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What is God/dess?

Author: Magisel
Posted: August 27th. 2006
Times Viewed: 3,203

I, being a Pagan, believe in multiple gods/goddesses; however, I have quite a different view about this than, say, a Wiccan might have. Then thereís the difference between Paganism and Christianity, or any other monotheistic religions. And then we have the atheists, who do not believe in gods or goddesses at all.

I have often considered why these differences in beliefs might be, as well as why nearly every member of every religion is so vehement about their views. If a Wiccan talks to a Christian about religion, for example, sooner or later one will try to convince the other that his or her own belief is the correct one. No, Iím not trying to accuse anyone. This is human nature. But why is human nature like this?

I believe that in order to understand why we all believe what we do, we must first understand three things: the meaning of God{1}, the meaning of Person, and the meaning of Belief. These are all defined differently by different people and cultures, and this is my point of view. Disagreement onthis is perfectly fine, of course; thatís really the point of this essay, isnít it?

Letís start with the meaning of Person. What makes a Person different than an animal, a mere beast? Some may say intelligence, some may say language. Letís say that itís defined by culture, or an organization of different groups within a species, groups that are determined by similar beliefs and language, etc. However, many animals also have groups, heirarchies, and organization, not to mention language. Yet they are not, by definition, ďPeople.Ē

So perhaps Person is defined by the ability to want or need something nonphysical, or something that is not directly related to survival. Perhaps Person means that one can think ahead, desire something nonphysical, and take actions to secure that something for oneself. That seems to be a decent definition; from what we humans can tell, animals cannot make plans for something, only use instinct to get by in the now.
So now we know the meaning of Person, or at least part of it. Letís move on to the meaning of God, and the meaning of Belief (the two must go hand in hand), and why they exist.

Do we have any concrete proof of God? No, as many athiests will tell you. Yet billions of people around the globe believe in an omnipotent, omniscient being that created the universe. Some believe in multiple deities; some believe that they were born from the universe; but the majority of people on the planet do believe. So logically, God must exist. Itís highly unlikely that that many people are that far off from the truth.

However, there are many things that seem to disprove the theory of a benevolent higher being. For instance, wars are waged, poverty remains, and pain is rife. If God is so powerful and good, why does he not stop such horrors from occuring? Many people have complicated answers to this question. Heís waiting for the people to redeem themselves, and Heís just helping them along until then; He engineered the wars to destroy those who do not believe or who are unfaithful to Him; and other such explanations that seem, to the unbiased outsider, to be desperate pleas to protect their deity from criticism. Why do they find it so important to 1. promote the beliefs of the deity in question, 2. defend said deity, sometimes to the death, and 3. accuse all who are against their beliefs and those of their deity of being evil?

Perhaps itís because they donít want to be proven wrong. But it seems that they truly believe in a god/dess, and that they are experiencing righteous anger at disbelief in something that, to them, exists as obviously as the sky does.

What, then, should we think of the atheists? Are they merely being contrary, or do they legitimately believe that so much of the world is incorrect? Atheists, from what I understand, believe that only evolution brought about the human race, and that after death, there is nothing else. Many Pagans cannot imagine holding such a belief; it seems bleak and despairing. Yet the atheists are quite content with and firm in their beliefs.

What makes the beliefs--indeed, the minds--of atheists so different from those of us who believe in any kind of deity? Is belief something born to you, like hair color? Or is it self-created, brought about by personal experience? One would think that beliefs are a question of nature versus nurture, or genetically programmed personality versus the personality learned from your environment. However, there are many Pagans who come from Christian families, and many atheists who come from families that believe in some kind of deity, so that canít be the reason for their belief. Does that mean that it must be something you are born with? It would appear to, yet some people find a religion that seems to suit them perfectly and then switch suddenly to a new one. That cannot be what was bestowed to them in their DNA, and besides, beliefs cannot be passed on genetically.

So: an individual is born and instinctively has the knowledge and brainpower to be able to think ahead, to plan, and to take action to bring about a certain outcome involving nonphysical desires and needs; s/he thus becomes a Person. Person utilizes this power to decide on his/her Belief. That Belief determines whether or not there is God for that Person as an individual. Therefore Person defines Belief, and Belief defines God. This means that, for each individual, God is defined--and essentially created--by Person.

Many people will be outraged at this claim. ďBut God created humans!Ē they might say {2}. However, consider that without humans, there would be no knowledge of God, or any other deity. Who wrote the Bible? Humans. Who wrote the 161 Laws? Humans. Who wrote all the commentaries and all the Books of Shadows and all the essays on God or Goddess or any deity? Humans. Perhaps, according to some religions, God fashioned us after Himself. But who decided that God told them that? Humans. So Person effectively created God.

Does this mean that God does not truly exist? Perhaps. Many atheists will argue that it does. However, Person also created the car, and does it exist? Yes. Whether or not God existed before Person, He or She or It or They, whatever you may believe, exists now. Does it really matter when It was created if It now exists and will as long as belief remains? Probably not.

So whatever Person believes God will do, He will do, because Person controls Belief and Belief controls God and His/Her/Their/Its limits and powers. Therefore the Christian God does what Christians believe He will, and the Pagan gods and goddesses will do what They believe them to, and the Muslim Allah will do what the Muslims believe Allah will do, and so onÖbecause Personís Belief determines God.

{1} I use the word ďGodĒ to mean any deities. The uppercase represents the collective entity of all the deities rolled into one for use in definitions.
{2} I apologize to any Darwin-followers out there; I understand that many believe in evolution, including myself. I was merely using an argument that might be used by someone who does not believe in evolution but in creationism and/or Intelligent Design.



Location: Canton, Michigan

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