Talking about God is hard because you are always stepping on eggs, is something too close to personal core beliefs. You could easily offend someone without intent simply by phrasing something in a bad way. With that in mind, let’s make sure to note that these are my thoughs on God. It goes without saying that you need not to agree with me.
By God I mean the entity that created, somehow, this reality that we experience.
The way I see it, there is nothing wrong with believing in one God, or two, or many. Usually what’s wrong, in my opinion, is what comes next. I’ll get back to this later.
For some, the natural beauty of the cosmos is seen as evidence of God; NGC 2174, ESA/Hubble. image source
There are many ways of believing in a God. It can be supreme (omnipotent and omniscient) or not; It can be benign or evenly capable of kind and cruel acts; It can have a special connection with each living thing or be completely unattached.
It can be a force of nature, an animal, personify a human or be completely alien. It could have only a divine nature or also have a human nature, including having lived among us at some point.
Or, to some people who don’t need that hypothesis, it might even not exist at all. Believing in a God requires a leap of faith that not everyone is wanting or willing to do.
Although each religion ends up enforcing a particular kind of God, it’s important to realize that you are free to choose your own conception of the creator. In my opinion you should go beyond taking for granted a belief set and instead, build your God upon questioning what makes more sense and what your instincs tell.
I understand that God in some religions is tied to eternal salvation, or more accurately to not being damned. But you shoud not let fear of punishment be the only basis for choosing a belief. Personally, I refuse to believe in a God that gives us the reasoning skills but doesn’t allow us to use them.
Logic will only take you so far though. Believe me, I’ve tried. For example, many philosophers have either proven or disproven God using reasoning.
Personal life experience can contribute either way to having a Deity. To some people, the sucession of failures leads to dismissing the idea of a compassionate being. To others, it the overcoming of challenges that leads to a stronger faith. It depends on the individual.
My concept of God is not carved to stone. It could change tomorrow, but for some time I’ve been stuck with a notion.
To me, when God created this universe, he became the universe, with all it’s clockwork precision. So we are stepping on Him right now. He was not omnipotent though, so, for example, in order for life to exist, he would compromise with all the bad things we usually see in this world (that are not caused by us, of course).
In that view, God is only the spark of creation. The details of its evolution followed from the set rules that he laid out in the beginning. Thus, for me, God did not create the world but rather the mechanism of its creation. I’ve found this notion to reasonably end the conflict between science and religion.
My personal experiences led me to believe that he has a keen eye for beauty, but that he doesn’t value life the way we do – which is not as to say he doesn’t care. For me, there is no afterlife tied to this existence (such as you paying for past life transgressions), but there might be another after this one.
On some days, I like to believe in the ‘Game Theory’, that reality is a simulation done to gain something or an experiment. But it’s not every day that I think that.
But what can go wrong with believing in God? As long as you keep it to yourself, nothing, but should you not…
A painting portraying an episode of the Spanish Inquisition image source
The problem usually begins when one tries to interpret what are God’s best intentions. Soon after, that person is led to believe that this interpretation is correct while all others are false. Doesn’t take much for persecution to start.
If one doesn’t see God as the spark of creation, but rather as the creator of Genesis, believing in a literal interpretation, one must be ready to admit that he will never be able to put science and faith in peace in his mind. It’s a matter of choice.
[IMAGE: The iconic Pillars of Creation, as seen by the Hubble Telescope. NASA/ESA image source]
*Note: The content of these notes is not endorsed or affiliated with NASA/ESA, and express solely the author’s view.