I don’t claim to be an atheist. I talk to my god every day. The difference is I understand that god or gods exist as information in men’s minds. And just as I can imagine talking with you, I can imagine talking with that god. Which is why we have gods – because we can do that. And because it works. And because it is somewhat difficult to lie to ourselves when imagining a diety that can read our minds – because these deities CAN read our minds. And they provide the same value as a therapist does, or parables do – they provide disintermediation from our intuitions. As such they prevent us from lying to ourselves.
That is why gods do their job. They are a system of measurement of human thought, display, word, and deed without limit. A complete system of measurement for interpreting the world and its fitness for our group evolutionary strategy, and how to work within that world and according to our strategy.
Unfortunately, this habit can be turned into an addictive disease (Abrahamism). Or it can be turned into an encyclopedia (gods who are competitors or at least of little recourse, the primacy of man despite those gods, heroes of history, and the heroes among us. ) Gods are literary characters, that function as archetypes for, a group’s evolutionary strategy – and some are good and some are bad, and history determines by the evidence the consequences of those gods. The abrahamic are worst of all.
Now one might say that if there is no god above this universe and its laws then that is not then god by their definifion.
One could also say that this universe produces all that it does by calculating through trial and error its survival from the pressure of entropy and that it as such the universe is a god that we attribute anthropomorphic traits to because we have primitive minds, and that the universe produces us, and gods that we can understand to serve it.
Or one could say that the universe can only form as it does, and that life, sentience, and systems of measurement in the self-image of the sentient life are manifestations of the same laws of the universe.
It doesn’t matter unless you want others to believe your lies on your terms. So therefore the most likely answer is the one that requires the least lies.
The mechanistic universe from which all defeat of entropy will eventually manifest if it possibly can.
ie: sentience and archetypes.
Survival of the test of least lies.