I don't have time to track them down, but I've read any number of comments of prominent atheists to the effect that this would be an unalloyed Good Thing, both for individuals and for mankind at large.
For example, Richard Dawkins has said that exposing children to religion is a form of child abuse. And if you accept his premises, you can see his point. It is indeed abusive to inculcate a massive lie in a developing soul. And I will stipulate that one of us is indeed a child abuser.
Back to our gedankenexperiment. We have removed the word God from the human vocabulary. Now what?
"Then man would no longer be brought face to face with the single whole of reality, nor with the single whole of his own existence" (Rahner).
That much goes without saying. Man would be condemned to absurdity and to fruitless searching for an understanding of himself and his existence. Sisyphus would displace Jesus as our archetypal man.
For if we no longer have access to that to which God refers, then we are also exiled from "the single whole of reality as such and the single whole of human existence in the mutual penetration of both aspects" (Rahner).
In other words, liberal fascists can't just get rid of that one offensive word without it dragging down a lot of other things with it. To us this looks bad, but to the leftist it is a good thing. They know better than we do that if you can destroy the keystone, then the rest of the building will topple on its own.
This is why the left also goes after private property with such disgusto. For if you can delegitimize that, then everything else -- life, speech, religion, the rule of law, self-defense, the pursuit of happiness -- comes crashing down as well.
The great liberal fascists -- the cursed FDR, LBJ, and BHO -- all begin with the premise that what's yours is mine; or that the wealth you have created belongs to the state. Nothing about Democrats has changed since Lincoln summarized their philosophy as: you work, I eat.
Actually, that's not quite fair to 19th century Democrats. Now it's you work, I get food stamps.
It all goes together, of course, because the very keystone of our Constitution is the Creator who gives us the rights which the Constitution exists to protect. Remove the keystone, and the document loses all defenses against the predatory state. It loses its very reason for being.
So it is no surprise that the left is always on offense against God and against private property. These are the Twin Towers of the cultural terrorists of the left.
Let's get back to the point of our post, which is the effect upon man's soul when he loses the principle of God. Let's just try to describe the effect like a dispassionate scientists, without getting into whether it is good or bad.
Man "would not notice anymore," observes Rahner, "that he is only an individual existent, and not being as such." He couldn't notice this, for God is the name we customarily give to being as such. Or, as soon as man rediscovers being as such, God will sneak its way back into the human vocabulary.
Since man would be reduced to a mere object in an objective world, "he would remain mired in the world and in himself, and no longer go through the mysterious process which he is" (ibid).
In other words, it would no longer make any sense for man to engage in the business of isness, because our isness would no longer be related to the isness of the whole.
And my isness would be none of your business, so this would also be a loveless world. Oh sure, we'd still have friction between bodies and all that, but to call it "love" would be an abuse of the term.
A godless universe is a loveless universe, for the same reason it is a truthless and amoral universe. Frankly, it's not even a cosmos anymore, i.e., an order, because we'd know that any order we encounter is just a human projection, no more meaningful than the projection of a "Big Dipper" on a bunch of random stars.
We can summarize man's existential situation by saying that he will have lost all notions of his Center, his Origin, and his Destiny (which, in a created universe, are all necessary reflections of one another).
In Rahner's formulation, "man would have forgotten the totality and the ground," which amounts to the same thing, for there is no spatial or temporal wholeness and no privileged cosmic position from which to access and experience them anyway.
The irony here is that the Jews of antiquity were way ahead of the curve when they came up with the idea of forbidding the naming of God. Because as soon as you have reduced God to some human category, then you can toss it out. But God is the uncontainable vector and object of our own undefinable transcendence.
There are two alternatives to this strict kosher orthoparadox, both resulting in false gods: "Both atheism and a more naive form of theism labor under the same false notion of God, only the former denies it while the latter believes that it can make sense out of it" (ibid).
Which is why orthoparadox and perfect nonsense always go hand-in-hand, without any hands.
What do I mean by this? What I mean is that when a hyperdimensional object crashes through four-dimensional history, we shouldn't bloody well expect to be able to capture it in our finite categories, should we? The very nature of the event is going to generate paradox, and indeed, paradox is the only proper way of discussing the situation.
What do I mean by this? "The term of transcendence [that would be God] is indefinable because the horizon itself cannot be present within the horizon."
Obviously, transcendence cannot be dragged back down into radical immanence without destroying it. It is always one step beyond, just over the subjective horizon, thank God.
What do I mean by this? Well, for starters, if this weren't the case, then the world would be flat boring. You know the type, right? What can you say? For them the gedankenexperiment is all too real, and they are the guinea pigs that have been sacrificed.
I prefer the real world of God-infused hyperdimensional evolution, because this way it's a nonstop adventure of consciousness. I know there's a bottom and a top, because I can't reach them.