It’s perplexed man almost since the dawn of Homo sapiens. The vexed question: is there a God, has, despite those who choose to believe by virtue of blind faith, always evaded a definitive answer.
Throughout our evolution as a species, the sheer inability to answer that question with any degree of certainty has led to bloody wars, persecutions, ethnic cleansings, and virtually every method capable of being devised to torture, maim, and eventually kill our fellow humans for daring to believe in a slightly different God from our own.
A host of religious networks have expanded around the globe, each choosing to believe it is the only one to have a hot-line to the Creator. That so many have been proved wrong over the years only serves to reinforce the beliefs of all the others, that theirs alone is the correct one.
Expressed diagrammatically, the relationship between man and his God can be viewed as an inverted tree. At the top (conveniently, in the ‘heavens’) are the tree’s roots, wherein dwells the Deity. Extending downward towards the ground is the trunk, up and down which the prayers of the supplicants and Holy Orders of the Deity pass, followed by the main branches, representing the various prophets and messiahs who communicate directly with the Divine One. They pass on messages and Holy Orders to the smaller branches and twigs that make up the multitude of mullahs, popes, archbishops, and various lesser clerics, responsible for translating these holy directives so that we simple folk below, waiting for such sacred bulletins to drop into our ears, can comprehend them.
Man’s God, whatever religious form ‘He’ may take, has always needed one vital attribute in order to satisfy His subjects. Man demands that his God is both aware of him, and cares about him. So vital are these two factors that the idea of a God existing, yet totally unaware of His creation and consequently not caring about it one iota, is seldom considered.
The word, ‘God’, even in early pagan history, has long been synonymous with a reciprocal relationship:
God –> man/man –> God.
However, science has now defined the Universe as a vast entity in which our planet is even less significant than one grain of sand in the Sahara Desert, so is it not likely that any Creator of the Universe would be about as aware of our existence as an elephant is cognizant of the protozoa hitching a living on its leathery hide?
The more relevant question, and one we should have been asking all along, is not, “Is there a God”, but, “Does mankind have a personal God all of its own?”
Or, maybe, the tree-trunk never existed at all. In which case, all the branches and twigs would continuously atrophy and eventually die, however hard we strived to keep them alive.
Perhaps the very history of religion goes some way towards advancing that theory?
A glance back through the time tunnel reveals lost, broken, obsolete deities littering the pathway; various ‘Gods’ found wanting, used and discarded in favor of other divine inventions that in turn wither away and die: Zeus, Apollo, Ra, Thoth, Brahma, Bacchus, Freya, Helios, Hermes, Isis, Krishna, Loki, Mithras, Ninto, Neptune, Nut, Odin, Pan, Quetzalcoatl, Sheva, Thor, Venus, Vishnu – to name just twenty-three of literally hundreds.
Modern day religious leaders – of Islam, Judaism, or Christianity – struggle to keep their twigs and branches alive by the use of various marketing techniques. When these fail, they resort to fear-inducing practices in a valiant effort to prevent their religious structures from collapsing. Hellfire and damnation, excommunication, the idea of ‘mortal sin’, and in extreme cases mutilation and execution, are all fear-inducing practices employed by the religions of modern Homo sapiens.
Earthquakes, wars, disease, famine, a remarkably deaf ear to supplication, are all reasons to suspect our personal God is no more than an invention of ego to counteract our human insecurities. We are the only creature on the planet with an ability to comprehend our own mortality, and anticipate future suffering. That makes us the only creature on the planet with a yearning for Divine parental comfort, even if we have to invent it.
Is there a God?
Unless there’s a tree-trunk, the question is surely irrelevant.
 “Mythology – Gods and Goddesses” About.com
Filed under: Great inventions