I’m a graduating in philosophy and I believe in God: Faith is rational, atheism is illogical

The job of an opinion columnist isn’t always to frame winning arguments-that’s virtually impossible in less than 500 words-but rather, to make people question their beliefs in hopes of opening their minds. It is in that spirit that I write my final column for The Chronicle.

I am about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, and it has always disconcerted me when philosophers debase theism as dogmatically reliant upon non-rational foundations.

Something is only a dogma if people believe it without good argumentation. I submit that there is ample argumentation for belief in a creator. There are at least two rational arguments for God’s existence.

First, the design of the universe implies the existence of a creator. I believe in evolution and I think the Big-Bang Theory is a plausible explanation for the creation of the universe. But I also believe these could merely be the means whereby God created the universe.

The second argument in favor of God’s existence is testimony. Otherwise rational men have claimed to see God and have documented their experiences in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Talmud, and Koran. Of course, this does not prove that God exists, for the universe could have been created randomly and the prophets could have been mistaken or lying. But this at least gives me reason to believe in God.

Ultimately, it is atheism, not theism that is founded upon non-rational foundations.

Hume’s problem of induction states that experiential claims have no rational basis. For example, if in 3,000 experiments water boiled at 100 degrees Celsius, it’s possible that on try number 3,001 water does not boil at 100 degrees. Statements expressing “all” entail that X is always observed and one disconfirming example makes an “all” statement false.

Since one cannot conduct infinite experiments, one can never know the truth of a statement with certainty.

Atheism is the ultimate “all” statement because it claims that God does not now exist, has never existed, and will never exist. That means one true instance of someone seeing God, receiving an answer to prayer or receiving a true revelation disproves atheism.

Theism does not face this same logic flaw because theism is a “some” statement. Theism claims God has existed (or does exist) so one true observation of God proves this.

This also does not prove the existence of God, it only makes it rational to believe in a creator. Faith is not blind belief. It is a hope for something that is not seen, but which is true. It is rational to believe God’s existence is a concrete possibility.

My belief in God is founded upon rational principles, not blindness. My eyes are wide open to the logical probability of the existence of a creator. This is my foundation as a theist.

I urge everyone to question their assumptions, their beliefs about religious authority. There is no answer if there is no question, and only then can we avoid the dogmatism of which we have been accused.

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