Debating God

In an essay on how we think about proof of God's existence, Roger McCann explores the limits of reason – and the way the problem eludes being reduced to mere logic:

In spite of the wide applicability of reason to everyday problems, rationalism is not the only approach to knowledge, especially in Eastern religions. For example, in Zen Buddhism, the primary purpose of meditating on a koan (a paradoxical question, such as ‘What is the sound of one hand clapping?’) is to exhaust the rational intellect, thereby leaving the mind open to more intuitive responses. Similarly, for some the question ‘Is God Irish?’ is so absurd that, like a Zen koan, it cannot be answered with rational thinking. Others have no difficulty in answering ‘Is God Irish?’: for those who are overly proud of their Irish heritage, the answer is a definite ‘Yes’ because ‘God is Irish’ is a tautology; for others, the answer is a definite ‘No’. How can God be Irish when He (or She or It) is obviously Jewish, Italian, American, or whatever is the heritage of the responder? The answer is also ‘No’ for those who believe there is no God. For agnostics, who believe it is impossible to know whether there is a God, the question is nonsense. Still others may find the question blasphemous. Whatever your response to this question, I challenge you to prove it logically. No matter how good your proof, there are two major reasons many will not accept its validity: there is ambiguity in the meaning of ‘proof’, and there is no agreed-upon definition of God. For one example of the former problem, some view the rising of the sun as proof that God exists, while others do not.