Guest Author - Linda Joan Paul
Since humankind first became conscious that there was something more to life than a instinctual fight for survival of the fittest, they have sought answers to the why, what, how, when and who of the creation process. Have you ever wondered who the first human was that looked to the stars and a higher power for guidance? Are we born, as some claim with a “God” gene? Did humankind, in fact, create deities in their own image in order to place responsibility and blame for things that they did not have the knowledge to comprehend? Earthquakes, floods, famine, disease, and other natural disasters were thought to be caused by deities who were angered by the actions of humans. Truth be told, some people still believe that to be so.
Some belief systems, like Hinduism and Neo-Paganism have very complex pantheons of both Gods and Goddesses who act as archetypes for human behaviors. And, of course both Roman and Greek mythologies are polytheistic in nature. The Christian/Judaic God is a fairly recent addition to the list of deities in our world belief system. So, in fact is the Muslim deity Allah.
The three major religions in our world today, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, base their belief systems on similar aspects of the same all powerful male deity. But there are very significant differences between the three. Christianity recognizes Jesus as the son of God. Islam claims that Mohammed got information from an angel, and Judaism is still waiting for the Messiah to appear. Christianity draws pretty much exclusively from the New Testament of the Bible, Islam from the Quran, and Judaism from the Torah and Talmud. And, of course, all three claim that what they believe is the “truth.”
If this all powerful male deity does in fact exist, why would he foster so much conflicting information about who he is and what he wants? Why not just make belief in him part of our genetic make-up in the first place? According to the Old Testament, God spoke to the people a whole lot more often than he does now. Why did God stop talking? Has the criteria about what God or Allah wants changed with the times? And what about the millions of people in the world that don’t believe that God or Allah exists? I have met many a morally upright and astute atheist in my wanderings who doesn’t need to believe in a deity in order to do what is good and what is right.
What it really boils down to is the fact that there is no concrete proof that any God or Goddess exists or has ever existed. But, on the other hand, nobody has actually proven that a deity or deities don’t exist either. It is all a matter of belief and of faith. To those who believe God does exist-- he does--at least in their own personal reality.
I did an experiment a few years ago. I asked a group of diverse people ranging from devout Christians to Agnostics from the ages of 10 to 82 to define a higher power without using words. They all looked skyward and either clasped their hands in a prayer position or over their hearts. Seems like we still believe in some part of our souls that the answers can be found from somewhere “up there”.