God is a "Myth"

Atheists proudly proclaim that God is a “myth.”  A myth by definition is:

a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon  

However:

  • Every story has an original story teller or author. e.g. The Cat in the Hat – Author, Dr. Suess
  • If God is indeed a myth.  If all religions are recirculating a story, then who was the first to come up with this story?  
  • Who was the first to develop the concept of God?
In order for the idea that God is a myth to stand on its own, it needs evidence tracing this myth to an original author.  To date, not one atheist has provided any falsifiable evidence linking the God myth to an original author or thinker.  It is speculative reasoning by all accounts.    
So the question remains: Who developed the God concept that has fooled mankind for thousands of years?   
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This entry was posted in Atheism, Atheist, Atheists, Author, Concept, God, Myth, Origin. Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to God is a "Myth"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Humankind did. And we can see this concepts evolution from gods of nature, used to explain natural occurrences, up to one super-god to explain everything.

    Gods appear to have been man's first attempt to explain the patterns they saw in nature. The ignorant and superstitious nature of these people led to the thousands of gods that we have invented.

    We now know that the volcano is not an angry god, that lightning is not cast from on high hy deities and that floods occur without any need of divine action.

    The vast number of these god concepts is exactly what we would expect to see if they were man made, and not at all what we'd expect if there was one god who wished us to know him.

    @joesw0rld

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Citing your favorite definition for things is a fallacy… but you ignore fallacies and hope to pass them off as proof, but it only serves to make you look desperate.

    myth[ mith ]noun1. a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.2. stories or matter of this kind: realm of myth.3. any invented story, idea, or concept: His account of the event is pure myth.4. an imaginary or fictitious thing or person.5. an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution.

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  3. g33kn1k says:

    Which god are you talking about? All gods, or the Christian god?

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  4. Sacerdotus says:

    So you're stating that humanity somehow collectively created God simultaneously? Can you provide evidence for this?

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  5. Sacerdotus says:

    How does this show the origin of the God concept?

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  6. Sacerdotus says:

    God. The idea of a creator, supreme being.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Its self evident in many cases… & if nobody can prove a god, it is a myth. Has NOTHING to do with authorship. Besides, we KNOW humans wrote the bible… so its a myth until you show otherwise. Its your burden of proof to show non myth.

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  8. Sacerdotus says:

    Self evident how? Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It is evidence of unawareness on the part of the observer. Humans wrote the Bible just like they wrote the Constitution and any other piece of literal; however, God predates the aforementioned. The burden of proof falls on anyone making any claim. Claims are not valid on their own unless they have substance to them.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    There's a perfectly good Darwinian explanation for the belief in god. It's a survival instinct. read more here…

    http://www.michaelshermer.com/2009/06/agenticity/

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  10. Sacerdotus says:

    See my comment on that blog. It is fallacious. The author does not define agenticity correctly. He does not give account of the origin of God and merely speculates.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    You're hiding behind semantics.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Your attempt to shift the meaning of certain words to better suit your own arguments is intellectually dishonest. And so we get bogged down with meaningless argument, which is your intention all along and a typical tactic of someone who knows they are, in all likelihood, wrong.

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  13. Sacerdotus says:

    That is absurd. The question is simple and requires no play on words.

    If God is a myth or a creation of the human imagination, then who was the originator of this creation?

    That is basically it. It is not rocket science. For example: If I said that the Mona Lisa is real. She is alive among us, you will say no. If I ask for proof, you will say that the Mona Lisa is a painting that was created by Leonardo Da Vinci.

    Now if atheists say God is a myth and an invention of man, then who was the “Da Vinci” that “painted” this concept into the culture of humanity?

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Your personal over-investment in a comforting myth has left you unwilling to consider a plausible answer to your question. You're totally blinded by faith.

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  15. Sacerdotus says:

    As a rationalist you have to give me a reason NOT to believe. You have failed at this, therefore your premise is not rational. You want me to accept on faith your premise that God is a myth without providing evidence. This is illogical. The irony is that you say I am blinded by faith but faith is all I have in order to trust your premise because you provide no substance to it other than, “God is a myth.”

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  16. Omni says:

    If you can see an angry man you can imagine the angriest man.
    If you see something fly you can imagine a man flying.
    If you can imagine everything you can imagine a man being everything.
    It's one of the most basic ideas to see other things a people.

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  17. Sacerdotus says:

    So who saw God to describe God?

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  18. Anonymous says:

    By now I've grown tired of your play on words Sacerdotus. You are clearly an intelligent man with a brilliant grasp of English and the art of debate. However, in all your comments, in all your statements you never once provide PROOF. Your question is the same as asking “Who created the first fire” or “Who first described water”. The answer is we have no idea, not because there is no answer but simply because after so many thousands of years can we expect such information to have existed and known to all?

    If I say I BELIEVE in the Loch Ness monster, can you PROVE me wrong? No, not because the “witnesses” admit they lied or were mistaken, not because the lake has been searched a thousand times with no proof, but simply because you cannot PROVE any belief to be false. You are very good at twisting an argument or a question round to an answer you feel comfortable giving and then requesting that we provide proof. For once, PROVE the existence of a creator.

    Proof, not “belief” not “well show me proof there isn't” not “look all around you”. No religious texts (written by MAN by the way just like Physics books), no “well you can't answer what occurred before the big bang which must mean a creator started it”. Give us all undeniable PROOF that a creator exists and he/she/it created us all.
    To save you time, you cannot provide proof. Just like I cannot provide proof that a creator doesn't exist. But back to my point, a lack of proof does not mean something exists or doesn't exist. If someone believes in something despite no proof to support the claim, I fail to understand how you can justify that this mean there is a creator?

    I believe we all live in the armpit of a golf player 39 years 5 months a 6 days in the past and due to an experiment by an extra-terrestrial race they have shrunken and pushed the whole universe through time and space and into the armpit of said golfer. But due to the time delays because of our reality comparable to the the golfer, our “big bang” was him lifting his arms allowing the sunlight from the golfers Sun (which due to the time-delay is actually our Sun in the past) and the big crunch will be his arm lowering following a swing of his club. Prove me wrong. But before you do, PROVE the existence of a creator.

    If you cannot PROVE it, do not reply anything other than “I have no proof that there is a creator”.
    Thank you and good day

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  19. Sacerdotus says:

    This blog post is meant to invite atheists to provide their evidence regarding the “god myth.” It is not for theists to prove God. I will be doing a series of blog posts on my other blog regarding God and evidence. However, this blog is different. This is just a discussion forum.

    Let me give an example of how tracing the origin of something can prove its authenticity or if it is a myth.

    For example. Let's say someone broadcast Romeo and Juliet. The signal went out into space. Billions of light years away there is an emerging intelligence on a planet. They evolve and develop technology just like we have. Our signal eventually reaches them and they pick it up. They heard the broadcast and find a way to interpret it just like we learn language and can decipher it. They listen to the story of Romeo and Juliet and then start to believe these characters are real. The belief is circulated in their civilization for years, decades etc.

    Meanwhile: We on Earth develop a faster means of space travel and send astronauts to go to other galaxies just like in the Star Trek series.

    Remember, we are more advanced than the other civilization.

    We reach their system and detect that there are lifeforms there and go to investigate. We land and they greet us because they recognize the language from the broadcast their civilization has encountered a long time ago.

    They talk with our astronauts who are shocked to hear that the people know our language. Our astronauts ask them how did they know of us. They reply that they heard about our Romeo and Juliet from a signal and how they learned so much about regarding the abstract called love. This alien life then requests to meet Romeo and Juliet. The astronauts look at each other because they know Romeo and Juliet are not real and these alien were under the impression that they were for thousands of years.

    The astronauts then proceed to tell them the origin of Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare.

    Now if “God is a myth” as most atheists claim, then they can easily trace this myth to an author just like Romeo and Juliet can be traced toe Shakespeare.

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  20. Omni says:

    No one saw god, did you not read my comment?!
    You can imagine a man that can do anything.

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  21. Sacerdotus says:

    Yes I did, but your analogy was based on man. You know what man is and looks like so you can apply all kinds of scenarios to man. My question is: who saw God in order to do this? You cannot apply qualities on something your have know knowledge or prior awareness of.

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  22. Omni says:

    The idea of a god is a man that can do anything.

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  23. Helen Pluckrose says:

    You are mistaken about myths having to have a known author. Most myths do not. In history we have to refer to things as myths when they are a story believed by a people and significant to a culture. This does not actually mean it is untrue but simply that there is no evidence to allow us to accept it as an historical event. Cat in the Hat is fiction whilst the story of Persephone is a myth and the fall of Rome is a historical event.

    All peoples invented gods and they are all believed to be fictional by people with different gods and atheists whilst accepted as real by some. Something is known as a myth when it is or was accepted as real by some and as fictional by others. Calling something a myth shows that it is or has been important to some systems of belief and so is not universally recognised as fiction but also has no evidence to allow us to accept it as history. Your god fits this category.

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  24. Sacerdotus says:

    Actually, everything has an author. Every myth, every folklore, every tradition has an author. These did not create themselves. If God is a myth, then this idea originated in someone's mind and was articulated to the public. The idea was so powerful that it became a “cult.”

    Notice how you wrote “all peoples invented gods,” you are proving my point. If gods are myth, they have an author or inventor to borrow your use of invented. Until you can find the originator or the inventor of this god myth, then your premise that God is a myth is irrational and just an assertion.

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  25. Sacerdotus says:

    Many of the gods of man are not man. They are animal, hybrids or some other thing altogether.

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  26. Omni says:

    I'm glad you understand.

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  27. Sacerdotus says:

    But it still does not answer the question.

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  28. Omni says:

    Ah true, it's such a simple idea that all civilisations came up with it.

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  29. Omni says:

    Yes. The same would most likely be true for fire, stone tools, and art. Of course if you want to add a “god gave us the ideas” there's not much that can be said to argue that.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Humans from the beginning of time were able to understand the concept of death. To deal with this civilizations from around the world created a “god” or higher being to make sense of life and death. This is a natural defense response and would explain why people came up with similar versions of their “god”

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  31. JD Davidson says:

    What if didn't know who wrote the Little Red Riding Hood? What if we didn't know who wrote Winnie the Pooh? What if we didn't know who came up with the gods of the Greeks? Would that make all of those stories closer to being true???

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  32. Anonymous says:

    Ridiculous! If I can't come up with the originator of a yellow talking undersea sponge who wears square pants, and conclude that it is most likely untrue, then this is not an irrational assertion! I can further substantiate my belief that this not true by condoning that no known species of sponge can talk and none have been observed. Am I saying I'm 100% certain? No, but I'm getting as close as I can get using the evidence I have. Rebutting two of your silly postings so far.
    Expect me,
    ~Speaker of the None~

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  33. Anonymous says:

    No, that's not how it works. What you describe is a very linear transmission of data from our civilization to the next, and then another linear transmission through a civilization over thousands of years. To have data in its pristine condition over thousands of years to transmit through people, one would have to have a very intact and substantial data saving device. Human beings are not such a thing. When we communicate, we exaggerate, enunciate, add our own flairs, twist things, and pass them on to others. If you are not aware of the simple game “Telephone” then that would be a somewhat good reason you even wrote this. When things are passed from one to the other, they get mixed up. Someone on the end of the line finally gets the transmission and it's not much like the original, then writes it down. This is a more intact copy is will remain static. Now you can have somewhat of an idea on folklore and the way religion initiated and evolved. Why don't I go back to that original person? Because in the game of life, they're dead, it's been years, and they didn't matter back then. They didn't keep any record of their original transmission. The only person that matters now is the one who actually wrote it down, it only matters if someone says “Where did it come from?” And there's the lack of documentation. Word of mouth is how it began, and although that can be somewhat traced, in the end, it's highly difficult. There, I explained religion for you.

    Expect me,
    Speaker of the Nones

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  34. Sacerdotus says:

    Obviously they would understand death since it is something tangible, but where does God come in? There is no evidence of what you claim. Not all civilizations have “funerals” or believe the deceased went to meet “their Maker.”

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  35. Sacerdotus says:

    Then you would ask just like I am asking now about the origin of the supposed God myth. Investigation will eventually lead to answers.

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  36. Sacerdotus says:

    No, you would simply say “I don't know” if asked if this yellow talking undersea sponge who wears square pants is untrue. Parrots mimic speech. Anything is possible, this is why we must investigate and find the origin of things. This is why we have evolution and the big bang. They deal with the origin of life and creation. This investigation has lead to the challenge of the 6000 year old Earth theory. Now if one claims God is a myth, then that claim must be substantiated. How do you know God is a myth? Your mere statement is not enough especially in light of the billions that believe in God. You need more than a mere assertion in order to convince those billions there is no God and it is merely a myth.

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  37. Sacerdotus says:

    When dealing with God, oral and written tradition was always used. There is no need to have a data saving device for this task. If you propose that knowledge is passed via a universal “telephone” type game, then that means philosophy, and the knowledge we possess prior to the technology age is tarnished with exaggeration, flair etc. Are the writings of Plato etc exaggeration and flair? How do you know?

    If God is a myth, that myth has an origin. It is impossible for this myth to appear in every place at every time.

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  38. Anonymous says:

    Did you not realize what applies as a data saving device? The works of Plato were kept in written records. No, not all information is passed through a universal game of telephone, we have data storing devices now as we did in the time of Plato.
    The writings of Plato can be understood and applied, whether they are flair or not does not matter, they are simply knowledge. One could try to break them down into individual claims and then prove them independently, but that is not necessary in all of its contexts. The questioning of the Bible is its massive supernatural claims , which are highly difficult to prove lacking evidence.

    “If God is a myth, that myth has an origin. It is impossible for this myth to appear in every place at every time.”

    You constantly like to reference the VMAT2 gene, which (if it applies as you say it does), would account for the mythical and superstitious stories and creations throughout mankind, even some occurring simultaneously. It would be highly difficult, though, to pinpoint exact times. There so, deities, religions can appear to occur at the same time in history, but if more accurate records were kept, it could be shown that they showed up very close to each other, communicated from one party to the next.

    ~SN

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  39. Sacerdotus says:

    Exactly, data has been transmitted in many ways. Your previous comment seems to assert that there is a sort of “universal telephone game.”

    The writings of Plato can be understood, but not always applied. They were written for the audience he was engaging. Not all of it is applicable in our time.

    In any even, his writings can be traced to him. His thoughts have an origin in his mind. Therefore, if this can be done with his work, then why can't the “God myth” be traced? By calling is a myth, one is giving it human attribution.

    The VMAT2 gene would only add a supernatural element, but does not prove it is a myth. If anything, it would show an external interference in the genetic pool that allows for the human being to contemplate things that are not physical and exist in another realm that is not perceivable by the 5 senses. There is a problem here. God cannot be a myth while the VMAT2 gene exists.

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  40. Anonymous says:

    No, the investigation is not guaranteed to lead to answers. Therefore, all that matters is that it meets qualifications, regardless if the author is uknown or not, which would be expected.

    “1. a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.”

    Congragulations, it's a myth.

    Speaker of the Nones

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  41. Sacerdotus says:

    Every investigation leads to some answers, even a complete one. When it deals with a personal being whether physical or not, then the qualifications that you mention are not enough.

    Remember, people interact with this being on a daily basis. A majority of the world pray to this being. This is not just a mere story or legend. You have to be realistic.

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  42. tjtaygee says:

    “I don't know” is an acceptable answer, lacking evidence.

    “God did it” is not an acceptable answer, lacking evidence.

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  43. Sacerdotus says:

    “I don't know” does not mean it did not happen the way you are not aware of. Who said there is no evidence that “God did it?”

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  44. Let me explain this a calmly as I can, while the absence of evidence, is not evidence of absence, you cannot in a vacuum declare your answer correct. In point of fact most cultures at their most basic are not even monotheistic so much as animist; judaism itself was duotheistic originally with Yehova being the masculine essence, and with a feminine counterpart. Your grasp of history and anthropology is almost as painful as your grasp of physics.

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  45. Anonymous says:

    Sacerdotus, I have a simple question, can you trace the story of Heracles back to the original author or individual who first who first came up with the story of Heracles?

    If you cannot, then Heracles is NOT a myth. He was real, he was a demi-god, he killed the hydra, had a father named Zeus, who had an affair with a mortal woman, and had a half-brother and great-grandfather named Perseus (same guy).

    The basis of your argument: That a story must have an originating author and that the author must be known in order for the story to be a myth hold less water than a colander.

    The fact that we do not know who exactly came up with the story of Heracles does not make it any less a myth than if we did.

    The “idea” of god was not simultaneously devised by civilizations of old. Different civilizations have different ideas on god(s), the creator, creation etc that conflict with others. When we look at civilizations that are geographically “close” together we see obvious similarities in their mythology (ancient Greek and Roman mythology, Judaism and Zoroastrianism). Some religions and ideas of god predate others (Hinduism vs. Christianity) and again, have completely different beliefs and ideas on god(s), the creator and creation etc.

    Now, if we can't find each author or each person who “came up” with each of these religions/beliefs and ideas of god(s), does that validate them? If we can't find each of their authors, does it make then any less of a myth?

    Just because millions pray to this “being” daily still does not validate the “being” as again, the “being” being prayed to is not the same for every person as there are different religions. For some, it is not even a single “being” being prayed to. Does the fact that we cannot trace the author of Hinduism and the fact that millions pray to Vishnu, Ganesh, Shiva etc validate Hinduism? Is Hinduism and its gods and story of creation and creator any less myth because of this?

    Your definition of “myth” was conveniently incomplete and inaccurate (I'm assuming in an attempt to make it suit your argument), never-the-less, the correct, full, definition provided later clearly and correctly defines “myth” and states that an unprovable or false collective belief is a myth. Can you prove god created the world? No. Is saying that god created the world a false statement? No, but there is no evidence suggesting it is true either. Can you see how this starts to fit into the “unprovable” part of the definition of a myth?

    You also stated that the god depicted in the bible existed prior the bible being written. I am assuming you have evidence to support that?

    Do you agree that Moses wrote the Pentateuch? Can all of the stories is the Pentateuch be proven? If you answered yes and no respectively, then by your criteria (a myth must have a known author or originator of the idea) and by the correct definition of myth, we can see that the Pentateuch is myth. If you answered no and no, my question to you would be can you prove that Moses did not? If you cannot then according to the definition of myth, the idea that Moses did not write the Pentateuch is a myth, with you as the originator. Can you see how this works now?

    Whether an author or originator of a story or idea or concept is known or not, if it is unprovable, it is myth, no matter how you try twist the argument in your favour.

    Regards,
    The Atheist DJ

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