Klaus asks: why is it necessary for one to have proof that God exist for him to exist. We can’t prove love exist for us to believe it’s real. So why can’t that be applied to belief in God?
Jake answers : Hi Klaus. Thanks for the question. I’ve heard your question many times before, and on the surface I can see why it would be a compelling question for some people. I hope that I can show you that the answer isn’t as compelling as you may think.
This is really two questions. The first is “Why is it important to prove god exists?” and “Love is real and we can’t prove it so why can’t the same be said of god?” Lets take the questions in order.
Why is it important to prove god exists? The same reason it’s important when one claims anything exists. It’s a claim of objective existence. I could make thousands of claims of things existing, but if I have no proof of these things, what would compel a person to actually believe in them? If I call out to you and yell “A car is about to hit you!” but you’re in the ocean with no cars around, why would you pay attention to my claim of impending doom? People make many claims about god. That he will reward you, punish you, etc. Why would anyone pay attention to these claims if there is no actual proof?
The second question is what is called a “category error”.
These fallacies occur because the author mistakenly assumes that the whole is nothing more than the sum of its parts. However, things joined together may have different properties as a whole than any of them do separately.
In other words, the question is comparing something that exists as an idea like love, with something that is said to objectively exists as in a god. It’s the word “exists” that throws you off. Love is an idea, a subjective interpretation of an emotional amalgam of experiences and perceptions. It exists only as thought put into action. What you see as love may not be what others see as love. It’s a subjective idea that is dependent on interpretation.
God however is said to exist as a being independent of our perception. It’s not dependent on our subjective interpretation of it. When a person asks “Do you believe in a god?” they aren’t asking if you believe in the idea of god, they are asking you if you believe that such a being exists. This is different from someone asking “Do you believe in love.” because love has no real existence outside of the mind. It’s like asking “If you believe that fear exists, why don’t you believe in Batman?” You wouldn’t consider this question a valid way to show Batman’s existence. Comparing the two, fear to Batman is the same as comparing love to god.
I hope that answers your question. If you or others have further questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below.