- Religion and Philosophy
Does God Exist Independent Of Our Beliefs?
God And Beliefs
Copyright 2001 VVeasey Publishing
Are all our ideas about God learned from our culture, our parents, religious leaders, religious texts, etc?
Does your God really exist independent of your beliefs?
If you say you know God exists because it says so in the bible. You’re arguing in a circle. You start with the assumption that bible is the word of God, then use the bible to prove that God exists, which means you haven’t proved anything but what you already believed to start with. When asked how you know the bible is true, you say because it says so in the bible and around and around you go.
Archeologist Have Found Biblical Cities
You may say, that since some archeologists have found the remains of certain cities mentioned in the bible, that this proves that God and the events depicted in the biblical accounts are true.Just because archeologists have found the remains of certain ancient cities mentioned in the bible is no guarantee that God or the biblical accounts are truel. If a thousand years from now, archeologists found the actual historical documentation of a real person, like a president of the United States, that some science fiction writer wrote about. Would that prove that all the characters or events he wrote about were actually real too?
Science fiction writers quite frequently use historical places, people and events in their works to lend them a sense of authenticity and realism.
Faith Is All You Need!
You may say that you have faith that God exists and that’s all you need. But what is faith? Faith from Latin means to trust. Faith is the accepting or trusting that something is true without proof that it’s true. If you have no experience of what you have faith in, your faith is based on belief. Once you’ve experienced what you believe in, it’s no longer faith, but experiential knowledge of what you once believed to be true, but now know to be true. If you only have faith that what you believe is true, you’re assuming that what you believe is true without any actual experience to back it up.
Build Your House On A Rock
You may be satisfied with that situation, but then your house (faith) is built on the sand (belief) and not the rock (experiential truth) as Jesus said, 7:24 “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of It”. Matt 7:24-27
The house built on the rock represents experiential knowledge that’s built on what’s real or true and can’t be undermined by critical attacks from others ( the floods, rain and winds) because it’s built on a solid foundation of experiential knowledge that can stand the critical tests of time!
The house built on sand represents knowledge that’s built on what’s believed to be true without experiential knowledge as its foundation and will fall before the winds and storms of reality.
Judeo-Christian Concept Of God
The idea of God as a male figure, who created the world and is the only God, is specifically a Judeo-Christian religious concept. Originally most if not all of the ancient cultures believed in male and female Gods and Goddesses.Even the ancient Roman religious beliefs embraced both male and female deities before Christianity was made the dominant religion of the Roman Empire by the Roman Dictator Constantine the great in the 4th century AD.
Male And Female Deities
Many cultures still believe in male and female deities because they’re a reflection of human relationships. In fact the idea of a male God or father God has no meaning as a stand alone concept. Male only has meaning in relation to something designated as female. Father only has meaning in relation to something designated as mother.
If there were no mother there could be no father! Father and mother are interrelated terms and only have meaning in relationship to one another like lock and key. The male God believing cultures, usually only allow males positions of privilege and power, while females are kept in subordinate positions.
The Color And Race Of God
Is the color and race of God learned?
If the dominant culture is black then God will be black. Any non-black cultures dominated by this culture will be made to accept the image of God as black. The dominant black culture will feel superior to non-black cultures because they will see themselves in the image of God. Non-black cultures who don’t accept this view would be seen as infidels who must be inculcated with the idea of God as being black in order to redeem their souls or to civilize them.
Man Created In God's Image
In the Old Testament it says that God created man in his own image, but maybe it’s the other way around, man created God in his own image!
Your God And Others' God
You may say that your God exist but the Gods of other cultures don’t exist, but do you have any more proof that your God exist than they do?
One of the Old Testament’s God’s commandments was that, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3. An implicit recognition that there were other Gods beside himself; he just wanted to be the only God worshipped by his “Chosen People”.
The Old Testament writers recognized that there was more than one God, for example: “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods?" Exodus15:11 And “Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them”. Exodus 18:11. And one more, “A Psalm of Asaph. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods”. Psalm 82:1
I think that's proof positive that the Old Testament writers believed there were other Gods who were just as real as their Lord or God, but just not as great or powerful as him.
Projections Of The Mind
We’ve learned from some religious and psychological researchers that God or the Gods are a just projections of the human mind used to explain the forces of nature, that humans are dependent on for survival or that they are terrified of being destroyed by.
Gods From Outer Space
From others we’ve learned that because most ancient cultures say they were created and taught civilization by Gods who came from the sky, that the Gods may have been more advanced beings from distant planets.That these beings mated with or injected their DNA into some indigenous ape-like earth creatures to create the human race.
Idealized Mother And Father Figures
Others say that Gods and Goddesses are simply idealized mother and father figures. From a child’s point of view parents appear Godlike. They’re bigger, stronger, smarter and can do things that appear down right magical to us as children.They say that the idea of Gods and Goddesses was conceived during the infancy of the human race.
Still others say that the gods were originally the heroes of the various cultures, whose memory was deified over of time through the countless retelling of their exploits. Like the fish tale where the size of the fish keeps getting bigger and bigger each time it’s told, or like a snowball rolling down the side of a snow covered hill. Is it possible that all Gods and Goddesses are just the idealized, memory images of the ancient heroes of various cultures transmitted and worship over time by all of us starting in childhood, including your God?
Wouldn’t that be a trip! Consider the possibility.
Santa ClausTheTooth Fairy And God
Then consider this ,when did you first hear bout God? Can you remember? How old were you?
Who first told you about God? Didn’t you learn about God the same way you learned about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? Weren’t you at about the same age? Didn’t you believe in them just as much as you did God? You probably believed more in Santa and the Tooth Fairy than you did God, because every Christmas you could actually go sit on Santa’s lap at the mall and he brought you toys, and the Tooth Fairy left money under your pillow. But when did you ever see God or meet God?
As a matter of fact, Santa is a symbol of God. He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows when you've been bad or good. So be good for goodness sake!
So after viewing the preponderance of the evidence, how do you the jury rule in this case? Are all of our ideas about God learned?
This commentary is not meant to put down anyone’s religious beliefs. It’s just a way to get you to open up your mind, to other possibilities and explanations for about somethings, you may have taken for granted about your beliefs, that you've never questioned, or may be to afraid to question. No need to fear, because, if your religious beliefs are true,they can stand the fiery test of reality and a critical mind!
Anyway, why would God, who is supposed to be totally independent of everything and everybody, be afraid or offended by any test or critical questioning of his existence?
If he exists, he exists, and no amount of questioning could ever change or affect the reality of his existence. So be glad, if you find out what you’ve believed to be true about your religious beliefs, isn’t true, because then your mind, will be open to see what’s really true; and your house will be built on a rock, rather than sand, and will not fall, but will stand!
May the Light never cease to enlighten your Mind!