Friday, November 7, 2014

Concerning the idea of a god

Hello all,
    While I tend to avoid religious discussion, there is an idea that was floating in my head that I wished to explore. In today's world, some people try to be very tolerant of other people's beliefs. One of the results of this is the idea that there is "One God, and it's the same God for every religion." The idea that is floating in my head says, this is absolutely false.
    I can tell you that the idea of "One God, and it's the same God for every religion" is one that makes it easy for Atheists. The reason is because they need only to disprove one concept of god that people believe and they win their argument. However, if you hold that everyone does not believe in the same god, then there's more work to be done.
    I'll even go as far as to say that people within the same religion don't believe in the same god. If you think that a god is someone who answers your every wish, you are probably missing a lamp or that's not true. If you think that god is someone that was created and then created people and the world, then you are like the Ancient Greeks (except for some like Aristotle). If you think the idea of god is someone's body that we are currently living on, then you are like the ancient Babylonians (or playing a game called Xenoblade Chronicles). The problem is that the further into these ideas you go, you realize they are mutually exclusive of each other. To say that all of these notions of a god are the same shows that you don't have a clear understanding of what being a god means.
    If you have a firm belief in what a "god" is, then you would see that the whole world does not believe in the same god. If you have a definition like, "A supernatural being from which everything was made," then that would exclude any notions that "god was created."
    Part of the reason why I have been thinking about this was hearing the argument that "God, as the first mover, created everything" being countered with "well, who created God?" Such a response demands a question "Do you know anything about logic?" If the idea of a god is that it is the first mover, by the definition of first, that means there was nothing before. So to ask "who created God?" is an invalid question because it is arguing against the definition of "the first mover." If someone insists in thinking that absurd question is a valid point, there is no point in talking anymore. You can't argue with people who are illogical.
    The other reason why I am writing about this is because I am wondering what exactly it means to be a god. You can't say that there is no God if you don't even understand what it means to be God. What we can do is bring up ideas of gods and then refute them one by one until we come to a clear understanding. However, I don't have the energy to do that right now so let's focus on one idea and then what it means.
    Throughout history, it appears that one common idea of god is that a god does stuff for you. If you need water, you perform a ritual and rain will come. If you desire a good harvest, you sacrifice a tenth of your wheat and it will multiply. These ideas seem to be common in a lot of religions. I want to look at the idea that goes against this notion; the idea of fatherhood.
    This idea is mostly popular with the rise of Christianity, though it appears some Christians think of God as someone who does your bidding if you ask. Sounds like a supernatural butler to me from which I then wonder how is that any different from magic? Of course, we have muddled our idea of what magic is, so that will have to be another topic for another time. The reason why I'm interested in the idea of God as a Father is because it goes against the idea of a glorified butler and actually looks better.
    Think of it this way. Do you know of any master that truly cares about his butler? The butler is meant to serve you as the most important person. The idea that a supreme supernatural being is inferior to us is just horrifying and makes no sense. However, a father who listens to the requests of his children does make sense. There's something weird that happens when you grow up. you realize that things that used to appear so important really don't matter anymore. So what if I didn't get to sit at "my desk" in that "one class"? Does that matter now compared to "How am I going to afford to repair my car?" We consider the things that we see right now as the things that are important. As we grow older and realize there are far more important affairs, we can see farther and better organize our priorities and anticipate what is necessary. I think we can easily prove that there is no god that is just like a supernatural butler, but to disprove that there's a god who's like a father is much harder. This is because instead of saying, "right away, sir!" we might hear, "wait a second." Even then, a good father normally would look and see if the request is good for his child ad answer accordingly. A 14 year old might ask for a car, but a good father would say, "You're not ready. Wait until you are older and have experience driving." If we were to say which concept is more likely to be true, I would argue in favor of the "father."
    Now there is more to discuss, but I can't think about it anymore for today. Perhaps I shall visit this topic again another time, but I will likely wait until I have a better grasp of the various ideas before doing so. Until then, I hope that you at least realize that we need to be careful about our definitions of things that we take for granted, such as the concept of a god.

N. D. Moharo
Update: J. D. Nyle wrote a piece on magic a while back. Since I don't have anything to add, I'll share the link here:

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