The existence of God: Is it possible to prove?


 FEB 03, 2023 –

The existence of God was not proved or defended instead his existence was accepted directly, and men interpreted the existence and the universe in the direction of this knowledge. (Illustration by Erhan Yalvaç)

The existence of God was not proved or defended instead his existence was accepted directly, and men interpreted the existence and the universe in the direction of this knowledge. (Illustration by Erhan Yalvaç)

In the modern world, as philosophical thought developed and became more skeptical of faith, the search for evidence for the existence of God increased


A boat ferries a passenger across the Dal lake with snow-covered mountains in the background during a winter day after fresh snowfall in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, Jan. 31, 2023. (Getty Images Photo)

Jammu and Kashmir: Heaven under siege


It is a problem today that more and more people are becoming religious though religion has the weakest effect ever in intellectual circles. It does not seem possible to overcome this conflict, but it is necessary to keep it at a reasonable level.

For instance, faith in Islam is always discussed in terms of the six pillars of iman. These pillars are belief in the Oneness of God, angels, prophets, books, judgment day, and divine decree. When approached like that, it would be assumed that the belief in God is equal to the other pillars. However, this is nothing but an illusion. There can be only one faith and it is in God alone. The concept of “the six pillars of faith” is actually nothing more than different appearances of the founding principle, which is faith in God.

What does that mean? To believe in God – belief, faith or knowledge, it does not matter here which word we use – is to believe in an ontologically superior reality. When believers try to explain existence, whether they use immanent or transcendental expressions, they do not accept the sensible world as an independent realm of reality and try to reach an outer reality and explain existence through it. That is why faith necessarily entails the belief in an ontologically superior reality.

Faith in God transforms us

On the other hand, this conceptualization of God provides knowledge that pushes us to act. The belief in God cannot be compared with any other belief or knowledge; the belief itself is an active and effective knowledge that motivates us and regulates our lives. The transformative power of faith becomes clear here. In this respect, faith in God, which means the most superior and authentic reality, is the compelling knowledge that pushes us to go toward him and live up to his knowledge.

It can also be grounded in this second argument: The knowledge about the superior and authentic is also more superior. The root of the word “nubuwwah,” which means prophethood, has two meanings: upper, superior and to give knowledge. When we combine these meanings, we can interpret it in this way: A prophet is the one who brings knowledge from “the upper” that is, from a place where we cannot reach either with the mind or any other ability. This brings us to the second argument. When we live up to the knowledge that has been brought down from above, it means that in this world we follow a reality that is beyond this world. This is the most distinguishing feature of men: The will of living up to knowledge and reality that is out of this world.

When we interpret the pillars of faith in this direction, each of them becomes a secondary principle that consolidates and strengthens our knowledge about God. In this respect, it is not enough just to believe in the existence of God; the belief in books leads us to believe that He speaks and knows, the belief in prophets that he wills to reach to people, the belief in angels to believing his limitless relationship with the nature, the belief in the divine decree that he knows and determines everything and last of all, the belief in the judgment day to believing that we eventually reach him. In another word, the pillars of faith are the different appearances of one pillar only. Then, religion has one main issue, and all other issues are nothing more than subsections of this main issue: We, believers, have faith in God and religiousness is the principle of this faith.

Seeking evidence for the existence of God

In the modern world, as philosophical thought developed under the influence of scientific works and became more skeptical of faith, the search for evidence for the existence of God increased. Many believers tried to find signs to prove the existence of God. The most common arguments were the intelligent design argument and the teleological argument. Sometimes the cosmological argument was also defended along with these, but they all became integrated into the intelligent design argument. Its reason must be that humans have more experience with the design argument compared to others.

Many thinkers used this argument to prove the existence of God. However, is this approach appropriate? In fact, it is hard to say that this argument has a convincing depth.

Especially, in the post-Kantian period it was argued that this kind of reasoning was not possible. In this respect, many arguments, particularly the design argument, lost their importance and were reduced to a simple feeling. Building the belief in God upon these arguments was never realistic and convincing. Besides, even if we thought for a moment that there was such a design in the universe, this would not lead us to believe in God. Then, the existence of God affirmed and solidified by arguments gathered from nature would be far from persuasive. But there is a different side of the story: In the previous periods, the existence of God was not regarded as “proven.”

Looking at the prevalent approach in religious traditions, the existence of God seemed to be acknowledged as a postulate. To put it another way, the existence of God was not proved or defended instead his existence was accepted directly, and men interpreted the existence and the universe in the direction of this knowledge. Especially in Quran, we encounter many elements that motivate us to think in this way: Many verses say “signs for people of understanding” or “a guide for the God fearing.” What does that mean? It seems here that faith precedes the thinking and the search, and knowledge becomes the manifestation of the faith.

Dogmatic atheism

In Quran and hadiths, polytheism instead of atheism or indecisive approaches toward faith is criticized as a religious and moral problem. Polytheists even took many things as objects of faith and glorified them.

In this respect, jinns, angels, invisible beings, celestial bodies, etc. created a wide spectrum of belief and acknowledgment for many people. Main Islamic texts warned people against this kind of belief and showed them the way to liberation by gathering them around the belief in One God. Human beings lose their dignity by worshiping things that are created like them, and it is only possible for them to win their dignity back through believing in One God. This is the main approach of Islam.

Today, it is necessary to revive this approach. Muslim thinkers should stop defending and finding a ground for the religion upon outdated arguments and start observing rationalism in another field and confronting the threats against religion and beliefs. It can be summarized like this: The philosophical approach toward the existence of God cannot go beyond agnosticism. Generally, when philosophers express that they cannot talk about God, they only mean that they cannot know if he exists or not.

However, by saying that, the problem is not over. The philosophical approach, changing its course with a set of various preferences on top of it, imposes atheism as the absolute philosophical acknowledgment.

One of the most contradictory views is this compelling and dogmatic atheism. In fact, the philosophical approach does not necessarily lead to atheism; it is only through an ideological effort that agnosticism turns into atheism. This approach is widespread in modern political ideologies and reaches large masses.

Today, the most crucial responsibility is to analyze this process in which agnosticism turns into atheism and refute their arguments. When believers turn their attention toward the refutation of atheism, the religion can build up its own reality through different means and find itself a platform to talk about it.


Academic at the Department of Sufism, Faculty of Theology, Istanbul University


4 replies

  1. ✝️❤️✝️ Praise God, I was a Muslim, I converted to Jesus on 16 of May 2021. I am 76 years old now.

    After I read Bible and I found these verses :

    We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear AllahQ.5:46

    “You must not make idols for yourselves, and you do not build idols or statues ( Kabah Stone ) for yourselves; Do not place carved stones in your land to worship them, for I am the LORD your God.” Imamat 26:1.

    “Whoever bows down and worships idols, Allah will curse their 3,4 offspring! Exodus 20:5.

    O my son, do not associate partners with [Allah], in fact, associating partners with [Allah] is truly a great injustice.” QS. 31;13

    Whoever associates partners with Allah, he has indeed committed a great sin. QS 4:48

    (Show me the true path Lord )

    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father (To Heaven) except through Me. John 14:6.

    And salvation is in no one else but in Him, for there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved.” Acts 4:12.

    These verses made me to leave Islam.

    I committed idolatry for 70 years since I was 5 year old.
    I worshiped God facing the Kabah Stone in Saudi Arabia, 5 times a day.

    In 1991 I went to Mecca and I surrounded Kabah Stone 7 times, and then I kissed the Hajar Aswad stone ( Black stones ) and then I bowed down and worshiped God.

    Few days after that I repented to God, I confessed that Jesus is my Lord and my Saviour. Bible is my guidant book.

    Now I would like to ask you all , please help me, I really need your prayer for my family and hopefully all my families will follow me and convert to Jesus.

    Thank You Jesus, Thank You Lord. .
    In the Jesus’s almighty name. Amen. 🙏🙏🙏

Leave a Reply