Agnosticism is starting to become quite popular these days; everyone seems to be seeking refuge in it. Its perceived to be the safest route for the secular man. For those unfamiliar with it, agnosticism is basically the belief that there is no way to know whether or not there is a God. The agnostic therefore neither believes nor disbelieves in God, since both the theist and the atheist fail to conclusively prove the existence of one. There are different forms of agnosticism with varying definitions (e.g. ignosticism); but at the end it boils to the agnostic being someone who refrains from taking a stand and defends his ignorance.

Here’s the problem with the entire agnostic world view. It is based on one fundamentally flawed precept; and that is the assumption that the proof for God is an empirical one. It rests on the belief that if there was to be a proof for God then it would be very much like a philosophical or scientific proof which could be repeated by any one at anytime and would always yield the same result. Since nothing like that exists, the agnostic ignorantly yet confidently says, ‘There’s no way to know’.

What the agnostic fails to realize is that empirical proofs exist for things that are confined to the material world; things to which the laws of nature apply, things that are within the realm of human comprehension. God by definition is far beyond all this. How then does one expect to find an empirical proof for something that is metaphysical? How then does one apply science to the One that created science?

Furthermore, the demand for a proof for God begs the question, ‘What would qualify as a proof’? If you demand to “see God”, how would you recognize him? Were you to wake one day and see some holy figure hovering above your head, or a miraculous wonder happens before your eyes…would you take that to be ‘proof’ for God?  Of course not – you would dismiss it as a hallucination and go see a physiologist. The reality is, most people don’t know what they are asking for when they ask for a ‘proof’ for God.

The proof for God is not an empirical one but is experiential and logical. It is not like a mathematical proof that is based on fundamental axioms rather it is an experiential proof like the proof for love. How do you prove that you love your parents or your spouse? Certainly not by running scientific experiments and by debating with philosophers. We all know that love exists since it is a phenomenon that we’ve all experienced.

In addition, the proof for God is one that is logical. How does one prove that their great-great-great-great-great Grandfather existed? We don’t have any empirical evidence for that. However, we know this to be true because our existence is contingent on theirs. Similarly, anything that begins to exist has a cause and creator. The universe began to exist and it thus also has a Creator. It would be absurd to believe anything else.

As Imam Al-Ghazali once said, faith in God doesn’t come about by abstract proofs and speculative theology . Faith is something that is realized through contemplation and experience. The phenomenon of faith and the issue of finding God simply can’t be treated as a mere philosophical problem to which an abstract proof is sufficient.

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say I was to give you a concrete proof for God’s existence right now. Assume that I’ve told you what it was and you see no way of arguing against it. It’s foolproof; flawless. Would you all of a sudden start believing in God just because of an argument you can’t rebut? Would you change you entire lifestyle and live in accordance with God’s will just because of one argument? Most people won’t. You believe in God when you realize that He exists, not when you are told He exists.

The issue of faith is directly related to experience. Finding faith and God is a journey that is ought to be undertaken; it requires a combination of the mind and the heart. Its not about blindly following faith or relying entirely on your brains; it’s the convergence of the two in perfect harmony.

There are numerous evidences of God all around, the greatest proof for the Creator is creation itself. Not believing in God implies the universe had no creator and came out of nothing; an illogical and unscientific belief. The only ones who will see these evidences and accept them are the ones that will sincerely seek God, those who look for the truth.

God in the Quran constantly pushes the reader to ponder over the world around him and to realize the beauty of God’s creation. He further says in a hadith qudsi, “Take one step towards Me, I will take ten steps towards you. Walk towards me and I will run towards you.” Those who ask God to guide them are the ones that will be guided. God is to be found where he claims to be, He doesn’t claim to be in books of philosophy but He does claim to be in the Quran. so I encourage you to read it.

“Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth;
in the alternation of the night and the day;
in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind;
in the rain which God sends down from the skies,
and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead;
in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth;
in the change of the winds,
and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;
(in all this) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise” (Quran 2:164)

Nature has been designed to perfection. Every little detail in our planet has a purpose and has been thoroughly worked out. The distance from the sun, the gravitational constant, the composition of the gases on our atmosphere, the list is never ending. Had anything been slightly different, life as we know it would not be able to exist. To some this wonderment increases their faith in the Creator, to others its just a series of lucky coincidences.

I was trying to think of how different our world would be if one was to change one minute insignificant detail. There are probably hundreds of examples but here’s the one I came up with. Imagine a world where the boiling point of water was different, higher than 100 degrees lets say. How would that change things? or would it all ? Think about it for a moment.

Here’s how I think our world would be effected. The first thing which comes to mind is the effect of this change on the water cycle. The first part of this cycle is water evaporating from the oceans and rising up to create clouds. However, a higher boiling point would mean that the energy we currently receive from the sun would not be sufficient to cause the water to evaporate and hence the cycle would be disrupted. Clouds woulds fail to form and that automatically leads to a multitude of problems. First, it would cease to rain. No rain will lead to droughts. Droughts mean no crops for the consumption for humans or animals. Animals will begin to first die out and humans would eventually follow suit. Life has we know it will come to end.

Thinking about this throws me off completely. A detail as small as the boiling point of a substance that we take for granted is essential for the survival of humans. Water indeed is a great blessing. I haven’t worked out the exact change required in the boiling temperature or the amount of energy we receive from the sun. Perhaps I have made a logical error and the effect might not be as dramatic. Needless to say, one cannot deny the profound effect this small change would have on our existence. Can you think of any other examples where an apparently insignificant change could lead to a dramatic effect?

“Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of Night and Day,― there are indeed Signs for those with understanding” (Quran 3:190)

The problem of evil is an old theological problem that has plagued God-conscious people for centuries. It’s the anthem of the atheists and a threat to many religious people, particularly to those that follow the Judeo–Christian tradition. In this tradition one of the attributes of God is the All-Good and All-Powerful and this leads to the following problem. If God is All-Good and All Powerful then he would not allow evil to exist. But since there is evil in our world, a God does not exist. This argument is probably one of the strongest philosophical arguments against the existence of God and with atheism and secularism on the rise it continues to be debated today.

The question that arises is, ‘What is Evil’? Proponents of this argument will tell you that it is something that causes harm to human beings. A tsunami, a famine, a flood, disease, poverty, rape, murder etc; the list is never ending. Here is where the irony arises. If you look at the atheist movements of recent times, you will notice that they have risen from industrialized Western nations. What is interesting is that none of the ‘evils’ that these people talk about have actually affected them. Poverty, famines and widespread disease is not something that has, for the most part, personally affected the people that are leading atheist movements in industrialized nations. Its something they see people, in Africa for example, suffer through and hence arrive at the conclusion that there isn’t a God.

One would think that this argument would be lead by people in poor developing nations where they experience ‘evil’ on a day to day basis. This, however, is not that case and in fact some of the poorest countries have the most devout believers. Also to be noted is the fact that most of the religious historical figures were generally poor as well. One would think that people deprived of the blessings of God would be the ones who turn against Him; and the blessed ones would be the ones who would be stronger in faith and would be thankful. But what I see is that the it is usually the wealthy ones that become arrogant and turn away from God while the poor bedouin is the one who turns to Him. I end with the following words from the Quran,

“Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere, who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To God We belong, and to Him is our return” – they are those on whom (Descend) blessings from God, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance” (Quran 2:155-157)