I know quite a few Atheists and one thing I’ve heard many times is the challenge, “Prove to me that God exists.” Back when I was a skeptic and a non-believer, I even used the statement myself. At the time, I didn’t realize how nonsensical the statement is.
To begin with, what is proof to one person isn’t proof to another. This is shown in the court system. Two people, given exactly the same facts, with both people intelligent and capable of logical thought can and often do arrive at totally different and even contradictory conclusions. This begs the question, “What would be accepted as proof?”
To a believer, the proof is all around us. However, to the person making the statement, even though they are capable of reasoning and are able to see the same things, they arrive at totally different conclusions. Thus, there is huge truth in the old saying that the facts do not determine the argument, the argument determines the facts.
Also, it doesn’t help to use little snippets to stand as proof. You can challenge someone to prove that civilization exists. It does no good for them to point at a computer, skyscraper, or airplane and to say that it is proof of civilization. It is nothing of the sort. They may be proof of technology, but not of civilization. For that matter, we refer to the Greek civilization or the Aztec civilization, but neither had computers, skyscrapers, or airplanes. Civilization is a concept, so it can’t be proven by something that is material. Yet, this is exactly what people who say, “Prove that God exists” are really asking for; physical proof of a transcendent concept of a spiritual being.
Of course, the statement can also be turned around, “Prove that God doesn’t exist”. This isn’t helpful for the same reasons. Although there is no physical evidence that God doesn’t exist, there is still the matter of requesting physical proof that a transcendent concept of a spiritual being is false.
The statement can’t actually be answered, either. God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To most people, ‘exist’ means ‘that which comes into existence’. God has always been there, so He didn’t have a beginning and didn’t come into existence and therefore cannot ‘exist’. He can certainly be there, but by the limitations of the word, and the difficulty of conceptualizing a being that has always been there, He cannot exist. In other words, none of this can prove or disprove that there is a God.
This is a dilemma that many scientists faced when they first tried to prove that there was no God. Scientific thought means trying to prove a hypothesis by proving or disproving the opposite. A lot of those same learned people are now very strong evangelists when they confronted this statement with a scientific mind, which is defined by being open-minded.
Have you ever heard someone ask for proof of God’s existence?
I have used this statement, myself, in the past