Not-God is simply not enough.
By Philip Hall
The alternative to God is not Not-God. Rather it is something INSTEAD of God. But then what in heaven’s name would that be? Applying Ockham’s razor must not produce an absurdity. You cannot dispense with the notion of God without producing an absurdity (Try not to stumble over the irony in that statement.). And, by the way, William of Occam was a Franciscan Friar.
God is not an unwarranted presupposition. God is just a placeholder linguistic term for human existential angst. We do not know why things are the way they are, so we have faith that they are the way they are for a reason, though we do not know that reason. The alternative is nihilism and irrationalism and strange, inhuman belief systems which go against humanity and our values, like dog-eat-dog social Darwinism, so harmonious with predatory late stage capitalism.
You cannot replace the idea of God with nothingness. This is what the Soviets discovered. This is what all atheists discover. What is very amusing is to watch just how weird people’s ideas become once they remove the concept of God. For example. You ask a rational and scientific minded person the reason for human existence and they couldn’t tell you to save their lives. So they have to say weird things like: ‘Oh it just is.’ or ‘It’s all an illusion generated by the brain.’ All kinds of squittering non sequiturs.
These are people who claim to be rational who say this strange things. Still, they certainly don’t trust their own imaginations or subjectivity. Even worse, they follow strange comfortably exotic belief systems without really believing in them; merely for the benefits they feel they get from them. So, in removing God, they now develop a system of thought with self deceit underpinning it.
One mustn’t misunderstand the nature and importance of language and the human imagination. A lack of a faith in human morality and imagination can lead us into some very dark places: nihilistic existentialism, for example. Euthanasia, eugenics, racism, gender bias, worship of the rich, despising the poor failure, eliminating disabled people. Things like that.
People look around them and see order and beauty and wonder – everything. And then they infer that something (or someone) is behind it all. Now what that someone or something is they don’t know. So they invent a word for something they do not understand. The meaning behind it all.
To describe what is (which is all science can ever do) is not to describe why it is. But perhaps people have some ideas about why it is that do not require a place holder concept like ‘God’. Ask any truly religious person about God and they will say God is utterly unknowable and unfathomable. What’s in a name?
God is a deictic concept for why everything is the way it is. It is just a finger pointing. Don’t confuse the finger for what it points at. Don’t confuse religion for divinity. It is the product of the human mind.
‘To say: ‘it is what it is’ is nuts because we live in a universe or structure and causation, of complex systems.‘
But remove the placeholder concept God and you are still left with a question: Why is everything the way it is? To say: ‘it is what it is’ is nuts because we live in a universe of structure and causation, of complex systems. Who made the rules? Who caused causation to be? Who made it so that things panned out the way they did?
Well, let’s get rid of the who. If you do that, then there must still be a what. I am in complete disagreement with people who say everything emerges from matter. Meaning does not emerge from matter. What a ridiculous statement! It is an alienating asseveration. The programmer creates a programming language and is then programmed by his own language – basically this is to allow yourself to be manipulated, narcissistically, by your own fossilised thought processes and inventions.
Forget the word God. It is just a stupid debating point for bullies and trolls who are full of certainty – on both sides.
It upsets me when the human imagination, poetry, philosophy and art are all relegated into behaving like the pot boys of scientism. This is a form of philistine, intellectual self-mutilation. The imagination should stand at the prow.
I don’t need anything instead of a god’ says one person.
And I think that that is the problem. Because if there is nothing instead of God (and the word God is only a word – according to respectable religious people themselves – for something utterly unknowable) then what is the explanation for why things are the way they are?
Not HOW they came about, mind you, but WHY they came about.
Forget the word God. It is just a stupid debating point for bullies and trolls who are full of certainty – on both sides. To me the concept of God is a patch on the sun. The concept of God is just a finger that points at reality. People who define God with certitude and what God ‘wants‘ are pulling your leg. I think we can all agree on that. But people who point at God are not. God is just a word for the reason and meaning of everything.
What is the non-religious explanation for why things are the way they are? Is there one? There has to be one in the end, because here we all are. What do you want to call it? Nature? Buddha?