Monday, 12 February 2007

Reality Precedes Discovery

(Or, Reality Precedes Knowledge.)

So, I was thinking… (Please… hold your applause!)

Many skeptics and atheists claim, as their argument against God and faith, that He cannot be proven. My question in return is, “So what?” That is no argument against God at all. Lack of proof of existence does not equate to lack of existence. Some things are true whether you know them or not. Some things exist whether you believe in them or not.

It strikes me that all things known or discovered, or the possibility of all things created or invented by mankind, existed before, and aside from, their becoming known or discovered. This, apparently, was an idea of the Greek philosopher Plato. The possibility for the electric light, for instance, existed since the beginning of the world. In a sense, Edison did not invent it; he discovered it. Edison discovered how to assemble pre-existing materials in such a way that, when electricity was passed through them in a controlled way, they gave off light. He did not create any of these materials. He just discovered how to combine them to accomplish a purpose. In the same way, electricity, or the flow of electrons from one place to another through a conductor, has existed since the beginning of things. Mankind just more recently discovered how to harness it. The same applies to heavier than air flight, penicillin, radio, computer chips and anything else you could name.

The plans for a 747 or the space shuttle could have been drawn hundreds or even thousands of years ago. They are just concepts form people’s minds set down as images on paper. It took until now because they were set down by people who built upon the foundation of knowledge laid by others who came before, but the concept, it could be said, has actually existed for ever.

In the natural world, oxygen existed long before anybody knew what it was or what it did. People lived, and were sustained by the oxygen they breathed without ever being aware of it. A skeptic may not have believed in oxygen, but that didn't mean it didn't exist.

People have been walking around for years, not knowing there were billions of dollars of oil, gold, diamonds, etc. under their feet, but it was all there anyway, whether they knew it or not, even before these things had any real economic use or value. Not knowing of them was no argument for their non-existence.

So please don’t use the tired old line, “Prove God exists” as an argument against Him. Don’t accept it either. God is there whether you know Him or not. He is there whether you believe in Him or not. He would exist even if no one knew Him or believed in Him.

He was He has made Himself evident to all through His creation (Psalm 19; Romans 1). He has made Himself manifest in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. And He has proven His presence to His followers by the witness of His Holy Spirit. I know this means nothing to non-believers, but that is how it is. It has been said that God is not so much proven as known. One who has met God knows that He exists. When one knows something beyond the shadow of a doubt, no further proof is needed. Additional “proofs” of God’s existence are just affirmations of something already realized.

Those who insist that God does not exist are like those in medieval times insisting that the world was flat. It was a belief established in their minds and these people were, and some still are, resistant to change. But their denials are as futile as those of a slug under a rock on the north shore of Alaska insisting there is no such thing as New York.

Take Care

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