Is Belief in God Rational?

My Dear Christian Friend,

Is it logical to believe in God, or in anything supernatural? I maintain that it is not. That does not necessarily imply the absence of the supernatural or for that matter God himself, but I would argue that you cannot defend a belief in the supernatural using logic or a rational thought process.

You made the statement that, ”I believe that God gives us all the elements we need to believe in Him“, isn't that begging the question? On what basis do you believe that God exists if you have not seen or witnessed anything that could only have a supernatural explanation?

Assumption of a supernatural agency when there is no direct evidence of such a thing is not a logical conclusion to draw. Something that can be explained by both natural and supernatural causes should logically be assigned the natural cause (Occam’s Razor).

If you wish to make a case for belief in the supernatural, then logically then you must produce supernatural evidence which clearly demonstrates the existence of God or admit that it is an illogical assumption based on emotion or other subjective criteria, but you cannot call it logical and rational simply because it gives it an air of respectability if it doesn’t meet the qualifications of being a logical assumption.

You also stated that I have made it impossible for any natural event to prove to you there is a God. and that I have made it impossible for any supernatural event to show you there is a God.

In response I would remind you of a conversation we had a month or so ago when you made a very interesting argument for how God acts or does miracles in our reality. You said that it is very likely that God acts or changes things by utilizing nature as a mechanism of change.

As an example, I pray to God for a flower to grow in my front yard, 3 days later a daisy appears. You might argue that while God did not magically produce a flower, He did cause the seed that was already there to germinate and grow, in other words, God answers our prayers or acts in our universe via natural mechanisms which He controls.

If that is indeed the case, then if you start objectively with no preconceived idea that there is a God, how do you logically derive the existence of a supernatural being simply by observing natural events. Since God is using nature as His mechanism of change there is no way to know or detect a difference between natural events without God’s assistance and guided natural events, as the result of God’s intervention.

More to the point, is the fact that I could be convinced, or at least be encouraged to entertain the idea of the supernatural if for example, God would regrow a person’s severed limb, or maybe pop a new moon or two into orbit around the earth then remove them after we visited them, or maybe raise an entire city and let it float 200′ in the air to save the inhabitants from a tsunami then safely lower the city back down when it was safe.

Silly as those criteria may sound, you get the idea. In order to make belief in the supernatural logical or rational, there must be supernatural events that point to His existence. If God only works through natural means, that’s all well and good, but it then robs the believer of any real evidence that there is anything more than natural events and leaves him with “faith”, wishing for something to be true, as the only option.

All of that said, I am not making a case for turning the human race into a population of Spock like clones who only value logic and reason. I am a firm believer that there are certainly plenty of times when intuition, emotions, instinct and feelings serve us much better than logic. But even when those tools are the best ones suited for the job at hand (and I think those times can be quite frequent), that doesn't make them rational or logical.

I’m simply saying, without supernatural evidence, you cannot claim that belief in the supernatural is the result of a logical, rational, reasonable thought process, call it what it is, a desire to believe in something, in spite of the evidence.

In the end, I think that Christianity could defuse a lot of the criticism that comes from the unbelieving sector if they would stop trying to justify their belief in the supernatural by attempting to make it rational and logical in the same way that young earth creationists (YECs) could maintain their beliefs without as much criticism if they stopped trying to make it be scientific and just admitted they believe in a young earth because they want to or because their religion requires it of them.