“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6)
I once had a lively discussion with a borderline agnostic/atheist who said that he did not dismiss the idea that God existed…but that to believe and to have personal faith he needed more objective, foolproof evidence for the existence of God and the truth of the Bible and Christianity.
In pondering our talk afterwards, I thought of the large number and variety of evidences that are out there in the observable world…easily accessible through commonsense contemplation…that in the hands of a skilled litigator in a courtroom…for example…would not only convince most jurors of the existence of God…but also of the divine origin of the Bible and its message.
There are dozens of broad categories of very persuasive arguments for the existence of God…many of which contain the obvious “miracles” we clearly see all around us…that we accept as commonplace and take totally for granted.
A few of these obvious evidences might be the “miracle” of male and female sexuality…or digestion…or our respiratory system…our constant heartbeat…or our balanced and symmetrical locomotion…our motor skills…or the functional integration of our diverse cell types and body parts…all of which shout-out for ingenious, thoughtful design rather than accidental, trial-and-error assemblage.
Another observable evidence for the existence of a thoughtful designer God…easily accessible to commonsense consideration…is the universal cuteness of any infant—a human toddler, a lion cub, a Golden Retriever puppy, a baby elephant, young ducklings swimming after their mother in a pond…displaying the most imaginative artistry in live action…yet totally unnecessary under a Darwinian program…having no survival-of-the-fittest value…but easily recognizable to human beings as the product of intentional thought…and not at all what we would expect from a blind, mindless, and accidental process.
Certainly the mystery of the origin of human speech and the ready inclination of young children to learn, understand, and accurately differentiate subtle concepts in language and communication…quickly amassing a growing vocabulary of new words…acquired with seeming effortlessness at a phenomenal rate of speed…is a reality far too complex and incredibly integrated to be lightly and uncritically accepted as the result of gradualistic, unguided descent-with-modification…rather than the deliberate result of thoughtful design at a brilliantly creative, extremely advanced level.
In sports…our incredible facility to be able to play professional ice hockey in the NHL…to run back the opening kick-off 100 yards for a touchdown in college football…to hit a 95-mph fastball 400 feet over the left-field fence for a home-run in baseball…to play tennis, ping-pong, badminton, volleyball, run the 100-meter sprint in track & field, run the Boston marathon, compete in the Tour de France bicycling race, surf the Bonzai Pipeline on the North Shore in Hawaii, and score a goal in World Cup soccer…all of these human achievements we tend to take for granted as natural and commonplace.
Yet these are physical acuities that are so advanced, so complex, so finely tuned, and so functionally coordinated…that to ascribe their origin to blind, mindless, indifferent, trial-and-error forces as asserted in the theory of Darwinian evolution…when we see and observe nothing incrementally progressive…nothing caught half-way in transition in macro-creative examples anywhere in the natural world today…seems on its face to be an unsupportable stretch of the philosophy of naturalistic materialism.
Certainly the existence of the unique moral framework that permeates all of the social interactions between people…which we also take totally for granted…needs explanation.
Such things as the wonderful mystery of “falling in love,” friendship, loyalty, bravery, humor, forgiveness, courageously standing-up for the right-thing even when it costs us something, giving value to other people through respect…and the flip-side—lying, cheating, prejudice, selfishness, injustice, and evil…in the hands of a skilled debater could be persuasively argued to be far beyond the creative naturalistic reach of material particles and energy…given that atomic particles and energy waves demonstrate zero capacity for assembling complex and functionally integrated systems of thought, morals, or information.
Add to this the mind-boggling Age of Information explosion over the last three or four decades…in which intelligence has been linked to the initial origin of information wherever we find complex and functionally integrated systems in human creations…in computer software language codes, literary books of every genre, and inventions of every type.
This new realization corresponds to the information-packed systems we find in the natural world such as the Big Bang creation of the universe…the fine-tuning of the mathematical constants in the laws of physics that enable the existence of complex life like ourselves—described as the Anthropic Principle…the sudden appearance of new complex life-forms during the Cambrian Explosion…and the intricate body-plan architectures and lifestyle habits of every living creature…to name only a few examples.
Curiously, in the area of the fine arts…we see the seemingly universal through-line of the ending finales of good overcoming evil…of the “good” cowboys wearing white hats rounding up the “bad” cowboys wearing black hats…fundamental as satisfying outcomes within the storyline fabric of countless modern movies, theater plays, and books.
Oddly, this comes from a sophisticated popular culture today that otherwise…outwardly at least…claims to avoid the acknowledgment of the concept of biblical sin…the universal imperfection we all share…and that we all try to minimize and sweep-under-the-rug.
How can the existence and complexity of good versus evil…sliced-and-diced in every which way in enumerable, fictional storyline settings in books and movies…of unending fascination and interest to the human psyche…how can the plausible explanation for the existence of this complex reality…be the sole product of a blind and mindless Mother Nature…according to the philosophical worldview of naturalistic materialism?
The mere existence of the word forgiveness in our vocabulary and in our dictionary argues for a transcendent capacity for moral discernment and transactional judgment in human beings…far above and vastly different from the rest of the natural living world.
The origin of the concept of falling short of some independent standard of behavior and thinking…rightly requiring us to ask forgiveness from other people we have harmed or offended…in order to mend and to restore a personal relationship…has no survival-of-the-fittest value in a materialistic Darwinian worldview
A final example, for the brief purposes of this opening introduction…representing one small factoid…again amongst hundreds of thousands of similar everyday commonsense examples that could be offered as persuasive evidence argued in a court of law…in favor of the necessity of an intelligent designer God…is the existence of our navel…our “belly button”…the umbilical cord between mother and baby that is severed and tied at childbirth. Every human has one.
Is there a plausible series of sequential events that would serve as an intermediate bridge of failures between the first dysfunctional umbilical cord leading to immediate death of the human fetus at the very start of a materialistic creative progression…to cross the gap to a totally functional assemblage producing a viable fetus reaching the point in time of nine-month maturity and a healthy childbirth…whereupon the umbilical cord is cut-off from the placenta and tied into a knot…at our stomachs?
Commonsense reasoning tells us that this one indispensable feature necessary for life…amongst thousands of other complex and tightly sequenced and integrated features in the human body…of a functional umbilical cord with all of its complex processes…must be up and running at just the right time in the embryonic development process of the human fetus occurring within the mother…for successful human reproduction to take place.