top of page

Is It Rational to Believe God Exists?

 

Much has been written, pro and con, about the belief in the existence of God. Based on my reading of much of it, I have come to the conclusion that the following argument is sufficient to settle the question for me, and perhaps for you. Check it out.

 

Two arguments have been used to reject the belief in the existence of God: First, the belief is based on faith, which means there is no evidence to support it that can stand up to scientific scrutiny.

 

And second, the belief is supported by the various, and often conflicting, documents that are asserted to be God’s word without supporting evidence for any of them that can stand up to scientific scrutiny. It is argued that the documents were written by men and proclaimed the word of God, which means the faith is not in God but in the men who wrote them.

 

These arguments, however, are bogus because the resolution to the question is outside the realm of science. Science only deals with that which is capable of being shown false or capable of disproof. And faith-based beliefs are not capable of disproof, which means scientific reasoning cannot decide the question of whether God exists or not.

 

Besides, an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. That is, an absence of evidence in support of the belief in the existence of God that can stand up to scientific scrutiny is not evidence that God does not exist.

 

So, if science cannot help people decide whether to believe in the existence of God or not, they are left with faith alone to decide. But that begs the question: Is it rational? The answer to the question is yes if it serves the pursuit of their self-interest, the motivation in all human endeavors.

 

And in fact, the belief in the existence of God does serve the self-interest of people in two important ways. It is the belief and the alternative religions that have emanated from it that permits individuals to feel they can better cope with the adversities of life and prosper. And perhaps more importantly, the belief and the alternative religions that have emanated from it relieves their fear of death with assurances of an eternal life of happiness in heaven.

 

Of course, God either exists or does not exist. If God exists, there is much to gain from the belief, and if God does not exist, nothing is lost, except perhaps a few relatively minor pleasures and luxuries. So, people who believe in the existence of God are acting in their self-interest when they bet on the large gain with nothing to lose. And because they are acting in their self-interest, they are rational.

 

Copyright © 2024 Frank Zahn

Back to Top of Page

bottom of page