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16 Reasons Why I Believe In God: Introduction

James

The Creation of Adam, by Michelangelo (c. 1512) - Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

The Creation of Adam, by Michelangelo (c. 1512) - Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

This is the start of a new blog series on why I believe in God. After years of dialoging with friends (both skeptic and religious), and trying to understand their doubts (many of which I've shared at one point or another), I'm convinced that a series like this may be helpful to people who are both interested in the subject of God's existence and open-minded enough to listen.

This series represents over a decade of personal and academic study for me, including two philosophy degrees. I hope it is helpful to you in some way. If it is, please share. Before you do, there are some important things to keep in mind:  

(1) The reasons I am offering for belief in God are just that -- reasons. They are not standalone "proofs." They should be taken together as a cumulative case.  

(2) At best, the reasons I'm providing might show that it is more rational to believe in God than not to. At the very least, they show that belief in God is rational.  

(3) Not all of the reasons provide direct evidence of God. Some provide indirect evidence by simply making his existence more plausible.  

(4) Numerous books have been written about each reason. Thus, it is impossible for me to capture the full nuance of each argument in a brief, readable blog post. My goal is simply to provide a concise summary of each one, along with resources for further reading.  

(5) Most of the arguments I'm offering do not prove Christianity specifically. They're reasons to believe in the God of monotheism, which is compatible with Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. There will be a couple, however, that are specific to Christian belief.  

(6) I'm not trying to argue anyone into becoming a Christian (I don't think faith works like that). Rather, my goal is to provide helpful information and perspective to those (believers and skeptics alike) who are genuinely interested.  

(7) Religious believers don't necessarily need to be aware of these arguments for their belief in God to be valid. It's quite possible that belief in God is basic to humans -- like belief in the physical world, or other minds; we are hard-wired for it. In the absence of good reasons to doubt it, belief in God is justified all by itself; no fancy arguments needed. However, many skeptics have claimed there are good reasons to doubt belief in God, or that belief in God is irrational. In that case, for religious believers to continue validly holding their belief, they may, in fact, need to do some homework -- for those who want to be able to give a reason why they hold their belief (and for Christians this is especially important -- 1 Peter 3:15) they most definitely will have to! But whether you are a religious believer or skeptic, I think it's always healthy and good to have a firm grasp on what you believe and why. This will inevitably involve questioning some of your own assumptions (yes, even doubts are based on assumptions), and will require time, thought, effort, courage, and open-mindedness on your part. I hope this blog series will aid you in that endeavor.  

(8) Lastly, one of the great rewards (and motivations) for studying these arguments is not to have an air-tight set of beliefs that you can then flaunt to those whom you disagree with. Rather, it is joy. G.K. Chesterton wrote, "There is a whole truth of things, and..in knowing it and speaking it we are happy." I've found this to be absolutely true. I hope you can as well.

Here's a preview of what's to come!

  1. The Origin of the Universe
  2. The Contingency of the Universe
  3. The Regularity of the Universe
  4. The Fine-Tuning of the Universe
  5. The Origin of Biological Information
  6. Consciousness and Identity
  7. Reason
  8. Laws of Logic
  9. The Existence of Evil
  10. Our Moral Intuitions
  11. Beauty
  12. Love
  13. Miracles (Part 1 and Part 2)
  14. Meaning
  15. Human Experience
  16. Personal Experience

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