Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

God is not real


In her book The history of God, Karen Armstrong, a former nun writes:

When I began to research this history of the idea and experience of God in the three related monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, I expected to find that God had simply been a projection of human needs and desires. I thought that ‘he’ would mirror the fears and yearnings of society at each stage of its development. My predictions were not entirely unjustified but I have been extremely surprised by some of my findings and I wish that I had learned all this thirty years ago, when I was starting out in the religious life. It would have saved me a great deal of anxiety to hear – from eminent monotheists in all three faiths – that instead of waiting for God to descend from on high, I should deliberately create a sense of him for myself. Other Rabbis, priests and Sufis would have taken me to task for assuming that God was – in any sense – a reality ‘out there’; they would have warned me not to expect to experience him as an objective fact that could be discovered by the ordinary rational process. They would have told me that in an important sense God was a product of the creative imagination, like the poetry and music that I found so inspiring. A few highly respected monotheists would have told me quietly and firmly that God did not really exist – and yet that ‘he’ was the most important reality in the world.

Professor Sir Lloyd Geering, noted New Zealand theologian and writer, would concur with the claim that “God did not really exist – and yet that ‘he’ was the most important reality in the world“. To him, God is the embodiment of our highest ideals, and not some supernatural being. Of course, Sir Lloyd would say that most Christians aren’t monotheists at all, but Trinitarianists, but that’s for another post (perhaps).

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and was diagnosed as being autistic aged sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

10 thoughts on “God is not real

  1. Sometimes, I think the gods we create represent the type of people we are, somewhat

    • I don’t have any doubt that the gods we create are a reflection of their human creators. What dismays me is that too many people are not willing to use their own imagination, and instead, adopt a god of an earlier age and try to shoehorn it into the current age.

  2. One thing evident to me, is maybe the Bible is the best they could do for the time. It was a violent time and their book justified them. We can do much better. If I were to invent a god he would be like a super cool teacher with a sense for humor and irony. And laugh at himself for what he has done. Oops! Didn’t see that coming. These humans find trouble in the damnedest ways! Here’s a better way… and show us. That would actually make this fun.

    • That type of God wouldn’t suit me personally, but no doubt it would appeal to many 🙂

    • I meant to comment on the Bible being the best they could do at the time. If by “best” you mean “best compromise”, then I think you are probably correct. But as to the Bible comprising of the best works available at the time, i seriously doubt it, Personally, I think the freezing of the Bible in its current form was a big mistake. It would have remained far more relevant if it was allowed to be revised, including the addition and removal of books according to evolving knowledge.

      • Sorry Barry, I was referring to biblical laws and moralities. But aside from that, I think your right. Since the search for god is an exercise in growth, why can’t the Book grow too? Although not a fan a religion, that might help cure the stifle.

        • In my own faith tradition, the nearest thing we have to a “formal text” is under constant minor revision and undergoes a complete revision approximately once every generation. It seems pointless having a text the doesn’t remain relevant.

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