How to Determine the Existence of Gods
Updated: Aug 21
Whether or not we believe in the existence of one or more gods, there is no denying that gods are often depicted as magical beings. They are often said to be able to manipulate time and space, tell the future, and have many other supernatural powers. Therefore, we can say that the existence of magic is sometimes seen as imperative to the existence of gods. If one believes in one or more gods, one may believe in the existence of magic.
So, if we wish to determine whether divine beings exist, we must first determine if there is such a thing as magic. What is magic? It is not the same as the tricks performed by modern-day "magicians." Magic is the ability to manipulate or alter existence using one or more supernatural powers. Teleportation, time travel, omnipresence, and so on -- gods, whether created by mankind or actually existing, may be said to possess magical powers in order to exist. Otherwise, they would not be the all-powerful entities that they are said to be.
And the difference between supernatural beings such as gods, and other such entities, associated with the paranormal, is that they are not as divine. Thus, in order for an entity to be deemed a god, they must posess supernatural abilities and be divine.
In Indian culture, you may be deemed divine or godlike should you possess certain moral qualities. Of course, it does not mean you are a supernatural being, so even if you may be respected to the point of being called a "God", you lack supernaturality, for you are a mortal being just like me and any other human.
I am a rationalist and an empiricist. I believe that knowledge is derived from both experience and logic. I have never encountered any supernatural entities or witnessed any of their powers, so I do not believe in magic. However, since having an open mind is key to understanding reality, I will give this the benefit of the doubt.
Either way, I theorize that the concept of magic was created in order to explain the unknown. In the past, people did not have the scientific knowledge to explain natural phenomena, such as lightning and thunder. So, they created gods and other supernatural beings to explain these phenomena.
Today, we have a much better understanding of the natural world. We know that lightning is caused by the buildup of electrical charge in the atmosphere, and that thunder is the sound of that charge being released. We no longer need to rely on gods to explain these phenomena.
The Abrahamic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, promote the idea of the most ultimate god ever imaginable: Yahweh, or simply God in English. Who is God? If he exists, he is thus the most ultimate magician in the universe, responsible not only for one thing like a Thunder or a War God, but literally for everything that was ever made, is being made, and will be made.
If existant, then there is no true entity more powerful than an omnipotent being, who possesses many other omni-based abilities. Being omnipotent is enough to have all the power imaginable (and beyond comprehension).
Because of such ultimate responsibility, logic dictates that it would take an immense amount of evidence to prove that Yahweh created the stars, the sky, every material, every organic being, and so on. That includes any other omni-based power, that stems from omnipotence.
This sheer amount of responsibility that takes to prove so much as created by said entity is one of the reasons why I am, personally at least, still an atheist. I don't only not believe in the concept of magic as something that exists like anything else that is more taken-for-granted. That's becaue there is so much to prove that was created by the Abrahamic God, that I find it immensely difficult to believe in them.
This brings us to the question: Does magic exist? Remember, if we are to find the idea of one or more gods a realistic idea, we need to also find magic as just that: an idea that is just as plausible as anything else that we find plausible.
There will be, of course, people who will tell you that supernaturality exists; that there are or were certain creatures such as goblins, giants, and ghosts that were recorded in human history. But let us not forget that our perception can deceive us as much as it can help us find the truth.
Hallucinations, for example, are a prime way our mind deludes us into believing there is something in our sight or senses that isn't actually there. This is an experience that can be realized by taking psychedelic drugs or by suffering from starvation, or by having mental disorders such as schizophrenia.
So, should we trust a starved or a drugged-infused man, or people such as scientists and philosophers? Of course, everyone should have their story told, but not every story is necessarily correct even if one strongly believes it is. Thus, not every personal source deserves to be deemed reliable, unfortunately.
As I learned more and more about logic, I eventually realized that we humans are not purely logical beings, and are prone to constant mistakes in our estimations. Perhaps most of us know that the law should not be broken, but what are the odds the "average" person will know when they are making a logical fallacy such as ad hominem or ad populum? Logic, therefore, is to be learned, like any other field of knowledge.
It is quite embarrassing to see how regularly these two fallacies are made. It only shows the importance of learning them in order to enhance our understanding of reality.
If we talk about gods and logical fallacies, perhaps the biggest logical fallacy when it comes to gods is the Ad Infinitum fallacy. The belief that everything has to have a predecessor implies that even cosmic creators need to have one/s as well.
The problem is, even when a predecessor to a cosmic creator is found, we must not forget that even that predecessor itself needs another predecessor, and the list goes on infinitely. This is the problem that I and perhaps many others find with the concept of creationism: we eventually have to consider the possibility that there is no definitive start to everything. This is why it is possible that the universe is simply infinite not only in space, but in time as well, and why time itself is eternal.
In order to determine the existence of gods, three things are imperative:
1. We must determine the existence of magic, as gods are magical beings. It's a given that all gods are divine.
2. We need to decide whether or not the universe has to have a definitive, ultimate beginning, in order for it to exist.
3. If the universe does have a definitive beginning, we must decide if it was created by either a magical entity or by scientific, physical reasons.
The third point is only relevant if the universe does indeed have a definitive beginning. If the universe is not infinite in its history, we must decide if it was created by either a magical entity or by scientific, physical reasons. An alternative possibility is that it was always there, with no definitive start. Another possibility is a concept called eternalism. If eternalism is true, then God/s exist outside of time, and therefore is/are also the creator/s of time.
If existence was created magically, then everything, technically, is magical to an extant. However, if everything has one or more physical origins as the sole, necessary factor of existence, then the existence of magic/supernaturality is simply unnecessary.
In conclusion, I believe that the existence of gods is highly unlikely. I believe that the concept of magic was created in order to explain the unknown, and that the Abrahamic religions are based on fallacious logic. However, I am open minded enough to admit I am wrong. It is all done in the name of reality. For philosophy is the study of truth, and not the advocation of one or more ideologies, regardless of the truth.
So, I'm willing to remain an agnostic atheist, in order to keep an open mind. Click here for my thoughts on agnosticism.