RS Classic: The Face of God

>> Tuesday, August 10, 2010

And, finally, the one that talks about what Aron was asking several posts before. Yes, I'm an odd one, as is my concept of God. Read at your own risk.

So, I’ve discussed Heaven or Hell , or my belief in either.

It seems the next logical thing to discuss is my belief in “God”. Since I’m not shy, I shall. However, I remind you that, just because I discuss my own beliefs does not mean I reject or sneer at other beliefs. These are just mine.

In my mind, what God is is not as important as what He isn’t. I believe in a deity that is tolerant, understanding, forgiving, who loves all humans equally, a God who is not disturbed except by people hurting each other unnecessarily. And that’s it.

I don’t know (or care) if God is a he or she or if there are series of them, a conglomerate, even an entity that created “us” (or shaped the natural forces of creation - either way) and left us to our own devices. I don’t know if he’s associated with any of the famous prophets that have lived and initiated religions: Buddha, Mohamed, Jesus Christ, Abraham, but I would not be surprised if they all touched on some of the truth. How much, well…

What I seriously don’t think God is is petty, tyrannical, egocentric, vindictive, intolerant. I don’t think he (she/they) care what belief system someone has (or if) nor do they condone horrific behavior in someone who professes to a particular religion. I don’t think he answers every prayer. I don’t think, actually, that he interferes with us, at least not anymore, like a parent that has done what he could to prepare his children and then left them to fend for themselves. If he does get involved, it is only once in a while, when it serves the greater good.

I can’t imagine any reasonable deity that would allow “righteous” people to hurt/kill others but would turn his (her/their) back on people that do good but don’t follow a particular religion or have a characteristic that isn't "acceptable."

That doesn’t mean that I tell anyone what to believe. Many have tried to convince me to that I’m wrong, that I risk “hell” if I don’t change the way I view things. Too bad. I would go to hell rather than give a petty tyrant God the satisfaction of my worship.

Good thing for me, I don’t believe it’s going to be an issue.


  • Relax Max

    I was unable to ascertain the answer to what you promised at the beginning of this post. So.... do you believe in God? A God? Some sort of God? It shouldn't be that hard to say yes or no and stop beating around the bush about what you think he is and is not if he exists.

    I'm sorry to be so simple, but I didn't find that in your post.

  • Stephanie Barr

    I quote: "I believe in a deity that is tolerant, understanding, forgiving, who loves all humans equally, a God who is not disturbed except by people hurting each other unnecessarily."

    That wasn't clear enough for you?

  • Stephanie Barr

    I will note, however, that I could use some paragraph breaks. Let me fix that.

  • Relax Max

    No, not even close. Such a deity is fantasy in your on mind. Do you believe in God or not?

  • Stephanie Barr

    That is my God, Relax Max. I believe he (or she or they) exist.

    Why would mine be a "fantasy" in my own mind as opposed to the God(s) other people believe? Popularity?

  • Roy

    My own take on deity is more in line with the description of the Tao in the Tao Te Ching - the nameless, faceless force behind creation and creativity in the universe. What certain humans call "God" is their own attempt to put a face to the faceless and a name to the nameless. In that respect, Max, all the "gods" of all religions are a fantasy, and as far as I can see one is about as "real" as the next. Meanwhile, the Tao chugs on, creating the Universe.

  • Jeff King

    Glad to hear your point of view... I without a doubt believe in a god, what would life be like if you didn't?

  • Relax Max

    I guess. Makes sense.

  • The Mother

    Any concept of a deity must deal with the problem of evil, which is, in my opinion, the greatest argument against the existence of said deity.

    The monotheistic ideal of an ominipotent, omniscient, beneficent god fails to deal with catastrophe, childhood illness, abject poverty, parasitism, etc.

    I will never accept the ideal of a god until these problems are addressed to my satisfaction. And since the most brilliant minds of the last 3000 years still haven't managed, I'm not holding my breath.

  • Boris Legradic

    See, and this is where all those monotheistic etc. religions go wrong - god is not benevolent, it doesn't give a shit ;)

    Also, I would argue that the most brilliant minds have not addressed these problems because they are not; problems that is. Once you really start thinking about religion, you quickly realise that it is made up from the beginning to the end, so your brilliant mind turns to solve some real problems...

    Hence the dismal state of theology.

  • Stephanie Barr

    Boris and The Mother, I don't see it that way, but I don't fault you for seeing it as you do.

    I can believe in a benevolent God if I don't presume he's all powerful. For me, and this is just my view, he is like a parent, trying to guide our footsteps in our youth but required at some point to let us live with our own decisions.

    Bad things happen to us, as they happen to real children, outside of his control. Similarly, there comes a time when a child may twist the lessons he has learned, may turn from all that was shown, may walk a horrible path just as a child can be true to goodness and kindness despite mistreatment as a youth. In the end, most of the horrors unleashed upon us have been of our own making. That would be the price of free will. Adults make their own decisions. You can't always blame the parent.

    I feel I have a plethora of examples I can follow and I choose to believe that people are mostly good, that there is a reason I'm here, other than random serendipity, that striving to make myself better has some meaning.

    I may be wrong, but, for me, there is no advantage to believing that any more than I can see the merit in believing in a petty vindictive god who craves adulation above all else. That's a choice I make for myself. That's how I make sense of what would otherwise break my heart beyond repair.

    No one else has to see it the same way.

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