You were surprised that not every one of my chickens lays an egg each day? Not my chickens! I have what are called bantam chickens; they’re miniature fancy chickens. They happen to be a breed with different colored feathers and such “extras” as feathers covering their feet. The plain white laying hens that produce most of the eggs we buy lay an egg a day. I guess you could say I’ve traded productivity for looks in my chickens.
In response to your asking whether I really believe the arguments for the existence of God are compelling enough to convince someone to believe, I’d have to say the answer is no.
I do believe, however, that the arguments are convincing enough and the evidence more than adequate to make belief a realistic option. For me, the arguments for God’s existence are much more convincing than the arguments against His existence.
I see what you mean when you suggest that a belief in God could be wishful thinking, a projection of what we’d like to believe. Certainly a belief in God can make life more bearable and provide hope of living beyond death. But I would suggest the opposite could as easily be true: people might deny the existence of God because if He truly exists, that should have profound implications for how we live our lives!
If God exists, that means we are His creation and He undoubtedly has an opinion of how we should live. A creator usually has a purpose in creating. This makes the created accountable to the creator. Our belief as to whether or not God exists has far-reaching ramifications on how we view life and live it out. Yes, belief in God can make life more bearable, but a belief in God also calls for living differently, often more sacrificially, than if we didn’t believe He exists. So your suggestion that people believe because it’s to their advantage to do so can be countered by the argument that there are costs to believing as well.
I believe that people can have serious questions about God that need to be answered before belief can be a valid option for them. I suspect this is probably the case with you. On the other hand, I believe that some people’s questions are smokescreens and they really don’t want to hear the answers. The questions themselves provide a pseudo-intellectual buffer zone that keeps any serious thoughts of God at a safe distance. People can live less responsibly if they don’t believe there’s a God. Belief in God has a cost.
Don’t misunderstand; my intention is not to inhibit your honest questions. You hinted you had more. I don’t promise to offer answers that come with satisfaction guaranteed, but I’ll do my best. I’m curious about what else is on your mind.
I have to go. There’s the nasty job of cleaning out my aquarium awaiting me. I’d probably let it go another few weeks; after all, the fish can’t complain. However, they have quite a vocal advocate in my wife!