Consider the two following observations...

Observation 1

Randomly assigned individuals to watching a movie about death or a random movie about a very neutral subject. At the end of the movie, ask people whether or not they believe in some sort of god / life force / spirit. In the "Neutral Movie" treatment 30% of the people answered 'yes'. In the "Death Movie" treatment, 60% answered 'yes'. The difference is highly significant

Observation 2

There exist a lot of "god-like concepts" in very different cultures and they are systematically associated with very different mythology.

"Feeling that god does not exists"

Such study would give me a feeling that god does not exist. Below I am trying to explain why.

Humans have all sorts of concept. Some of these concepts are inspired from observing the reality such as "gravity" for example. Other concepts do not result from observing the nature. The first observation (which was inspired from a study I heard of but I haven't found the reference) suggests to me that "god-like concepts" are a human creation not resulting from any reality but resulting from a need to believe in a made-up myth in the face of deep fears

The second observation implies that not everyone can be right as myths (and even the nature of a god) differ a lot from one culture to another. There is no reason to think that anyone would be right.

What is the correct semantic to refer to this "feeling"

I used to be pleased with stating that "God is defined as outside the realm of human thoughts and we therefore cannot argue for or against its existence". However, such observation do give me an feeling that there is no god. I doubt one could consider such observations as being evidence against the existence of a god. Are they arguments against the existence of god? But what is an argument? If yes, can we make logical arguments for or against the existence of a god? Do such observations bring any justified belief concerning the existence of a god?

  • 3
    This seems to branch out into several questions, some of them unrelated. Could you perhaps attempt to give a precise statement of your question?
    – M. le Fou
    Nov 7, 2016 at 8:39
  • 2
    For example, what exactly are the logical arguments that you refer to in the title?
    – M. le Fou
    Nov 7, 2016 at 8:49
  • 3
    From skimming this, it seems like a blog post rather than well-focused SE-format answerable question...
    – virmaior
    Nov 7, 2016 at 10:14
  • 1
    It is interesting that your observations play in reverse what is used as "arguments" for the existence of God. The first one reverses the "argument from experience": since so many people "feel" they had religious experience there must be something to it, and the second "the argument from consent": since so many cultures have a concept of god there must be something behind it. But a fallacy in reverse is still a fallacy. Faith in God is not purely logical or rational, it involves emotions, morality, etc., so the same "arguments" (appeals) for/against work differently on different people.
    – Conifold
    Nov 7, 2016 at 21:04
  • Better question: are there logical arguments against believing in people when they say there is a god? Answer... oh yes.
    – MichaelK
    Apr 9, 2018 at 11:11

2 Answers 2


Indeed, as jobermark noted, you started backward (implicitly) from the assumption that God does not exist and then proceeded to make your point.

As a rule of thumb, you can say any type of question on StackOverflow about arguments to "demonstrate" the existence or non-existence of God is likely to be a fallacy. The reason is very simple: questions such as "God", "spirit", "conscience", "free will" are axioms in a philosophical system of thought. And as a matter of logic, you can't "prove" that an axiom is right or wrong. It just does not make sense.

The question "is an axiom useful or not useful?", could be more interesting. As things stand, an axiomatic system with or without God can work just as well for physics. You could ask, in that case, why include God in your philosophical system (principle of economy)? To which one could retort: why are you raising the subject? What problem are you trying to solve? Indeed, physics courses don't need to start with a theology introduction, so they don't.

That being said, if that line of thinking is leading you toward a certain intuition, or if that observation reinforces that intuition, that is fine for you (the process in which you are involved is more in the nature of induction). But since it is a matter of faith (or if you prefer: hypothesis), the condition for presenting it to others is to frame it as such, fully accepting that someone might or might not agree with you.

Unless you like argument for the sake of argument; but that is no longer logic but rhetoric.


Your first argument is the fallacy of Bulverism. The second is a false equivalency between the existence of God and the existence of some version of God already explained by someone. So no, as philosophical arguments, these do not cut the mustard.

As to the feeling, we could stop at any point and decide that since we keep finding gaps between our physics and reality no underlying physics exists. Frustration is not an argument, either.


  1. Luther's realization that faith is a necessary part of religion, which implies proof is counterproductive,
  2. Jung's observation that some version of God generally turns up in the psychology of anyone, if only to be forcefully denied, and
  3. Hume's argument that faith in the regularity of cause and effect is in effect faith and nothing more

we really can only talk about the concept of God, and never productively argue either side of the existence debate.

I think the appropriate approach to theology on a philosophical level is the Jungian approach parallel to Mathematical Fictionalism. The fact that any divinity may or may not exist does not limit our ability to delve productively into our own and others' intuitions of those concepts.

Whether or not there is some Platonic realm of mathematical objects, we are continually compelled to consider one. And we are free to both believe in it and disbelieve it, as long as we agree to suspend that largely irrelevant judgment when doing actual mathematics. Likewise, we do not have to prove or disprove God in order to support or criticize actual religious behavior and thought.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.