Did man create God? Yes.
I like to pick questions a part a little, and so I’m going to do that with this question, focussing on the words “create” and “God”. Firstly, I’m going to present a slightly facetious argument to help unpick the word “God”, and then I’m going to present a much more sincere argument to show man definitely created God.
The facetious argument: what does the question mean by ‘God’?
All Gods were created. There may be an exception, in that a sect of a religion may be true. But, apart from that God, all Gods were created.
I suspect the reason that this answer somehow doesn’t satisfy your thirst for an answer, no matter your position, is because the question seems to somehow misunderstand “God” in this sense. It seems to miss that point that if Hinduism is the true religion, then Allah was created by man. It’s almost as if so long as at least one religion is true, then we cannot say man created God. As such, as soon as I say “a religion may be true” I have failed in properly addressing the question.
And to that I agree. It seems clear that the question is not referring any religion or God of any religion. Instead, the question appeals to the essential concept of a God. Really, the question is ‘Did man create the essential idea of a God?’ In this question, it does not help us to talk of religions because we are talking about a cloud of publicly amassed philosophy referring to a God.
The sincere argument: what do I mean by ‘create’?
In this context, one about knowledge, I mean create, in a sense, in opposition to ‘discovered by evidence or revelation’. If the idea of a God were composed from evidence, then I would say that man ‘discovered’ God, and that excludes man from having ‘created’ God. In this context, I’m also happy to say that man ‘knows’ God if God was discovered.
This is a question of epistemology (which is a fancy word to describe the question ‘how do you know?’). And to that I have quite a simple argument:
- If there is no way by which one can know, then one cannot know.
I don’t think this will be controversial, but it’s basically the idea that if you guess at something without any methods underpinning how one could come to that knowledge, then even if you happen to be correct, you still don’t know.
- There is no way by which one can know God.
Religious people often claim this: God works in mysterious ways; God is beyond human understanding; God is unknowable. Atheists tend to accept this.
- One cannot know God
However, the essential idea of a God does exist. And, if it did not come about by knowledge or discovery, then it was created.
Did man create God? (Or was it Homo ergaster?) Taking a broader definition of the word “man” (to mean hominid regardless of gender), yes.
You’ll be careful to note that this answer is completely independent of whether or not a God exists. Nothing about this answer rules out there being a God looking down on us and saying ‘Well, they got that all wrong’. It’s just that even if that is so, the essential idea of a God was not discovered, but was instead created. Guesswork that is, regardless of whether it is accurate, a human creation.