Is God a delusion?

Hello users of biologos, I have been wondering as to why some think God is a delusion. I know that a delusion is something that contradicts reality in some form or another and if a being is transcendent beyond space and time, does that mean said being contradicts reality and is therefore a mere delusion?

All replies are much appreciated

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Not if God can intervene providentially in time and space in the lives of his children, and with empirical evidence. Check out Maggie’s testimony. She won five lotteries in a day and in the order she bought the tickets, so to speak. There is one more detail: her prayer.

(Welcome, by the way. :slightly_smiling_face:)

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Nope. But you knew that already.

Could be that some who think they know God are delusional while some who live their life in faith feel the presence of something that influences how they experience everything else in their lives are not at all delusional. Whatever God may be, it/He can have effects on one’s experience which are real enough as such.

But it doesn’t seem right to say He/it is a delusion even though that may not be what we know/think it is. I guess a delusion is essentially what a person thinks they are experiencing when they are mistaken. I guess each of the blindmen who puts his hands on a different part of the elephant winds up deluded about what stands before them. In their case it is extrapolating too narrowly from what they can grasp which renders each of their conclusions regarding the whole a delusion. So maybe it is certainty that we grasp the whole which leads to delusion?

If God is not positively knowable in some degree, than he’s not worth much except as a speculative topic for casual conversation of no real consequence, just entertainment. I still like Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s hermeneutic.

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Maybe all gods excepting the one you believe in?

As long as the presence is known to be a graven image in one’s head. Like everything else.

Only if you believe nothing exists beyond the physical Universe. (Philosophical materialism/physicalism.) This is a popular belief today, but it is a belief nevertheless, not a knowable fact. If you’re interested in a more nitty gritty philosophical look at that, there’s a good little book by Keith Ward called Why There Almost Certainly Is A God. It’s a direct rebuttal of the arguments made by Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion.

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Those are completely unconnected. The (latter) does not map to the former, it’s the extreme opposite.

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Perhaps my wording was a bit careless. Would you be happier if I referred instead to a belief that everything is physical?

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Much appreciated

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Not exactly, thing is I lost my mother back fall of 2020 and even though she was confident in where she was going i myself had started to question everything I thought I knew as a result of her passing. So now I have started a journey of finding finding out whether their really is a God or not and if possible how I can rebuild my faith that has since been broken.

-p.s. sorry for the essay

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I have no doubt that God as some people think of God is a delusion.

But I am quite certain that thinking one can or one does live by the objective observations of science alone is a delusion.

I have little doubt that everyone harbors delusions of some kind.

But I think one of the greatest delusions is often when one goes from a conviction about reality to the conclusion that others who disagree with you are delusional. I overcome this with a conviction that reality is not exclusively objective (i.e. not the same for everyone). To be sure I think there is excellent evidence that there is an objective aspect to reality, but there is no objective evidence that reality is exclusively objective. Thus I see good pragmatic reasons to believe that there is an irreducibly subjective aspect to reality as well and I identify it with what the religious call spiritual.

I’m not sure why you feel compelled to make the positive claim that nothing else could possibly account for a positive faith experience except a firm conviction that it’s all in ones head? There must be an alternative which doesn’t require so much certainty. I’m not a true believer in nothing.

I’m sorry for your losses and you have nothing to be sorry for.

Life is loss. If one lives enough of it.

You will build back purpose despite that.

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Sorry for your loss :pray:.

It seems like this points to a topic lots of people have agonized and debated over, called theodicy, which asks and tries to answer, why does God permit suffering death? (Sorry if I’m telling you things you already know.) BioLogos has some very worhwhile articles and videos on that topic, if you look on the main site.

You know, … I hesitate because this never seems to go down well … if you’re a tripper, sooner or later you will interact with nonphysical entities that seem to be real, to have mind and agency, and to be malevolent. You can write those off (physicalism) as a figment of your own mental / biochemical disturbance or you can entertain the prospect they are real (consistent with the Biblical worldview, among others). (Personally I declined to choose, for many years.) If they are real then, I think, if we’re asking what kinds of minds could create and sustain the Universe, it’s not a pack of random self-serving, harassing, [beings] (which is also how you could characterise many established polytheistic pantheons).

As you wish, @LM77 . I think deliberately malevolent spiritual entities are owed scornful labels. To me this is part of steadfast resistance (1 Peter 5:9). ,

I realise this. Why must there be an alternative in physicalism to psychology? Apart from that fallacy? Alexa isn’t putting thoughts in my head. Neither is the noosphere tachyonically from the end of the universe. Let alone nasty supernatural demiurges.

No doubt that such beings deserve scorn. However, we simply ask that you keep said labels U rated whilst here on the forum. Young people often browse the forum without necessarily logging in and/or posting. Other users may find such terms offensive.

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Another thing is I have been struggling to find meaning in my life, frankly I am not sure as to why humans are constantly driven to find purpose and as to what part of our brains seem to constantly promote this drive.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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