How about this: God is a reification of the answer to questions like "Why is the universe here? Why are human beings here? Why do people suffer so much? Where does compassion and altrustic caring come from"
That is, a person doesn't know the answer to those questions. So they conceive of "the answer" as a Being called God.
You might object that since God is the answer to so many different questions, there really ought to be a separate God for each question. But people bundle all the answers together into one Being.
It seems to me more accurate to say God is a hypostatization or reification of omnipotence and omniscience, neither of which is clearly conceived, but simply posited as potentially realizable attributes. All the customary attributes of God are essentially negatives, such as power or knowledge without limit, and fall completely outside human experience. We trick ourselves into thinking the words have meaning and that by stringing them together we are describing a possible being. We have, in Wittgenstein's phrase, let words bewitch us.
In the end the word God is actually meaningless—it is intended as a singular term signifying a real being, but cannot actually perform any function of signification.
The whole "lack of evidence" seems a ridiculous argument. Christopher Hitchens said it best, "Lack of evidence is not evidence of absence," and that's because what lack of "substantial proof" are people talking about, anyway? We've not even explored a mere 1% of the multiverse, and we want to discuss "lack of evidence"? Seems a little bit absurd.
It isn't ridiculous at all. When someone, anyone, presents and idea; we choose whether to accept it or not based on evidence and logic. If you told me you had a cat, and presented evidence that you had one, I would be obliged to believe you. But if you said you had a unicorn, but couldn't provide any evidence of it, I would be obliged to doubt your claim.
Moreso, the more absurd the claim, the better your evidence should be of it. Unless you happen to be omnipotent, you can't discount the existence of anything with 100% certainty. But a lack of evidence is a good and compelling reason to not put faith in an assertion of existence, and furthermore, not to let it have undue influence over your life.
If anything, the lack of evidence is the REAL reason why we don't believe it. Unless you'd rather us gullibly start believing everything, no matter how absurd, simply because it was asserted.
>But a lack of evidence is a good and compelling reason to not put faith in an assertion of existence, and furthermore, not to let it have undue influence over your life.
Well, I was referring more to Neil deGrass Tyson's position of being an empirical agnostic, meaning that he doesn't know, but perhaps one day when the evidence presents itself, he can know.
So, in the interim, he doesn't posit belief nor disbelief. However, he also points out it depends on how you define atheism. If you define atheism as exclusively explicit atheism as some atheists do, explicit meaning the conscious rejection of theist claims, then of course, disbelief cannot be a default position.
However, if you define atheism as the more inclusive definition as in both explicit and implicit atheism, implicit meaning the lack of belief without necessarily the conscious rejection of it, then it can be the "default position." It boils down to that semantic argument.
There is no God. The laws of time prevent a concept of God being anything, only are fear of the unknown
manifests this comforting thought of ignorance.
It seems to me, a supernatural god (or supernatural anything), cannot exist by definition.
I think it very likely that extremely powerful beings exist in this universe. Beings that have lived millions or billions of years longer than us. I think it likely that some of them may be interested in seeding life on planets they visit, and coming back later to see what happens. They may have seeded earth.
Some would call them gods. I would call them scientists. However, I can't help feel that they would be immoral scientists, by letting evolution cause so much pain.
If I were to live millions or billions of years, I would be interested in creating life of different kinds, but would take care of it, so it wouldn't suffer like we do. I would also feel responsible to clearly let that life know how to be happy.
Because that's the way I am, and that's the way many of us are, and we seem to be improving in empathy, I think it very likely most super-powerful beings would be that way also. That's one of the reasons I doubt anyone seeded earth with life.
The man-made gods that humans invent seem to all be uncaring or sadistic.
You can't be positive that there is not God. Not in the sense that it can be proven. But it is good to be positive in the sense that you have made up your mind and aren't going to be troubled anymore with Religion.
But you can be 100% positive that you haven't seen the evidence. I can't say that I'm 100% positive that I've seen no evidence for a creator.
I believe I have seen some evidence for some providential guiding force bringing people to destiny and guiding evolution and making a lot of interesting artwork in nature, but that is simply my experience and shouldn't be forced on others and isn't some Dude with a grey beard and a crown.
Yes of course. If you want to believe your Mother or your grandmother or your lost comrade is looking out for you or guiding you at times, there's nothing wrong with that
It's when you try to cram a system of beliefs down someone's throat with a threat of eternal damnation that Religion makes my blood boil! I wouldn't treat an insect as bad as this "God" this "Father" treats his children.
In my opinion, proof exists that god does not exist, at least not the god that people claim ... a god of love and forgiveness and reconciliation. The proof is the thousands of years people who believe in such a god have been condemning, warring, killing, maiming, destroying, in the name of their particular god.
If god did exist, there would be a value of cooperation, of interest in the flourishing of living things and the preservation of a healthy Earth. No such belief now exists, at least not in the community of faiths that hate others.
Is it not interesting that Jews and Muslims have been warring for generations and none of them learned how to solve problems, resolve conflict, work together for a common prose.
If there is a god, it is a god of hate.
While it is true that most conceptualizations of god are logically inconsistent, therefore impossible. I feel it impertinent to assume that every conceptualization of god, ever, is equally inconsistent. There are people to this day that worship the sun, and I certainly believe it exist, despite disagreeing with shoehorning it into a god concept. Hence why I refuse to give a certainty on the existence of the ambiguously vague concept called "god", and instead profess a lack of belief based on not having any valid reasons to believe. This approach seems more reasonable to me.