Sunday, April 29, 2012

Editorial- What is God

Editorial- What is God.

Scientists- well, some of them anyway- argue there is no God. They feel they have shown there is no need for God, so there isn't one. They say the universe can generate, even must generate on it's own. I have a few arguments against some of that, but that is not my point here. How we define God is.

Atheists, a cynical lot, have taken up the religion of "no-god". Really more cultural and political than theological, but not always. Frankly I think agnosticism makes sense, but atheism...not so much. Agnosticism says "Not sure", atheism say "There isn't". You can't prove a negative so they must be claiming fact through belief.

Believers, are often the defensive flip-side of atheists for the most part, though not always. At least many believers these days seem to be living a religion of cultural defense. Hardly the religion I was brought up in. Really not a religion of faith at all. Just a cultural war. And frankly I never understood  why belief would make the difference of salvation anyway. Would God punish me for believing what I thought was true? Right or wrong He would love me anyway, would He not?

Me? I happen to think we have a weak, quite shallow definition of God. Put simply, we are wrong about what God is. And therein lies the problem. Am I right about my definition? Probably not. Much too simplistic. God is most likely far beyond whatever we can perceive. Hopefully I'm just a smidgen closer.

Is God The Creator? Yes, I suppose, but that is not what he "is".
Is "He" a correct way to refer to him? No, I don't think so, but we have limited language and limited minds. Forgivable.
Is God outside looking in? No, I think its more like we are inside looking outward.
Are there miracles? A profoundly stupid question. What isn't a miracle? I call the world a mundane miracle, not because it is mundane, but because people generally are. They are too blinded by their everyday life to see the miracle that lies beyond their doorstep.
Does he break his own laws, (in fact, break his miracle), to perform what we call a miracle? God, knows. I don't. I think there is something much more subtle here than we generally can perceive.
Does God actively engage in our lives? Again, I think we are thinking too anthropomorphically. I think the better way to view this is in terms of connections with the sacred. The greater we connect, the greater the connection; much the same as virtue is its own reward.

So what "is" God? Or rather what do I think the better definition of "God" might be? Well, "All". Everything. We live in God. Frankly I don't see how anything can exist outside of God. If God exists, existence can only be made up of his substance. How could it be otherwise?
Does this mean we are God? Hardly. Though we are made of the essence of God, just as we are and every element in our bodies are made of the essence of stars and novas and supernovas.
Are the scientists of a certain view wrong? Only in their limited range of vision. If you view God as something other, or outside, separate, no matter who or what you are, scientist or preacher, you've limited your options significantly, and limited God. You've made God in our image.
What if there is no God? Well, there is the question of can something come from nothing, or better put, can existence come from non-existence? Scientist say yes. But what if you operate from outside of space and time. A non-place of absolute non-existence. A profound nothing, nowhere, not! No energy, no laws, no quantum physics, no vacuum, no void. This may have in fact never existed. Perhaps it always was. In my mind a close definition of God.

Einstein is often slighted for his use of the word "God", and his views on cosmic religion. I think he referred to himself as a religious agnostic, or some such thing. I guess I'd refer to myself as a non-religious believer, but religious agnostic would work just as well. Einstein, and a few other scientists believe they see, not a god, but a profound sacredness in the cosmos. A beauty and elegance in the math. An impossibility in the physics. One that connects all things. One that has created (or is) a set of conditions whereby if one little inkling of a variant were introduced -in any number of things-, nothing could exist. If I were a good writer and took the time I would list a few of these things. Believe me, they are there and they are an amazement! If one factor were changed just the smallest bit stars never would have been created. If changed the other way, they would have lasted a very short time. How can conditions be so perfect? The physics so harmonious?

So yes, I think there is a God, and no because I think the term too limited and locked into our own image. He is much more than that. A profound inherent sacredness in the universe I think is closer to the truth. And this sacredness is the basis for all there is. This is what we can experience; that profound inherent sacredness. This is what we can and do connect with on occasion. Einstein did not believe in God, but he did recognize this profundity that he saw in much of his work, and realized that there was something there that was sacred at the most fundamental level of all existence. I recognize that too. That to me "is" God.