Is it logical to believe in God? | City Bible Forum
Loading...

Is it logical to believe in God?

Is it logical to believe in God?

Sun Jul 14th, 2019
Philosophy of science, Life stories
philosophy, logic
Alt
Bible reference(s): Colossians 1.15-17

In 2010 in the Wall Street Journal, outspoken atheist comedian Ricky Gervais said,

“I don’t believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I’ve heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe”

Is Ricky Gervais right, or is it logical to believe in God?

We ask Professor Greg Restall some Bigger Questions.

Greg is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne where he teaches philosophy and logic. He has published over 80 articles, is the author of four books, and blogs at consequently.org.

This episode was originally broadcast and released on 2nd April 2017, hence the absence of an episode number.


Invest in Bigger thinking for as little as US$1 per podcast on Patreon.


Bigger Questions asked in the conversation

You’re a logician, now apparently that’s different from a magician?

Smaller Questions

Today we’re talking with Greg Restall about if it is logical to believe in God. So Greg, our smaller questions to you today are: how well can you do logic problems?

Philosophy

So Greg, is teaching logic just giving your classes difficult logic problems?

What happens when you say you’re a philosopher at a party?

In 2011 famed physicist Stephen Hawking declared, philosophy is dead. Is philosophy important in everyday life at all?

Greg's story

Now your interest in philosophy actually began as a religious quest - can you tell us what happened? Tell us your story.

What was is about Jesus that convinced you to follow him?

Logic and God - is it logical to believe in God?

In the Wall Street Journal in 2010, outspoken atheist comedian Ricky Gervais said,

“I don’t believe in God because there is absolutely no scientific evidence for his existence and from what I’ve heard the very definition is a logical impossibility in this known universe”

Yet your personal experience would suggest otherwise. But is Ricky Gervais right, that God is by definition, a logical impossibility? Or is it logical to believe in God?

Some are not convinced by the philosophical arguments for God? Are they actually good arguments? (i.e. are the arguments actually logically sound?)

Some would object and say that we don’t even need logical reasons to believe - Logic isn’t important as long as you have faith? What do you say?

The Bible’s answer - Colossians 1

Today's Big Question is: Is it logical to believe in God? Perhaps surprisingly the Bible also offers an answer. In a letter found in the New Testament, written by the Apostle Paul to the early church in Colossae, which is in modern day Turkey, Paul says this about Jesus,

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

How does this help us answer the question of is it logical to believe in God?

So when Paul writes in Christ all things hold together - you see a logical nature in God and in his universe?

What is significant that it is in Jesus Christ, that ‘all things hold together’?

What difference does this make to you?

Is it significant, that you as a philosopher are more convinced of the logic of God through the person and work of Jesus than philosophical arguments?

19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Paul goes on in verse 20 to speak about reconciling himself to all things, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. What is the significance of this?

The Big Question

So Greg, is it logical to believe in God?


Please share this show with your friends or colleagues. Let’s get the word out and get more people asking the bigger questions.

Comments

  • Alt
    Mon Jul 22nd, 2019 reply

    With Ricky Gervais's comments in the back of mind :) my short response would be that there is ample evidence that consciousness is not formed in our brains but that our brain acts as a reception and reducing valve of sorts from which we access consciousness, albeit limited, making us conscious beings. Physicists currently know almost nothing about where consciousness comes from or why we are conscious beings. Hopefully research into this area will rapidly increase and old ideas which Ricky obviously has adopted from somewhere (who knows where Ricky - right) will be debunked on favour of a new understanding of consciousness. James Jeans an imminent Physicist, astronomer and mathematician said it all those years ago " The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter....we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter."
    He goes on to add, in answer to the question 'do you believe that life on this planet is the result of some sort of accident, or do you believe that it is part of some great scheme?', "I incline to the idealistic theory that consciousness is fundamental, and that the material universe is derivative from consciousness, not consciousness from the material universe...In general the universe seems to me to be nearer to a great thought than a great machine. It may well be, it seems to me, that each individual consciousness ought to be compared to be brain-cell in a universal mind."
    Further he adds in his book "The Universe around us" "...travelling as far back in time as we can, brings us not to the creation of the picture, but to it's edge; the creation of the picture lies as much outside the picture as the artist is outside his canvas. On this view, discussing the creation of the Universe in terms of time and space is like trying to discover the artist and the action of painting, by going to the edge of the canvass. This brings us very near to the philosophical systems which regard the Universe as a thought in the mind of its creator, thereby reducing all discussion of material creation to futility."
    Scientific materialistic thinking, although dominating most of the discussion around the big questions is doomed to fail unless it's proponents are willing to engage in serious discussion concerning the nature of consciousness of we we know next to nothing about- at least under our current paradigms.

    Maybe we need to listen more to the great artist and designer whoever you wish to call him - God, The One, I Am, the Alpha and Omega.... He might just know more than we know

    An interesting footnote is that Sir James Hopwood Jeans lived from 1877 - 1946. Indeed a man - and thinking - before his time.

  • Alt
    Mon Jul 22nd, 2019 reply

    With Ricky Gervais's comments in the back of mind :) my short response would be that there is ample evidence that consciousness is not formed in our brains but that our brain acts as a reception and reducing valve of sorts from which we access consciousness, albeit limited, making us conscious beings. Physicists currently know almost nothing about where consciousness comes from or why we are conscious beings. Hopefully research into this area will rapidly increase and old ideas which Ricky obviously has adopted from somewhere (who knows where Ricky - right) will be debunked on favour of a new understanding of consciousness. James Jeans an imminent Physicist, astronomer and mathematician said it all those years ago " The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter....we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter."
    He goes on to add, in answer to the question 'do you believe that life on this planet is the result of some sort of accident, or do you believe that it is part of some great scheme?', "I incline to the idealistic theory that consciousness is fundamental, and that the material universe is derivative from consciousness, not consciousness from the material universe...In general the universe seems to me to be nearer to a great thought than a great machine. It may well be, it seems to me, that each individual consciousness ought to be compared to be brain-cell in a universal mind."
    Further he adds in his book "The Universe around us" "...travelling as far back in time as we can, brings us not to the creation of the picture, but to it's edge; the creation of the picture lies as much outside the picture as the artist is outside his canvas. On this view, discussing the creation of the Universe in terms of time and space is like trying to discover the artist and the action of painting, by going to the edge of the canvass. This brings us very near to the philosophical systems which regard the Universe as a thought in the mind of its creator, thereby reducing all discussion of material creation to futility."
    Scientific materialistic thinking, although dominating most of the discussion around the big questions is doomed to fail unless it's proponents are willing to engage in serious discussion concerning the nature of consciousness of we we know next to nothing about- at least under our current paradigms.

    Maybe we need to listen more to the great artist and designer whoever you wish to call him - God, The One, I Am, the Alpha and Omega.... He might just know more than we know

    An interesting footnote is that Sir James Hopwood Jeans lived from 1877 - 1946. Indeed a man - and thinking - before his time.

  • Alt
    Mon Jul 22nd, 2019 reply

    With Ricky Gervais's comments in the back of mind :) my short response would be that there is ample evidence that consciousness is not formed in our brains but that our brain acts as a reception and reducing valve of sorts from which we access consciousness, albeit limited, making us conscious beings. Physicists currently know almost nothing about where consciousness comes from or why we are conscious beings. Hopefully research into this area will rapidly increase and old ideas which Ricky obviously has adopted from somewhere (who knows where Ricky - right) will be debunked on favour of a new understanding of consciousness. James Jeans an imminent Physicist, astronomer and mathematician said it all those years ago " The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter....we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter."
    He goes on to add, in answer to the question 'do you believe that life on this planet is the result of some sort of accident, or do you believe that it is part of some great scheme?', "I incline to the idealistic theory that consciousness is fundamental, and that the material universe is derivative from consciousness, not consciousness from the material universe...In general the universe seems to me to be nearer to a great thought than a great machine. It may well be, it seems to me, that each individual consciousness ought to be compared to be brain-cell in a universal mind."
    Further he adds in his book "The Universe around us" "...travelling as far back in time as we can, brings us not to the creation of the picture, but to it's edge; the creation of the picture lies as much outside the picture as the artist is outside his canvas. On this view, discussing the creation of the Universe in terms of time and space is like trying to discover the artist and the action of painting, by going to the edge of the canvass. This brings us very near to the philosophical systems which regard the Universe as a thought in the mind of its creator, thereby reducing all discussion of material creation to futility."
    Scientific materialistic thinking, although dominating most of the discussion around the big questions is doomed to fail unless it's proponents are willing to engage in serious discussion concerning the nature of consciousness of we we know next to nothing about- at least under our current paradigms.

    Maybe we need to listen more to the great artist and designer whoever you wish to call him - God, The One, I Am, the Alpha and Omega.... He might just know more than we know

    An interesting footnote is that Sir James Hopwood Jeans lived from 1877 - 1946. Indeed a man - and thinking - before his time.

Leave a Comment