Question: Preaching to Atheistic Friend
I have a Christian friend who has become atheistic of late. He doubts the existence of God and even the soul. After speaking to him he wants tangible proof that God exists and that Krishna is God. He also wants proof of the existence of the soul. He has this mindset that no-one can convince him that God exists. He says it all boils down to faith and belief. These two things are things he doesn't have. He doubts scripture, saying that man could have written it all. He also says that Krishna could just have been a man that people consider as God.
He also asks to why the soul inhabits material bodies like those of humans and animals etc and why it does not inhabit a curtain or a table as those are also material.
Please help me convince him that Krishna is God and that the soul exists.
Answer: Take Him Step by Step
This is the problem with sentimental religion. If one's convictions are based on sentiment instead of philosophy, one can easily turn around and become an atheist. While sentiments can change, deep philosophical realization does not. This is why we try to bring people to Krishna consciousness on the basis of deep philosophical realization instead of on the basis of sentiment.
If your friend has a mind-set that no one can convince him that God exists, he is just as fanatical as sentimental religionists. There is no arguments we can use to convince such a person who does not agree to be philosophical.
However, if he is willing to be open minded, you can reason with him as follows:
God simply means the origin of all existence. Even the atheistic scientists are trying to figure out the origin of the universe. Ask him if he is claiming that existence has no origin, and if it has no origin, how does he explain that it exists. Did existence just pop in from out of nowhere like popcorn without any kernels?
We do not immediately try to teach a child calculus. Rather we start him off with simple arithmetic that one plus one equals two. Similarly in presenting the science of Krishna consciousness we must bring them gradually step by step. It would be premature to try to convince this person that Krishna is God. First you must convince him that existence cannot be without origin. It must have an origin, otherwise it cannot exist. If he can understand this principle, you may write me again I will explain how to take him to the next level of understanding that the origin must necessarily possess personality. If he passes step two, then we can take him even higher. If he is willing to go with us step by step, we can take him all the way to spiritual perfection in which he can directly meet with God, face to face, eye to eye.
Our philosophical position is not believing in God. Our philosophical position is to know God by personally meeting Him.