If I were to write a book, I would like it to be an apologetic piece. Not in the “I’m sorry” sense, but rather in the apologetic tradition of defending the Christian faith (note that I don’t say ‘religion’). I have sooooo many emerging thoughts on the advent of the ‘new atheism’, that en vogue movement that loves to slate Christian faith from a supposed scientific perspective. I thoroughly enjoy debating issues of faith with atheists.
Through these discussions I have been searching for a common grounds of sorts that will allow us to agree on a starting point from which to engage – so often these “religion” conversation deteriorate into into petty slander.
I think I may have found such a starting point, and it is an uncanny point of departure for people of faith: proof. Let me explain …
Donald Rumsfeld, former US Secretary of Defense, is rumoured to have said:
The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
This truth may just be a starting point for common ground discussion between Christians and atheists, especially if you are not a overly-sensitive Christian. I mean, can we really prove the existence of God?
The only time we can do this is when considering our own interpretations of certain “facts” e.g. the beauty of nature as an indicator of the existence of God. This is not a proof of God, just a proof of nature’s brilliance.
In the same way, atheists cannot disprove the existence of God (hat tip to Rumsfeld). The absence of evidence proving the absence of God is not proof of the non-existence of God. This proposition is bound to get up the nose of some atheists I know, as well as some Christians.
What say you?