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Again this is just a repository for an answer to a question someone asked me:
Proof of God defeats the very concept of faith.
Asking for proof of God simply proves you don't even understand the idea. It's not as simple as asking for proof.
The bottom line is a simple one; if you bother to understand the God concept (any version of it really) then you eventually come to realize that for mankind to have autonomy (real freedom, self awareness, freedom of choice) then the God (any god) in question needs to remove itself from the equation of reality. The rest of this comment simply explores that in a slightly longer anology set:
Nature? Science? These things all have to be real, they are how the world "works" and functions. And they need to be functional without constant interference from a god or do you know what happens? The entire concept of freedom fails.
There's a simple wall analogy for faith. If you close your eyes and I tell you there is a wall in front of you. You now have 2 choices: believe me and don't walk into it. Ignore me and walk face first into the wall.
The wall doesn't care if you believe it's there. It's just there. If you are dumb enough to walk into it, there is your proof that it exists. That's science, you tested a theory and went face first into something you couldn't see (because your eyes are closed) but the wall exists either way. This is reality.
In the case of faith: the wall moves. I could tell you it's there but unless you have faith? It isn't. Intangible things.
God is a wall that steps out of your way. It's not something that can ever have proof. If there were proof you would not need faith.
Reality works whether you bother to believe in (a) god or not. Faith is a choice, not a fact. If it were a fact you would have no choice but to believe it exists. But without choice... now you're a slave which isn't what (most versions) of (a) god have been said to want. What God wants (existentially; if you bother to believe) is faith. Faith can not have proof or you wouldn't have the freedoms that you do. Including the freedom to ignore god.
There's generally 3 stages to belief (though depending on how you were raised and your level of intelligence you may skip around the list or be skewed into variations of this, or some idiots get stuck on stage 1 and make everyone look bad, but I digress... )
Stage 1) blind belief. those in stage one simply believe what they are told. they don't investigate other possibilities. they don't observe the world around them, they dont make progress towards understanding anything beyond whatever flavor of bullshit/religion/atheism/whatever they grew up with and had drilled into their heads. You'll find a great many people who never evolve past this. Some of them are bible thumpers (believe or else!), gloom and doomers and various other crackpots who can't see beyond the simplicity of their childish views. Honestly there's even a lot of atheists in this range who can't mount a debate that goes much further than "because REASONS!!!" without actually being able to articulate said reasons.
Stage 2) the learning phase. At some point you realize just how ludicrous faith is. (even blind faith in atheism without an inquisitive nature falls in stage 1 and not 2). You question it, you question why you would ever believe in something that can't be proven. Science, nature, the real world: these are things you can see, touch, feel, TEST.
Well, good luck with that. Assuming you don't screw up your tests you will come to realize that yes: reality is real! Thing is, that's not really that hard to understand. Of course reality is real, stuff works, etc. Um, duh?
You would have to be an idiot (stuck in stage 1) to never reach this point. Question it all you want, test it all you want, find out lots of sci-ency things. This is a wonderful stage to be in for most of your life. Learning is good.
But it also doesn't need to be the end.
Stage 3) Enlightenment.
Here's the thing, people in stage 3 may as well be invisible to those in stage 1 and 2. A stage 1 person assumes the stage 3 person is actually part of stage 2 and blindly keeps trying to convert them because: you know, reasons.
A stage 2 person assumes a stage 3 person is an ignorant stage 1 person because they don't yet see there is the possibility of "more" beyond their very tenuous grasp on reality.
But you see, a real understanding of God comes after you understand science and nature. You needed to be able to question those things, find out they are real and than have the imagination to wonder if there isn't something even more beyond the surface of the reality that we can see, hear and feel.
Take a moment and play a hypothetical with me: If God were real and if God wanted to make faith a valid choice (rather than a solid fact) would he not create a world so believable that it can function on it's own? That's your science.
The world works, science and nature are very real (and should not be discarded). Stick your feet on those facts. God is the wonder of the universe beyond those facts. The what-if. The possibility that something beyond our factual experiences can lift us above raw animal instincts.
By all means you can live a life without faith (the world is designed to function whether you bother to believe or not). But for those who make a choice to believe (and make no mistake that faith is a choice), you'll find a deeper meaning than just "the wind blows because of the change in heat distribution among air molecules"; you'll find out the wind blows because "God wanted to give you a pleasant breeze".
--- Note: this is a very simplified summary of the larger concept.
By all means remain in stage 2 and trust the reality around you. It's designed to be trusted and proven.
But if you ever want to probe the "why?" beyond science, the choice of faith will always be there. Just don't waste your time asking for proof, there can't be any or it wouldn't be a choice (and that's exactly what it was meant to be: choice).
Such is the true nature of freedom, reality will never give you that freedom. The wall will never get out of your way just because you closed your eyes. But God will, he doesn't want you to walk face first into him and hurt yourself.