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My Attempt At Response To The Question: Does God Really Exist? Convince Me.

Updated on January 6, 2013

I do not believe one can be “convinced” of God by mere teachings about Him, but only led. That is because the existence of God manifests itself in the inward man and it is the individual inward experience of God that provides the “psychic” evidence that one needs to be convinced. It is an experience of the inward man in the same way that “love” is an experience of the inward man. There is no way to convince anyone of love’s true existence, for example, since, if it is absent completely in one’s life, it is sure to remain something they are not conscious they lack. And if that individual remains unconscious of his need of something he has never known, there can never be any real conscious rejection or need of something he does not know. So I believe that although teachings of God may move us towards a desire to become more convinced of His presence or absence in our lives, which some have found, it is usually through our inward life that the existence of God is manifestly felt.

In most cases then, it is a desire or need that arises in our lives which moves us to seek the truth of God’s existence. Thus, we “choose” God. This desire or need arises, usually, when the inward man is no longer safe-guarded against the “other” whom he has not chosen, and that “other” often appears only when the experience of the inward man is confronted with a catastrophic event in his life that produces a deep “psychic” need and desire. Although some catalyst or change may bring about this need or desire in men and women to choose God, it may not always be catastrophic in nature that He is chosen. (Some may argue that it was God who chose them but I believe one must be open to a sort of “psychic” receptivity for this to occur.)

However, it is perhaps shown better through catastrophe and example of spiritual conversion that your need to be “convinced” may have more relevancy here. One such example is in the life of Bill Wilson (“B.W.”), the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (“AA”). Bill Wilson, a recovering alcoholic and “agnostic” (defined as one who does not know if God exists or not) was first-hand witness to the “spiritual” life conversion necessary to bring sobriety to even the most hopeless alcoholic. As a result of his program, millions of people have been brought to sobriety when all other programs have failed. It was his conviction that alcoholism was caused by a “spiritual” deprivation that required a spiritual remedy when he wrote in his “Big Book,” in the chapter entitled “We Agnostics”:

“If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn’t there. Our human resources, as marshaled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly.

Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?

When we are confronted in our individuality with the loss of our highest value, the death or loss usually repeats itself back to us; what dies inside must be reborn. By conquering the power of darkness in oneself through surrender to a Higher Power, or God, we establish a new order, which is an awakening of power within our own unconscious, and a new awareness or wholeness, and a new way to live. This is God to me.

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  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    Thank you Don, Perspy and Atheistchick for your comments.

  • Perspycacious profile image

    Demas W Jasper 

    6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

    Don't get distracted from writing your own pieces. That would be a loss. God exists and I "know" that as surely as atheistchick "knows" He doesn't. There will always be believers and non-believers. The Bible is a history of God's relationship to man. If God did not exist, the end of life would be the same for non-believers and believers alike. If as I "know" God does exist, the end of life might be quite different for non-believers and believers, if the Bible is right about that also.

  • profile image

    atheistchick 

    6 years ago from Hangin' in my room

    The Day religion leaves me alone will be the day I finally respect it.......which will undoubtedly never happen

  • Don Crowson profile image

    Don Crowson 

    6 years ago

    Good hub, Cybthia. It is thought provoking, and you have covered the basics that a lot of people search for.

    Don

  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    Since God is spirit, how else could He do it? Thank you for your comment. So happy to see you publishing more hubs. I too am working on another but but so busy lately with life's details. Take care.

  • profile image

    lovedoctor926 

    6 years ago

    well-written and thought-provoking hub. I also agree with you on this one. "It is usually through our inward life that the existence of God is manifestly felt."

    "In most cases then, it is a desire or need that arises in our lives which moves us to seek the truth of God’s existence."

  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    Thank you, Faith. God and His gifts bestowed introvertedly. When I was young I thought I could do anything I wanted because I believed Christ died for my sins. My reasoning (which often happens in youth) was that believing in my head was all that was required, and that while others would suffer consequences for their acts, I would not. So when God starting knocking, He really knocked my socks off.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 

    6 years ago from southern USA

    This is a very thought-provoking hub. I am very glad you wrote it. I am a Christian, and do not have to have proof of His existence, as I walk by faith not by sight. Nice to meet you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    Also want to say that it is not religious people who invade the privacy of others. It's the other way around.

  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    Then as an individual you have a right to that. Neither do I want acceptance from fanatical haters of religion.

  • profile image

    atheistchick 

    6 years ago from Hangin' in my room

    My privacy is always invaded by religious people, so therefore your statement is not fool proof. I don't need acceptance from such groups of religious fanatics

  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    Thank you, Curiad. While many Christians I respect make an effort to convince those who do not believe, which I respect when it is done with God's Word in mind, the crisis in our country is a moral one residing in the individual, and it is with respect to the individual that people should be united, not divided. The dilema is arising out of a search for a "collective" consensus on matters of sex, marriage, etc., and then attacking those who do not want to belong to a particular group, those that are individuals. Everybody should leave everybody alone. Invasion of privacy, for example, is a means by which the "Collectives" desire to terrorize those that are not like them, and also, obviously, a desire for power. Why it should matter to them what others are doing is admitting that they are not grounded in who they are as individuals. I am a individual so I am not wanting of any group in my life. When I was young, being accepted mattered very much, but as I got older I found no need for others other than those I choose. The lack of individuality we face affects us also on two fronts: socially and politically, and our government is currently reinforcing it. They enforce attitudes of collectivism that serve to only heighten animosity between groups. The individual then becomes the object of terrorist focus because they want nothing to do with it, which then follows that they define for us a "new" religion we are forced to accept, along with a moral code that is nothing more than rules of conduct. What follows after that is no love for others. We must return to the individual and then leave him or her alone. If you are an atheist, accept yourself as you are; if you are a Christian, be so also - and then each leave each other alone - and only confront each other as individuals if you so choose. I choose to be celibate, for example, and have not had sex for over 20 years. Yet, I am being attacked on all fronts, as though my choice in life is by virtue of its practice, placing judgment on all those I have never met. Not so. People have changed dramatically since I was young. Men and women used to live their alives "alone with themselves," but most today, particularly the young, cannot do it. It is one of the most astounding things to see, especially since this kind of thing has not been seen on "moral" principalities - I do not believe - since man has been on earth. It has been seen in Germany with regard to hatred of the Jews and economics, but that hatred was not based on "morals." If the individual must have a group to feel a sense of self-worth, we are indeed headed to self-annihilation.

  • Curiad profile image

    Mark G Weller 

    6 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

    Hi Cynthtggt, I agree with some of the comments here. You have a straightforward approach to your writing that is clear and concise. I agree also that knowing God is a personal and individual relationship.It has nothing to do with "Religion" but everything to do with spirit and Love.

    "He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays."

    Thank you for this well written article.

  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    I agree with you. Your comment clarifies the essence of God's existence and His love. Thank you for it. I was writing in response to a question from a hubber to become eligible for the "Know-It-All" contest (which I have come to realize kind of stigmitized me) that I did not enter after all because I can't seem to get my comments sent out (which I hope does not happen here). I too rely on my own personal experience. The Living God is always found in the individual. I thought the experience of Bill W. might resonate with an atheist since a friend of mind met him when he was agnostic. Thank you for your comments and thoughts.

  • Perspycacious profile image

    Demas W Jasper 

    6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

    Your comparison of knowing love and knowing God is an excellent one. As for me, I know God exists without having more than my personal proof sufficient to me but probably unacceptable to another. I know second hand of life beyond the grave and even of reincarnation. I know that God acts in the lives of men and women on an individualized basis. I know that living the Gospel "no matter what" is always preferable to not living it, snd I have seen all-powerful governments of men try to debunk God and persecute believers only to have belief increase and those governments decline. God is alive and well, though there will probably always be doubters and persecuters until God removes all doubt.

  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    I have a thought on each of them but that is a book. You are very extroverted. You mention the godisimaginery.com website. On it there is a theologian named Ravi Zacharias. He would be better able to explain the answers you want within the context of "extroversion." Maybe the God and Creation thing could be summed up in its statement "we are verily guilty." If you are an atheist and truly believe in atheism, why are you vulgar and, apparently, angry with me?

  • profile image

    atheistchick 

    6 years ago from Hangin' in my room

    from the godisimaginary.com website...

    It is easy to prove to yourself that God is imaginary. The evidence is all around you. Here are 50 simple proofs:

    Try praying

    Statistically analyze prayer

    Look at all historical gods

    Think about science

    Read the Bible

    Ponder God's plan

    Understand religious delusion

    Think about Near Death Experiences

    Understand ambiguity

    Watch the offering plate

    Notice that there is no scientific evidence

    See the magic

    Take a look at slavery

    Examine Jesus' miracles

    Examine Jesus' resurrection

    Contemplate the contradictions

    Think about Leprechauns

    Imagine heaven

    Notice that you ignore Jesus

    Notice your church

    Understand Jesus' core message

    Count all the people God wants to murder

    Listen to the Doxology

    Ask why religion causes so many problems

    Understand evolution and abiogenesis

    Notice that the Bible's author is not "all-knowing"

    Think about life after death

    Notice how many gods you reject

    Think about communion

    Examine God's sexism

    Understand that religion is superstition

    Talk to a theologian

    Contemplate the crucifixion

    Examine your health insurance policy

    Notice Jesus' myopia

    Realize that God is impossible

    Think about DNA

    Contemplate the divorce rate among Christians

    Realize that Jesus was a jerk

    Understand Christian motivations

    Flip a coin

    Listen when "God talks"

    Realize that a "hidden God" is impossible

    Think about a Christian housewife

    Consider Noah's Ark

    Ponder Pascal's Wager

    Contemplate Creation

    Compare prayer to a lucky horseshoe

    Look at who speaks for God

    Ask Jesus to appear

    if you can't do any one of these...that should tell you your answer

  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    I agree with you. Please note: I did not myself ask whether God exists. I was responding to a question and made a hub about it. I was going to enter the Know-It-All contest which requires that one answer a hub question, which I tried to do. I tried to convey what God is to me. I know God exists and if you do not believe than you do not. I know too of people that are atheists whom I like them very much. I will say though that inasmuch as there are those who are unsuccessful in convincing an athiest of God's existence, of equal importance is the fact that atheists are unsuccessful in convincing believers of God's non-existence. But the existence of God or His non-existence should not make for alienation. Voltaire, an atheist, was completely comfortable in his nonbelief but he was not dogmatic about it. I am a believer from my own experience and research, which was something I pursued over a 20-year period and alone. Like Malcolm Muggeridge, who was an atheist most of his life and convinced only at the age of 45 after an exhaustive study of myths, religion, history and psychology - that he attributed to "intellectual deducement" - I too needed to be convinced intellectually. After my own search for truth I not only became certain, but, strangely, able to comprehend the Bible with a fluidity I never possessed beforehand. God never intended that it be easy to get to know Him. He tells us, "Seek and you shall find." I do not speak about it much unless I am in the company of people who want to hear. I only understand that the Word was made Flesh and what that means. It is a very deep thing, and very "rational," but as Billy Graham once said, "I am only a lighthouse. I never converted anyone." To believe is an inward thing. No one really convinces you of God, one has to draw "Nigh to Him and He will draw Nigh to you," or whatever. :) Thank you for commenting. I hope to hear from you again.

  • profile image

    atheistchick 

    6 years ago from Hangin' in my room

    If you consider the Bible to be evidence, along with the many people who say "I just FEEL in my heart and soul that God exists" then yes he does exist. But if you are a rational human being who knows that there really is nothing that justifies God's existence. If you have to ask if God exists, you are already doubting. At that point you are being somewhat agnostic; but if you completely deny his existence and feel he is nothing more than a figment of men's imagination...then you are an atheist like me. :)

  • cynthtggt profile imageAUTHOR

    Cynthia Taggart 

    6 years ago from New York, NY

    Thank you SamboRambo for your comments. You're right about "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink," which is why I believe that sometimes something happens to some people that provokes a supernatural kind of event or psychic change in them before they can drink it all in. That is why no one can really convince another but only lead. Billy Graham said it best when he said, "I'm just a lighthouse. I haven't converted anyone," or something to that effect.

  • SamboRambo profile image

    Samuel E. Richardson 

    6 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

    I admire your philosophical prowess, though I'm not one to adequately judge such. I try, myself, to philosophize, but I don't really know the basics, nor the art. You might call me an "armchair philosopher." In addition, it's hard for me to understand you completely, because you tend to talk in...what's it called? -- generalities or in concepts.

    I'm graphics-minded (maybe that's why I'm an artist), and I best understand things when they come with a graphic illustration; not necessarily a picture, diagram or photo, but a verbal illustration will often do. For example, a verbal illustration of the concept "Opinions cloud the integration of new ideas" would be: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."

    I believe, however, that I got the jist of your idea of "God's existence." And it is well-written; your eloquence shows you have a competent command of the English language. If you have trouble getting a job, you could probably convince on-line seekers to let you edit or write for them.

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