There are some things you don’t have to see to believe

C.T. Powell in his book ‘Seeing is Believing’ reports on an interchange between a high school teacher and one of her students about evidence for the existence of God. The teacher had challenged the students to provide one piece of tangible evidence and, because no-one could, she said: ‘Then our logical conclusion is that God doesn’t exist.’ But one girl challenged her on this by saying: “Just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. We could do brain surgery and investigate the parts of your brain and we could do a CAT scan and see the brain patterns in your head. But we couldn’t prove that you’ve had a single thought today. Does that mean that you haven’t thought anything today?
Evidence comes in many forms; you don’t always have to see to believe. There are some things you just know are true.

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4 Responses to There are some things you don’t have to see to believe

  1. What a strange thing to say. Well, it’s a girl, so we don’t expect wisdom: Of course we can scan the brain and see the activity there and yes, we can also see that way that certain types of mental processes produce activity in certain parts of the brain. By doing that with thousands of people, we have a least some pretty good indication that the brain activity, commonly called “thoughts” do exist.

    But, sorry, I am not amused by yet another sad attempt of a Christian to redefine a word to fit his personal beliefs (after “love”, “persecution”, etc. now we get “evidence”?). A simple look around the various religions of the world shows you, that the things people believe to “just know” vary wildly (and contradict each other). You are only trying to magically transform your personal belief into evidence. It just doesn’t work that way.

    • Good point, Atomic A; the range of things that people ‘just believe’ is huge and often contradictory. However my point is similar to what you say in your first paragraph: that our belief in the existence of things like human thought is based on personal experience rather than proved by actually seeing ‘thought’. Faith in a higher power behind the known universe is the same; observe many thousands of people and you see that there is actually something there.
      Faith, like thought, can be used for good or evil; but it’s there.
      A CAT scan will neither prove nor disprove that I have thoughts – nor will anything else based on the 5 senses; but I know that I think. In the same way tangible evidence via the 5 senses can neither prove nor disprove the reality of faith in God; but I know my faith is real. Much of what we know comes to us intuitively.

      • No, it is not even remotely the same. Brain activity, we can measure. We have examples of changes in personality after brain damage. We have tests on the influence of drugs, etc.etc.etc. We have various pieces of evidence, independent of personal bias (because that’s what good scientific studies do – remove as much human error as possible). And if you understood science, you would understand, that it’s not about proof – it’s about evidence.

        On the other hand, we have your personal feeling.

        No, sorry to burst your bubble here, but these two things are not the same. One is blind faith. The other is not.

        And as much of what comes to us intuitively is, sorry, complete bullshit, I do not consider that a valid form of knowledge. People intuitively believe nonsense like homeopathy – despite it being proven completely useless again and again and again. What do I trust more? The vague feelings of a bored housewife without any medical education or hard, cold studies? Well, guess…

      • I think we may have to agree to disagree on how much difference there is here, Atomic M. The sort of things you refer to which confirm what we already know inwardly – ie: that there is such a thing as thought – are also present as confirmations that there is validity to faith in God. Research constantly shows that people with faith score higher on a holistic wellbeing scale than people without faith For example, one of the leading social analysts in America today is Arthur Brooks, currently president of the American Enterprise Institute.
        In his 2006 book “Who Really Cares,” he summarized scores of academic studies demonstrating that religious people give far more to charity — even to non-religious charities — than do the non-religious. They’re also more likely to volunteer to serve with such charities, as well as to assist family and friends, to donate blood, to give food or money to homeless people on the street, and even to return change mistakenly given to them by a cashier.
        In his 2008 book, Gross National Happiness, he reports that religious people of all faiths are, on average, markedly happier than secularists, and this is true even when wealth, age and education are taken into account. In one major survey, 23 percent of secularists reported being “very happy” with their lives, versus 43 percent of religious respondents. Believers are a third more likely to express optimism about the future. Unbelievers are almost twice as likely as the religious to say, “I’m inclined to feel I’m a failure.”
        This also is evidence that what I know intuitively within myself is a reality.

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