The Apologist: Faith not fairies
by Simon Edwards and Heather Tomlinson
Is belief in God equivalent to believing in fairies?
God is a supernatural being and so are fairies, but that is where the similarities end. There are no good reasons to believe that fairies exist: the evidence is simply not there. When it comes to whether there is a creator-designer behind the existence of the universe, the evidence is all around us. The origin and nature of this universe requires an explanation. To think that it doesn’t is merely a refusal to think. The leading atheistic explanation, that the universe ‘just is’, is simply an assertion or claim: it is not an explanation.
Many great scientists, artists and humanitarians have said that they were inspired by God – but how many have been inspired by fairies? Large numbers of rational people claim to have experienced God; I know of none who have such personal evidence of fairies. There are a number of strong, rational arguments for the existence of God proposed by professors in great universities; there are none for fairies.
What are these rational arguments for God’s existence?
There are many. The way the universe is and how we experience it, points to the existence of God. Firstly, the best scientific evidence suggests that the universe appeared out of nothing (ex nihilo), which agrees with what Christians have been saying for centuries. Scientific laws and constants that govern our earth appear fine-tuned to exactly what’s needed for life to exist – even atheist and agnostic scientists have written books that question whether this fine-tuning points to the existence of God. Grayling’s response merely dodges the issue.
Then there’s the fact that the universe is rational and that we can comprehend it – and we have the minds and intelligence needed to do so. Both indicate that there is something more than the material world. That there are moral values that are universally and objectively true suggests the existence of God. And finally, human beings have desires for the transcendent and eternal, a desire to worship.
What about the evidence for Christian beliefs?
Christians argue that there is strong historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Whether or not Jesus rose from the dead is a question of history, and history can be investigated.
Virtually every serious historian acknowledges the following basic facts about Jesus: that he died by crucifixion, that his disciples genuinely believed that he rose from the dead and that they had seen Jesus, and that the early Church exploded in numbers soon after Jesus’ death. Christian philosophers argue that the best explanation for these facts is that Jesus rose from the dead – unless of course your mind is closed to the idea of the miraculous…