On God, Gods, Religion, Theology, Metaphysics and Science
God, Gods and Goddesses
Ordinarily any controversy about the existence of something is satisfied by experience, either directly
or by confirmable and reliable testimony of others. The existence of things that are experienced by most all
of us on a daily basis are never questioned—except, of course, by philosophers. It is only about things that
may very well not exist that there is on-going debate concerning their existence. This fact, in itself, is
evidence that doubt that God exists is well founded.
It is not at all clear who or what God is. Theists believe that God is a superhuman male, one who is
intensely concerned with each of us, and some of them, those who favor an anthropomorphic conception
(conceiving of God as being human like) of the deity, believe that he is jealous and vindictive, just as
humans are. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are theistic religions. Deists share with theists the belief that
God was the creator of the universe, but they differ with theists in that they believe that He is totally
indifferent as regards what happens in it. He provides no revelations, and so we have no knowledge of his
Pantheists believe in the existence of more than one God. Their various Gods and Goddesses are
identified with various forces of nature. The Olympian Gods of the Greeks were so conceived. They are
conceived to be not only in control of the forces of nature, but simply as personifications of these forces.
Zeus is the personification of the forces exemplified by the elements of the sky—the thunderbolt. Poseidon
is the personification of the elements of the earth—the sea and earthquakes. Other Gods and Goddesses
personify the animal drives and emotions: Aphrodite personifies the force of love and sex; Ares epitomizes
the male libido, engorged as it is with testosterone.
Athena personifies a strictly human capacity or force—
reason. As human personifications, they embody human emotions and desires.
The God of the
, like the Olympian Gods and Goddesses, is also conceived as an
extraordinarily powerful human. He is, however, all the natural forces or powers compressed into one being.
, He is presented as a fearsome, demanding, punishing, determined to be worshiped
above all other possible deities, omnipresent, omniscient, and all-powerful entity. Like the Homeric Gods,
he has favorites and forgives them much more than he forgives others. He is as cruel as the most
unforgiving of conquerors. He wipes out entire communities. He doesn’t offer the sinners of Sodom and
Gomorrah any chance at redemption, not even their children. And when poor Lot’s wife is overcome with
curiosity, he turns her into a pillar of salt. Whew! He is not given to counseling. No Betty Ford clinics for
Him. You imbibe in too much alcohol, fornicate promiscuously, or otherwise displease him, and he kills
you. His character is inconsistent with the kind of character favored by most virtue ethicists in the feminist