Sometimes it is good to consider the logical reasons behind why we believe. Does faith stand up to logical scrutiny? Some would argue that we don’t need GOD in order to live good lives. Here are a few things to consider when we think about the logic behind belief.
The Human Condition
One criticism that is sometimes brought against faith is to say that science has replaced faith. We no longer need GOD because we can understand everything through science.
Science has limits1 - It tells us all about the natural world, how and why things work. It does not concern itself with the supernatural world - why life exists and what that means for us as intelligent lifeforms.
The work that science does is very important and is not to be disregarded. It can give us invaluable knowledge of the physical world around us. This allows us to make life better, safer, fairer and more comfortable. It is important to recognise that science and faith are fully compatible; in fact, they are complimentary, science and faith can work together. There should be no contradictory ideas in our religious beliefs and the evidence that science gives us about the natural world. If there are conflicts then we need to investigate deeply both our natural and supernatural ideas to try and work out why.
Science tells us How, faith can tell us Why. For many people it is not enough simply to know how and why life works, but there is a deeper yearning to know why life exists. This is part of the human condition! It is a question that has been asked for thousands of years and many people have come to different conclusions.
It’s About Your Attitude
Another criticism presented against faith is that there are many different religions and only one can be right2.
Simply as an example, if you were to believe that the Flying Spaghetti Monster3 is GOD but it turns out he is not then you have wasted your time because you have been performing false worship and will not get to heaven when you die.
As a Christian, my response to this is it is about your attitude.
The Christian GOD wants genuine worship. If you truly believe, trying your best to understand and worship him, he will be compassionate. Being a Christian is about constantly changing and improving, getting closer to the truth and understanding more about GOD. If we try, with the right attitude and singleness of heart then he will reach out to us.
So it is not a waste of time to be a Christian. GOD understands that we are not perfect and that we will not get everything right. This is the reason he sent his son Jesus Christ into the world, so that we can be saved from ourselves.
Reasons to Believe
I have discussed some of the arguments that are often used against faith and the existence of GOD. Now, I would now like to look at some positive reasons in their support.
The Resurrection of Jesus
There is a large amount of evidence in support of the fact that Jesus rose from the dead.4
There are 3 main facts which almost all scholars will accept:
The tomb of Jesus was genuinely empty and could be demonstrated as such at the time.
Jesus' disciples were deeply moved and affected by the time that they spent with Jesus, many were even willing to die upholding his teachings
Many people believed what the disciples were saying about Jesus and became Christian.
Jesus’ resurrection was a fundamental teaching presented by his followers. If therefore, it was easy to demonstrate that Jesus was still dead and to show his body, many people would be unconvinced by the teachings of Christianity.
The disciples suffered extreme persecution for there faith. If they knew that what they were teaching was a lie, why did they hold to it so closely?
This is a huge topic and many people have written books about this idea. I have barely scratched the surface here, but I recommend you to further reading on the topic.
Argument from Design (Teleological Argument)
When we look at a wrist watch, we know and understand that it has been designed and built. The same principle can be applied to the world around us. There are many examples of structure and order in nature, such as the Fibonacci pattern.
It is not normal for order to come from chaos, in fact we can observe the opposite in the 2nd law of thermodynamics - the natural state of thing is chaos. Eventually, order will return to chaos if left isolated5.
So then the structure and order of the universe is evidence of some kind of architect and designer6.
The Cosmological Argument (First Cause)
The Cosmological argument states that, because everything has a cause, so therefore the universe also must have been set in motion by something.7
It is clear from what we see of the world around us that there is a strong link between cause and effect. It therefore makes sense that the chemical reactions which set the big bang in motion must have been caused by something. Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. So without a GOD, there is no answer as to how or why the universe came into existence.
GOD does not have a cause, he is ageless and timeless. He is therefore able to be the first cause, who sets everything in motion. Many people have discussed this over the years; this topic is a good springboard for thought when considering evidence for the existence of GOD.
2 - One good example of this argument is presented in Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot
3 - A religion that reveres a flying spaghetti monster as god. Here is the official website
4- Here is an article about the resurrection of Jesus which goes into more detail than I have here and suggests further reading
5 - Here is an article by Live Science about entropy
6 - Here is an article for further reading about the Teleological argument
7 - Here as an article discussing First Cause in more detail