The Evidence for God is Widely Available and Easily Resistible

by Paul Gould

When asked what he would say if, upon his death he found himself before God, the great 20th century atheist Bertrand Russell famously replied, “God, you gave us insufficient evidence.”[1] While this reply has the ring of wisdom and steady confidence to our modern ears, my guess is that such responses will sound hallow on the other side of eternity. Is it really the case that there is insufficient evidence for God, as the atheist so often asserts? Or, as the theist so often replies, is all creation “charged with the grandeur of God,”[2] pointing, for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, to a transcendent reality?

The Baylor philosopher C. Stephen Evans offers a helpful way to understand the evidence for God’s existence. Given that God’s intention for humans is that we would flourish in a loving relationship with him, it is reasonable to think that the evidence for God’s existence is widely available. Evans specifies this truth in terms of the following principle:

Wide Accessibility Principle: The evidence for God is widely available and not difficult to attain.

The evidence for God functions as a “natural sign,” a “pointer,” a “clue” that points to something beyond itself. In his book Natural Signs and the Knowledge of God, Evans considers three natural signs that he thinks ground the classical arguments—cosmological, teleological, and moral—for God.[3] For example, experiences of cosmic wonder, in which the world or objects of the world are perceived as mysterious or puzzling and thus cry out for an explanation, point to a transcendent reality as the cause or explanation of the world or objects of the world…

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The Evidence for God is Widely Available and Easily Resistible | Paul Gould