If we are really interested in the question of human prospering, we should also be interested in the question of faith in God. Here are some thoughts about things identified for human prospering:
1. GRATITUDE/THANKFULNESS – Only the promise of an afterlife can make us feel grateful in a life of cancer, rejection, and depression. Besides, how can we be grateful if humans have hurt us so?
2. MORALITY – While living morally is related to well-being, we will not be able to get excited about a morality that is relative, man-created, and always evolving.
3. FORGIVENESS – How can we rationally be forgiving to someone who has destroyed our family, if life ends with death?
4. INTEGRITY – Why should we live with integrity if morality is just relative? Instead, rational pragmatic considerations would argue in favor of compromise.
5. OTHER-CENTEREDNESS – We cannot be truly and coherently other-centered if our rationale is based on pragmatic returns. Instead, other-centeredness becomes more coherent when it results from faith that God has been other-centered towards us.
Rather than continuing on with this list, let’s take a look at what surveys have revealed about human thriving. Professor of philosophy, Michael Rota, has written:
Harvard’s Robert Putnam…and Chaeyoon Lim note that “the association between religion [it is assumed that the vast majority of subjects surveyed are Christian] and subjective well-being is substantial”:
· “28:2 percent of people who attend a service weekly are predicted to be ‘extremely satisfied’ with their lives, compared with only 19.6 percent of those who never attend services. This result is roughly comparable to the difference between someone in ‘good’ health and another in ‘very good’ health.” (Christianity Today, May 2016)
These findings are reflective of many similar studies. In “God: The Evidence,” former atheist, Patrick Gynn, investigated many lines of evidence in favor of the notion of Christian prospering. As a result, he reports having become a Christian.
Why don’t people consider God? Many have confessed that they don’t want to consider Him:
- We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs . . . in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated commitment to materialism. . . . we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. (Lewontin, Richard, Review of The Demon-Haunted World, by Carl Sagan. In New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997.)
- Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such a hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic. (Todd, Scott C., "A View from Kansas on the Evolution Debates," Nature (vol. 401. September 30, 1999), p. 423.)
- We cannot identify ancestors or "missing links," and we cannot devise testable theories to explain how particular episodes of evolution came about. Gee is adamant that all the popular stories about how the first amphibians conquered the dry land, how the birds developed wings and feathers for flying, how the dinosaurs went extinct, and how humans evolved from apes are just products of our imagination, driven by prejudices and preconceptions. (Bowler, Peter J., Review of In Search of Deep Time by Henry Gee (Free Press, 1999, American Scientist; vol. 88, March/April 2000, p. 169.)