David Baddiel would love there to be a God. The comedian and bestselling author has spent a lot of time fantasising about how much better life would be if there actually were a supreme being – which for him would be some kind of Superhero Dad who chased off Death. Unfortunately for him, there isn’t. Or at least, that’s Baddiel’s view, and it’s the starting point of his new book The God Desire.
In April 2023 Baddiel came to our stage at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, London, to argue that it is the very intensity of his, and everyone else’s, desire for God to exist that proves God’s non-existence. As he explained, the idea of God offers us narrative – fulfilling our need to structure the chaos of our existence. It offers us meaning, allowing us the belief that our lives matter. And above all God helps us confront the terror of death. Anything so deeply wished-for, Baddiel will contend, we will inevitably make real.
Baddiel was joined on stage by comedian, actor and film-maker Richard Ayoade and theologian and broadcaster Ben Quash for a conversation that tackled this most ancient and fundamental of questions: is our need for there to be something greater than ourselves anything more than just that – a need?