About God, by Manuel Pelegrina

This post is also available in: Spanish

God is a concept which has been constructed throughout human history. In this it is similar to other constructs, such as energy or intelligence. But the first problem this construct raises is its factual definition. We cannot define God through what he is, but what he does. That’s why the problem (if there is such a problem) is not about believing or not, but in knowing what he does. This construct is composed and recomposed throughout history, just like any other concept. It grows through quantitative accumulation, but when this accumulation reaches a certain critical point, exceeds a threshold, that which we call qualitative changes occur, incorporating new components to the concept. That’s why God has not manifested himself in the same way throughout history. Not only that: he has done so in a contradictory manner and, given the history of theoretical constructs, it had to happen that way.

On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that science has been built by being belligerent towards the concept of God. In fact, science has surpassed it in many aspects, since it presents a world which is much more complex than the traditional idea of God. In fact we know from statistics, for example, that if we have three different medicines the interactions between them are four: A-B, A-C, B-C y A-B-C. That is, the interactions are likelier than their separate effects. And that, notwithstanding the different orders we can take them in, which may also be significant. Another example in the same line: a brain with 100,000 million neurons and 10,000 connections per neuron gives us between 100 and 500 trillion connections, without taking into account the possible interactions between neurons, between connections and between connections and neurons! Furthermore, physics can explain many phenomena which were formerly attributed to a supreme being like, for example, creation from nothingness. Moreover, we are beings who are immersed in space, surrounded by everything that comes out of the Sun, living in the Sun and from the Sun, the energy of which far surpasses that attributed to Jupiter as a “god of thunder.”

Regarding facts, we have to say that in God’s name many contradictory deeds have been performed. In his name countries have been conquered, people with different faiths have been murdered; some people go to less fortunate countries to fight poverty; some others don a tiara to symbolize their divine powers; we celebrate Easter or Christmas; we remember God and ask for his help when we panic. That is, God acts throughout history in many contradictory ways, so we may ask ourselves if this use that each person or society makes of him is part of one same construct or several, since there are extreme differences amongst those who act in his name.

Summarizing, we shouldn’t keep anybody from their desire to feel God, if that makes them happy, nor from their desire to reach to God through meditation or mystics or to see God in an artistic or cultural reality or even in human beings themselves, or in Nature. But we also have to admit that both the atheist and the believer can feel or act the same way for a variety of other reasons: relaxation, meditation, music, observing nature where there still is one, etc.

That’s why believing or not in God is not important: what’s important is what we do in his name.

Integrating concepts and contexts, I may finish with a prayer that anybody can say: “I ask God (if he exists) to solve (if he can) these problems: food, education and health coverage for all human beings. And, while he’s on it, that he make us all happier”, because one of the worst perversions of the idea of God has been its use by power, while trying to further its dominion and to impoverish some human beings in order to enrich itself.

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