Modern philosophers, Justus Buchler being an exception, do not get it – the question is not whether god exists or not. The idea of god does exist, most definitely, and in over 4,000 different versions, and god is one’s “invisible friend,” one’s guardian angel, one’s avenger, one’s role model or in some cases, one’s definition of perfection.
But by definition, perfection cannot exist, for to exist is to be limited in every way, to be only so intelligent, only so knowledgeable, only so healthy, only so moral, and only so tall and strong.
In addition, to be a living existent is limited by being mortal. Immortal gods of any kind, even the Greek gods, cannot be. All that lives must die or it is not truly alive. Immortality has to be created artificially, such as by continually replacing mechanical bodies long before they give out, as I did in my imagination, for the zetosophers.
To have a profound effect on the mind, something does not have to exist, does not have to be living, does not have to be real. Look at the inspiration, positive and negative, people derive from Fiction. Religions are a type or class of fiction. Profound effect on the mind, even though the subject of religious fictions, a fictitious god or gods, does not actually exist or possess immortal life.
Look also at human illness, mental and physical, whose root is mostly psychosomatic, all the products of imagination, although there is a somatic contribution in the form of toxins exploiting exploitable weaknesses in the body and/or brain. Psychosomatic effects have a huge effect on health, yet they are not really real. Who cares?
The same goes for one’s gods. One’s concepts of god are all the reality one needs.
We draw inspiration from our concepts of god, and that is what is truly important. I love Aaron’s god, and am inspired by him, and I am repulsed by Moses’ god, whom others so dearly love – and fear: these facts define me as well as any other loves and any other dislikes. I am inspired by Jesus, one of Christian trinity, to love my enemies, to do good to those who hurt me. Love is the only antidote to hatred. Hatred is a poison to the soul. Hatred punishes the hater as much or more than the hated. Love heals like no other force. Negative emotions (including anger, hatred, fear, anxiety, guilt), in general are worse than useless emotions – they are poison for the mind. We need to rid ourselves of these harmful poisons. Jesus is an inspiration in this, although he did not do so well with the Pharisees. Gandhi and MLK are more modern examples of a love that is strong enough to conquer hate and free a people.