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Many people claim that religion is just the unwarranted belief in things without evidence or reason, or that faith is antithetical to reason. If we do believe in God based on evidence, what would be the best way to convey these evidences to a secular world?

In other words, is there any evidence that God is real and that the bible is true?

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closed as not constructive by Caleb Nov 22 '11 at 14:53

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Faith is defined, as: 1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. 2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. It may help to provide an alternative definition of "faith" which matches the intent of the question...? –  Marc Gravell Nov 22 '11 at 14:13
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I don't think "What is the best way to talk to X about Y" questions make good SE questions. See this blog post about subjective questions. If anybody can think about a way to answer that can back up opinions with facts and references, I'd be willing to hear about it and consider editing or re-opening this. Comment here or on meta... –  Caleb Nov 22 '11 at 14:53
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I agree with Caleb. While this is an interesting question, discussion questions are better suited for the chat room. –  Richard Nov 22 '11 at 15:06
    
@Caleb I reworded the question. its a good question and can definitely be answered by scripture and historical events. –  Shredder Dec 19 '11 at 1:41
    
@Shredder if you mean the revised question... well, it is a tricky subject (which tends to devolve rapidly into what defines "evidence"), but I will assert; to the best of my knowledge, no objective, non-dismissable evidence of such has ever been presented, at any time. Scripture cannot be used as evidence - that is circular ("look, the scripture says the scripture is true!"). And before I get assaulted; by that I do not say "your faith is invalid" - I am merely limiting myself to discussion of the concrete evidence. Happy to discuss in chat if you want, though. –  Marc Gravell Dec 19 '11 at 10:51

2 Answers 2

A great many atheists / humanists are essentially applying scientific process, and science is adaptable; it is entirely willing to change, as new discovery and observation is made. All you need to do, then, is to provide some kind of tangible evidence that actually stands up for more than a few seconds in the face of the appropriate community (so, the science community if such proof is scientific, etc). Such evidence has never been forthcoming so far.

A very good example of this is the current speed of light claims. Now, general accepted wisdom is that the speed of light cannot be exceeded; however, some scientists have submitted interesting results, with decent explanation of their method and workings, and have invited the community for feedback. The scientific community did not say "pfff you're wrong", but rather (paraphrasing) - "wow; that's staggering; that challenges an awful lot of existing findings - but hey, your process is not without merit - let's look into that some more". Indeed, regardless of the outcome, the science will have progressed for the better.

(Reversing that, the problem with religious dogma is that it generally cannot be changed, even when it is outright contradicted by science).

So: in answer to your question: find evidence. Any evidence of actual merit, that can be inspected, discussed, and validated or disproved (any genuine theory must be refutable - otherwise it is simply not a theory in the way that science means).

As another example; I currently have no reason to believe that fairies exist. I am aware that some people do believe in fairies, but my default position (given a complete lack of reason-for, or evidence-of, their existence) is that : fairies do not exist. However! If you can find reasonable evidence of fairy-folk, I'll be surprised and shocked, but I'll seriously consider it (by which, I mean I should also evaluate the merit of the evidence too; photoshop is rather too good these days, for example). By the same token, homeopathy - it has proponents, but also has a lot of counter-evidence about the subject. In many ways, the argument here is alarmingly similar to religion. To paraphrase Tim Minchin (by removing the rude bits advisory)

If you show me That, say, homeopathy works, Then I will change my mind I’ll spin on a (redacted) dime I’ll be embarrassed as (redacted), But I will run through the streets yelling It’s a miracle! Take physics and bin it! Water has memory! And while it’s memory of a long lost drop of onion juice seems Infinite It somehow forgets all the poo it’s had in it!

You show me that it works and how it works, and when I've recovered from the shock I'll take a compass and carve "fancy that" on the side of my (redacted).

A common answer here is that religion is outside of things like science; that is an acceptable answer, but in that case do not engage science with logic. We can always agree to coexist without trying to convert each-other.

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Any commentary on how to handle the question itself Marc? –  Caleb Nov 22 '11 at 16:06
    
@caleb if it offends, delete it ? To me it seems a sensible enough question (my perspective may be different though). It feels like there could (should?) be answers to quesions like these, but it is a very tricky area. Maybe this site isnt the place for it. –  Marc Gravell Nov 22 '11 at 17:26
    
Offends? Who would this offend? No actually I think it's a great question that every Christian should wrestle with -- just that this QnA format isn't the way to deal with it. When everybody coming to the table is going to have a different angle and want to convince others of that angle. I didn't close this question to shut down yours or any other voice here, just because it seems like this is along the same lines of the train-wreck opinion-pile-on questions we've had to shut down in the past. I was wondered if there was a way to re-frame it that would attract a few good validatable answers? –  Caleb Nov 22 '11 at 18:44

There is no defense against atheism because it's a religion of its own. If you try to tear it down on a logical level, you will always lose, because it's not a logical problem, but a spiritual one.

Instead, you need to attack the problem from the spiritual side. Paul teaches in Romans 1 that all people know there is a God. The person you're talking to is in denial for some reason. It is this problem that must be sussed out and dealt with through prayer and speaking the word instead of trying to convince someone that faith is really logical.

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Seriously, you'll get into some heated debates if describe atheism as a religion. That is like saying the position of "not believing in fairies" is akin to folklore. Approaching an atheist as if they are in denial might be your only legitimate approach as a believer, but that will not advance the conversation with the atheist much - more likely, it will just antagonise them. –  Marc Gravell Nov 22 '11 at 14:09
    
I'm not saying you tell them that. I'm saying you need to be led of the Lord. If you're not, you shouldn't say anything at all to them, which is probably better. Your better off just telling them what you think and leaving it. My experience has taught me that Atheists love to argue. "A fool has said in his heart there is no God."--Solomon "Never argue with a [fool], because they drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain –  Thom Nov 22 '11 at 14:41
    
Thanks for labeling us fools.. Matthew 7:3-5 –  Sven Nov 22 '11 at 14:46
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I didn't label anyone a fool. That would be Solomon that said that. I don't judge anyone, but this is a Christian site. People that don't believe in God are in serious danger. What kind of person do you think I'd be if I saw that you were in serious danger and didn't tell you? –  Thom Nov 22 '11 at 14:52
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@Thom: This is not a Christian site. This is a secular site about Christianity. –  Flimzy Nov 22 '11 at 18:18

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