1118) The Burden of Proof

     Many people have the mistaken notion that all the facts point to ‘no God,’ and only by mustering up all sorts of blind faith can we believe in a God who we do not see and whose existence we cannot prove.  But it would be no less logical to ask the question of God’s existence in an entirely different way.  Instead of beginning our questioning with the God we do not see, we can look rather at what we do see– this whole universe with all of its richness and complexity– and ask how did it get here?  This is not a new question.  What is new (in the last 150 years) is the widely accepted notion that everything was able to get here all by itself, without any outside energy or intelligence.  

     Lawyers talk much about the ‘burden of proof.’  In this case, on whom should the burden of proof be placed?  Who should be required to prove their case?

     Two friends are hiking through a mountain area that has never been explored.  They come to a clearing in the woods.  Ahead of them, they see huge faces carved in stone, 50 feet high.  It is not four presidents, like on Mt. Rushmore, but three other faces that they recognize.  It is the Three Stooges, Larry, Moe and Curly, carved in stone with magnificent detail.  

     Immediately, the two friends get into an argument.  One says (logically enough), “I wonder who carved this?”  

     But the other one objects, saying, “What do you mean, ‘Who carved this?’ I don’t see anyone around here, so how can you believe anyone made it?  Those faces must have been made by the purely natural means of wind and erosion.”  He further points out that we have a photographic record to prove that Mt. Rushmore was carved by humans.  But here there was no such proof, and no ‘maker’ is visible.

     Whose side would you be on?  Who would you want most to ‘prove’ his point:  the one who logically assumes someone sculpted the faces, even though he can no longer see the sculptor; or, the one who insists, because there is no sculptor in sight, that the stone was naturally eroded into the perfect likeness of the Three Stooges?  It is certainly far more logical to assume an absent sculptor, than to attempt to argue that erosion carved the faces of Larry, Moe, and Curly in solid stone.

     In the same way, who should be required to prove their point– the Christian who says that the real, live, talking, moving Three Stooges had a Creator; or the atheist who argues that such complex living beings arose out of nothing, without a designer or maker?

     I have not yet seen the Designer, but I think it takes far more faith to believe that everything I see got here without such an Intelligent Designer.

The Three Stooges

**********************************************

Psalm 19:1  —  The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Job 38:1-4  —  Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm.  He said:  “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?  Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.  Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?  Tell me, if you understand.”

Peter 1:16  —  We did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

**********************************************

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

–First article of the Apostles’ Creed

Advertisements