Do We Need a Real God if We Believe in Him?


IMAGINE THERE IS NO GOD, but you believe there is because you were brought up by Christian parents who sent you to Sunday school. You were exposed to the idea that God exists from an early age. This continued through your teenage years into adulthood. You have never had any direct evidence of God’s existence, nevertheless, you are fully convinced that He exists because of your indoctrination.

You are so strong in your belief in God’s existence that it affects how you live your life. You attend church each Sunday to worship your God, despite Him not being real. You pray to Him despite Him not hearing you. You abstain from certain practices you consider “sinful” and you treat other people kindly.

In the above situation, your actions are the same as if God did exist, even though for the sake of this thought experiment He does not. So, could it be said that your belief in God has as powerful an effect on your life as if God actually existed? If so, apart from the pre-supposition that God is responsible for your life (ie. the creation and salvation or destruction of it), is a real God necessary from an everyday perspective if you just believe?