I was minding my own business when without having had any other recent conversation even remotely related to the topic, I received the following text from my mother. “Where do feelings of love come from if there is no God?”
On the surface, this is a very simple question, and one that has a very interesting answer. But as I thought about how I would answer it, I realized what it was she was really asking. She wasn’t interested in discussing evolutionary biology. She wasn’t interested in discussing brain chemistry. This wasn’t a question she wanted answered. This was, in her mind, proof of God. After all, since God is love, it only follows that the undeniable existence of love proves the existence of God.
I love the tautologies of religion. And by “love,” of course, I mean, “despise.” The Bible is true because the Bible says it’s true. We must have faith that God exists regardless of the evidence because God wants us to have faith rather than knowledge. Prophets speak God’s truth, but only when they are speaking as a prophet. Or, as my mother once told me, “I’ll only stop believing in Joseph Smith after I die and Joseph Smith himself tells me that he was a fraud.”
God himself could come down and tell these people that he doesn’t exist, and they still wouldn’t believe it.
I ended up answering her question the only way rhetorical questions can be answered. By silence. She didn’t want to engage in a philosophical discussion about God. She only wanted to prove to me that she was right. And I didn’t need to prove otherwise to her. So I said nothing.
If this had been your mother, what would you have done?