Imagine this scenario: You have come back home from your class after a really exhausting day. You have been hammered with a pile of homework. You enter into your room and do all important things as well as homework. The next day you reach school and find out that your best friend did not complete his homework. Consequently, he starts thinking of a plan on how to avoid being called up by the teacher. He tells you that the last day did not actually happen, thus he does not have to show his homework. Out of weird amusement, you scratch your head and ask, “what are you talking about?”. Your friend replies, “It is just a delusion in your head. Do you have any proof that past existed? Your mind might be programmed by some aliens to think of all these”. You remain silent for a second and then ask him back, “what evidence do you have that yesterday did not happen?”.
Now ponder upon this dialogue and try to answer which position you would like yourself to be in. Would you prefer explaining the evidences of past to questioning him what evidence he has got to deny the past? It is obviously the latter option that is most reasonable to resort to in this context.
The above annotation resembles discussions between theist and atheist. An atheist demands a theist to provide evidence for his belief in a creator, and the theist starts with strong determination to provide his opponent the evidences of his creator from many different ways. The theist in this context is the boy who wants to prove that yesterday occurred rather than interrogate his friend that what reasons he has got to deny the past. Which is manifestly a weaker position to begin with. So, instead of exhausting ourselves to meet the subjective and unverified criteria of atheists to prove creator exists, let us turn the table and let them deal with their own game. The question should not be “does god exists?”. The actual question should be: “What reasons have you got to deny God?”.
There are a lot of axioms/self-evident truths used in our everyday life. In mathematics, there are axioms. There are certain values assumed to be true for all circumstances in calculation. Self-evident truths are used in western academic discourses. The concept of God is an axiom. A self-evident truth. Concept of Creator is a self-evident truth because of few traits. Those are being universal, intuitive, untaught, natural.
- Concept of creator is universal. The idea that God exists can be noticed in all the groups of people. This idea is not confined to any particular groups or specific time. It is cross cultural.
- Belief in creator is untaught. Self-evident truths don’t require to be taught/learned. For example, you don’t go to school to learn you have a mind because it is taken as a truth that everyone has a mind. People don’t require external information to believe in a creator. Even if children of atheist parents are raised in complete influence-free place, they will end up believing in a creator.
- Since the concept of creator is untaught, it is also natural. People naturally believe in creator. The natural default position is having belief in the existence of creator, not the other way around.
- The concept of creator is intuitive. It is the simplest, most concise and reasonable explanation of our own existence. Now I know a lot of atheists might object to this “not all intuitions are true”, and that’t true. But a concept that is universal, untaught and natural has to be “true intuition”.
Concept of creator has great explanatory power. If anyone rejects a self-evident truth, the burden of proof falls on them, not on those who accept it. Rejecting the concept of creator is equivalent of rejecting the past or people having mind. So whenever an atheist asks a theist for proof of Creator, it is the atheist who should provide evidence and explain his reasons why believing in creator is superfluous and irrational.
The above discussion only establishes the concept of creator from a general rational perspective. From an Islamic epistemological perspective, this above discussion is valid.
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
No babe is born but upon Fitra. It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist. A person said: Allah’s Messenger, what is your opinion if they were to die before that (before reaching the age of adolescence when they can distinguish between right and wrong)? He said: It is Allah alone Who knows what they would be doing.