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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?

Xoviat 4 Apr 14

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If I were to guess, I would say that god is like karma . . . it makes one feel somewhat better about reality.

That asshole who cut me off on the freeway will get it later. Hitler is cooking in the depths of hell for all of his crimes.
The world is filled with bitter pills. Some people need a blue pill to make it all seem worth it.

I really hate the red pill/blue pill stuff. It makes me feel like I am trying to legitimize some racist, sexist or otherwise flawed view of the universe as some sort of high level epiphany.


The idea of feeling really, really grateful for a "god-given" life is plain selfishness considering that every moment, thousands of people suffer or die around the world. If a loving god created everything out of love, then why do people around the world starve or suffer or are in pain? Certainly a loving god is not doing anything about it, therefore, it could be that god is just tired or he/she doesn't exist at all! 😀


I am grateful for life, but don't believe in God.


No studies needed. Look inside you for the truth. You do not a validation for the truth inside you.


I am DOG the Great and Powerful!
And I created the Heavens and the Earth.
And I created everything which walketh, crawleth, slinketh, or stinketh upon the Earth!
I created everything which swimmeth, or flieth, or twerketh!
And I created both God, and the Devil, to thoroughly confuse you!
In my name's sake!


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 7 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.

I agree

@ShannonPool I posted a fucking joke

@ShannonPool The bible is irrelevant, it is bronze age fiction and myth, their attempt at explaining the world around them.

"The big bang is our modern, scientific, creation myth. It comes from the same human need to solve the cosmological riddle." --Carl Sagan in the video you posted. He is calling it a creation myth in reference to it having the same source as the earlier creation myths, the "human need to solve the cosmological riddle". He is not in any way implying or saying that it is mythology.

Even if he was saying it is mythology, it does not matter as it is the accepted scientific explanation that fits the evidence we currently have, and provides the most explanatory power. Sagan was a smart man, but science has no authorities whose word is supreme, anyone and everyone can be proven wrong, all you need is the science to back a new theory or explanation.


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.


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.

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.

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.


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 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.

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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