Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
Thus, what exists has nothing to do with objects of worship, as they are mental constructs.
You are confounding two notions: existence and being the object of worship.
Suppose it turns out that when we all die, God is actually a slimy green worm that eats corpses and is nothing at all like he is depicted in any of man's holy books. Would you still maintain that this is the beast that Muslims have worshipped all along? Of course you wou ...[text shortened]... e have been worshipping such a beast all along if it turns out that that's what God is like.
Generally agreed, but—
(1) Most people do not think they worship—or even posit—mental constructs when they talk of God.
(2) It is theoretically possible that (a) one of the constructs turns out to be more accurate that the others (assuming any actual referent behind the construct), or (b) all of them have diverse elements of accuracy and inaccuracy—as well as (c) they are all woefully inaccurate (your green worm god). I hate saying this, since it’s an argument that lucifershammer makes to me from time to time, in terms of (a).
(3) There is really no religious expression without mental constructs—just as there is no poetry without them. The problem lies not with mental constructs per se, but with inappropriately reifying and absolutizing them.
If George Masefield (I think) calls the moon “a galleon,” and e.e. cummings calls it “a balloon”—it seems silly to start an argument over which of those is the most accurate, or that if one is true the other must be false. Religionists would be well advised, I think, to treat their God-concepts in similar fashion: more as metaphors and less as truth-propositions—as metaphors they can be “fingers pointing to the moon” as the Zen saying goes; as truth propositions, they become fingers pointing at themselves...