article summarises and pulls together all other articles within this
section of the website.
the causes of atheism in the West,
suggests why the existence
of God can be seen as
option at this point in time.
CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE
Is God Real? Does
God exist? I will begin by
making the statement that God’s
existence is indeed believable
when facts are presented in an unbiased way.
It is definitely possible to gain a
understanding of what God is, and how he relates to us and this
is also clear to me, and many millions of people around the world, that
it is possible to build belief and faith in God based on reason. Indeed if you, the reader, simply needs to ‘test’
for yourself whether
God does exist, i.e. you are ready to try faith for yourself, then I
access the next section of this website,
"Believing in God". That section
explains how to approach that task. I am very confident that we
prove for ourselves,
beyond reasonable doubt, that God does indeed exist. In essence, when
we know how, we can recognise the presence of God
in our lives. I understand that this may seem unrealistic at first to the
uninitiated. I can say that because I personally spent a long time as a
strong willed atheist myself
before coming to ‘believe’... BUT... something certainly changed my
mind! I still do not take the subject of atheism lightly.
I completely understand how religion is written off as fanciful rubbish in this day and age. As indicated already, it did
look that way to me a long time ago! Until we can open
ourselves to the possibility, there is no chance of having that view
However, getting back to the issue at hand, some people do need to have an understanding of
God is supposed
to be, and realise that conditions on this planet of ours do not in any way negate the possibility of God’s existence, before trying
to believe in his existence. That is, they need a
‘believable’ God before going
on to try to believe in him. As a result of this perceived need,
my aim in this section of the website is to present credible
concepts that can be used to support the first steps
The final section in this website is
to give a deeper understanding of where Christianity ‘is coming
from’ and what
it offers its followers. Whereas this section tries to provide an
understanding of God’s ‘being’, you will find an explanation of the ‘personal’
nature of God, or who
God is, in that final section.
2. DOUBT AND
It seems almost paradoxical. On one
hand, modern society with its consumer attitude expects to be sold on
of religion. If
religion really has a
sound basis, then
somebody should be
able to provide hard evidence to the world at large. On the other hand,
do have difficulty these days believing anything they are told. Even
evidence is shown to prove a point on
any issue in question, a healthy dose of cynicism may still be held by
‘Spin doctoring’ is becoming a science, after all.
Centuries of hatred and war, cited
in the name of religion, have also critically damaged its credibility
as far as
many atheists are concerned. Mind you, this outlook denies the benefits
from the great
religions of the world by billions of people over thousands of years.
the natural philosopher,
within us all, leads us to question why would God – who is
supposed to be intrinsically good
– create a world where suffering and evil are so apparent? Many
of us are also led, by those who know no better, to accept that
science and religion are completely at odds with one another.
Atheism has become more socially
acceptable in some circles. It can be seen there as a downright
to believing in God.
But, the increasing level of atheism has not seemingly improved contentedness within society! Certainly within my lifetime I
have seen aimlessness and dissatisfaction with life grow within the
community. The increasing number of suicides is an indicator of
not quite right’ within Western society. Power over others, wealth
and possessions, holidays abroad, inappropriate use of legal
and illicit drugs,
living for oneself etc simply do not provide the happiness that is
expected of them. Ultimately, atheism is a
flawed theory. I have detailed why this is so in, "Believing in God"
which is, as I have already stated, the Lead Article for the following
section of this website.
Atheism does not
offer a viable alternative to religious faith. As a result, some people have looked
to other alternatives, away from atheism and away from organised
well. The pseudo religion of the New Age Movement, attracts many
piecemeal approach – offering spiritually based solutions,
derived from age-old
established religions, but without the benefit of the whole-of-life
philosophies provided by those religions.
Other questioning people really do
not know where to go, or how to make any sense of available options.
to ‘doubt’ itself, I would point out that it is not always a bad thing.
Of course most
of us initially associate it with a totally
though, what I would call ‘healthy’ doubt can be used effectively on the
road to ‘faith’.
An article titled, "How to deal with doubts"
is included in that next section of the website.
THE CASE FOR GOD
So let us examine some of the
pointers that may encourage us to believe that the existence of God is
a possibility after all.
of 'believable' concepts
The first hurdle for
believers, as I have stated, is the lack of a believable
God. I maintain that such a concept is readily available.
As a younger
man, I began my own
search for knowledge of God’s being and nature by reading the theories
religions of the world. I found that believable theories were
available out there in fact, although they
often seemed to be in conflict with each other. My research also
involved a detailed
study of some of their practises (e.g. mysticism).
I certainly wanted to see whether some knowledge of the nature
God’s being, and presence, could
be gained through them. Importantly, outcomes of these practises helped
understand that seemingly opposing
religious systems, such
as “pantheism” and “monotheism”, could be reconciled to some extent. I also came to see that the remaining
differences in their theologies existed for just cause.
God is broadly defined, within “pantheism”, as
‘pure consciousness’. Everything, including
‘of God’. Pantheism
its beliefs on God and the universe as being one and the same; the sum
total of reality. This ‘closeness’ with God is defined as “immanence”.
it is believed that God’s
existence, as such, can be experienced within pantheism
through the practise of mysticism,
it is not
considered theoretically possible for us to have a two-way personal relationship with
This is because we, as individuals, again theoretically are not truly separate from God. He is us and we are him.
On the other hand, “monotheism”
concentrates its beliefs on God’s ‘transcendent’ nature – he
is theoretically all
powerful, all knowledgeable and has his ‘basis’
outside the universe.
Monotheist religions maintain that God has a personal nature as well,
each of us can
enter into a two-way relationship
with him, just as we do with people that we know.
(Of course, such a relationship with God is considered very special indeed.) This
is theoretically possible, within monotheism, because God’s
transcendent basis is
separate from our
past and present writers, particularly
from the monotheist religions have
similar understanding to my own – in that they reconcile the two
perspectives to portray God’s nature as a complex amalgam
of both immanence and transcendence. Based on my experiences,
only way it can be!
speaking, God is both present as an all-pervading creative force within
universe (as the Ground of Being) and yet, at the same time, exists
beyond the boundaries of
space that he maintains – the great “I AM”
monotheist religions. As one analogy, if God can be understood as pure
consciousness or an extremely powerful mind, then the universe
of his mind (just as the contents or thoughts of our minds are separate
from our minds themselves, yet contained within them).
Of course this is the briefest of
summaries and I would suggest that you read the complete article "So, what is God" if you
comprehensive understanding. The article also explains how I came to
substantiate my own viewpoint. Personal experiences, and much reading of course, were the dual bases of
3.2 What does
science have to say at this time?
I must say upfront that I hold the opinion that
stand on its own merits. Atheists
religious fundamentalists alike often seem to overlook the fact that
and religion have very different objectives. That is, there is no real
need to compare the two.
Despite this, I have had a ‘long
hard look’ at where modern science has been headed. I initially
wondered whether there was any compatibility between scientific and
theories. Around the time that my study commenced, thirty plus years ago, well credentialed
in fact skilfully presenting books that abounded with parallels
the pantheist perspective).
Whilst a basis of fact existed in their
they tended to ‘stretch the edges’ a lot. Their books were
big sellers as a result.
I admit that my enthusiasm back then had me accepting more of what I
I should have. To my defence, I was less likely at the time to
the writings of ‘experts’ than I am now.
this point in my life, my
understanding is a lot more balanced (although still very positive on
the matter). I can truthfully say at this time that twenty
its mathematically based theories, presents us with a universe that has
a very mysterious
element about it. It is in fact much more amazing than the surface-deep
theories of Newton and Darwin would have had us believe. In their
has since indicated an underlying complexity undreamt of in their time.
Science offers absolutely no
evidence against the ‘case for God’. In fact, science’s current
representation of the
universe, our planet and life itself as being so theoretically complex,
and unlikely due to the odds of it all being just the way it is, makes an
intelligent Prime Mover (i.e. God) at least appear as a valid option. I
view, as cautiously as possible, in the article, "Science and religion"
is included in this
section of the website.
Why would there be suffering and
evil in a world created by God? I believe now that it is too large a
to be fully
answered by any human
being. The issue certainly troubled me in my early days of faith. For
had seen the faces of faithful believers who had lost cherished ones
pleadings to God.
Although I am still deeply troubled
by the sad events that come to my notice, I know that some of the answer lies in how real
we should expect the world to appear?
In effect, we cannot expect to be
shielded from the laws of “cause and effect” or the actions
of nature, can we? By
virtue of its name, ‘reality’ must look real.
Nor can we be
shielded from “man’s inhumanity
to man”. The free will of humankind provides us with
The balance of the answer seems to
relate to God’s role in our lives. And again, this is not as
simple as I had
thought in my early days of faith. I now believe that God is to be seen
fundamentally as our
comforter and counsellor in these circumstances. Other factors, such as
shortness of our lives, as opposed to eternity, and the personal and
end result of physical and emotional pain on us as individuals, can only be fully considered
My personal experience with illness, both my own and that of close
ones, and the loss of a very close loved one, has
assisted me to understand this point more fully as time has past.
I have devoted a small article
titled, "Suffering and evil"
section of the website to this thorny issue.
4. LAST LOOK AT THE CHALLENGES TO FAITH
I am confident that an insight into
the theoretical nature of God’s ‘being’
is available within
the writings of
the world’s great religions. Believable concepts are definitely
have, as previously stated, done my best to present an overview of how
dovetail together in the
article, "So, what is God"
section of the
website. As opposed to metaphysical theories
about God’s being, an understanding of his all
important ‘personal’ nature is provided within the final section of
this website, "Christianity
I remind you that scientific
evidence can never disprove God’s existence. And science cannot
categorically answer any of the
deep questions that face us in life (the ‘whys?’). As a
major example, why did
the universe come to exist in any form at all, out of the nothing-ness
presumably pre-existed it? I have again endeavoured to present a
view of the current theories of science, and their relationship to
an article devoted to the subject, "Science
and religion" in
this section of the website.
Similarly, I point out that the ways
of this world should not oppose the possibility of God’s
existence. Many of the
major wrongs of the world, notably evil, are caused by us humans and
not God. We all
free will. Although we enjoy it, we also pay a price for it! It also
seems that some level of
is inevitable for us due to the very nature of our planet and
our own physical human bodies –
both of which we find are
once scientifically studied.
If God was to continually overrule the visible laws of physics to
safeguard us from suffering, then flaws in the space/time continuum
soon become evident (reality itself would be unhinged). Please
read the small article, "Suffering and evil" that I have prepared on these
they conflict with your ability to approach belief in God.
It is true that this Lead Article,
or those supporting it in this section of the website, may just be
viewed as a
collection of cold hard statements. They cannot in themselves prove to
God exists. Hopefully, they can offer a positive option to you,
“Hey, maybe God
does exist!” The fact is
the reality of God can only be found through recognising his presence
individual lives, evaluated through a sensible framework of knowledge. Admittedly, many of us have little
idea as to how we
tackle this. Again, I know that this was the case, as far as I was concerned,
when I started
looking for myself decades ago.
I sincerely hope that
the next section of this website,
"Believing in God",
can assist you in that critical
evaluation. It focuses on how we can open ourselves to God;
trialling faith for ourselves. It also explains other ways to recognise
him in our everyday lives and how to identify his presence within
church events. Our reasoning powers are fully utilised during these
processes and not switched off, as atheists would guess. Faith is not
belief in some far fetched fairy tale being; it is
based on knowledge, evidence and reason, and indeed it must be if it is to endure and grow!
I am positive that you will find that faith and reason
are good friends indeed, if you really put it to the test with an