2

I vaguely remember from high school a school of thought that relied on the assumption that gods exist, but they are perfect and therefore they do not care about humans. They are remote and perfect and inaccessible and somehow useless for us

  • 4
    Deism. Stoics hold to a very participatory deity-substabce – CriglCragl Mar 27 '18 at 6:01
2

The classical example of this is Epicureanism. Epicurus (or, closer to the Greek, 'Epikuros'), 341–270 BCE, supposed the gods to occupy the empty space between the innumerable worlds - the intermundia. Their lives were blissful, undisturbed by any concern with human beings, and passed in the eternal enjoyment of peace. The life of the gods served as an ideal for the Wise Man, sophos, who could never attain on earth the state of blessedness of the gods. But the Wise Man's ideal was a matter of indifference to the gods.

Deism : the reason I have not mentioned this is first that it appears in the previous answer and secondly that your question concerned 'gods' - in the plural. I understand 'deism' as a historical term, belonging mainly to 17th- and 18th century Western European theology and referring to 'God' or 'a God'. God exists, there is a God, Creator and First Cause, but God is uninvolved in human affairs. That is my understanding of the Deistic view; if I were to refine it, as I might easily do, I would still not pluralise. I note that a single God is assumed in the definition of deism cited above.

I can only plead that I took your question, and its reference to gods not God, literally.

REFERENCES

A.J. Festugiere, 'Epicurus and his Gods', tr. C. W. Chilton, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1955.

J.M. Rist, 'Epicurus : An Introduction', Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1972.

1

Deism
Belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe. The term is used chiefly of an intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that accepted the existence of a creator on the basis of reason but rejected belief in a supernatural deity who interacts with humankind.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/deism

This was at one time an influential philosophical viewpoint --many of the United States "founding fathers" were arguably Deist. However, it has largely been rejected from both sides --many atheists and theists find it odd to express belief in a being that does not intervene in the world, and it represents an intrinsically non-empirical proposition.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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