Even if you don’t believe in God, do you wish you did? Even if you’re an atheist or an agnostic, is there still good reason to act religiously? Peter Kreeft, philosophy professor at Boston College, explains why even atheists should want there to be a God, and how acting as if there is one may actually lead to you believing it. Donate today to PragerU: http://l.prageru.com/2eB2p0h
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In this Prager University course, I want to focus not on the evidence for God’s existence, but on the benefits of belief.
If God exists, then the world didn’t just evolve by chance, but by deliberate design. There’s an Artist behind this incredible work of art—this big and beautiful world.
If God exists, we’re living in a great story, an epic like “The Lord of the Rings,” with real heroes and heroic tasks. Ultimately, all the twists and turns of this epic narrative will be paid off, everything will make sense. It will even have a happy ending, not necessarily, or even likely, in our own lifetime—even Moses didn’t get into the Promised Land—but over the grand course of time in an afterlife, which exists as surely as God exists.
If God exists, the presence of evil, hard as it is to accept, makes sense. God allows it for a reason—namely, to preserve our free will. And God will reconcile all injustices in the end. If there is no God, life is one big crapshoot.
If God does exist, morality is a real, objective feature of the world. If there is no God, morality is just the rules we make up for this little game of life we play.
If God exists, love is the nature of an eternal reality. If there is no God, love is just a fleeting feeling, no more than a bunch of chemical and neurological interactions.
If God exists, you are of infinite value. He knows you as a parent knows his child. He’s accessible to you. If there is no God, each of us is as insignificant as a rock on an unknown planet.
If God exists, death is conquered because if there is a God there is a reality outside of space and time. If there is no God, there is nothing immortal, and all the good things in life are destroyed forever. You, and everyone you love, and everything you think matters are all consigned to oblivion. If there is no God, life is pointless. Everything we’ve done and lived for will ultimately be in vain.
Can I prove with an absolute certainty that God exists? I can make the case that overwhelming evidence suggests that he does. But no I can’t prove that He exists with absolute certainty. That’s likely part of His plan. God deliberately doesn’t give us absolute proof so that we’re free to choose or not to choose to believe in Him.
So which way do you want to go?
Be honest. Doesn’t your heart at least hope that there is a good God, a transcendent Validator of love and all the highest human values? Of course it does. Why would anyone not wish that life has some ultimate purpose; that good and evil are real; that there is ultimate justice; that our love for others means something?
If you choose to live as if there is a God—even if you are not sure there is a God—you lose nothing and you gain everything.
For the complete script, visit https://www.prageru.com/courses/religionphilosophy/benefits-belief