Concept of God

The concept of God has evolved through the ages.  It has been the subject of intense contemplation and debate by philosophers, religious institutions and the ‘common man’ as well.

When the term ‘God’ is heard, many images come to mind depending on who hears it ranging from a father figure that controls the destiny of all men to an amalgamation of natural law to disbelief of any such notion. Because of this wide array of perceptions people have been shunned, excommunicated, tortured and killed when their viewpoint did not match the prevailing authoritative opinion.

Man’s perception of God can be characterized by using an old analogy.

Four blind persons were walking down the road when they came across an elephant.  None had encountered such an animal so they decided to examine different parts of the elephant by touch then compare experiences so as to identify it.

The person at the front end touched the trunk and deduced it was a snake. One crouched down and felt its legs then reported that this must not be an animal at all but a tree.  The person at the rear agreed that it wasn’t an animal because they touched its tail and concluded this object was a rope.  The fourth blind person touched the elephant’s side and thought it to be a wall. All four persons were describing the same thing yet reached very different conclusion.

Their only commonality is that they were all wrong.  The elephant represents the concept of God, the four blind persons, various religions of the world.  All are describing the same thing but none of their descriptions can be validated.  Therefore, “one should conclude that no individual religion has a corner on truth, but that all should be viewed as essentially equally valid or invalid” (Horner)

The contemplation of God is philosophical in nature.  God and philosophy have been inherently intertwined since the beginning of humankind.   Early philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato and Socrates were not affiliated with any particular religion, at least as it would be described by today’s standards.

These historically significant philosophers sought to explain the world and the concept of God by submitting metaphorical explanations to reprove their arguments.  Their general concept of the universe was that God was simply a metaphor for the universe.  They used this dual definition to provide a legitimate explanation for man’s existence.

This philosophical approach to understanding essentially ended when the Christianity dominated the rule of law and defined truths for people instead of questioning its own philosophies as the earlier intellectuals did.

Today, the concept of God for most persons of religious faith is somewhat finite, an almost human apparition with omnipotent qualities.  This is opposed to early philosophers and those who consider themselves rational thinkers.

In time, mankind will likely, albeit slowly, discount the religious definition of God for a more complex, less certain conception, much the same as those great philosophers thousands of years previous.

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2 Comments to “Concept of God”

  1. Nice article. I must say that you should learn about the God of Islam, “Allah”. Because his attributes, told by Quran and Muhammad, are most likely the ones you would like a God to posses. He is totally infinite, he can’t be seen, can’t be heard, and can’t be touched. He is far beyond the limitations of our senses. He doesn’t have a body, he doesn’t have children, and no wife. Because there is absolutely no one like Him. In short, he isn’t a human being. So, he doesn’t need to do every thing that human beings do. He is something infinite. Something beyond the limitations of our perception.
    People have been misunderstanding God in the past because they were not intelligent enough to believe in a being that can’t be seen and can’t be imagined.
    If you get some spare time, read this:

  2. You remind me my intended audience as I write is automatically Christians. This is understandable but a thought pattern I should break. I wish to learn more of Islam to broaden my perspective. Thank you for the information. I’ll eagerly read it.

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