Russell, Pascal, Evidence and the Human Heart

by Tim Barnett

The famous atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell was once asked to imagine what he would say to God if he found himself standing before Him after his death and God furiously demanding why Russell didn’t believe in Him. Russell said he would ask, “Sir, why did you not give me better evidence?” [1]

This is similar to a question that I hear all the time. If God exists, why isn’t there more evidence for His existence?

The brilliant French mathematician Blaise Pascal had an answer for Bertrand Russell. Pascal believed that there is sufficient evidence to any honest seeker who seeks after God with all their heart. He writes:

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Willing to appear openly to those who seek him with all their heart, and to be hidden from those who flee from him with all their heart, God so regulates the knowledge of himself that he has given indications of himself which are visible to those who seek him and not to those who do not seek him. There is enough light for those to see who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition. [2]

God does not want to coerce anyone into coming into a relationship with Himself. Yet, on a moments reflection, that is exactly what too much evidence would do. God could have written ‘YAHWEH’ in the stars or had ‘Made by God’ stamped on every atom in the universe, but this would only force Himself into our lives and eliminate the possibility of genuinely seeking Him with all our hearts…

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The Poached Egg ApologeticsRussell, Pascal, Evidence and the Human Heart | ClearThinking Christianity

 

RECOMMENDED APOLOGETICS RESOURCES FOR FURTHER READING:

Evidence for GodEvidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science

Why People Don't Believe: Confronting Seven Challenges to Christian FaithWhy People Don’t Believe: Confronting Seven Challenges to Christian Faith

 

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