Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away -- Philip K. Dick
Brooklyn Wolf asks, Do You Really Require Proof?
I don't have any absolute proof, and, truth be told, I don't need any. Just by looking at the wonderfulness of nature, from the macroscopic to the microscopic, I am convinced that God exists. When I look at the universe and consider the possibilities that it either sprung into existence by itself or had help, I take "had help." Yes, it's only a gut feeling and yes, it falls far short of proof, but that's all I need to live my life. But I'm also honest about it. I know that it's not proof, and I state the same up front to anyone who asks. I don't require "solid proof" for my beliefs -- and, if you seriously consider what I said, neither do you.
This was my response:
"Proof" is the wrong word. What people need are reasons. For some people, the fact that they like Orthodox Judaism is reason enough to believe. For others, the fact that their parents and ancestors believe is reason enough.
And then some people just want to know what's TRUE, period. We don't want reasons to believe if those reasons don't help us believe what's true. We want to avoid the traps other minds fall into: denial, logical fallacies, and sheltering ourselves from people and ideas that might destroy our beliefs.
We see that people with Muslim parents tend to believe in Allah and people with Jewish parents tend to believe in YHWH and we realize that people who believe for the kinds of reasons that we believed basically believe whatever they want to believe.
So we become skeptics. We set out to find what's true. And we steel ourselves to face the truth even if we have to give up some cherished beliefs and even if accepting the truth means that our families and friends and communities might reject us.
I'm not saying this makes us better people, or more healthy psychologically. I'm sure the psychological reasons for believing what our communities believe evolved for a reason. What I am saying is that we're more likely to believe in what's true.
If you'd rather believe what your loved ones believe and what your parents believed and what lets you live in an Orthodox community, you should probably stick with whatever it is that lets you do that. If you want to know what's true, become a skeptic.