Is there a God?
We can presume to know the truth and even be entirely sure of our beliefs, but does not make our ideas true.
— “The Great Baptism”
There is no proveable way to establish that there is a god, and alternatively, one cannot fully prove that a god does not exist.
The ultimate goal of this chapter is to objectively define what it means when we say “god” and to answer the question: Is there a god?
Science, with substantial evidence, has disproved the Christian and Jewish narrative of the creation story, the age of the earth, and how mankind came to exist. The god whose existence is in question within this chapter is not the Christian god, or a set of Greek gods or any specific revelation mythology god — the god here is based more upon reason and rationality and less upon cultural narratives and religious storytelling.
Nearly 14 billion years ago the Big Bang brought the universe into existence, then 4 billion years ago this world began the process of becoming the Earth we know today, somewhere near 150 thousand years ago homo sapiens evolved, and just merely 70,000 years ago these modern humans began to do extraordinary things like build boats, populate new continents, create sophisticated tools and oil lamps —these humans also began creating intricate systems, establishing the first communities, and telling the earliest stories about life — these humans started creating god.
“Legends, myths, gods and religions appeared for the first time with the Cognitive Revolution. Many animals and human species could previously say, ‘Careful! A lion!’ Thanks to the Cognitive Revolution, Homo sapiens acquired the ability to say, ‘The lion is the guardian spirit of our tribe.’ This ability to speak about fictions is the most unique feature of Sapiens language.”
— Yuval Noah Hararid
Creating mythology is an attempt at answering the questions humans can’t begin to answer or comprehend: why are we here? what made all this? why? Mythology provides an avenue for meaning and purpose to existence, illustrating a historical context to the creation of the universe with little to no evidence.
The goal of mythological stories and their heroes was to teach us lessons on being better humans, on maintaining peace and happiness, and on living a more fulfilling life. The advancement of science has provided us with evidence-based answers about the history of the universe, our earth and humankind— and with the growth and advancements made in psychology we are also inching toward to unlocking the Om and Nirvana we’re familiar with, but could never fully comprehend how to achieve without religion.
Science is the higher understanding of the self through evidence; religion is the higher understanding of the self through the recognition of our potential greatness.
“ There is a safe place in view of all, but difficult of approach, where there is no old age nor death, no pain nor disease. It is what is called nirvāṇa, or freedom from pain, or perfection, which is in view of all; it is the safe, happy, and quiet place which the great sages reach. That is the eternal place, in view of all, but difficult of approach. Those sages who reach it are free from sorrows, they have put an end to the stream of existence.”
— Lord Mahavira
Using the Mythological God to Find the Real God
The original authors of the Abrahamic religious texts pronounced that all mankind was created in the image of God, that our current form was in essence the duplication of the god-self. But it wasn’t only the Judeo-Christians that personified God, the Greeks famously created human-like dramas among their pantheon of gods, which were depicted as the most-pristine chiseled forms of human beauty. The God of the Old Testament is depicted as an aged, bearded human man. The catalog of Hindi gods are strongly illustrated with imaginative forms of creatures with human parts, and human-like gods with multiple limbs or amplified features.
God was created in our image.
Our image, sure, but with well-defined features of being all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present. These strong, intelligent, and vigilant entities may have made humans in their image, but mankind definitely did not inherit those qualities.
So God created mankind in his own image, the image of God he created them, male and female he created them
— The Book of Genesis
Since we can’t see god, and god is eternally silent and invisible to us; it is then necessary to view god through a psychological lens: god is you — and not in the New Age Chakras-One-Body-One-Universe way, but god is You in the future — the version of yourself you aspire to become guiding you toward the most-desired path in life.
The “image of God” is the highest potential of our future self, future humans, and future communities. The image of god was always the goal: to be strong, healthy, and live forever, to know and understanding the universe around us, and to be totally aware of everything. By substitute of being made in God’s image, we are the god we’ve been looking for all along.
God is your self at its highest potential speaking to its present self. That when the Christian prays, he or she speaks to themselves in hopes of becoming a more morale and virtuous individual — that those secret negotiations made in the heart, whether from an Athiest or Muslim, are always deals made with a future version of the self.
Yes, there is a god and it is the self.
The truest word of God written for all mankind is the entire spectrum of colors and natural beauty built around us, which neither speaks nor tells — allowing us to draw our own conclusions.
In the rise and fall of kingdoms, tribes, and empires, a survival of the fittest ideas was occurring, with the most unifying gods winning out communities and conquering the world. The pagan gods weren’t strong enough to compete with the Abrahamic god, not because of their actual might — but because of their power to inspire, unite and give meaning. The Abrahamic god of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam continues to influence four billion individuals. It’s important to recognize that the Abrahamic sacred texts associated with the three religions were very unique in that humankind was central to the stories, it wasn’t only stories of dramatic gods being mighty, strange creatures in a maze, or hidden forest fairies, but man — ordinary man — accomplishing extraordinary things.
This religion spoke to the potential of the human spirit. The roots of the Abrahamic stories are incredibly humanist. And between the major religions of the world, those that remain strong in followers are: Christianity, Islam, Irreligion (atheism, agnostic, non-religious), Hinduism, and Buddhism: these make up 95% of the world’s population. These are the survivors, the foundations for our future.
Old ideas die off, lesser gods vanish, and eventually we will grow less and less attached to the ancient gods of religion — and even now, a great amount of indviiduals have already embarked down a path without religion or a god, and the danger that arises in a more nihilistic mindset is the lack of fulfillment, meaning, and purpose that religion delivers —but despite the benefits of religion, it does not allow us to break free into our highest potential. Religion shackles the individual to an extremity that is “beyond understanding”, that is greater than us, making individuals codependent, leaving some with a sense of inferiority. It is when we realize that God is just a picture we paint, that the Christ adored is just a human form we can become, that we begin to break free. As the ideas and traditions of the past wear off, we begin to realize that the only savior of ourselves is us, a more perfect You navigated the present life path from the future where you are more accomplished, more happy, and more fulfilled.
The key is to continue to listen to the best parts of yourself and humanity to fulfill that future — because it’s always been us, we just gave it power, dressed it up and called it “God”.