What We Believe

Proving the Existence of God

How can I know for sure that God exists when I cannot see him?

Take a look around you. Maybe you are at a computer screen, and you have just flicked through emails or various websites. Outside it’s pouring with rain but there’s a glimmer of sunshine in the distance. Cars going past, police-sirens wailing, something’s cooking in the kitchen and the waft is seeping up your nose. You feel a little anxious because you haven’t done that assignment and there’s something good on telly in ten minutes’ time.

A typical experience for many of us! But how has it got anything to do with the existence of God?

Thinking it through…

“How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?” Woody Allen once asked. An extreme example to illustrate a quite serious point: we are not always thinking about God’s existence. Everyday (or not-so-everyday!) occurrences constantly crop up that stop us thinking about such ‘big questions’ as “Who am I?”, “What is the purpose of my life?”, “Is there purpose in my life?”, “Why is there so much pain and suffering in the world?”.

But the fact that you have been able to even ask these types of question tells us a very important thing: we are able to think and reflect about our surroundings. Even apes can’t do that…

And doing so means that we can think about how we got here in the first place.

But I’ve never seen God…

Some people say, “God cannot be proved, so he cannot exist”. That’s a weak argument. If I have not been to America, does that mean America is not there? I rely on others to inform me. What about great acts of love? Can I ‘see’ the love? No, what I see (for example) is a mother looking after her child, a couple walking slowly together, a heroic act to grab someone from a fire. These are acts of love. I cannot ‘see’ love, but I can deduce it from observing such acts.

We know that God exists because we can detect the signs in the universe. There is an overall order to things. That cannot be put down to chance. And how did it all begin? With God!

Apart from thinking about God’s existence from the signs of his presence in the world, we can also reflect on our own deepest longings. All of us, deep down, crave happiness, contentment, joy, fulfilment and peace. Yet our lives are often so unhappy, they lack contentment, the joys can be fleeting, and our fulfilments left wanting. This is, harsh as it may seem, a normal experience. We are made for nothing less than a life of total fulfilment in God. The great Saint Augustine of Hippo once said that, “You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you” (Confessions, 1,1). The Christian faith tells us that we are never going to be completely happy on this earth. Instead, by turning in faith and trust to Christ, he will satisfy our deepest longings in a mysterious way.

The Big Bang theory and God

God is the creator of everything. The ‘Big Bang’ theory is a good hypothesis of what could have happened when God created the universe. And it was a Catholic priest, Mgr Georges Lemaître, who proposed it!

But no matter how the universe and everything in it developed, something or someone must have put it there in the first place. We call that something or someone ‘God’.