As a believer who hangs out on atheist websites, I am repeatedly bemused by the assumption that I believe without evidence. So after some pondering of how to say this concisely, here—in broad strokes—is why I believe in the human soul and the God who seeks to educate it.
I believe because of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. And because of all the creatures that have evolved on this planet, we are the only ones who understand what evolution means. Of all the billions of lifeforms on this world, we are completely alone in our ecological niche. More to the point, we possess a type of intelligence that is qualitatively different from any other. There is no convincing, purely materialistic theory that even comes close to explaining why that is.
I believe because of Newton’s Third Law of Motion … and every other Law of physics or ethics that humans have created to explain what, in many cases, we cannot even sense or experience first hand. We are alone in that need to explain.
I believe because of words. Because we have invested sounds with meaning, then created symbols for those sounds and used those symbols to communicate. Words are ours, alone.
I believe because the things we use our created sounds, symbols, and words to express are largely non-natural. That is we do not use our words to comment only on what is accessible through the physical senses, but predominately on what is NOT accessible through the senses. We use them to ask “what if?” We use them to clothe such abstract ideas as theories, laws, morals, emotions, arguments for and against the existence of black holes, multi-verses, atoms … or God. In fact, I believe … that in the very act of refuting the existence of God, we prove it.
I believe because human beings are—in the literal sense of the word—super-natural. We, alone of all lifeforms on this planet, go where we have not physically evolved to go and do what we have not physically evolved to do. We fly without wings, dive without gills because we have reasoned out and invented ways to do this. We even go intellectually and imaginatively where we have not gone physically. In fact, I believe … that in the act of imagining what does not yet exist, we illustrate what the scriptures mean when they say God created us in His/Her image. (“…the part cannot possess perfections whereof the whole is deprived.”)
I believe because there is a sequence of Prophets (described in some scripture as the Word of God—interesting thought) reaching back into antiquity, who have consistently explained that we are the way we are because there is a God, that this God can be known in creation and in His/Her Emissaries, and that the knowledge of God is a critical piece of our discovery of ourselves and our universe.
I believe because these Prophets have said (in the words of Bahá’u’lláh): “He has known God who has known himself.” (See points 1 through 5, above.
I believe because of Occam’s Razor, which postulates that the best explanations of phenomena are the ones that do not needlessly multiply entities to explain them.
I believe because of albedo—the capacity of a body to reflect light. We learned upon observing that the surface of the moon was not generating light, but rather reflecting the light of the Sun, out of sight on the other side of the Earth. We often speak of the “human reflective capacity” in referring to the intellect and faculty for introspection. It seems clear to me that this capacity is not reflecting what Richard Dawkins calls the “pitiless indifference” of nature, but light from some other source which—like the Sun reflecting upon the surface of the moon—is hidden by an obstruction.
The writings of my faith refer to God as “the Most Manifest of the manifest and the Most Hidden of the hidden.” I admit, I am continuously bemused that there is any question of God’s existence—He is hidden in plain sight.