Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Common Objection #5

"Belief in God is unreasonable or delusional"

Many who deny the existence of God most often do so with an appeal to reason. It is not uncommon to hear someone claim that those who believe in God are "delusional."

However, as philosopher Norman Geisler and Winfried Corduan explain, perhaps it's not the theist who is being unreasonable:

"We may reverse the tables on unbelief and say that to deny the reality of the Transcendent is unbelievable. For it must assume that one of humanity's most basic needs is being completely mocked by the world, leaving people with the real need for God but without a real God who can fulfill that need.

Further, the denial of the reality of the Transcendent entails the assertion that not only some people have been deceived about the reality of God but that indeed all religious persons who have ever lived have been completely deceived into believing there is a God when really there is not. For if even one religious person is right about the reality of the Transcendent, then there really is a Transcendent.

It seems much more likely that such self-analyzing and self-critical men as Augustine, Blaise Pascal, and Kierkegaard were not totally deceived than that total skepticism is right. It is simply unbelievable that every great saint in the history of the world, and even Jesus Christ himself, was completely deceived about the reality of God. Unless it is true that no person in the history of the world has ever really been truly critical of his religious experience, then it follows that the reality of God has been critically established from human experience.

Experience -- hard, critical experience -- indicates that people are not being totally deceived. There is a reality basis for at least some religious experience. And hence there is a God (or Transcendent) to fulfill the human need to transcend."
[1]

There seems to be some truth after all in the oft repeated, "Man is a God intoxicated ape."

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad A. Gross

References:

1. Norman Geisler and Winfried Corduan, Philosophy of Religion (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), p. 76.

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