All nine of us kids were raised in a Catholic home where our father insisted stubbornly that God's existence is easily proven. Essentially, he argued Aquinas. Order = orderer. Movement = mover. Etc.
I never accepted Aquinas' arguments, because God, as God, always Himself would have to violate the rules relied-upon to establish His existence. If God has order with Himself, then God Himself has an orderer. If there is movement within God, then God Himself has a mover.
Aquinas and his proponents never explain why the syllogism "turns off" after we get to God.
Conversely, if God does need an orderer or a mover, why does reality?
Our father loved to use the Big Bang as his argument for God. In one looks out at the Universe with a spectroscope, one finds that there is "red shift." The wavelengths of the light are all wrong, shifting in the direction of the red end of the spectrum, indicating movement away from each other. Additionally, there is leftover background radiation "out there." Leftover from what?
Scientists -- and our father -- concluded that the expansion and the radiation are a product of a Big Bang at the beginning of time.
Since nothing comes out of nothing, a God must be responsible for the Big Bang, our father would argue.
Well, all of that is not necessarily the case, either. I have thought of another possible explanation for the Big Bang symptoms.
Suppose we are inside a black hole, ourselves.
As matter gets pulled toward a black hole, it is stretched and ripped apart by the enormous differences in gravity at different altitudes above the object.
Suppose, after the matter proceeds beyond the black hole's event horizon (where the escape velocity = the speed of light) on its journey to the singularity, or center, what we, outside a black hole, imagine would look like a journey in, suddenly looks like a journey out, due to time and space inversion between the event horizon and singularity.
Accelerating toward what we on the outside call the singularity after a fiery entry through the event horizon might, on the inside, look exactly like what we see in our telescopes -- acceleration away from a point, for no apparent reason, with background radiation.
In which case there may have been no definitive Big Bang.
No Big Bang = no Big Bang proof of God.
But, I still believe in God. And He isn't just there, but He is my personal friend. I talk to Him. He talks to me.
Several years ago, I stumbled upon an exciting proof of God's existence. It's inductive, not deductive, so it is not in the nature of what follows an equal sign after the addition of 1 + 1.
It is in Bible typology. One does not have to begin with a belief that the Bible is inspired.
All one has to do is pay attention.
The concept is this: The Old Testament is jammed with semi-hidden predictions about the life of Christ on earth. That simply isn't possible unless somebody with the ability to see the future put those predictions there.
It's a pretty good bet that that someone is God.
I've already sent up a few trial balloons, to see how the argument fairs.
The skeptics argue these things:
(1) The Old Testament has been rewritten by the Catholic Church. The predictions about Christ are fake.
I respond, "I used the Jewish Old Testament, which no Jew on Earth would agree is based on Catholic sources!"
(2) The Old Testament is so big that someone can find any "hidden predictions" there.
I respond, "Not like these. Pay attention. Try to replicate my results in Tolstoy's War and Peace."
(3) The details of Jesus' death were faked, to conform to the predictions.
I respond, "Okay, but that leaves you with having to explain why Jewish books predict the same death with the same details again and again and again and again."
Here I'll use the Catholic Old Testament, simply because its convenient. Anyone checking the Jewish Torah will find that the translation is essentially unchanged in all important details.
After the Original Sin is exposed, God sentences the Satan Serpent...
14 Then the LORD God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; On your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He [the offspring of the woman] will strike at your head [when his cross pierces the dust at Skull Place, get it?], while you strike at his heel [with nails through His feet]." Genesis 3:14-15.
One of the folks over in one of the atheist websites I have posted in took Scripture to task, requiring it to be true down to the jot-and-tittle level before it would be believed. She said, "Jesus was nailed through the top of His feet, not the heel!"
I answered that modern Christian crucifixes were just guesswork, and the Church does not teach that Jesus was nailed in the top of the feet. Additionally, in 1968 archaeologists recovered from a cemetery north of Jerusalem a man crucified by the Romans during the time of Christ.
The nail holes went through His heel.
Of course, the skeptic was unpersuaded.
Next, here is the story of the testing of Abraham...
1 Some time after these events, God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, "Abraham!" "Ready!" he replied.
2 Then God said: "Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah [the land of Moriah would include Mount Motiah, on which Jerusalem was built; so, here we see Abraham taking Isaac to Jerusalem]. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you."
3 Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey [Jesus road to Jerusalem on the colt of an ass just before His crucifixion], took with him his son Isaac, and two of his servants as well, and with the wood that he had cut for the holocaust, set out for the place of which God had told him.
4 On the third day Abraham got sight of the place from afar.
5 Then he said to his servants: "Both of you stay here with the donkey, while the boy and I go on over yonder. We will worship and then come back to you."
6 Thereupon Abraham took the wood for the holocaust and laid it on his son Isaac's shoulders [just as Jesus carried His cross], while he himself carried the fire and the knife.
7 As the two walked on together, Isaac spoke to his father Abraham. "Father!" he said. "Yes, son," he replied. Isaac continued, "Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the holocaust?"
8 "Son," Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the sheep for the holocaust." [God provided Jesus, didn't He?] Then the two continued going forward.
9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up his son Isaac, and put him on top of the wood on the altar. [Jesus was laid on the wood of the cross He had carried, to be sacrificed.]
10 Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
11 But the LORD'S messenger called to him from heaven, "Abraham, Abraham!" "Yes, Lord," he answered.
12 "Do not lay your hand on the boy," said the messenger. "Do not do the least thing to him. I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son."
13 As Abraham looked about, he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket [the crown of thorns -- Jesus' head was "in a thicket"]. So he went and took the ram and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son. Genesis 22:1-13.
And here's another...
Here Joseph the Patriarch brings his two children to Jacob their grandfather for his blessing.
13 Then Joseph took the two, Ephraim with his right hand, to Israel's left, and Manasseh with his left hand, to Israel's right, and led them to him.
14 But Israel, crossing his hands, put out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, although he was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, although he was the first-born [Note well: A cross -- crossed arms -- on a "Skull Place" -- the kids' heads -- from which blessing proceeds!].
15 Then he blessed them... Genesis 48:13:15.