Sunday, August 20, 2006

Thinking about, thinking about, God

(quick note I'm using "it" in the gender neutral sense rather than "it is an object")

In the last couple of years I've started to notice something, when I think about what God is or maybe that's started to worry me in someways. I've started to realise that I don't care if God's almighty, all-powerful, perfect and all that extra stuff. Instead I pray that God is simply powerful enough to do what it promised, that God is merciful above all else. That God is just but not humanly so, justice without personal bias, justice that is not bound by laws, rules and regulations but justice that is bound by mercy. A God who could welcome those who had damned them selves by their actions to save others, as well as those that had followed it's ways, and those who had attempted to follow it's ways yet not quite managed, as well as those who had followed other ways well still attempting to do that which is right.

I pray that the God I believe in sees freewill as humankind's greatest gift, that seeks to know and love us because we are aware. On a slight tangent I really don't like it when speakers say we should surrender our freewill to God, to become as I see it God bots, sure very few people if manage it, but I just do not like the idea, as as I see it freewill and the sentience that goes with it are our greatest gifts that which distinguishes us from animals. How could God thus justify taking away the thing that makes us us. Some might say that our soul is what makes us, us but you can't even prove the existence of it and to me it seems most likely our "soul" is our freewill and sentience linked to our memories. You might say giving up our freewill to God allows it to protect us and stops us doing that which is wrong/sinful which maybe true but it is hardly good! If there are no consequences and no bad actions how do you learn what is good and bad? Trying to raise a child would not work if you stopped them from ever doing anything painful or damaging, as experience is the best and most profound teacher.

I pray that my God is one who does not have a list of "sins" as such but one who has a list of things that damage us. On a tangent again what is sin? I tend to think it is actions that damage us in some way shape or form, the few things that I'd consider evil are actions that damage, destroy or limit the freewill of others, within the restriction that some ideas and actions that others chose must be limited because they'd effect the freewill of others.

When I then, think these things that I hope and believe God is, I begin to worry what if he isn't? And is this me a simple human attempting to impose my ideas of what is right on God, a being that is most likely much greater than us? Are such thought's evil or sinful/harmful?

This confuses and worry's me as on a similar note my personal believe have already taken a good look at most of Genesis and discarded that is irrelevant and unlikely to be true.


Matt said...

It's an interesting one. I think we all make God in our own images: the things we value, we hope God values too. But then, *we're* made in his image, so I believe that the things I value, and know to be true-with-a-capital-t, are things that God feels the same about.

Kinda dangerous, and veering towards "everyone did what was right in their own eyes," but I think it comes down to: I couldn't follow a God who didn't share certain values I hold.

EONsim said...

Yes I'm at all comfortable with the "everyone did what was right in their own eyes". However I do feel there is an element of it though but bound up fairly tightly in some strict limitations. Still I can't entirely get my head around how that might work so...

Katherine said...

Hm yeah I've often wondered if the 'optimally good/perfect/just/etc' picture of God is just a Western construct in some sense. It's the kind of thing philosophers say about God when they're trying to prove His existence logically, but it always seems kinda plastic to me. That is, thinking about God in that sense, as Ultimate Perfection Personified, seems rather cold and aloof, and not particularly like the Bible's portrayal (as I read it) of a God who is a 'person' in some sense. The philosophical God is almost more like an Essence or some kind of ethereal being of that kind.

I too, as you well know, get into a stew thinking about how I *think* God must be, compared to what he in actual fact *is*, which I can't seem to get at. It's especially hard to disentangle all the cultural blinders that dictate how we interpret things. No idea what the answer is.

EONsim said...

Yeah it does get confusing when trying to think about what you believe god is and what god it may actually be.

Yea and it is near neigh on impossible for us to get rid of our cultural biases.