Convince Me There’s A God: Questions
by Mark McGee
Atheists know that “changing sides” is against the code. Not many of us do that – change sides – but I did. Atheists have been asking me for the past 40+ years why I went from atheism to theism. It’s a fair question and why I’m writing this series of articles about what convinced me that God exists. I’m reaching back to those months before May 1971 when I made “the change” to demonstrate that what I did was both “reasonable” and “necessary.”
My belief about the origin of the universe was affected by a variety of theories. As a child of the mid-20th century, I heard about creation at church and about evolution at school. Many churches taught a blend of creationism and evolution (theistic evolution), so it was easy to move between what I was learning at church and learning at school. I don’t remember any conflicts. As a student of martial arts in my early teen years I learned about a variety of origin beliefs from China, Japan and India, but they were obviously mythological. Evolution became the most reasonable explanation to me, especially as atheism became my dominant belief system in my later teens.
I became a radio journalist after college and had the opportunity to have my own talk shows in addition to producing shows for other hosts. My atheistic worldview became an issue with many listeners, which led to some interesting discussions about the origin of the universe and life. I interviewed people from a variety of backgrounds including atheists, agnostics, communists, witches, warlocks and satanists, but it was my interview with a science professor that led me to search for answers to questions I had not considered before.
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The Cosmological Argument was interesting to me because it dealt with something I could see – the cosmos. I remember reading about many theories concerning the universe (e.g. Eternal Steady State, Big Bang, Static/Expanding, Oscillating). The Static and Steady State theories had been beaten up pretty well by the late 1960s and the Big Bang was growing in appeal. The discovery of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation in the mid-60s gave support to the theory of an explosive, hot beginning to the universe. The idea of a “beginning” to the universe was sounding more plausible than an eternal cosmos.
However, I had not given serious consideration to a simple question: what existed before the “big bang?” That question bothered me as journalist. How could nothing become something? Especially if there was nothing to cause it to become something?
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