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God

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A friend from India provided some insight when we spent a week discussing God. We had agreed a great deal on the principles of Christianity but come to an impasse when discussing God. To summarize our week into a few words will be difficult but I will attempt to do so here.

God, according to many Christian beliefs as well as other monotheistic religions, is a Supreme Being that keeps track of everyone and everything and will at some time destroy the planet while sending the righteous to heaven and the unrighteous to hell. Now this may not be the exact definition of your flavor of Christianity, but it is reasonably close to what most believe.

My own interpretation of God as seen through his perspective as a Hindu gave me pause and helped in defining my own reality. According to him, when you were small, God was a statue to which you prayed. As you grew up, God was a being that was represented by this statue. When you reached a certain point you understood that God was a state that you were trying to reach. The goal was to attain the condition of God.

This is considerably simplified in that it took us a week of discussion to reach this point but it has a reasonable quality to it. It is the only definition of God that makes any sense to me and is the one to which I have subscribed for many years.

Reincarnation on the other hand is a metaphysical concept for which there is no empirical evidence.

Where did the idea of God come from? When we observe what we call primitive tribes in Africa and South America which have not been tainted by the outside world, we see that their gods are a mixture of nature and what we call superstition. While beliefs vary from one group to another, it is reasonable to infer that this blend of nature and superstitions was common throughout the pre-historic period of man’s development.

In some more modern cultures there is often a “medicine-man” or “witch doctor” who interprets the “signs” for the tribe. Evolving over tens of thousands of years, this position became institutionalized as the “keeper of the faith”. We have historical evidence of such persons in records of ancient civilizations such as Egypt, India and the Greek city states.

There were no hard and fast rules for the nature of these religious leaders or their gods. Gods from this period came in many forms and with various temperaments and responsibilities. Most of these were either animal or some anthropomorphic blend. Some even mated with humans. The concept of creation was not new either. Interestingly, many creation stories are linked with ejaculation indicating just how powerfully the act of sex is integrated with religion. Virtually every religion involves or has involved some taboos or even instructions in sexual activity.

This is actually very easy to understand when you look at sexual activity both from the point of the r-complex of the brain and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Throughout the ancient world and in many, if not, most cultures today, religion and the state are tightly integrated and sometimes one in the same.

The anthropomorphic god of Judaism and Christianity has evolved throughout the centuries to represent the pinnacle of righteousness in the minds of its followers. There are a couple of problems with this however.

Even though the “Old Testament” from the Christian bible is based on the Torah from Judaism, the doctrine and religious manuals take very different directions. The differences in these ideologies has often been used as a means of motivating otherwise reasonable people into extraordinarily primitive and bloodthirsty behaviors such as the massacring of six million Jews by practicing Christians. This behavior is only comprehendible when you understand the primal nature of mankind and the “Us and Them” hard coded instincts in our genetic structure. This in no way is an excuse for behavior that only serves to show mankind that it is still very much an animal.

The second problem with associating the two beliefs as if they were one is the issue of the messiah. Jesus is the messiah for Christians, not Jews.

By a thorough reading of the Christian Bible, not just the parts you like, you can see how god has evolved to be God the god of today.


Addendum:

While there is no empirical evidence of the existence of God, some might well argue that the universe itself is just such evidence. If that is so, then God is far more complex that can currently be understood and we need to evolve even more to have even the hope of being able to "see" God much less understand Him, Her or It.

This page was last modified:      Saturday, November 02, 2013 at 1:28:37 PM