The Relational Verification
The obtaining of information is an inseparable part of human life. Whether it is conversation with others, tasting of food, reading of newspapers, or looking at ourselves in the mirror, it is all meant to collect information.
To be of any value, he information collected has to be reliable. Since none of us seems to doubt the reliability of the information that comes this way — say by viewing ourselves in a mirror — we silently admit that all this information is fairly reliable. But interestingly, most of this information is not gained by the method of sciences but rather by the method of relations !
In a previous chapter we saw that natural sciences deal only with matter and energy and nothing beyond that. In spite of this many people seem to harbor the erroneous notion that all our information comes to us only through sciences. This is a false belief. Most of the information in our day to day life is obtained by interacting with people and things. Since this mutual interaction is a necessary part of information-collection, this method is called the Relational Method or Relational Verification.
RELATIONAL VERIFICATION IN EVERYDAY LIFE
In our everyday life we all experience love, peace, anger, pain, and the whole spectrum of human emotions. All these feelings are “real”, but there is no scientific method to detect them, verify them, or to measure them. When a boy falls in love with a girl, the girl does not verify this with an electronic gadget. When a father claims to love his child, the boy does not verify it with a laboratory apparatus or a “love-gauge”.
Matter and energy make up a definite part of a man’s constitution, but love is neither matter nor energy. Therefore no scientific apparatus can measure it. Yet love is accepted as a reality. This is because people experience love by entering into a relationship with the person who loves. And this is the only way to learn and appreciate any human emotion that is true, but that is not made up of matter or energy.
When a mother tells a child that it is his aunt’s voice on the phone, he trusts her. It is his relation with his mother that makes him to accept that information. He does not perform a scientific experiment before accepting her statement.
A good part of human life is spent in gaining information. These days children spend fifteen to twenty years in educational institutions. Here they just accept what their teachers say. During this time and also during the rest of their lives they read books, magazines, and newspapers. They listen to radio and watch TV. A tremendous amount of information is assimilated this way. But they do not verify it in a laboratory. They check it relationally. Because of their relationship with the parents, the school teachers, and the media they know how reliable each one of these is. Hence it is the relation that helps them to gain knowledge and not scientific experiments.
When someone tells us about Gautam Buddha and his religious reforms, we do not ask for an experimental or laboratory verification that Buddha was a real person. Rather, because of our interaction with teachers, textbooks, and even scholarly publications, we know that their statements about historical persons are to be taken seriously. So seriously that one never doubts them. But ultimately this confidence come to us because we have interacted with them — our relationship helps us to evaluate them unconsciously.
This is not to discount the sciences. Not at all. Modern science a great enterprise, and every objective person should be pro science. What is important to realize here is that sciences can deal only with matter and energy. They cannot encroach into other fields of verification. A subject of history can be investigated only by the methods of historical verification, a subject of legal investigation by the method of legal verification, and a subject of personal existence can be verified only by method of relational verification.
RELATIONAL VERIFICATION OF GOD
God is neither matter nor energy. If that were so, you would not have purchased this book. You would have invested your money in scientific gadgets to investigate Him.
God is a person, and He can be known, experienced, and verified only by the method of relations. If you, my reader, are willing to enter into a day-to-day relationship with Him, you can verify Him to yourself.
A couple of years ago an atheist challenged an old Christian gentleman who was preaching in a street. He said, “Let us debate the existence of God in front of this crowd”. To his great surprise the old preacher immediately agreed to the request. He said, “My friend, let us fix a time to present our arguments. I will surely come there. But I have a small request. With me I will bring one hundred persons whom the town knows well. They were drunkards, thieves, muggers, and all kinds of offenders — the worst you can imagine. But today they are respected citizens and transformed individuals because they established a relationship with God and His son Jesus Christ. Likewise, you also bring with you one hundred persons, known to the township, who were equally rotten creatures. Let them testify — if they will — that their new-found atheism has cured them of all their evils”. It is reported that the atheist disappeared from the scene.
This incident illustrates a very important truth. God can be known in a personal way, and when people know God it reflects in their lives. There are so many changed lives around that no one can refute this as mere propaganda.
Countless number of people have devoted their lives to serve the poor, the downtrodden, and the unfortunate. Christians run orphanages all over the world. They run homes for runaways and the destitute. They provide shelters where girls can give birth to illegitimate children and leave them for adoption. How many atheists do that ? To be honest, atheists do a lot for orphans and the unwed. Many of them encourage the godless philosophies that give rise to all this.
If you doubt it, talk to any “liberated” youth group. Listen to them how they advocate drugs, drinking and sex. Ask them about their belief in God. They will laugh you out of the room. They will tell you that rejecting God has given them all this freedom. They will tell you about man’s evolution from beasts, and also how this evolved man lays down his own social and moral norms and standards.
Pause a little to think of the outcome. The violence ! The illegitimate conceptions !! The abortions that follow, or the live babies that are abandoned !!! Have you ever wondered about the role of atheism and evolution in all this ? They preach “liberty” but overlook the consequences. Further, when these deluded young people reap the consequences, atheists are nowhere to be seen. They do not run hospitals, orphanages, old-age homes, and shelters for the destitute. Christians do that because of their relationship with God. This relationship motivates them to express their love practically.
When a person grasps a certain truth, it translates into actions. When a person enters into a personal relationship with God, that translates into actions. The tens of thousands of reformed thieves, thugs, criminals, and the basest elements of society who now live with a new heart are a testimony to that fact. Atheism cannot bring about this life changing
They entered into a relationship, they discovered, and they demonstrate it without asking. You, my reader, can discover the same God by entering into a personal relationship with God. The way is open to anyone who wants to explore. If you are still hesitant, the problems is not God but rather your unwillingness to explore. Read the Appendix A to know more about it.
Other Lessons in Does God Exist
- Does God Exist, Free Course, Lesson 1
- Does God Exist, Free Course, Lesson 2
- Does God Exist, Free Course, Lesson 3
- Does God Exist, Free Course, Lesson 4
- Does God Exist, Free Course, Lesson 5
- Does God Exist, Free Course, Lesson 7
- Does God Exist, Free Course, Lesson 8
- Does God Exist, Free Course, Lesson 9
- Does God Exist Free Course -- Appendix
- Does God Exist, Free Course, Final Exam