, there is the simple logic of cause-and-effect, that chain that had to begin with a first cause. Further logic demands that First Cause be not mechanical fact but purposed, one single being, and many other attributes that fit the God of the Bible.

    "Sheer Faith" is not the same for the atheist and the believer. Our faith is of a different nature, not derived from the will nor intellect of the believer, but of the Spirit of God. (And no, I'm not saying the will and intellect are not involved --they most certainly ARE! But the faith is the work of God in us.)
     
  9. Toro

    Toro Oh, Hello!

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    Faith is the same regardless. The point of that faith and result is the only difference.

    A believer believes that they will one day be fully made in the image of Christ, their failures to live up to that image in flesh, forgiven.

    An atheist believes they will see nothingness.

    Both have faith, both convinced in their mind they are right
     
  10. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not denying they both can be defined the same way, but no --the faith that keeps the believer, keeps the believer. The faith of the atheist is kept by the atheist, by will power. The faith of the believer has substance because of its source, not because of the will power (nor intellect) of the believer.

    Also, the sheer faith the atheist has, (which he denies is faith) --that raw belief without evidence-- is substituted for evidence, though the atheist does not recognize that fact. The faith of the believer IS the evidence of what is not seen but hoped for (expected) --Hebrews 11:1. It is several steps away from being the same thing.
     
  11. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid ****CAUTION***** Life is lived in the shape of a ? Supporter

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    Sorry to come in late, but being that I'm seeing this post just as I'm getting ready to go to bed in order to catch to sleep before work tomorrow, I'll have to follow up later.

    The starting point here for me is to fully vet out Kierkegaard, Pascal and even Kant and realize that their respective positions aren't exactly the absurd pejorative and misnomer so many fellow Christians apply to them (i.e. 'fideism').

    Peace.
     
  12. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good predestination with that!
     
  13. throughfireytrial

    throughfireytrial Truth-Lover Supporter

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    I believe that the Bible is the most neglected book because of stereotypes of Christians that say they are ignorant naive people, superstitious and mystic...yet we seem to threaten the elite intellectuals...how does that compute??? Most of the body of scientific knowledge was gathered by scientists who postulated from the stance that there is a God...mostly Christian.
    More to the point of your topic we do have the Bible which is God's reasoning and we as Christians understand that His reasoning is vastly superior to man's...so we do have a solid source...faith comes from the Word. The Bible informs us of these truths about our conversions...
    Romans 8:29-30:
    For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

    He brings to faith through His Word...

    Romans 10:17-18:
    Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:

    “Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
     
  14. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    FWIW, I think, the thing that threatens them is the fact that Omnipotence implies submission --and they can't allow themselves to go there. I think they instinctively (ala Romans 1) know we are not the strongest link in the chain of causation. It is us, as peers, or our beliefs, they can see to attack. So they try to defeat us as substitutes. I have noticed how, when the debate concerning God as Omnipotent, (or First Cause), begins to go badly for them, they so often revert to, "Well, but still, you have to prove that First Cause is the same god as the Christians' Bible talks about."
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  15. coffee4u

    coffee4u Well-Known Member

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    No. Reasons, arguments and proofs will not bring you faith in God. It is God's spirit talking to your spirit and you responding that brings faith.

    The Israelite's literally saw miracles being performed in front of them, how long did their faith last from those proofs? Not long at all, they couldn't even stay faithful while Moses was up the mountain. So when people say "If only God would show himself I would have faith" No. They would still only have faith for a short time before their head told them something else. That it was a trick, an hallucination, a mental condition, a mistake. That is head faith, not heart and spirit faith. Head faith does not last.
     
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  16. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    To whom are you responding, here?
     
  17. coffee4u

    coffee4u Well-Known Member

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    lol, I forgot to quote. ^_^
     
  18. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ok, yeah I do that sometimes, too. But, to whom was it?
     
  19. chad kincham

    chad kincham Well-Known Member

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    We are saved by faith, not by proof, and faith is defined as, the substance of things HOPED FOR, the evidence of things NOT SEEN.

    there’s plenty of proof the universe was designed for life, and not a random occurrence, but that’s irrelevant to salvation.

    And faith comes by hearing the word of God, Romans 10:17, not by proof of His existence.
     
  20. coffee4u

    coffee4u Well-Known Member

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    I looked at it again -it was to the original post.
     
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