Israel proves God exists

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Some apologists argue that the history and continued existence of Israel is evidence that God exists. This is largely based on Biblical prophecy of the role of Israel in Christian eschatology.

"The history, laws, influence and endurance of the nation of Israel through over 4,000 years of world history whilst world empires have come and gone, the maintenance of its national identity and central place in world affairs through war, persecution and holocaust, its recent restoration to Palestine and the educational and cultural achievements of its people are unparalleled but fully consistent with its special status as described in the biblical record and teaching of Jesus Christ. [1]"

As a syllogism:

  • If God exists and he take a special interest in Israel, it would have a distinctive history.
  • Israel has a distinctive history.
  • Therefore God exists.

It is a form of argument from providence. A related argument is based on the survival of the Jewish people for millennia in the face of persecution.

Contents

Counter-arguments

Argument from ignorance

There may be other explanations for the continued existence of Israel, including luck. These need to be ruled out before we can claim "God did it" - otherwise it is an argument from ignorance.

Self fulfilling prophesy

Israel largely exists because of Christians believing in prophesy and then acting in an attempt to fulfil it. The existence of Israel is therefore a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"If I order a burrito at a Mexican food restaurant, and "prophesy" that the waiter will bring it to me, when he brings me the burrito am I now a true prophet?[2]"

Broken compass

Many other countries also have long, interesting histories accompanied by cultural achievements. Does this argument prove their Gods are real too? The argument is therefore a broken compass.

Assumption of what results God's interest would have

If God really had an interest in a particular people, we would expect them to be one of the most peaceful, beautiful, socially advanced countries. Israel is war torn, rife with cultural divisions and relatively lacking in natural beauty. It hardly seems to have divine protection or attention!

Not very surprising

The continued existence of the Jews is hardly surprising, given their culture and wide distribution made them less prone to historical accidents.

"[...] a people dispersed across a vast diaspora is more resilient, which is why other stateless peoples, like the Parsis and Roma, have also survived for millennia, often against harrowing odds. Moreover, the Jews encouraged cultural traits — such as literacy, urban living, specialization in middleman occupations, and an extensive legal code to govern their internal affairs --that gave them further resilience against the vicissitudes of historical change. The survival of the Jews, therefore, is not a miraculous improbability. [3]"

See also

References

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, 2011

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