Most people are under the assumption that the reason some individuals have become an atheist is because there is no evidence for God. Nothing could be further from the truth. After nearly 45 years of debating the issues of God with atheists, I have found that evidence alone does not convince those who do not believe in God.
A large number of people who were there and saw Jesus open the eyes of the blind, heal the sick, and raise the dead, still did not believe in Him.
Jesus said to them, but you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. ~John 6:36 (NLT)
But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted in 53:1: “Lord, who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?” ~John 12:37-38 (NLT)
Evidence does not convince anyone who does not want to believe. The atheist’s demand for evidence is sometimes a facade that hides a heart that has no desire for God.
Meeting The Burden Of Proof
When the atheist demands evidence, exactly what kind of evidence are they seeking? You will discover that a majority of atheists don’t know what the different levels of evidence are which meet the burden of proof. When we examine the legal definition for evidence that fulfills the required burden, we find that the evidence for God, meets and exceeds all four legal definitions.
Substantial evidence is greater than a mere scintilla. This evidence is sufficient to meet the demands of a reasonable mind. In the case of evidence to prove the existence of God, we find that science does provide us with substantial proof that our universe exists only because of intelligence, not by mere natural events. We find that the historical record has produced evidence of 24,593 surviving manuscript copies of text that states that God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, performed miracles to prove that He is God, was crucified and rose from the dead on the third day. These statements in the text are supported by eyewitnesses who say that they saw and heard these things and they swear that they are telling truth.
There are no other gods or religions which can meet the level of evidence that the God of the Bible has provided for us
This is evidence for God that exceeds the demands of substantial evidence.
Preponderance Of Evidence
Preponderance of evidence, also known as balance of probabilities, is the standard required in most civil cases. The standard is met when the proposition is more likely to be true than not true. The standard is satisfied if there is greater than fifty percent chance that the proposition is true.
In matters of the universe, no science has ever proven that the universe began or exists because of a naturally occurring process. We find that there are 1,978 physical constants which are precisely set that make the existence of the universe possible so that earth can support human life. These fine-tuned physical constants are exceedingly great scientific evidence for an intelligent Being as the source of the universe.
This is evidence that also exceeds the demands for the preponderance of evidence.
Clear And Convincing Evidence
Clear and convincing evidence is a higher level of burden of persuasion than the preponderance of evidence. A principle must be proven by facts. Clear and convincing proof means that the evidence presented must be more probable than not. This standard, requires a greater degree of believability than the common standard of proof in civil actions, that requires only that facts are more likely than not to prove the issue for which they are asserted.
Because science proves that intelligence is required for our universe to exist and only a mind is capable of intelligence, the facts for how the universe began by specific processes that were impossible to occur by chance, this leaves only one remaining alternative; the universe was caused to begin and exist by a thinking agent.
Because there is such a substantial historical record for the person described as Jesus Christ and eyewitnesses state that He performed all of the works that anyone could demand from a Being claiming to be God, even raising people from the dead, walking on the surface of water, and raising Himself from the dead, this is evidence that is beyond clear and convincing.
This evidence of facts concerning Jesus as God also exceeds the demands of clear and convincing evidence.
Evidence Beyond A Reasonable Doubt
This is the highest standard used as the burden of proof in American jurisprudence.
The burden of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt is met if there is no plausible reason to believe otherwise. If there is a real doubt, based upon reason and common sense after careful and impartial consideration of all the evidence, or lack of evidence in a case, then the level of proof has not been met.
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt, therefore, is proof of such a convincing character that one would be willing to rely and act upon it without hesitation in the most important of one’s own affairs. However, it does not mean the evidence is an absolute certainty.
The standard that must be met is that no other logical explanation can be derived from the facts.
When we consider whether there is evidence to conclude whether the universe came into existence on its own, or as a result of some former universe, there is no provable scientific evidence that these are true.
The actual provable scientific evidence demonstrates that there was nothing in existence before the universe began, no time, no space, no matter. Suddenly, a tiny particle the size of an atom containing everything that ever will exist, exploded and began to expand into the universe we now inhabit. In the first 3 minutes helium and hydrogen were created, as well as all the laws of physics to govern the universe. If the creation of hydrogen and helium had taken place at 30 seconds instead of 3 minutes, there would have been no possibility of stars, and therefore no earth or human life.
The universe knew what it needed to do, before it began. Gravity and electromagnetism were created and balanced so finely that even a slight variance of 10^40 would have caused the universe to immediately collapse back upon itself and cease to exist.
There are no natural processes that are capable of perfectly balancing elements, or creating the precise elements required for life, by an accidental or random process. The results of every process that took place at the beginning of the universe had to have been known before it began, or it would have expanded in chaos and never produced stars, planets, or human life. Intelligence was required at every juncture of the universe and the only intelligence that could achieve this process and result is a mind of infinite capacity and unlimited power.
Because there is no plausible alternative to an intelligent Creator who not only had the technology to create a universe, but also understood the results of improperly constructing a universe, an infinitely intelligent Being is the only reasonable and scientific answer for the universe.
Science understands today that if any one of the 1,978 physical constants that make the universe possible were not precisely set at the beginning of the universe, and continuing throughout its entire 13.8 billion year history, the universe would not exist and no human life would be present on earth.
This is evidence that is beyond a reasonable doubt that God must exist and is the sole reason that the universe exists.
The demands of evidence for God have been met and exceeded. In spite of this, most atheists will never believe that God does exist. The problem is not with the evidence, but with the human heart that cannot accept even what the mind tells the heart is true.
This is the reason that Paul wrote in the New Testament that salvation and eternal life can only be possible if the heart believes that Jesus died and rose again and a person will confesses this with their mouth. Even though the mind can see or hear and understand the facts which prove God exists, unless the person changes their heart and is willing, they will still not be able to believe.
Categories: Agnostics and Skeptics, Archeological Confirmation, Atheists, Common objections by Atheists, Empirical Evidence for God, How Salvation Occurs, Jesus is God, Literary authenticity of the New Testament, Reliability of the New Testament, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation through Jesus, Scientists Who Believe in God, The Condition of the Heart, The Existence of God, The Four Gospels, The Historical Jesus, The Historical Jesus, The Miracles of Jesus, The Resurrection, What is required for Heaven?, Why God Allows Evil