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Returning to the Billy Graham quotation discussed in Meditation 538:
Pride makes us think that we are the centre of the universe and that we don't really need God.
According to Graham, we non-believers think we don't really need God. He thinks this is a reason that we use for saying we do not believe in God.
There's an error in logic here. Whether or not we need a God has nothing to do with whether or not we believe in its existence. I don't need a 72" plasma television, but still, such televisions exist, and I believe in their existence.
On the other side of the coin, I have met non-believers who think they need a God for the comfort a deity might bring. And yet, in spite of their perceived need, they cannot believe.
But why does a person need God? Is the need just for a god? Or is the need for something the God can supposedly do? If it is the former, then the need seems to me to be pointless. If it is the latter, then where is the hard evidence that a god can do anything?
If God does exist and God wants me to accept that, then this is what I need from God
- If God needs to me to believe, then I need clear and convincing evidence of God's existence.
- If God needs me to follow one particular version of the thousands of variations of deity worship in the world, then I need clear direction from God which one is right.
- If God needs me to follow specific rituals, then I need clear direction from God which rituals and how they should be followed.
- If God needs me to follow a specific moral code, then I need that moral code spelled out in clear and unambiguous terms.
- If God intends to reward or punish me in an afterlife based on my beliefs and / or actions in this life, then I need clear and convincing evidence of that afterlife and of the range of rewards and punishments.
God has not done any of these things. Either God does not care, or God does not exist. Dr. Graham is right that I don't think I need God. But that is not why I do not believe.