In a very interesting article, “Is God Dead, Unconscious, Evil, Impotent, Stupid … Or Just Counterfactual?“, Slavoj Zizek compares the “god hypothesis” as described by Lacan and Badiou’s “communist hypothesis”:
So does god exist or not? It does not exist as a fact, but it inexists counterfactually, which does not meant that it is simply an illusion: it is the paradox of an illusion which is immanent to reality itself, a counterfactual immanent to factuals, to our symbolic universe:
It is really fabulous that the function of the other, of the other as locus of the truth, and in a word of the only place, even though an irreducible one, that we can give to the term of Divine Being, of God to call him by his name. God is properly the locus where, if you will allow me the term, there is produced the dieu, the dieur, the dire, for a trifle, dire gives us Dieu.
As long as something is said, the God hypothesis will be there. And it is precisely as trying to say something that there is defined the fact that, in short, there can be no true atheists other than theologians. Namely, those who speak about God (Lacan, Seminar, Book XX: Encore, seminar 5, January 16, 1973).
It is in this sense that Lacan speaks of the “God hypothesis” (ironically referring, of course, to Lamarck’s famous reply to Napoleon, that in his theory of nature he had no need for such a hypothesis)—in the same sense in which Badiou talks about the “Communist hypothesis.” This is why it is not enough for a materialist to deny god’s existence, he must also qualify his counterfactual ex-sistence: if there were a God (which there is not), he would not have been a being of supreme Good, a beautiful illusion, but an evil, cruel, ignorant God—this is the point made by The Rapture.
Following Lacan, Zizek distinguishes between a “factual” or scientific God and a “counterfactual” or enunciative God, close to Bruno Latour’s conception of “God” as belonging to a different enunciative modality than factual, referential discourse.