The modern age has undoubtedly seen the invention of a number of sophisticated instruments, which enabled us to experiment and make observations on a much wider and more detailed scale, than was hitherto possible. But the things that such devices are able to bring under our observation and within our experience, are in themselves, superficial and relatively unimportant.
What is important is the theory, which is based on them. All the theories, later formulated, on the basis of these observations and experiments relate to the invisible and, as such, the unobservable. Looked at as a matter of theorizing, the whole of science boils down to an explanation of certain observations. Although the theories themselves do not come under observation, the process of observation and experimentation compel scientists to believe that such and such facts may be accepted as established.
But the antagonists of religion deny believers the right to affirm the truths by the same scientific methods by which they imagine they have rejected religion. They should then find themselves obliged to concede that religion is a rational matter. It is rather like having an efficient lawyer for the prosecution, but disallowing a lawyer of similar calibre for the defendant just in case the latter should benefit from the legal system. Then, suppose we accepted the definition of reality as something which we could directly observe and experience, the claims of the anti-religionists that there is no God, no divine power at the helm of things, would be justifiable only if they could prove that every single thing which was observable in the universe had been observed by them, and that neither God, angels, heaven, nor hell had been discovered. Obviously, they are not in a position to do so. Then what method, or procedure, has provided them with the basis for an argument against religion?
Whatever it is, it is not based on the direct observation of religion, but on an explanation of certain observations. For instance, the discovery of gravitation led them to believe that there was no God sustaining the universe, since the law of gravitation was there to explain this phenomenon.
It is clear that the observation on which this theory is based is not of the non-existence of God. That is, no telescope has quite finally given us the news that this universe is free from any signs of God. His nonexistence had rather been inferred from the observation of quite other events.
I maintain that the method of argument, which is based on inference and has been considered in modern times sufficiently valid to reject religion, can—it would appear paradoxically—provide the soundest proofs of the veracity of religion. The fault does not lie in the principle of the argument used, but in its application. When correctly applied, the result will confound the anti-religionists.