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Defining God

Updated on May 3, 2016

God: Supernatural or synonym to human conscience?

The concept of a supernatural being is probably as old as the human race. Of course, its interpretation has been different through time and varies on locations, which is, at least in my opinion, the evidence that none of them are true at their particular/independent forms.

Today, we have two major religions- Christianity and Islam- and several others, each one having their own subdivisions. All religions have something in common: the aspect of mysticism. Christianity and Islam combine mythological aspects with philosophical thoughts, so it is easy to conclude that people who follow these faiths believe in the supernatural. But when you examine the behavior of the religious and you get to understand their spirituality, you may notice that what they really believe in is in an existing trait: their inner conscience.

When you read things like “God is the answer”, “Jesus is your best friend”, “Jesus will never fail you”... can we really believe that there is an independent being out there that will always stand for us? The logical answer is no. We want to believe so, therefore in our infantile attempt to make this wish a reality, we want to stick to the idea, saying it countless times to see if we can manage to believe it without any doubt. There is no mystical being called Jesus out there; the figure of Jesus is a symbolic one, which represents the inner conscience. Anyone can deceive us, and we can deceive anyone but we cannot deceive our conscience or be deceived by it. We are so afraid to realize that we are only ones we have to fully trust ourselves that we create symbolic beings that are not there (because the randomness of life certifies their non-existence) to make us feel “protected”.

How did the Universe start? Why is our nature (apparently) so perfect? Who made the laws of physics? These questions are used by some religious people to sound like this is evidence that there had to be an intelligent, supernatural and conscious creator, but in reality nothing in science points out to it. First, because our nature is not perfect. Some organisms are born with anomalies, including humans. Accidents happen all the time- and they are not necessarily all caused by humans. The cosmos is full of random events. Not being able to fully comprehend many aspects in it is, in fact, evidence that not everything is “structured”. And even if it was, we lack the necessary thing to certify the existence of a conscious, independent supernatural being: evidence (sightings, photos or images that can be examined by scientists, etc.)

Christians tend to say that our experience with God is individual and personal. That’s the first mistake when trying to defend its existence in a scientific basis; you cannot use personal observations and opinions as evidence. Imagine a scientist saying “I have full evidence of the existence of God because this man over here told me he was blind and out of nowhere he can see again”. That’s not an evidence- even if it happened overnight and there was no medical intervention. Certainly, it is something strange and may (just may) point out to God, if it exists- but it is NO REAL EVIDENCE. Where are the photos, or images, of “something” curing him? Any X-ray that may indicate something happened “supernaturally”? No, there isn’t. Therefore, there is no evidence. Some religious people even dare to give “God” the credit of curing someone who was actually saved by surgeons and medical staff who studied hard to become doctors, which for some us non-believers may look as a severe disrespect to the them because we sometimes forget to thank them and decide to give all the credit to the mystical being that so far has not made any attempt to reveal itself to us.

What is, in reality, God? If we want to claim the existence of God, we may want to redefine what it means. A supernatural mystical, independent and mostly magical interdimensional being who behaves like a human? Of course not. The absurdity of this notion of God is evidence of how impossible this “god” is. The Christian and Islamic gods (apparently they are the same, but it is interpreted differently among them, to the point of being at war even within their religions trying to impose their views) are way too human, at least according to their sacred books. Mythological gods generally “complement” humans in terms of what they want to be- beings who can control everything. Humans have an inherent desire to impose, control, and have power over others. Because humans have limitations, the “gods” they invent cover everything they cannot do. If a huge number of people agree with a religion, it becomes a “false truth”- they believe it is true but it isn’t really true.

Let’s try to understand Christianity. The Bible offers some vague “theory” of how Earth formed, which symbolically may be used to “summarize” what really happened, in a very quick way- ignoring all the physics and chemistry behind the true “creation”. Then it involves on the apparent history of Israel, how it was “granted” (how they killed thousands, if not millions and conquered nearby) lands because God promised them; the language used in the Old Testament is not really what we could respect- incest, genocide, infanticide, rape, and possibly even pederasty involved; a “God” who is bloodthirsty, merciless, unfair to the bone, intolerant, jealous to “stone gods” he knew did not exist, yet it bothered him that some humans chose them; mythology also abounds- including talking snakes, rocks that respond to words, sticks that transform into snakes, snake figures that cure people, men who survive furnaces and hungry, starving lions, men who transform into beasts, talking trees, and so on. Later a girl (apparently a minor) is pregnant from “magic”, gives birth, then the son lives 33 years, resurrects people, died and resurrected yet he is nowhere to be found, literally talking. A misogynistic man comes after that, and then the final book mentions some scary stuff inappropriate for kids. This is a quick summary of the sacred book of Christianity, which surely also have some good parts like some of the psalms, proverbs and parables- yet is not really a great book, if we refer about its content. The book has been used for thousands of years, making it even obsolete and yet some people think it “applies” today. How does it apply? Treating women as servants to men, condemning homosexual people, and judging sinners and threatening them with eternal fire? The literal content of the Bible has been used as “reasons” to justify intolerance, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and not long ago, being against the Bible led people to be burned alive, most like today’s Islamic countries that do not tolerate “blasphemy”. Science was not able to advance for almost half a millennium because of religious intolerance, sponsored by the literal interpretations of the Bible. What we consider the Christian religion has not been really what has moved humanity forward- only after we realized that we cannot marry state affairs and religion we have been able to move on with science, social issues, human rights and systems that have seemed to work much better than theocracies. We can see the Arab world today, and the only thing that has saved them from total stagnation is the discovery of oil in their land, which is less and less valuable as time passes.

This, in summary, is the description of the Christian god- the one according to the mythological aspect of the religion. Such a god makes no sense to logic and reason, so we can discard, safely, this god. What about describing God in a much more complex way- one that might make much more sense? Let’s go back to Christianity: Christians today are much more gentler than centuries ago, although we still have some fanatics with the potential of becoming dangerous. But most Christians today are docile and believe what they do because of indoctrination and not because they are forced to (mandatory belief). Their description of God is confusing, because they combine two different aspects into one: God the creator, and God the almighty who knows it all. The first one can “match” the aspect of the universe and the cosmos, and the second one matches the inner human conscience.

When people pray, they are really talking to their inner conscience- they are having a moment of meditation in which they look into themselves, and check what things they are doing right and what things they are doing wrong, and think of ideas to become better. The use of the word “God” can be switched to “me”, and that’s what prayer mostly is, in reality. Jesus, or Mohammed, or any other important religious figure is symbolic to the inner conscience. In Christianity, Jesus is the ultimate human, the person who everybody must seek to look like, therefore, praying to Jesus is the same as praying to the potential you: the you that will not make wrong decisions and will be, basically, perfect.

God the creator is a symbolism to the cosmos. We don’t know yet how the universe came to be. The Big Bang theory only explains how the universe expands, but not how it formed, what made up the singularity that banged into the present universe. Several theories are available, including a supernatural being that suddenly put the singularity there. None of the theories have been able to be confirmed by science, but some make more sense than others given the mysteries that surround the cosmos. The entire process of the Big Bang expansion can be explained by science, so it does not need a creator after the Big Bang, and it may not be needed at all (that means, no creator is really needed before the Big Bang). If the multiversal theory was true, which seems to be the more logical of the theories, then God = multiverse. Because black holes could send energy to other dimensions which will be completely parallel, unique universes, and our universe could be just one of them, that means each black hole in our universe “gives birth” to other universes, and the connections would be infinite. If the multiverse is infinite, lacks space, time or any other type of dimension and only serves as a “background screen” to the infinite number of universes in it, then God and the multiverse will be exactly the same thing. So calling the multiverse “God” would be accurate. Of course, we would lack evidence that the multiverse has a conscience, so thinking that the multiverse creates universes will still be assuming.

Why do we humanize the concept of God as I just explained? Why do we call the cosmos and the inner conscience “God” and we give them human traits, assign some mythology to them and make up religions that fight between themselves to decide which one is true? The only known truth is that God cannot be defined in a simple way.

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    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

      We need to take a more pervasive view of all religions and how they have evolved over time. Hinduism for example has been claiming for thousands of years that God is energy (sentient but pure energy). This is not a recent concept but a very ancient one. By ejecting the principle of evoution from the discussion we can be accused of double standards because this cherished principle is applied to all other areas of study save one: religious thought.

      Finally modern science does have a very famous fairly recent math theorem "proving " the existence of God : Kurt Godel's Ontological Proof backed up by hard math. This theorem has not been possible to disprove even with super computers.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Interesting hub. You have made a lot of valid points. We were not present at the current "expansion of the universe" (Big Bang), but we really have no need to understand it.

      What all humans have in common is that we exist right now. We need to learn to work together as a species because, otherwise, we are just fodder for the next extinction event.

      Humans are capable of great things. Yet most of us sit around and wait for "God" to solve our problems and challenges. We will all be better off without religion and its false hopes and ridiculous judgmental "morality".

      When we learn to work together as humans and live together as friends and family, we will no longer "need" religion.

    • cheaptrick profile image

      cheaptrick 18 months ago from the bridge of sighs

      Here's a question;Dose nothing exist?If so;How would you describe it?...you cant.The moment we attempt to describe nothing,it becomes something.The very act of conceiving of nothing turns it in to a something.

      The same problem comes into play when we pull God into the equation.The moment we conceive the concept of God we humanize God...just another human story.

      My point is;If God exists,God exists beyond the comprehension of human consciousness.We do not have the ability to understand the so called creation let alone the creator...if there is one.

      So we are left with Kierkegaard's 'leap of faith'...either you take it...or you don't.

      I know that I don't know...but I can 'Hope' ...Beyond that,it's all human noise disguised as religion which pounds guilt and fear into us from a very early age.

      I don't describe myself as an atheist;I tell people I'm a recovering Catholic...one day at a time...for life...so sad.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 18 months ago

      Your hub has expressed an important thought , but mainly your view of religion.

      But if we only view the surface of things that look like gold you will find many mixed subsitutes to make you think that it is all pure and gold , Religion is the idea of worship but the thing is who really has the right to recieve our worship.

      Many would rather worship things created then to the one who created all things including themself.

      Yes religion has become rotten fruit.but not all fruit is rotten.

      Yet that does not mean the tree is bad and roots .

      Which means somewhere there are real true worshipers doing things the right way. Because it is written they will survive the coming global war. Just as Noah survive there will be people who also will survive this clean up .

      There is no fear in love. When we love our children we want them to love us , not fear us. But that should never mean that we can not love and disaplene our children.

      To love our creator is a form of thankfulness that we are alive because by his own spirit power we keep breathing.

      And as we keep breathing he continues to supply our needs on this planet rather people disown him or not .

      He could just had started over making a New couple he did not. He new we would all have a heritary mark that could cause death easily. But he provided a cure to arrive in our behalf, meantime satan keeps accusing him of his love for us. He wants us all to die as himself.

      But The Father is greater then all human thinking and Angels.

      We need to consider the things and family that we love and realized that these things only exist because the Father made it possible not by humans who's life span ends quickly but by his power .

      Spiritual people can see past this planet,

      But others limit their faith only on planet earth.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 18 months ago from Michigan, USA

      An interesting stream of thoughts, ESP. Rather than offer observations on the many notions you introduced (many with which I happen to agree), I'll instead address your closing question -- "Why do we humanize the concept of God?"

      Of course, the answer is that, in the end, everyone creates God in their own image. Yes, there are specific traits and characteristics identified in the text of "holy books," and you already referred to some of the more nasty aspects of the Abrahamic god, Yahweh/Allah. But, even among these specific details there is so much variation and contradiction that anyone can easily pick and choose those that fit his (or her) own concept of their chosen deity.

      And that's exactly what EVERY believer does. Those inclined toward a more benevolent religious identity focus on the more positive details -- while ignoring or rationalizing away those that are negative, and those who are inclined toward a more fanatical, hateful and violent religious identity (for instance, ISIL) focus on the more negative details.

      Humans created gods, so naturally they adapt them to whatever suits their own theological or philosophical purposes.

      As for Gödel's theorem supposedly "proving" the existence of God, of course that's a lot of hogwash. His theorem is just another version of Anselm's old Ontological argument, and is just as inherently flawed.

      Incidentally, Gödel NEVER translated his theorem into mathematical language (someone else did that) so his stature as a mathematician has NO relevance to his theorem whatsoever. He may have been a great mathematician, but he was no philosopher, and his convoluted, disorienting and somewhat amateurish use of language is a mess to sort through.

      Fortunately, I've critically examined Gödel's original theorem (providing a link to the actual theorem, for the curious), analyzing its flaws and translating it into a coherent linguistic structure that -- unlike the original -- can actually be understood. I don't know how you feel about promotional links, so I'll just recommend that folks check my profile and look for "Gödel's Ontological Failure."

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 18 months ago

      I agree humans have created their own god's, but where did they get the orignal idea from ?

      Like the light bulb, man created , but God pefected it in lunar lights in the starry skies of heaven. That existed before the light bulb. And so goes with many enventions , man copies the heavenly Father.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Paladin, thank you for pointing out that Godel's theorem doesn't prove a darn thing. You have also reiterated the question, "Why do we humanize the concept of God?"

      It is apparently in our nature to try to humanize everything. Unfortunately, mankind is self destructive for the most part which is mirrored in the destructive nature of "gods".

      I still maintain that until we, as a species, grow up and learn to understand and forgive ourselves, we will never attain "god-like" status. Until we dismiss the notion that a conceptual "god" is responsible for everything, we will continue to seek "salvation" outside of ourselves. This is impossible.

      Learning to live without a "god" is the best thing that ever happened to me and it will be the best thing for mankind as well. Responsibility is a grown up trait. Prayers, hope, judgements, and fault finding are the traits of children.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

      Paladin/Austin

      Gödel's reputation is huge and well established in the entire scientific community. He was Einstein's anointed successor as any bio will reveal. His Incompleteness Theorem is defended online by non other than Stephen Hawking: a free online essay is there for all to read.

      Many people mistake the two theorems until they reach a certain level of education. No names mentioned!

      Small prejudiced minds denigrating a genius like Gödel is at best laughable.

      Any theorem doesn't necessarily prove anything on it's own. For an observer single out one particular theorem simply because it talks about God reveals only the ignorance of the observer.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 18 months ago from Michigan, USA

      And yet, even MORE misinformation, from the usual sources! Gödel was NOT "Einstein's anointed successor." Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist, and Kurt Gödel was a mathematician, so he couldn't be Einstein's "anointed successor," by ANY reasonable standard.

      Gödel's reputation is as a mathematician. As a philosopher, he was a bit of a hack -- at least, if his Ontological theorem is any indication. Then again, some will constantly (and disingenuously) promote the theorem as "proof" of God's existence, even as they readily admit they don't understand a word of it. No names mentioned!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      It is amazing to me that some theists reach the conclusion that a god or gods exist even without a definitive factual piece of evidence. Then, these people continue to imagine "proof" in theorems that they admit that they do not understand. Insisting that something has been "proven" when no reproducible proof exists it is insanity as defined by Einstein. To keep repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results is true insanity. To keep repeating something over and over just does not make it true.

      To keep believing in something based on faith alone is also unsupported. Godel's theorem is unsupported, unproven, misleading and absurd logic. No amount of insisting that it has actually been "mathematically" proven will make his theorm true. It is based on faulty logic to begin with. Godel is not the genius that some people make him out to be.

      Define god? How can anyone define that which does not exist? If a god or god existed, there would be no need for this god to hide away. If there was a god, everyone would be able to find proof. And it would be understandable.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

      Austin

      well we must be in exalted company here if we have not one but two geniuses who believe they are superior to Einstein and Godel.

      For the record it isn't me who doesn't understand Godels God theorem it is clearly yourselves as it in all the "critiques" the definition of God is usually replaced with "unicorn" or "gandalf".

      I suggest you both get together and submit your ideas to scientific American or such publications and reveal to the world how you've disproved Godels theorem. Maybe you'll win a Nobel Prize

    • profile image

      Wild Bill 18 months ago

      Austinstar said: "It is amazing to me that some theists reach the conclusion that a god or gods exist even without a definitive factual piece of evidence."

      If you believe that only SOME theists reach the conclusion that a god or gods exist without evidence, then you obviously believe that others do come to the conclusion that a god or gods exist WITH definitive factual evidence. Therefore, you believe that factual evidence of a god or gods exist. I am sure this is not the case, but you see how one could come to that conclusion by the way you worded your sentence.

      I suggest you take more time to think about what you are saying instead of shooting from the hip at every theist you come across. When one's emotions gets the better of them, they usually act impulsively.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 18 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Okay, Oz. If you understand Gödel's theorem, please explain to us -- in your own words -- HOW it proves God's existence.

      Put up or shut up!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 18 months ago from Australia

      Paladin

      gee I'm a patient man. You keep misquoting and misrepresenting me. Anyone who reads the posts will see what I actually said. Read the posts! I can't afford to give my valuable time to those who don't read the posts.

    • profile image

      Wild Bill 18 months ago

      Austinstar said: "Learning to live without a "god" is the best thing that ever happened to me and it will be the best thing for mankind as well."

      Now I understand why you are an anti-theist who wants everyone to become just like you.

      You lack confidence, so you need others to believe just as you do to validate your beliefs. I imagine this stems from a lifetime of abuse, which caused you to have low self-esteem. Since the vast majority of people in this world are theists, your abuse probably came at the hands of one, so you blame them every chance you get. Good luck with that.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 18 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Don't evade the question, Oz. I'll insist again, if you understand Gödel's theorem, please explain to us -- in your own words - how it "proves" God's existence!

      I'm a patient man, too. I can wait...

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      To oz and wild bill. You don't have to prove to anyone that god exists. I would make only ONE request of you two. Prove to me that YOU believe in a god or gods. Just prove the who, what, why, where and when of this god.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      I also find it quite amusing that you two resort to personal attacks when you feel threatened. This is also typical behavior for children.

    • profile image

      Wild Bill 18 months ago

      Austinstar said: "Prove to me that YOU believe in a god or gods."

      That is a strawman and you know it. From where we all sit, it is hard to prove anything about our personal selves. Why don't you prove to me that you are a woman or that you are not a robot? Can you do that?

      Austinstar said: "I also find it quite amusing that you two resort to personal attacks when you feel threatened. This is also typical behavior for children."

      I never personally attacked you. I made an assessment of why I think you act the way you do. If this is personally attacking then you might be a bit hypocritical because you have made more than one comment to me about having reading comprehension problems when all I tried to do was discuss something w/ you.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      I can easily prove that I am a woman and not a robot. I have valid PHYSICAL EVIDENCE readily available for both. This evidence can be verified by impartial observers.

      You, on the other hand cannot verify your belief in a god or gods.

      Calling me a victim of abuse is a personal attack, especially when you have absolutely no evidence for doing so.

      Donald Trump, with all his money and "brains", has absolutely no evidence of who is a Christian, he cannot even prove that he is a Christian. He cannot, and you cannot, verify the existence of the deity that you so adamantly declare absolutely exists. If you could just provide ONE verifiable piece of PHYSICAL EVIDENCE that a god or gods exist, I would take you seriously But you cannot even provide one empirical piece of evidence, much less a real, verifiable, indisputable piece of evidence.

      Oz thinks Godel's theorem is a real, verifiable, indisputable piece of evidence, but it absolutely has been unverifiable, disputable and is only a conceptual piece of evidence at best.

      So, just stick to the hub's premise and DEFINE GOD! I'll bet you cannot do that.

    • profile image

      Wild Bill 18 months ago

      Austinstar,

      1. You still haven't proved that you are a woman. Prove to me that you didn't offer a straw man fallacy.

      2. I never said that I had proof you were abused. It was only a hunch, but you never said I was wrong. Are you denying you were never abused?

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      And what does all that you just said have to do with the topic of this hub besides nothing.

      You aren't signed in and from your content, I can guess that you are a banned hubber. Gee, I wonder why?

    • profile image

      Wild Bill 18 months ago

      Austinstar: "You aren't signed in and from your content, I can guess that you are a banned hubber. Gee, I wonder why?"

      The funny thing is that I just had to explain this to another anti-theist like yourself. Gee, I wonder why?

      Well anyway: I am not signed in because I don't have an account. I don't have an account because I am not a writer; I am a reader. I don't have anything to write, so it defeats the purpose of setting up a site when I can just come and read.

      I am one of the people who comes from outside of Hubpages to read articles, so it surprises me when some Hubbers choose to discredit me when they should be thanking me for coming to this place to read articles that no publication would actually pay money for. You guys should be thankful for whoever comes in to read instead of putting them down.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 18 months ago from Michigan, USA

      I don't want to get in the middle of someone else's personal dispute, and I can speak only for myself. But I'd just like to interject that I'm truly glad to have anyone read my hubs and offer comments -- no matter how much they disagree with me -- as long as they don't spam me or troll me! ;-)

    • Austinstar profile image

      Austinstar 18 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      WB - Well, you are right about one thing - you said, "I don't have anything to write". You certainly don't appear to have anything worth reading either.

    • profile image

      Wild Bill 18 months ago

      Earlier Austinstar said: "I also find it quite amusing that you two resort to personal attacks when you feel threatened. This is also typical behavior for children."

      Now Austinstar said: "You certainly don't appear to have anything worth reading either."

      I guess this means you feel threatened and are behaving like a child, but I am sure you will come up with a good excuse for "lowering" yourself to giving insults.

    • profile image

      Wild Bill 18 months ago

      Thank you Paladin. I do admit that I don't have the drive and ambition as you guys do to research and write a story and I admire you guys for that. It stinks that there are a few rotten apples that ruin it for the bunch.

      The good thing is that I know that most Hubbers are not like the couple of rotten apples that I have run into. Most are hardworking, gracious, and really good writers. I just hope the others don't run off readers who come from the outside.

      Thanks

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