Can it be reasonable to believe in God?

The answer is yes. I do believe it can be reasonable and rational to believe in a God.

The reason is that because religious experience justifies a believer in believing in God. Religious experience can be seen to be analogous to that of sense perceptions. In the absence of a reason to doubt your experience, you are justified in concluding the existence of X based off of your experience.

One might object that religious perceptions could be wrong. The problem is that the exact same criticism can be levied against sense perception, yet most of us do not want to give up sense perception as a way of knowing just because we can sometimes be mistaken. The fact is that we recognize that our sense perceptions are generally reliable and not prone to error.

Another objection could be that people have contradictory religious experiences. The problem is that you could say the same thing about our visual experiences as well. Some people can claim that they didn’t see X, while other claim they did see X. That’s hardly evidence against anything.

The final objection could be that the question of whether it’s rational to believe in God is a little beside the point because the more crucial question is whether God in fact actually exists. Well I do agree that the question of whether God actually exists is more important than the question of whether it is rational to believe in God. But I grant it in the sense that if someone is an atheist. To the atheist, he wants to see arguments that God exists, not testimonial evidence from someone who has had a religious experience. On the other side of the table, the theist needs to have a rational belief in God if he is to maintain his or her faith.


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