We all heard the “God shaped hole in your soul” story. Well, most of us. The common Christian cry is that everyone has a God shaped hole they trying to fill, and only God can fill it.
This tickles me a little, if there’s any discontent in your life, then it must be because you’re lacking God, not because you’re overworked and underpaid, and haven’t had leave in five years. Just like, any gap in your knowledge can easily be filled with God.
An example, since deconverting, I frequently get asked (before the shocked expressions subside) why I don’t believe in God. The answer is always the same, despite me having good reasons not to. I simply explain that I don’t need a reason, I’d need a reason to believe in God. After chewing on this for a bit, I’d say, 90% of people then say, “so where did the universe come from.” Again, my answer is always the same. I could make some appeal to Big Bang, or a creator being logically unnecessary a priory (I will get to this in a future post). I don’t, I say, “me not knowing doesn’t make you correct.” Normally the debate subsides, and I’ve avoided what could have been a serious argument. Oh, I give reasons online.
That answer, can stop most arguments for God’s existence dead, simply put, humans not having found an explanation, doesn’t mean that goddidit. So while Christians claim we all have a “God shaped hole,” they also seem to believe in a hole shaped God, one who fits neatly into every gap in our knowledge. This is the god of the gaps argument.
Atheists contest that the more we learn, the less relevant gods become, because the less gaps in our knowledge they have to fill. Which really seems to be the case, from earthquakes being the wrath of God, to mere results of plate movement, and from bipolar being demon possession to being a chemical imbalance. This is, of course exactly what happens.
Christians do contest that while many of these things have natural explanations, God is involved, in some cases God can be blamed for hurricanes due to his intense dislike of homosexuality. What they’re saying is, explained stuff needs an extra explanation, which there is no reason to believe.
I think Tim Minchin explains the God of the Gaps argument best in Storm:
Ever solved has turned out to be
Me personally, if you keep appealing to stuff that is simply not known to back up your belief, you simply have a hole shaped god.