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The Idea of God

I am of the opinion that the idea of god stems from the need to feel grateful for existence but nowhere/no-one specific to point this gratitude towards. Are there any studies out there which validate or refute this argument?

By Xoviat4
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An interesting thought. I dunno if there are studies out there on this, though there is a psychology discussion group here, someone there might have some knowledge on this.

kmaz Level 6 Apr 15, 2019

Man created god to explain the unknown and discovered a means of controlling other men.
Man grew up a little and created a framework that can explain the unknown without gods, it is called science, and one day it will render all gods into the myths they really are.

icolan Level 7 Apr 14, 2019

I agree


God(s) originated out of a need to control fear through stories, myths etc. A way to define the unknowable nature of a cruel capricious world. From there it evolved into a way to to define a cultures place in the world and carry on stories and information to the next generations and glue together larger and larger groups. I do not think it had much to do with being grateful in the beginning more it was about trying to understand the world with a distinct lack of reliable information.

Quarm Level 6 Apr 14, 2019

This also seems fair. The wikipedia page suggested to me by Antifred "evolutionary origins of religion" supports your statement. I suppose the question 'Who should I be thanking for my existence?" is less pressing than occurences in nature like "Why does the sun rise and set?" or "What is thunder?".

@Xoviat One of my favorite examples of the rise of myth is from Jurassic Park (The book). In the beginning a lady has her infant carried off by something and the author talks about how in the real world Jaguars would steal and kill and eat peoples babies without leaving any evidence of their actions as they break the child's neck and carry off the body. No blood etc. So the natives attributed the events to "Demons".


I thinks someone got too high on some natural hallucinogenic plant, thought the idea sounded cool and went with it.


Other than my previous post of my explination of the word God, see wikipedia as a starting point for an interesting topic to consider further. See wikipedia: "evolutionary origin of religion " and "Imaginary friend". I understand wikipedia is not considered a verifiable source but it can be a place to view ideals for further resesrch.

Antifred Level 7 Apr 14, 2019

Thank you. It is a start and may send me in the right direction.


God defined as a word of open definition and usage, in that any person could give any usage or define it in any way, whether logical, provable, real, surreal or not. 

There are some things labeled by this word that have more popularity than others. There are groups of people that give a certain definition to this word that the agree on and follow for that group. There are those that would say there is nothing in existence that this word would properly label. There are those that do not have evidence for a reason to label anything with this word. There are those that could never know what to label with this word. There are those that would label some immediately unexplainable occurrences with this word. Some may of had some occurrence that there is no current scientific word or other explination, so a reason to use this word.

A very uncommon word for how it is used comes from Germanic origin of meaning to call or invoke and now in fact exist as a word in English spelt with the letters G, O, and D. 

Antifred Level 7 Apr 14, 2019

It is just much easier to say "God" instead of a lengthy description. Are you advocating that we stop using that word and learn to be more specific?

@Xoviat depends kn how you look at it, biblical "god" had man names, supposedly changed people's names.


It’s difficult (impossible?) to have an idea of anything one has never perceived, or the parts of which one has never perceived (like a flying horse). Freud suggests that the idea of God comes from our idea of a father whose imperfections have all been imagined away. That seems probably right to me. But why should believe that there exists such a being? I think Xoviat’s suggestion that we feel a need for someone to thank for our existence—and any other undeserved bounty—has merit.

Wallace Level 6 Apr 14, 2019

I think adding 'any undeserved bounty' is fair. Considering this, such situations may also work with the bad as well as the good.

  1. <X> happened
  2. I don't know why it happened.
  3. <X> benefits/hurts me.
  4. I don't know who or what I should be thanking/cursing for <X>
  5. Maybe an unseen entity made this happen?
  6. Ok, Iets run with that.

My opinion is God was created to explain lightening and thunder by cave men with shitty wifi and no internet aceesss.

Stevil Level 8 Apr 14, 2019

nope. none that i have ever heard of. i think it is more likely that the idea of god stems from the need for an authority to keep people in line, which isn't such a terrible idea on the face of it but hasn't worked out so well.


genessa Level 8 Apr 14, 2019

I see that as an extension of the idea of god in the form of organised religions with agreed definitions of god. If there were no organised religions, there would still be individuals with the idea of god (Otherwise organised religion wouldn't have come about in the first place). I want to explore the reasons why that is the case.

By the way, I'm not referring to just the Abrahamic god, but any conjectured deity. Whether it's Yahweh or a herd of 2-Headed flying cows with tentacles riding Harleys.


More appropriate than I realized. Thank you.


I'm a firm believer that all gratitude for existence should be pointed toward one's parents.

Fine. But then you should be grateful to their parents too... and their parents ... and their parents .. and early primates ... basic organisms ... whatever primordial goo of animo acids that spawned life.

Then The Earth for forming conditions to create life, then what happened in the universe to get to there being an Earth.

You're then just grateful for physics happening, followed by a lot of sex. Or you can insert pantheism at the start or creationism into the boundary of your choosing.

Perhaps I've taken a few leaps too many here, but I would like to discuss it.


@Xoviat Nope smile001.gif I'm grateful to my parents. They made (or didn't make) the decision to bring me into this world. If they want to be grateful to their parents, that's their business. With respect to physics, I think we are all just lucky to be living in this universe.


I believe we do need to express gratitude for our existence and that that gratitude should be expressed in the way we take care of our planet and its inhabitants who made it possible. Okay with me if you call that god.

jerry99 Level 7 Apr 14, 2019

or equally, call it responsibility or duty

well it's okay with me no matter what someone calls it but that doesn't stop me from thinking it's ridiculous. it's okay to be ridiculous but i call it what it is.


I find that sentiment admirable. Perhaps as humans, we desire to show gratitude on a level that is not immediately relevant in the hopes that something supernatural pops up to say 'No problem Buddy, you're welcome!'

We probably should be looking at the here and nows of our lives and investing our energies in what is immediately relevant to our situation instead of looking back.

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