I read in natural theology, the branch of philosophy based on reason and ordinary experiences of nature. It gives empirical evidences for God apart from revealed theology, scripture, and/or religious experience. Rather than providing proof, per se, the scientist-theologians like John Polkinghorne, Ian Barbour, and Arthur Peacocke suggest a worldview in which faith could at least have an intelligible place.
In struggling to answer G.W. Leibniz’s great question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” I was drawn to the writings of Anthony Flew. In There is a God: How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, Flew stated that he believed in a divine mind behind the universe. At one time, he believed in the secular theory of a pre-existing and eternal universe—one in which hydrogen molecules are constantly created out of nothing. In part because of the Big Bang theory, he was forced to acknowledge that the universe had an absolute beginning that required a supernatural creator.
Supernaturalists believe that interruptions or interference can take place in the universe from some other system outside it. In principle, a supernatural event would be one that is not traceable to physical causes within our universe. Lewis believed in a supernatural reality with a benevolent creator who intervenes after creation. He argues that miracles are compatible with science and natural laws. While they are interventions, beyond nature, the rules of nature are not changed.
Skeptics like Spinoza and Hume argue that because the uniform experience of most people is against miracles, a rare miraculous occurrence can never have enough evidence to support it. Although the odds against a miracle are very great, they should not affect the quality of evidence for them. Equating evidence with probability would mean that a lottery winner could not accept his results because of the many thousands of people who had lost. According to Geisler and Howe, the probability of being dealt a perfect bridge hand is very slight, yet it has actually happened and is not doubted when it does.
Some supernaturalists accuse modern historians, scientific thinkers, and secular bible scholars of begging the question against miracles. Those who believe that so-called miracles will someday have scientific explanations seem to have unfairly assumed priori (through a naturalistic leap of faith) that miracles are impossible. This skeptical logic, according to Geisler and Howe, actually flies in the face of the scientific method. If science had convincing knowledge of results based on past probability, they would never go to the trouble of experimenting in the first place.
Tim Keller, in The Reason for God, cites Arthur Danto, the art critic for The Nation, who once described a work of art as giving him a sense of “obscure but inescapable meaning … that life is not a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” If there is no God, and everything is the product of an accidental collision of neurons and atoms, then what we call beauty is nothing more than hardwired data and poetry is accidental marks on a page.
C.S. Lewis confessed to being a Romantic devotee of the imagination, feeling that the spiritual beauty inherent in good art were messengers from another world. The English Romantic poet William Wordsworth called these glimpses “intimations of immortality.” Lewis longed for otherworldly experiences, signifying what he called “our true home.”
Lewis reasoned that creatures were not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exists:A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim; there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire; well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.