What is God?
In monotheistic thought, God is conceived as the supreme being, the creator of all things, a deity who is the central focus of devotion in religion. In religions where a pantheon is present, a God is a supernatural being that has supreme control over nature, or some aspect of human life.
What could God be?
A wise old man that resides in heaven (typically in the afterlife) is one of the many portrayals of God throughout history, which also happens to be the most popular version. The degree to which God is portrayed (and subsequently holds sway over all of creation) can vary from being an omniscient father-figure, to being a passive observer content to watch his creations frolic, to a vengeful force of nature that enslaves his subjects under a tyrannical rule. Other philosophies point to God as the supreme being inside which all of creation resides, to a dreamer in which life itself is the dream, or simply as happiness itself. The point is that the way and function in which God is portrayed varies in different mythos/religions/belief systems, and the answer may vary depending on whom one asks.
What evidence is there that God exists?
The validation for the existence of a supreme being is one has different answers depending on who is being asked. On a logical level, science has yet to discover the presence of an omniscient being that controls the weather, influences the universe directly, or is responsible for the punishing of evil-doers. Where in the past man has yet to discover the powers of his own mind and the benefits of cooperation, the presence of a deity was man’s best answer to all the wonders and horrors of the natural world. Where man discovered the power of electricity, he has failed to discover a being that toys with the weather. Where man discovered irrigation, he has failed to discover a being that plays with the fertility of the land. Where man has discovered that he can punish evildoers in life, he realizes that he can do it himself instead of waiting for God to do so. Through the relentless exploration of the natural world, humanity has progressively turned to his own strength as civilization advanced, creating an unusual dynamic between science and faith. Where science could not answer the mysteries of the universe, that void would be one that faith answers. Because of that, over the course of human history God has evolved from a supreme being/almighty creator of the cosmos to a theoretical/fictional being/passive observer as humans grow further in their own power over their own destiny.
In light of the argument, a bigger, inevitable question looms: when death and sickness become technical difficulties, and happiness is one solution away, will humans have finally ascended to God-hood, and if so, what place will God have in the cosmos, if he ever existed in the first place? This relationship between science, God, and faith, is explored even further in Yuval Noah Harari’s book Homo Deus.
Religion and philosophy provide a different take on God altogether. The argument for God begins with questions that science cannot explain, such as the purpose of existence, the nature of existence, the post-death conundrum, and the reasoning behind goodness. A popular line of thought is that mankind acts as an extension of God’s will on earth, tending to and taking care of his existing creations locally as he focuses on creating new wonders and miracles in an ever-expanding universe. For where else could man have gotten his sentience, his powerful mind, his creative powers, his inherent love and compassion from, but the supreme creator himself? What is the source of love itself that man displays in selfless behavior, that causes man to commit acts of bravery, that enables him to act in ways that touch hearts and minds of his kin in moments of significance? What could possibly be the wellspring of miracles that cures cancers in a heartbeat, that gives man infinite tenacity in feats of incredible endurance, the strength that a mother musters to lift a car off her child, and defy science and logic in every possible way?
The argument for God is at its core, an open ended one, built upon faith and miracles, and interpreted differently depending on one’s religion/philosophy/belief system. It is one that consistently defies man’s understanding of the world, ultimately an invitation by God himself for man to see creation as he did: free of all notions and biases, to love one another just as he did the world.
The author only wishes for readers to contemplate and ponder through the reading, and has no intention of imposing any ideas on anyone, nor any attempt at offence towards anybody in this article. Whatsoever that may be written here is open to debate, and whosoever that reads it is free to make up their mind on the subject. The topic will be continued upon in the next article, so stay tuned.
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