Did Zeus Exist?


I found this NYT article by Gary Gutting of Notre Dame entertaining even if not convincing.  Evangelical Agnosticism always fascinates me, and I’m not entirely sure why.  I appreciate that he lists the objections to his claim that we can’t know if Zeus existed for the Greeks or in the universe today.  I’m guessing he would have to allow for anyone with any claim for any imaginary being to be “possibly correct.”  If the “evidence” is “feelings” and “presence” and “the weather” then I don’t see how anything could ever be DIS-proved. . .yet, isn’t this the real point with these arguments?  We’re left thinking, “Hey, well, I can’t say there was never a Zeus (Yahweh, Christ, Angel Gabriel, Moroni, Santa Claus. . .) so, now what do I do”?  Except, it isn’t up to you or me or anyone to prove any of these folks ever existed in the past or exist in the present.  If someone exclaims in the face of a tornado, “By Zeus!”, what can you say but, “Excuse me?”

One last, perhaps obvious, issue I have with Evangelism in any form.  Someone says, “God spoke to me.”  I am nearly forced (my inner daimon?) to ask, “Which God would THAT be?”  By the way, to my knowledge, Socrates did not call upon Zeus but that inner voice.  I seem to remember the oracle at Delphi was to Apollo.  Anyway, if Zeus was simply a catch-all for “God” (similar to “Brahman” in Hinduism), we’re still left holding an empty bag thanks to the Evangelical Agnostics.

Did Zeus Exist?


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