Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who is God, Anyway?

It's a fair question. Definitions are a good place to start in a discussion about anything. So who is this being we have thoughts about?

A generation ago we wouldn't have needed to start here. Everyone in the Western world knew who God was, even if they didn't know him personally.

And everyone in the Eastern world knew too.

And the Middle East.

But when they all came together, as they have over the last 50 years in North America, we discovered that everyone's view of God is slightly different. Or even more than slightly different.

So which one is the real God?

The current cop-out is to say they're all real. In our culture, everyone has a "right" to create their own god. "If he's real for you, he's real," we say to each other in our tolerant way.

And, "Don't you dare try to foist your idea of god onto me," we say when we're feeling intolerant.

"Real" then becomes something other than universal being or universal understanding. It becomes unreal, in the philosophical sense.

So the "real" truth is, if all gods are real, then none of them are, and we end up with no god at all. We end up being purposeless, hopeless, nihilistic; and discussions of who God is become impossible.

If there is no true God, there's no absolute truth. If there's no absolute truth, then reason and logic are nonsense. Words mean nothing beyond the emotional associations we've made with them during our lives.

If you don't believe me...if you believe there is no such thing as absolute truth, just try to tell me that. Say: "There is no such thing as absolute truth." Then I will have the opportunity to ask you if that statement is the absolute truth.

Can you answer me? Yes, or no. Hmm. Something to think about.

So for the sake of carrying this conversation on long enough to fill up a blog, let's assume there is a God. Only one God. Then let's try to figure out how to define "him." What constitutes a being we think of as being "God"? What doesn't? An interesting exercise, if nothing else.

Next blog post we'll ask, "Will the real God please stand up?"

Meanwhile, please feel very free to comment on this one if you like.

No comments:

Post a Comment