Friday, April 6, 2012

Will the real "God", please stand up

Everyone has their own beliefs regarding the notion of "God".  In terms of group beliefs, the religions each have their own ideas of what "God" is, non-believers or those unsure have their ideas on the existence of a "God", and even I have described my own beliefs of what "God" is.  So is there a "right" belief and if so, which one is it?

When discussing beliefs, one must always keep in mind that belief is not fact.  In fact, the term belief is only useful in conveying your idea of fact to another, but you cannot express the belief to another as proof.  That is because knowing is an individual quality, something that each holds deep in their memories because of direct personal experience.  Those qualities cannot be conveyed because they are personal and only incomplete descriptions can be used because of the translation required between thought and feeling to words.  That's why when we learn in school, it's up to the individual to learn and understand something to make it their own knowledge.  It doesn't just become knowledge by reading or listening to someone else.  One's belief is the only way to express their knowing to others, and it is up to other persons to accept that belief.  The fact of the matter is, we all have our own beliefs about "God" based on other ideas and beliefs we have accumulated and accepted.  This demonstrates that it is our knowledge and understanding about various other concepts that define who or what "God" is.

Take for example the non-belief in a "God".  I found that the majority of non-believers defined "God" in terms of the Judeo-Christian notion of "God".  The other interesting fact is most of them has either been involved in religion, many at an early age, or were at some point introduced to the Judeo-Christian concept of "God".  Those who are unsure of the existence of a "God" had very little exposure to the concepts of the Judeo-Christian "God".  When you discuss why non-believers have a hard time in the belief of "God", it typically boils down to the argument that the religious notion of "God" (with its belief in good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, saved vs. damned, and love vs. "eye for an eye" for the traditional Christian perspective) could not exist while evil existed in the world.  So their non-belief stems from this conflict they cannot resolve and thus look for answers to existence from other sources of knowledge such as science and philosophy.  So rather than accept any possibility of a "God", they choose to reject all notion of "God" including a purpose for existence (again, due to the religious idea that "God" demands perfection while imperfections exists, which leads to the belief that "God" must be imperfect or non-existent) while ironically accepting that purpose exists in our own actions.  I've written a follow-on post discussing the subject of good and evil.  Basically, those concepts are the consequence of the physical survival instincts mixed with our freedom of will to do "right" or "wrong", but outside the physical, there is no such distinction of good and evil, right and wrong.

The religious have wide and varying ideas about "God".  Some believe in more of the Christian New Testament notion of "God" while calling it "Judeo-Christian", and others believe in the Jewish Old Testament notion of "God".  The difference between these is that one focuses mostly on the quality of love, while the other focuses on the quality of justice or judgement.  There are other religions with their own beliefs of "God", but they typically fall within these two qualities of love and justice, whether as the main quality or the consequence from other actions such as providing nourishment or strength.  When most people describe "God" as the Judeo-Christian "God", they believe in a loving "God" that still holds men to judgement.  When you discuss why they believe in any of these notions of "God", the reasons vary from "the bible says so" to "because of the love God has for me".  This boils down to having a belief based between indoctrination to pure emotional reasoning, but most lie somewhere between the two.  The indoctrination is the beginning of their belief and it also defines what "God" is to them, usually based on someone else's idea, framed within a religious connotation.  Once an idea is planted, especially at a young age, people tend to accept without question the idea because it's so familiar to them.  It no longer is questioned because they accepted the doctrine for so long.  As they get older, they find logical reasons for their belief without asking if what they believe is logical.  Even the unseen must have reasonable logic behind the belief because contradictions expose falacies.  An example of the Judeo-Christian "God" that makes no sense is the belief that "God" and creation are separate and apart from each other.  The idea that creation is a product of "God"'s action rather than a portion or aspect of "God" defies the passage referred to with the saying "all things exist in God".  If creation is separate from "God", then where is "God" relative to creation and doesn't that mean "God" is not everything?  And if all creation is in God, then doesn't that mean man is not evil and thus not in need of salvation, since "no evil can exist in God"?  Then the main question isn't whether man is evil, but whether evil truly exists.  If you don't believe God is without evil, then it's easy to see why men can act evilly, but that begs the question "why would an evil God create us and allow us to live, both good and bad, and experience anything good?"  We interpret acts as good or evil, but one could ask if we're interpreting what we perceive correctly.

Then there's the description of "God" that I and others hold who do not profess any religious connotation (though some will argue any belief in a god as a religion).  That is, the notion of an unseen entity that encompasses all "things"; a completeness that defines everything with the words "All That Is".  Or the term "Source" to declare that everything that is, is a portion of this single infinite entity (I use the word "entity", but there is no linguistic word to describe "Source" since being able to label something with a word such as "God" means it is describable and thus finite since the word encapsulates a concept, which this is not possible for "Source", hence the words "I AM").  The origins of this belief is an ancient knowledge that man instinctively knew because of what they come from, but has been forgotten as they focused more on the physical perceptions and less on their inner perceptions.  Personally, I sought more than my Christian beliefs because of the conflict between having free-will and being denied free-will in religion ("you must be saved") that made me rethink my ideas of existence and "God".  But I could not dismiss the idea of a creator because logically, it did not make sense to believe that consciousness could spring from nothingness.  Trying to apply the laws of physics to the notion of "God" is pointless, and physics has demonstrated that physical reality has a point of origin or coming into being.  This fact cannot be answered with the simple idea of random chance, not because it's not possible, but because even if it's possible, the concept of random chance existing is what makes intelligent design logical.  In other words, the existence of "random chance" is a mathematical and mental concept (randomness cannot exist in a static unchanging system, which means there is energy driving change), and all concepts are of mind, not matter.

So of the varying degrees of belief in "God", which is the correct belief and who's idea of "God" is the real God?  Of course each "side" will hold their belief the only truth, and it will only be resolved for some individuals upon death.

I already described why I find non-belief illogical.  The question of "how did something come to be" is an infinite cycle with any physical explanation because trying to explain a physical phenomenon with only physically relevant explanations will generate the same question.  This has been argued for the notion of "God" as well, but if "God" exists, then "God" is not within the physical system, and thus the rules do not apply (beginning and end).  In fact, this cycle can only be broken by introducing a super-set of rules that includes rules for allowing physical reality to exist, but also rules that do not apply to physical reality.

The religious idea of "God" does not make sense to me because, at least for the Judeo-Christian "God", the claim that all things were created by "God", but not all things will be "saved" means "God" has human qualities, that of one who differentiates aka judges.  If "God" judges, then we were not given free-will, which means we are no different from plants or animals, having no purpose except whatever "God's" purpose is, thus making the notion that "God" loves all, false.  This notion of "God" is really only loving itself, not that those who are "saved" were loved since it was "God's" choice, not ours.  Claiming our act caused "God" to love us is really saying you saved yourself because it was your act that caused "God" to save you.  So which is it: "God saved me" or "I saved myself"?

The alternative idea of "God" that I've argued is that each of the individual consciousnesses in all existence are "God"s and that all of us together, along with all the other types of consciousness, form the single entity referred to as "God", or All That Is.  This explanation, I believe, explains existence both in the physical reality and any other dimensions of existence (such as M Theory), along with explaining why we have religion.  Religious ideas of "God" and man are a distortion of the idea that I described about "God" because men did not understand or accept the message.  They could not resolve the difference between their mortality and the teachings of our immortality.  So they assumed that the teachings of the ancients regarding All That Is was referring to a separate entity from themselves.  The rejection of mans own immortal nature is the cause of many beliefs and fears related to death.  The rejection occurs because man, unable to see past the illusion of the physical senses, assumes that death is the end of consciousness without the power of a deity.  Atheists do the same thing, except rather than acknowledging an immortal entity is possible, they only accept what is physically perceived (physically perceived materials and knowledge such as results of experimentation) and deny anything that is not perceivable (unseen or unknown/not understood) as being superstition or fantasy.  My argument for our own "God"-ness is that we have a consciousness that cannot be attributed to the body.  This consciousness is the same as that of All That Is, thus the claim that we are a portion of All That Is.  In biblical terms, we are in the image of "God".

My definition of "God" also resolves the conflict of "An all-loving God" vs. "Judgement".  All That Is is love because love is the energy that exists.  We just use the word "love" to describe it.  "Judgement" is what we do when we judge our own acts of free-will.  We examine our thoughts and behavior to understand what is best and what causes problems.  If we are "God"s, then the misunderstanding that "God judges man" is really saying you judge the experience you had as a physical being.  Why would you judge yourself?  Because you are learning to be co-creators with All That Is.  In order to learn what ideas are beneficial and what are not, you do the same thing that human engineers do: try things out, experiment.  That is exactly what physical reality is, a training ground for ideas.  What you perceive as "evil" in the world is the "testing" of ideas to learn because each individual consciousness is at different levels of development.  As far as the relationship of "God" with creation, I have stated that our own individual entity is a portion of the whole All That Is.  All of the individual entities that are exploring this reality provides the energy that forms matter.  In fact, what we perceive as matter is the conversion of each individual's portion of energy into the perception of physical form.  Therefore, "God" is everything because what we perceive as the world is made from our energy, which is a portion of All That Is.  Therefore, it can be said that All That Is is the never-ending, eternal source of energy, never to be destroyed or created, which is the first law of Thermodynamics.  As it is written, "For in him we live and move and have our being."

The point of this post is to make you think critically and honestly about your own reasons and ideas about "God", and if and why those beliefs are reasonable, not necessarily to start another debate.  Now my beliefs may not be absolutely correct, either.  I may be over simplifying the description, I may be completely wrong.  But from my perspective, it is more logical and not based on emotion or dogma, both theistic and atheistic, in explaining who and what "God" is.  I believe it ties all the different perspectives about "God", even non-belief, thus being inclusive of all creation, believers and non-believers, the righteous and unrighteous, the living and the dead.

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