Do We Create God?

by Christine Sine

Jesus_feeding_hungry - Ehtiopia

Did we create God as an evolutionary adaptation?

In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion’s “DNA.” They have produced robust theories, backed by empirical evidence (including “imaging” studies of the brain at work), that support the conclusion that it was humans who created God, not the other way around. And the better we understand the science, the closer we can come to “no heaven … no hell … and no religion too.” Read the entire article

It is easy for people to dismiss ideas like this because we know that they are based on faulty assumptions. Its fascinating to me to see how people will do anything to rationalize away the fact that God exists.  And of course they do it by starting from assumptions that are based on their belief that God does not exist.  “Why do we conjure up gods the article asks?”  implying that our religious beliefs are irrational thoughts that are conjured up by our imaginations. Maybe we should start from another assumption. How about we conjure up gods because God exists and there is this need deep within all of us to connect to the living God who created the universe and all that is in it.  Maybe we conjure up gods because the nature of God is imprinted on our DNA… maybe it is because we are made in the image of God rather than because we have made God in our image.

On the other hand, I understand the need to do away with some of our reasons for religion. The problem is that the gods we conjure up are sometimes violent, irrational and judgmental. And we become like the gods we believe in. Part of the reason the author wants to do away with religion is because of how often it leads to violence and indifferent loveless attitudes towards others.

Before John Lennon imagined “living life in peace,” he conjured “no heaven … / no hell below us …/ and no religion too.”

No religion: What was Lennon summoning? For starters, a world without “divine” messengers, like Osama bin Laden, sparking violence. A world where mistakes, like the avoidable loss of life in Hurricane Katrina, would be rectified rather than chalked up to “God’s will.” Where politicians no longer compete to prove who believes more strongly in the irrational and untenable. Where critical thinking is an ideal. In short, a world that makes sense. Read the entire article

If this is what those who want to rationalize away God believe it is no wonder they do it.

Why I wonder do we people of faith believe in a god of love, compassion and peace when there is so much hate and violence in our world?  Is it because we long for something different or is it because the intrinsic nature of humanity is the nature of God – even though we have rebelled, polluted and ignored it? Our faith should lead to greater engagement in peacemaking, a deeper passion for renewal of the earth and a longing for abundance, peace and wholeness for all. And maybe if people saw we believed in this kind of god through the way we lived and acted, they would believe in God too.

What do you think?

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granddaughterofthewestwind February 6, 2015 - 8:50 am

I had an odd experience a few years back. I had been ill,to the point it affected my thinking. The medical term is actually “brain fog”. and I was deep in brain fog. And one morning I woke up very quickly (odd in itself!) and thought “I’ve been living under an illusion. There IS NO God!” Pretty drastic thought for someone who has spent their life trying to look at life and it’s problems through the eyes of God. But I was happy. There was no sense of guilt for leaving God, or anything like that. The thought itself brought with it a great sense of joy and freedom. But, I also knew, psychologically, any time there is a major change in your life, it’s time to go slow. Watch and analyze. See if it’s real. So that’s what I did. I spent two years taking all the dogma and belief systems I’d been taught, and things I taught myself of God and put them into a category of “probably not true”, “may be true but can’t be proven”, “good life philosophy”, and I had a category for “I know is true”. Very little fit in this last box. Several months after starting this, perhaps a year, I tried remembering what I felt about God as a child in my earliest memories, before school, before millions of religion classes. I wanted to know if I had an innate sense of God that was not taught. And that is where I filled up the “I know is true” box. When I had stripped away everything questionable, I still had this sense that there is this spark of Light, that is more than light, A Light of Love and Wholeness and Honesty and Energy that lives inside every being, that is the cause for all creation, although not necessarily all we have done to it. And I stay there for awhile, just seeing God as that orb of wholeness within us. Then I went back and tackled our stories of Jesus. Whoever this was, it had to be someone people were willing to risk their standing in the community with. They walked away from more than their fishing. They were following someone the priest and scribes were not happy with. It would have had great affect on their family and social life as well. Something that is not often spoken of. So I started with this sense of God and Love and re-read the Gospels, and read all I could outside the gospels of what Jesus’ life and death must have been like. When I came to the story of the Last Supper, where Jesus took all who he was, all his teachings, all his love and hope for his people, and in the midst of celebrating Passover, that meal where they remember all the trials God had brought them through, and he said breaking the matzah, that bread they use to remind themselves of their past trials, God’s salvation, and that there is always hope, he says “take this all of you and eat of it, this is my body”. He was giving them, quite literally,all of himself. His body, his mind, his faith and his hope and love. Then shared the wine saying “this is my blood” the blood for the forgiveness of sins, the new and everlasting covenant with God.He will always be with us. And he chose to give all of himself, knowing full well he was about to be arrested, tortured and brutally killed. Turned over by his own people. Denied by his friends. That pure wholeness of love, forgiveness and incredible strength to endure can only be of God.

Christine Sine February 6, 2015 - 8:56 am

Thank you for sharing this story. We all go through times of doubt and want to throw everything out. They are healthy for us and often end by strengthening our faith as yours have done.

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