Is belief in God rational?

by Matt Slick

Yes, belief in God is rational. Think about it. We exist. But, how did we get here? Was it by chance or design? It is not unreasonable to say that we're placed in this world by a magnificent creator who gave us immensely complex human bodies, a wonderful balanced-just-right planet to live on, and the earth’s biodiversity that is so perfectly arranged that its complex inter-dependency sustains our existence? Is it rational to say that it was by the coincidental arrangement of molecules? Did randomness and chance produce the superb beauty that is around us? Did neurochemical reactions in the brain produce such wonders as love, compassion, sacrifice, and altruism? How could they? How does one chemical state in the brain that leads to another chemical state produce the universal laws of logic? Is it rational to believe they can? Or is it more rational to believe that God is behind it all?

Ultimately, if God exists then belief in him is rational. If he does not exist, then it isn’t. Likewise, if he does exist then not believing in him is supremely irrational. So, it comes down to whether or not God exists. Does he? Of course he does. Let’s think rationally for a bit.

There are only two options to work with: God and no God. There are no third options. It is either true that God exists, or it is not true that God exists. Both options cannot be true. Only one can.

Let’s examine the non-god idea for a minute and consider it as a way of looking at the world. Here goes. If there is no God then how did we get here? Did the universe come into existence by itself? If so, how did it perform the action of producing its own existence? Has it always existed for an infinite amount of time? If so, how is an infinity of time crossed to get to now? What about life? A lot of people don’t realize that biologically speaking, life is based on the super-complex information found in DNA. Did that information happen by chance, or is it more rational to say that whenever we have information we have an author of that information? Then there’s the issue of morality. If there is no God, how could anyone justify any sort of moral absolutes? Morality would have to be based on a consensus of what people agree on, and the problem with that is it makes morals subjective. If morality is subjective, then there really isn’t any right or wrong – just preferences based on desires. Without God’s existence as the Moral Law Giver, how do we justify statements such as “It is wrong to murder,” “It is wrong to steal,” or as I like to present to atheists, “It is always wrong for anyone to torture babies to death merely for their personal pleasure”? This last statement is obviously true, but how does it obtain its quality of being true based on subjective moral opinions? Mere agreement doesn’t make something right. Is it more rational to say that such a universal moral truth, which is an intellectual statement, is the product of a universal mind or complex molecules?

Now let’s examine the God-exists position. From this perspective, we have an answer for how we got here. God made us, and he made the universe as well. Life and its incredible information complexity is most logically the product of a designer, not random chance. We know this by simply looking around us. Information is everywhere, and it is always authored by an intelligence. Furthermore, with God as the revealer of what is morally true, we can justify moral absolutes such as “murder is wrong,” “stealing is wrong,” and “It is always wrong for anyone to torture babies to death merely for their personal pleasure.” Why? Because he reveals to us what is right and wrong, i.e., the Bible.

So, by assuming that God exists, things make more sense, and more answers to the difficult philosophical questions are possible. Therefore, it is rational to believe God exists. By contrast, it would be irrational to deny that he exists.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.