A Vexing Question

Any theist believes God exists, just as any atheist believes God does not exist.  Both individuals share a concept; otherwise they are talking past one another.  Every human concept is a human creation, and since words are used to express concepts, every word in any human language is a human creation.  What follows from all this is a resounding affirmation that “Yes, human beings invented the concept of God.”  Human beings also invented the concept of a tree, but of course they did not invent trees.  So, human beings invented the concept of God, but they did not invent God any more than they invented trees.  Some concepts lack a reference in reality, and this is established by considering the evidence.  Whether the concept of God lacks such a reference is controversial.  Even some serious theologians believe the human concept of God is inadequate to the reality they believe in.



2 Responses to A Vexing Question

  1. Dustin Avera says:

    While we may have empty concepts, the ones which have a reference in reality cannot be called so, but can be called fulfilled concepts. Either a concept is empty or else it is fulfilled. Since it is the case that only those concepts with a reference in reality can be called fulfilled, then mustn’t it be that a concept of God is empty in the same way that a concept of Pegasus is empty since no fulfilling reference in reality exists? Furthermore, should literature which attests to the existence of God not be accepted as a sufficient condition of a reference in reality because literature attesting to the existence of Pegasus also exists?

  2. Storm Kelly says:

    Hello Dr. Lucey I’m in your Philosophy 323 class and I’m a theist. Reading this prompt I found it interesting that you made the comparison of the concept of God to the concept of a tree. This comparison makes it easy to understand and grasp the idea of God, because the concept of God can be overwhelming and vague, by essentially “dumbing it down” leaves room for non-philosphers like me, to debate and argue about the concept of God. When I’m amongst Atheist individuals it’s hard to explain why I’m a theist and by using this comprising I believe it’ll make for a stronger argument. I’ve felt the presence if God before, and I remember the first time I experienced His presence when I was at church camp when I was around the age of 10. I was in a prayer group and started speaking in tongs. At that point my reality was shattered by the overwhelming and powerful presence of Him. I don’t really think too deeply about the concept of God, rather I just believe that He is there and He is a concept of my reality.

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