There probably is a God – I think

I find myself smiling wryly when I hear about the atheist (?) campaign to put slogans on buses saying, ‘There probably is no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life.’ Why ‘probably’? Are they afraid that unless they hedge their bets and concede that they might be wrong, they will find themselves face to face with a terrifying presence booming out the words, ‘Weel, ye ken noo!’

Of course, the churches are much to blame for the image of religion that is projected to the general public, which makes it all too easy to suppose that faith has to do with repression, fear, punishment and denial of one’s humanity. My heart goes out to decent atheists and agnostics who have been so alienated by this grim negativity that they miss out on the joy and liberation of committing themselves to the God whose service is perfect freedom.

The inclusion of that ‘probably’ suggests a vestigial fear of the God whose existence they deny; but it also places them on ground that many of us believers are happy to occupy. If only they realised that people of faith don’t have to be literalists, and that faith and doubt can, for many believers, coexist comfortably, then we might be able to talk to each other. Then we would all, together, not only enjoy our lives, but know the peace that passes understanding.

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4 responses to “There probably is a God – I think

  1. there is definitely something beyond. There is nothing more limiting than a simple atheistic world view. It accepts nothing strange, nothing bizarre; all is explained. But truly the world is much more. There exists spirit.

  2. The world is all explained in the atheistic world view. We are more than willing to say “I don’t know” but it is usually followed up by “but scientists are working on that and they have some really interesting data so far”.

    There are a number of atheists who have rejected religion for emotional reasons, which I think is ridiculous and no better than accepting religion based on personal experiences.

    The definition of atheism is: a lack of belief in the existence of God or gods

    To the layman, this appears to be an argument of semantics, but it truly is not. There is no claim made in that definition, there is only the rejection of a theistic claim. We make no claim that there are no gods. We just simply state we’d like some evidence for your claim. The inclusion of the word “probably” is not done out of some silly fear of whatever beast you subscribe to. We do it out of honesty. We don’t have proof and so we are honestly stating probably.

    All that nonsense aside, the sign is primarily for atheists who don’t know about the larger organizations that are there for them. It is a hat-tip of sorts, to let them know they are not alone.

  3. Oops, typo.

    I meant to say “The world is not all explained in the atheistic world view”

  4. Welcome, Sisyphus. Perhaps I was a little hasty in ascribing the ‘probably’ to fear: apologies.

    As I more than hinted in my original post, my sympathies are with those who have rejected religion on emotional grounds, as at one time I did myself, when I left the church in which I had been brought up. But I do agree with you that not everything can be explained through an atheistic world view. Moreover, the kind of believer I and many others would claim to be doesn’t look for empirical proof of a theistic position, any more than you would do for an atheistic position.

    The key thing is that faith doesn’t rest on such proof, but on trust in a relationship with a person. For Christians, Jesus Christ, whose passage through history is well attested, is the person in whom the spirit of God is most fully present, and who reveals the nature of God. Belief, therefore, is not solely a matter of personal experiences, but of a motivated conviction of the trustworthiness of that relationship, and an attempt to give an account of that conviction.

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