Agnostic of Gutted Gods

Theistic Gods

I am definitely an “Atheist”:  I don’t believe in theistic gods. As my diagram above shows, there are lots of gods that match that bill.  Theist gods are (among other things) generally felt to be all-powerful (intervening), all-knowing and all-loving.  The contradictions of theist gods, the total lack of evidence and the uselessness of these concepts makes me disbelieve in them as much as I disbelieve in anything.

But its Theists that make me an atheist. I am agnostic about lots of other things.  I am even willing to admit an its-bitsy amount of uncertainty about some forms of a god — for instance, I wrote here about a monkey god.  At times, I may even be agnostic about gutted theistic gods: gods lacking in power, knowledge or love.

For fun, I explore the permutations of gutted gods below:

Theistic Gods_gutted

Take home message: As to whether you are an atheist or an agnostic: Make sure theists define their terms, before the try to define you.

Question for readers: Help me fix or improve my charts. Did I miss a category? Would you offer different names and descriptions. If you are an atheist, could you agree to being a little agnostic about any of these gutted gods?

My other posts, exploring the same:




Filed under Philosophy & Religion

13 responses to “Agnostic of Gutted Gods

  1. Huggable and/or impotent god was my last stop before atheism. It’s the only god I could accept in the face of evidence, but eventually I realized if he wasn’t Omni Max, what was the point. Maybe you could work Apathetic god in there somehow also. Has the power and knowledge but doesn’t care to do anything.

  2. “Last stop before atheism” — LOL, great phrase. I had several of those including Thomas Merton, Judaism, the Cloud of Unknowing and more.

    Concerning Apathy — good point. I will eventually add this to that permutation: “Even if just “apathetic”, omnipotence in the face of suffering is just evil.”

  3. Cool, this is the first time I’ve seen the options for resolving the Problem Of Evil set out systematically! Good expositions treat the possibilities of dropping each one of the Omni-s separately, but combinations of non-Omni—that I haven’t come across.

    Have you read H.P. Lovecraft? He was, famously, the most nihilistic and atheistic writer ever. His Azathoth, “the blind idiot god,” fits your last category neatly.

    “…the ancient legends of Ultimate Chaos, at whose center sprawls the blind idiot god Azathoth, Lord of All Things, encircled by his flopping horde of mindless and amorphous dancers, and lulled by the thin monotonous piping of a demonic flute held in nameless paws.”

  4. @ David Chapman,
    No, I’ve not read Lovecraft. But his Azathoth is easy to imagine. Even some Hindu gods have Azathoth traits.

  5. Hello Sabio, like Michael I tried ever so hard to reach for that ever loving God before I left the faith. I remember looking into the whole organic Church movement with Frank Viola to see if maybe that was an option to consider before walking away. When I began to look at other religions and cults more I realized the hypocrisy in my heart of thinking that Christianity was so much better than other belief systems. It wasn’t really much different, if at all. I just couldn’t live like that any more.

  6. TWF

    Love the chart, but I wasn’t sure about the giggling spectator and the kick ass. I was actually thinking the giggling spectator description might be better suited in the kick ass spot. “”Hey, watch what happens when I send a hurricane at that city they built below sea level! Ha! It’ll be a hoot!” “Hey, I’m going to give some girl in a remote Catholic village a vision of the Virgin Mary tweeting ‘let it be’, let’s see what happens!” 🙂

    All knowing, but not all-powerful or all-loving… I wonder if that would be the apathetic god. You know everything, but you aren’t loving, and you can’t do anything about it; it could kind of lead you to not caring about anything.

    I am agnostic to the last two categories. Until relatively recently, I used to think and god who created the universe would have to be all powerful. Creating something from nothing, I argued, would have to mean you are all powerful. But then I thought about it a little more, and realized that that may not be the case.

  7. I am agnostic. I attend a Shin Buddhist temple. They present Amida as a concept rather than an actual being. I’m not sure if all Buddhist sects do this. I’m quite new to it, so I’m not the go-to for Buddhist knowledge by any means!
    I was raised Christian but began to question how a loving God could condemn people to an eternal hell for not believing in him. I also got tired of those who used God as an excuse to be hateful. I would tell such people “I always thought that Jesus taught us to be loving and kind.” Many Christians are terribly un-Christlike people.

  8. Carrikature

    You need a ‘less but not devoid of’ range in your second chart. A god who is wise (not all-knowing), powerful (but has limits), and benevolent (within reason) is comprehensible. Set the bar a notch below omni-, and you have a deity who fits comfortably in most pantheons.

  9. THanks, Carrikature, I should do something with the little less than perfect gods, perhaps. 🙂

  10. @jesslogan,
    Yeah, I think some forms of Buddhism (Amidism being one) have a very theistic flavor or ideations.

  11. @ Charity,
    Yeah, I get that.

    @ TWF,
    good points

  12. petraylvasteele

    Thanks for directing me to this. It’s definitely food for thought!
    I don’t believe in the “Church God” that I grew up with. I feel like there’s definitely something out there pulling some kind of strings. Sometimes I think it created the Universe and left us on our own. Other times, to paraquote Calvin and Hobbes, I think that it’s either mean or its arbitrary, and either way it gives me the creeps.

  13. @petra,
    Glad you enjoyed. If there is something out there pulling the strings, it seems to me to be one evil bastard — or incompetent — or impotent. As I said above. I can’t imagine why anyone would think that — but lots of folks do.
    Something creating and stepping away makes a lot of sense — though impotent sense! Smile

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