I have been reading about Christopher Hitchens' view of God recently. The Wikipedia article about him says:

 "You could be an atheist and wish that the belief was true," he told CBC. "An antitheist, a term I’m trying to get into circulation, is someone who’s very relieved that there’s no evidence for this proposition. He argues that the concept of God or a supreme being is a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom."

While reading this, it occurred to me that I am exactly the kind of atheist that Christopher Hitchens is not. I would very much like there to be a benevolent powerful God to look after me and guide my life. I only reluctantly yield to the evidence that there isn't such a being.

What are peoples' views about this?


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Tough question. I think it would be great to have a god to save human beings from ourselves. For instance, wouldn't it be great to have a divine peace-keeper to prevent all wars. No more children's hospitals, famine, hatred, etc. Like Carlin asked in his epic joke about religion: this demented world is supposed to be god's plan? I will never ever ever want a god from any of the monotheistic religions of today or ever. However, a god of peace and understanding and true omniscience would be nice. Since I have no experience with this god, I don't necessarily wish it existed. But I can only imagine.
The God of the Abrahamic religions? I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.

"A" god of my choosing? Sure it would be great if I had a superpower friend who could cure cancer, save people from earthquakes, bless terrorists with a brain and a soul, and only after all that is accomplished, help me find a job.
This is a tough one...as others have said, if it was one of the Gods of any organized religion I am aware of in the world, especially the Abrahamic God...NO WAY!! Any God that would claim to be benevolent, all powerful, all loving, etc etc etc and STILL allowed the bullshit/pain/suffering/etc that goes on in this world would NOT be someone I would worship even if there were absolute proof of his existence.

Now if the world was different (as it would have to be for a God to exist that I would love and worship) and that God really did help anyone that asked for it, prevented suffering and all the terrible things that happen to people, was truly forgiving and truly like that perfect loving "dad" that everyone wishes they had, and let people do their own thing as long as it didn't harm anyone else, I think that would be great. However, that God obviously does not exist. I only have to open a newspaper or walk out my front door to see that so it doesn't do much good to wish this God existed because he doesn't. It would just be wasting my time and mental energy to sit around wishing for it.

I understand what you're saying, I think we've all had times when, whether we admit it or not, when things have been tough in our life, that we thought it would be nice if a God like the one I described existed, when we needed some guidance, didn't know what to do, felt alone....how nice it would be if a such a God existed and would give us the answers we sought, answers that because he would be "God" would be the right ones with 100% certainty. I think in a lot of cases though, those types of scenarios are what have put some people on a path that eventually led to atheism, especially people brought up in religious families/environments...when things got tough in their life they asked "God" for help, prayed, remembered all the things they'd been told about how "God" will help them, comfort them, all that...and it didn't happen. There was no difference in the course of the event or events that were taking place, it turned out the same as it would have if they had not prayed, asked for intercession, whatever.
It has been interesting to read peoples' replies so far, and see the range of views. Many of the comments make sense.

Angela - Your second paragraph makes perfect sense to me.
My god, I wouldn't want that.

As it is the world is an awful and horrible place filled with hunger, death, and disease. Most conscious things are motivated by starvation and fear with the blind drive of maybe fucking something before being eaten. The whole system of predator and prey is simply monstrous.

I can deal with this because I'm convinced that existence is accidental, that there is no pre-set direction. To imagine that this system of suffering is how it's supposed to be, how a god intended it to be is terrifying.
There could be things like the "Q" from star trek out there, which to us would essentially be 'gods'. I hope to become that powerful one day...where I could exist across multiple dimensions, fold space, and be anywhere on the timeline, but Id be very afraid if I knew that person existed and it wasnt me.

Definitely a huge NOPE on the god of any religion. Hard to imagine how terrible a god invented by humans would be in reality.
I would NOT be interested in living each day with the idea of any god that I've ever read or heard about - even if there was a promise of some fantastical heaven. Even if that heaven was made entirely of warm apple pie and whipped cream. Even if I get to see all my passed friends and family. Even if I never had to work again. Why? Because it would no longer be MY LIFE or even afterlife; it would be a life of service without release from conformity. Worship of a god sounds so sad, so emotionally and intellectually limiting. If I was a follower (yuck!) it would mean to be a puppet, a slave, a pest crawling all over a rotten corpse trying to subsist alone. That would all but kill any true spirit I have in the first place; it would not be a life at all.
Life would be too black and white if God did exist.
I can't think of any of the hundreds of gods human beings have conjured up over our species history that I would want calling the shots. They were all childish and vicious egomaniacs, that didn't give a shit about human welfare – in fact took pleasure tormenting them. They spewed arbitrary rules without rhyme or reason and then got all pissy when they weren't followed.
I'll take the universe as it is with all its mysteries and decide the course of my own life - and when it's over …...meh.


OBEY ME
I have to agree with Hitch on this. I think the point is that you would cease to have your own life. If you are being looked after and guided, you stop being an individual.
What has amused me at times, is when I consider the crusades, and when the Christian armies, and the Moslem armies might have been be preparing for battle, and praying to "God", for their respective sides to win. How can "God" help them to BOTH win?

If there were a god, we'd still be in conflict with one another, and a single god would not suit everyone. A possible alternative it seems, is that the god would not take notice of such prayers, but then would that be the kind of god one would want?

The god in question has to have so many specifications, modifications etc., or do we each get a god of our own design? Does this god then obey us, or us him/her? Surely it's far better NOT to have an omnipotent god, nor ANY god, and to use our own human faculties to sort out how to live?
I thought that making my own decisions made me my own god... Minus all the super powers.
I don't see what an all powerful being needs with worship, other than it stroking its ego. But shouldn't something titled god be above such a petty thing?

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