What Is A God Shaped Hole?

There are a lot of well meaning theists who think the trite phrase ‘god shaped whole’ is something significant or meaningful. They are trying to say that if you take god out of your life there will be a hole left where god used to be.

So, okay, lets take this on at several leveles:

Silly level: – It’s not a god shaped hole, it’s just a whole

petulant level: Yeah, I’m worried about a god shaped hole the way a tire is worried about a nail shaped hole. You have to think about this one for a minute.

Serious level:

To consider that something can be removed from the human mind and leave a whole is to misunderstand the human mind altogether. This is not unexpected from theists, but it is most important that we explore this. Would we think there is a work shaped hole if we go on a long vacation? Would we consider a golf shaped hole if we quit playing golf?

Sure, we’d miss these things in some ways, but it is not a hole that is left behind. Think back and remember, do you have a Santa shaped hole? How about a playground shaped hole? I didn’t think so. Things change and we move on. We work to keep in our lives what is important. We keep what is now and true. Oh, we still remember santa, playgrounds, and the other things we left behind as we moved on to a better place in life for ourselves.

Does a drug addict have a heroine shaped hole when they get clean? There it is.

So what is it that we do when we leave stuff behind in life?

Do we lose memories? Not really.

Do we lose the ability to think about the stuff we leave behind? No, not at all.

We lose old ways of thinking and poor information sets. Another way to think of this is that we change how we think and use better information and that causes us to move on from things. Wait, I hear you saying that this doesn’t fit for golf and things like that. Well, at one time you thought golf was a good way to spend a weekend, now you don’t or you have found other things more important than playing golf. In either case both knowledge and thought patterns changed.

So, what’s the kicker? Where’s the punch line?

Well, if you are feeling like you miss golf or Santa or whatever you have left behind you have not changed your thinking and your information has not improved. You are simply abstaining from that thing or activity.

When someone leaves theism behind and admits to themselves they are atheist they have changed their thinking and their information. There is no god shaped hole, no hole at all.

People that say leaving god behind leaves a hole are people that don’t think about what they are saying. They do not understand that their belief is just pretending to have what you think you’re supposed to. It’s the kings new clothes or a tea party with teddy bear. Adults move on, learn, change, grow.

    • Argus
    • September 29th, 2013

    It could work: Not a golfer myself, I looked at that photo and immediately thought “Good God! Even I could get a hole in one on that course!”

    So there, a God-shaped hole. Better, a “good God~!” shaped hole …

    (If God isn’t there and he leaves, does that mean he leaves a holier hole than before?) (Bugger, I had no idea theology was a so complicated).

    • That hole is the largest hole on this planet. You can fit golf courses inside it. And yep, theology is complicated.

  1. Interesting indeed

  2. I have heard it done in the reverse, that we all have the hole, (god shaped of course) and are trying to fill it with things that don’t fit. love, romance, material things, pleasure, drinking, drugs, (things to make you forget the whole hole… 😉 )
    and that only god can fill it, and bring that happiness.
    For myself, the pain of trying to make god fill all the answers, when he did not logically fit…caused much more disruption. Once I quit trying to make all the theology/belief fit with the reality i saw, and quit using cognitive dissonance as a means to hold my life together…
    i no longer had a hole to attempt to fill…

    • Excellent answer. Spot on.

    • There is another look at it; religiosity increases in societal pockets where people are poor, healthcare is bad, and there are too many mouths to feed.
      Likewise, when food is stable, money is reasonable, women have control of their own bodies, healthcare is good and no wars people drift away from gods.

      It is not necessary to figure out if there is a causal relationship between them to understand that the supposed god shaped hole really needs to be filled with other things than god.

      It’s as if you had a healthcare hole, an income hole, a dietary hole, a safety hole, and altogether they look like a god shaped hole.

  3. A good way of looking at it. Nice post

    • Thank you.

  4. Reblogged this on digger666.

  5. People that say leaving god behind leaves a hole are people who aren’t even qualified to remark. Pretty simple, really

    • Well, in their world a hole explains, and why they think it gets filled up with drugs and sex and violence and stuff…

  6. When I first read this post, and may have been the song, I thought of the Alice in Chains song, “Man in the Box,” but now I am thinking of the themes in Vanilla sky. Thanks for helping me put some concepts together in a new way.

    • I ‘m glad you found it useful 😉 Thanks for commenting.

      • Glad that you’re back 🙂

        • I’m glad to be back too… I was working too much.

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