- This beach has footprints
- All things that have footprints have been in contact with feet
- This beach has been in contact with feet.
Thomas makes the point that every argument about God is going to be of this form. When we reason about God we are always moving from the effect back the cause. This is because nothing causes God. So the arguments might be able to convince a rational mind but are unlikely to convince a skeptical mind. A mind that rejects the footprints/feet relationship because they can imagine another cause for footprints will not get far in reasoning about God. But we don't have many minds like that. What we do have are minds that move from rational to skeptical when talking about religion. They accept footprints and feet but will not accept creation and creator.
One reason people feel it is right to become more skeptical in matters involving God is because we are looking at finite effects. We are drawing inferences about an infinite God. There seems like a mismatch. But magnitude does not really matter. We accept DNA evidence in a murder trial. Nobody argues since DNA molecules are small and the impact of a guilty verdict is large that DNA should not be used to justify murder convictions. Small evidence can lead to big conclusions. Finding the footprints of God is like that. They have huge implications if we are willing to take them to their rational conclusion.