Non-Existence of God Revision Notes

All of my notes from this topic last year. Hope they help you like they helped me.

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Nonexistence of God
Types of Atheism
Atheism of indifference
o Combination of theism, atheism, superstition and so on that people
have because they have never looked at it in any detail
o "The creed of the English is that there is no God, and that it is wise to
pray to him from time to time" ­Alasdair MacIntyre
God is merely the projected personality of humans
Projectionism ­ we project the idea of God on the basis of our experience of
the world
Humans created God, not God creating humans
o "What man is in need of he makes into his God"
o "What man wishes for he makes into his God"
We cannot cope with the thought of being alone in he world and there is no
purpose or anyone controlling the world
God is created as someone to put our trust in, who knows what is going on
and gives the world purpose
We create a God that is omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent, eternally wise
etc. ­ this gives us what we need
God is placed on a pedestal by humanity, and we spend the rest of our lives
trying and failing to live up to these expectations
In Genesis it says: "and God said, Let us make human in our own image"
Feuerbach turns this around: "Humans say let us make God in our own
o Social control (similar to Marx)
o We spend our lived trying to please God and be perfect, but that's
o Instead, we end up guiltridden ­ spending our lived trying to make up
for our mistakes
o Religion will die out due to technological and scientific advances ­
therefore, humans will take control of their own lives
o Projectionism makes sense
o Explains problem of evil ­ God isn't real, but he's still omniawesome
o However, can't prove the nonexistence of God ­ only provides one
possible explanation

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Preconceived ideas of God ­ he tries to disprove his own ideas, not
God himself
o His concept and understanding of God might be disproved, but God
might exist differently to the description given
o We might imagine God but that does not mean that he does not exist
­ anything imagined still might exist
o Language of God is limited ­ this does not mean that God does not
o Belief in God need not be a negative thing
o Religion is not…read more

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Religion promotes social change in many societies ­ a process for social
o Catholic priests in South America ­ Liberation Theology
o Martin Luther King
Marxism became a kind of religion in USSR ­ Marx `revered' as a god,
Lenin `waxed' and visited `Das Kapital' and writing of Lenin a kind of sacred
text Revolution Day/May Day for celebrations
Émile Durkheim ­ Good Critique of Marx
o Wrote `Elementary Forms of Religious Life'
o Religion provides a framework of thought which is able…read more

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Fears of dangers of the natural world (although not necessarily
applicable today)
Inner Psychological Conflict
o Religion leads to neurotic illnesses (obsessions, phobias, anxieties etc.…read more

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Meme problems ­ Tinker:
Unlike genes, memes can be altered ­ we can alter our ideas at
any time, just being brought up religious does not mean you will
stay that way
If religion is a meme, so is Dawkins's atheism ­ even the idea of
memes is a meme!
Tinker implies that memes are bliks (as coined by R.M.…read more


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