Archive for August 9th, 2009

09
Aug
09

The Nature of God

eye_of_godA lot of people get hung up on the concept of any kind of god, much less an all-powerful creator of the entire universe. They scoff at how ridiculous it is that such a being could exist, even as they don’t skip a beat accepting that they live in a universe that must, then, have popped up infinitely out of nowhere.

But you know what, I’m going to cut folks some slack for having trouble believing in an all-powerful, ominprescent universal God, and I’m going to tell you why it doesn’t matter, pratically speaking, whether you make God “infinite” and maybe, just maybe, it will be easier for you to consider He might exist if you can scale the possibilities down to something more manageable.

Creator of the Universe

OK, so what if He isn’t, really? Technically speaking, the Bible really only spends significant time talking about His role in creating the Earth and managing it, and spends precious little time on anything temporal beyond our little corner of our little galaxy.

By considering that He might “only” be creator of the Earth and the life here, I don’t think I’m exactly de-powering Him that much. Relatively speaking, any being that might have arisen in the universe and possessed the ability to create life and give that life a spiritual side as well is still a creator that is, for all intents and purposes, the ultimate creator…at least relative to our puny human abilities.

All Powerful

All right, maybe God isn’t everywhere at once. Maybe He isn’t all powerful with infinite abilities. Maybe He doesn’t reach beyond this planet. Regardless, this is still a level of power that might as well be infinite. I know I’d certainly give more than a passing bit of respect for such a being.

Perfect

A common criticism of God is that if He were so damn perfect, why is the world so messed up? I’ll pass on my usual argument that we humans messed it up, really. Instead, let’s define perfection. Still working on it? Good luck. Do phrases like “without error” or “faultless” really help here? If a being exists who created this world, whether as a sick game, or a social experiment, or a proving ground for spirits that He will send forth, or the setting for a strange conflict, or whatever, the fact that He created this all would make Him more perfect than any of us.

Look, if I create a story on the page, I’ve created my own world. It is, in a sense, perfect. Even if I make a continuity error or contradict something, those things can be changed to bring everything back in synch. The story hasn’t been changed substantially, but it loses the jarring element(s). If I start an ant farm in my house, I might as well be “perfect” because the changes made in those ants’ lives are being dictated by someone with almost total control over the environment.

So, perfection, like the other things I’ve mentioned, is a relative thing.

I know this post isn’t likely to turn any agnostics or atheists my way. In fact, it is probably much more likely to get me branded a heretic by some Christians for even considering these possibilities.

The point is that it doesn’t matter whether my God is master of the universe or master of the world. If the former seems too much to stomach, the latter…while easier…still makes God so much more powerful than I am that it hardly matters.

And given the level of creative and destructive powers we humans have, is it really so hard to consider that a being might exist who found it fitting to create life on this planet and who finds it necessary to remain largely invisible to us?

Aren’t we, as humans, striving toward reshaping worlds and perhaps creating our own? Don’t we conduct experiments without the knowledge of the animals or people involved sometimes? Don’t we change the nature of the game midstream at times for very good and proper reasons?

Why is it so hard to imagine a being greater than us that might do similar things for even higher purposes than our own? And wouldn’t such a being be worthy of some kind of respect, for any number of different reasons?




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

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