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What do we mean by the use of the word "God"? The word has been used so long, and in so many ways, that it is difficult to encompass. Some have argued that it has been used and misused in so many ways as to become almost meaningless and obsolete. Do we all have different ideas and connotations when we think about the meaning of the word "God"? Are there other words which might be more serviceable in describing the divine? Is the word a sort of empty set?
On the contrary, I believe that the concept of God represents, in an admirably data-compressed way, the highest goals, ideas, and aspirations of the human race. The God concept represents the ultimate goals of transcendence, of reaching beyond, of striving for the true meanings of human existence. If God did not exist, we would be left muddling around in the mud of meaningless, goal-less, hopeless nihilism. God represents the ultimate beyond, that which our hearts and our innermost minds whisper to us in our dreams at night; that which we secretly know is true, even though we know equally well that we can not comprehend it, cannot encompass it, can not intellectually approach it with our limited linguistic skills. God is beyond any human language, but He whispers to our hearts in the still of the night.
God represents the most noble idea or meme of which humans are capable. It is the glory of humankind to be able to even sense the presence of the divine. Without the sense of the divine which lies entirely beyond our capabilities, we would be the most limited of creatures. To be blessed with rational thought, consciousness, and self awareness, but denied the aspirations of following the God concept would leave us limited, proscribed from the reality which would make our awareness meaningful.
God is unknowable, completely. We can not circumscribe Him. He is, however, the lodestar of our existence, our minds, and our inspiration.
Yes, I believe that the potential to recognize the God concept is somehow built into our mental machinery by the genetic records in our evolutionary history. And I believe that the fact that so noble a concept is hard or soft wired into our mental makeup is magnificent, and ultimately true. For evolution does not build in such complex designs and concepts unless there is a reality about them, and a utility. I believe that in some mysterious and unknown way, the necessity to evolve a mental mechanism for such an ultimately true concept, such an underlying ground concept, as the God Concept, was somehow forced in the evolutionary creation of high intelligence and the human spirit to survive and to create and even to transcend.
So I believe that we have an inherent religious instinct in human nature that repeatedly expresses itself in human cultures. I believe that the religious instinct has positive survival value and pragmatic benefits. There is no downside to striving high.
I believe the inbuilt religious instinct, that leads to our ability to formulate the God concept, ultimately forms the basis for our ability to have morality. Thus it is essential to our very humanity.
If dogs and other social animals instinctually form natural hierarchies, with an alpha dog emerging as the leader of the pack, then who is to lead the human social pack? It is better to be led by a transcendent God concept in the sky, or ultimately in another and better world, than to be led by individual egotistical humans.
Amongst humans, there is no Other, except that Other Who positively transcends everything which we can know, feel, and be. Yes, we are better off to think big, not small, and to follow the best lights of the God concept into the transcendent future.
And so, my dear readers, when you set out to build something, think big. Build big. For humanity is not placed on this earth and in this universe to accomplish small tasks, nor to build small concepts, structures, and organizations. A humanity which can concieve of God should dream big dreams, and then see them through to reality.
God will be what He will be. We will be what we will become. In some mysterious way, the two are entertwined.
Three things I ask, and three things I say..
Where was God, where is God, and where will God be?
Where was God when the ship went down in the storm at sea? Where was God when the children died and cried without mercy? Where was God when the cities burned beyond repair, beyond despair?
Who knew these things?
And who knows what we will build? Who can say that we will not build something grand beyond anything we can imagine?
And who knows what lies beyond consciousness? Who can say that there does not lie beyond
consciousness some emergent property more wonderful than we can imagine, more wonderful than
that consciousness itself which we could not know nor believe could lie hidden in that primordial
slime from which we sprang?