The reason that any such proof would dent my faith is twofold. The simplest is that for me God is so incomprehensible (apophatic in the trade) and we could only prove the existence of something comprehensible - therefore we have proven the existence of something less than God!
The second reason is that for me free will is required in faith. If there were incontrovertible proof of God then we would have no choice (who am I kidding?) but to believe in Him - although of course believing in Him and choosing to love and follow Him are perhaps two different things. Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, said this in his Easter Sermon:
For many people believing in God, having a faith, is impossibly difficult. They want proof or tangible signs of his existence. Yet when you think about it most things we do in life have an element of trust, of faith. Crossing the road, catching a plane, being in love, assume faith and trust. Love cannot be proved but we each know what it is, how it makes us feel.My faith is based instead on a relationship with God in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I cannot prove this, I can barely explain it, but I have experienced it and having done so have been changed by it.
These thoughts were in part stimulated by the discussion going on mainly on this blog post, which also included a link to this mathematical proof for the existence of God (which I see as a probabilistic argument - see below).
Proofs for the existence of God and my problem with them (!) below the fold.
There are a number of different proofs given for the existence of God:
- Ontological argument - God is a being greater than which nothing can be imagined and as existence trumps non existence He also exists. Objections are covered in the link - but for me it is that God is more than I can imagine - so if I can imagine it then it isn't God!
- First Cause argument - Everything is caused by something else - God is the first, uncaused, cause. Even if I accept the argument (not bothered to worry whether I do or not) that doesn't prove that the first mover is God - just that it exists.
- Teleological argument - If you found a watch you would deduce a watchmaker. The natural world implies a creator. Again I am not happy with this, although evolution does not rule out a creator, as it might prove a creator, but not the God of Christianity.
- God is more probable - Given the universe that we inhabit then God is a more likely explanation than anything else. Stephen Unwin even quantifies this! The problem is that with only one universe all are equally likely so we might just be lucky! It is a bit like the idea of carrying a bomb onto an aeroplane (no longer recommended J) on the grounds that the probability that there are two bombs on the plane are very small.
- The occurrence of a Miracle - However, I suspect that most people who do not want to believe would find an alternative explanation.