God is a filler concept

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Parent debateThis argument is used in the debate Does God exist?.
Argument forThis argument is a justification of God is but the name of our ignorance.
Keywords: God[ edit ].



“From a theoretical point of view, believing in God always comes down to trying to explain something we don't understand - the world, life, consciousness - with something we understand even less: God. How can we be intellectually satisfied with such an approach? [...] The (supernatural, non-scientific) explanations that religions claim to provide - for example, for the existence of the world, life or consciousness - have in common the fact that they explain nothing except the inexplicable! It's all very convenient, and all in vain. Clearly, I don't understand everything about the world, consciousness and life. There is the unknown; that's what allows knowledge to progress. There always will be; that's what keeps us dedicated to mystery. But why should this mystery be God? Especially since it's just as clear that I don't understand anything about God - since he is, by definition, incomprehensible! This is what makes his will, as Spinoza put it, "the asylum of ignorance". We take refuge in it to explain what we don't understand. Religion becomes the universal solution, like a theoretical master key - but one that only opens imaginary doors. What's the point? God explains everything, since he's all-powerful: but in vain, since he'd just as soon explain the opposite. The Sun revolves around the Earth? It's because God wanted it to. Does the Earth revolve around the Sun? That's what God wanted. Now we're getting somewhere! And what good is this explanation, in either case, when God himself remains inexplicable and incomprehensible?”

André Comte-Sponville, The spirit of atheism.



Arguments forJustifications

Arguments againstObjections

  • Argument againstTo say that God is a filler concept is an unfalsifiable argument.

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