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Would it be reasonable to state this is true? Or do we just have no knowledge as to what kind of god or gods could exist?

What I find curious is that without this assumption, some of the traditional arguments for it or even against god would fail.

For starters, if a god who doesn’t care about us is just as likely to exist than one who does, then the evidential problem of evil goes away. After all, evil would count as evidence only against god if he’s considered to be good. But if we don’t know how good or evil he is, evil’s evidentiary value vanishes.

Many of the premises behind the design argument arguably vanish as well. For example, no one looks at a stone sitting in the river in your neighborhood and thinks “wow this must be designed!” as much as one does when one sees a life form. But a particular life form coming about may be just as improbable as that particular rock coming about. Without the assumption that a god interested in creating that particular rock is more likely to exist than god creating that life form, we should either equally think they were designed or neither.

Similarly, no one thinks god exists because one lost the lottery three times, although one might if they win the lottery three times. Again though, the probability of you getting a specific incorrect sequence of draws is the same as getting the correct ones. Without the assumption that a god who wanted that specific incorrect sequence of draws is less likely to exist than one who wanted you to win, this inference seems unreasonable.

So, is it justified to think that a god who cares about you or what you find significant or in human beings in general is more likely to exist than one who doesn’t?

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    This is an extended straw man. A counter argument to an argument no one has made. Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 18:42
  • "Similarly, no one thinks god exists because one lost the lottery three times, although one might if they win the lottery three times. " yet another rephrasing of the same question, ignoring plenty of good answers that have already been given. -1 Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 18:54
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    The design argument or the argument from evil can’t get off the ground without the premise mentioned in the question @DavidGudeman
    – user62907
    Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 19:06
  • ...if they win the lottery three times. That is not what God does. God does not play dice – Einstein :) If winning the lottery was because God cares about you, then plainly God does not care about the other punters who have not won the lottery. What makes you think God has singled you out for special treatment? Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 19:25
  • I've told you multiple times that no one says an individual must be designed just because the particular organization of molecules in that individual is improbable. Also, no one assumes that the probability of a God who cares about us is greater than the probability of a God who doesn't. You clearly have put no effort whatsoever into understanding the argument you are discussing. Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 21:16

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I would say that a god who does not care about us at all is a more reasonable proposition. Assuming, that is, that you consider god to be the creator of the Universe, then it seems to me to be much less probable that a god who created everything at or before the Big Bang would have waited billions of years to pay particular interest to a life form on one of possibly trillions of planets, occupying a volume of something like 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of the observable universe.

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Well, there's a stock riposte to the problem of evil, its mirror image viz. the problem of good. If evil is inconsistent with a good god then, to be fair, good is inconsistent with an evil god. We see both good and evil in the world.

To go the whole nine yards ...

Evil = Divine Wrath/Punishment [Seems OK]
Good = Diabolical ? [Does Not Compute!]

All in all, on balance, a Bonum Deus (good God) - one who truly cares for us, his children - is more likely than a Malus Deus (evil God)

... I suppose.

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  • "Good = Diabolical ? [Does Not Compute!]" - what does this mean?
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Sep 2, 2023 at 6:48
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    Constant universal suffering would lack any contrast. It's only with the existence of joy and inequality that the greatest suffering can be experienced. Or one might just say that some things may appear to be good, but they ultimately lead to some greater evil. At least that's how one might (poorly) justify the existence of good with an evil god (which is much like the arguments for the inverse).
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Sep 2, 2023 at 6:55
  • @NotThatGuy, I seem to have misplaced some of my files. So when we seee good people, we suffer doubly?? 🤔
    – Hudjefa
    Commented Sep 2, 2023 at 7:34
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The likelihood of the rock and the animal are incomparable, the variety of complexity at different scales, and the precision with which the structures are conserved between living examples, are a different thing. It's all a bit of a pointless case in establishing god or not though, because theists can just say god set things up to make lfe possible or inevitable, or intervened in some ineffable unevidencible way in the long chain of unlikely events that allowed life on Earth to begin.

The idea god was only involved in setting Creation in motion, and isn't around to respond to prayers, is associated with deism, and that deity often called 'the god of the philosophers', associated particularly with Spinoza.

Dystheism, the idea of an evil god, has a bigger following than most people realise. Zoroastrianism, as still practiced by Indian Parsis, holds that worldly matters involving sin and mortality are in the realm of Angra Mainyu or Ahriman, but we can access the transcendental realm of Ahura Mazda who governs light and potentiality. Mithraism and Manicheism were widespread and influentual traditions that built on Zoroastrian ideas. I think it can be argued Gnosticism is the inheritor in the West of this line of thinking, where the hidden supreme god is even more clearly juxtaposed with a lesser evil divinity responsible for material Creation, sometimes identified with the Christian deity.

Descartes in his Meditations goes through a process of attempting to describe from first principles why god is necessary, and must be good. It's hard not to look at his steps as motivated reasoning.

I would look at the idea of god being good as a being an effective pychotechnology. In life we face troubles, and attempt to learn from them and do better. If we choose to believe in a cosmos directed by a being aiming at that, we can focus on believing that whatever hardships we go through, however diffcult it is to imagine at the time, are directed towards some future good and so meant to provide some lesson or guidance. In Notre Dame De La Gard in Marseilles, sailors developed a tradition of praying in the worst of life-threatening storms, to the lady for intercession, and committing to live a more godly life and to having a painting of their ship made for the cathedral wall in thanks. That every wall is lined by paintings of boats makes quite an impression. But the sailors that died, have no paintings. John Newton who wrote Amazing Grace is an interesting example, he was a slaver who became an abolitionist, after praying for intervention when at sea in a severe storm, and asking for the chance to set his evil deeds right. Events spurred him to live up to his conscience, against the source of easy money that he knew having himself been enslaved at one time, the full consequence of. A view of the world that pushes us to listen to 'the still quiet voice' is a positive one I think, though all too often drowned out by louder and less wholesome voices that seem to dominate Christianity in practice.

The god of the Old Testament was vengeful, spiteful, jealous, and embodied all the negatives of Creation like floods and plagues, experienced as judgements. The idea of an all-good god is the influence of Greek philosophy. Discussed here: Is the problem of evil a strawman? I look at the Euthyphro Dilemma as the insight also from Greek thought, that enthrones reason above god/s. And as framing the necessary goodness of a deity as rooted in simply given all choices, what reasonable being would choose any other way to be. Evil, greed, malice, require a non-holistic approach, of impoverishing and damaging some for the benefit of others. Focused on all, on the whole picture, net good would seem to be the only logical choice.

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