After a protracted and painful crisis of faith, I have seized upon the idea that if the origin of life could be shown to be possible only through nature and natural processes without the influence of a creator/god, then that could do away with any pragmatic need for the existence of a deity. Is this a tenable position?
Many people think that the position is tenable. I have my doubts. Showing that life could have originated *only* by natural processes (without any supernatural intervention) seems to me at least unlikely, if not impossible. (Doing so would furnish us with a new argument against the possibility of Descartes' Evil Genius.) It is more plausible to suppose that life actually did originate by natural processes. This more plausible claim, I think, would not do away with any pragmatic need for the existence of a deity. I do not think that the motivation for belief in God stems from things we can't explain. The idea of a "God of the gaps"--a God we postulate to explain "the gaps" left by science--does not seem to me a genuinely religious idea. Belief is God seems often motivated by a sense of gratitude and/or a felt need for forgiveness. And these would remain even if life originated naturally.