Our latest article, God is Evil, Hear Me Out, has produced some interesting comments from our readers on Facebook. Some were encouraging while others, not so much, but it inspired one person to ask, “Why do you hate God so much?” While I’m sure some of the content I’ve produced left that impression, I must make it clear that I harbor no hatred toward any god. I simply dislike what people/religion can make god into. My reasons why are below.
Reason # 1: Mankind Keeps Changing God.
Historically, the concepts or ideas of god have had endless variations to their definitions—from the many gods of Egypt & Greece to the monotheistic creators in Christianity and Islam, all are defined or depicted differently. Consider the once vengeful/jealous/spiteful god of the Old Testament who has evolved to the more forgiving god of the New Testament; same god, different perception or concept of who he is.
The Christian god also takes on many forms. There is the Roman Catholic version among the Protestant, Anglican, Lutheran, Anabaptist, Baptist, Eastern Orthodox versions, but the list does not end there (click here for a list of other denominations). One can consider Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses as extensions of the Christian god as well.
Even today, the god of our western society is changing. As social norms continue to evolve, our conceptual understanding of god does as well. We argued in our previous article, Morality: Religion vs. Society, that society dictates what religion teaches—churches allow women to speak (not to mention become pastors or hold a level of authority) which was unheard 60-70 years ago. Religions are also welcoming the homosexual community after condemning them since their conception.
It would seem that god changes based on the region and the time period we live in (societal influences). To me, if there was a god, it wouldn’t change.
Reason # 2: People Create Their Own Concepts and make God Fit Within Their Established Belief Systems.
We see it all the time: people contorting scripture or their concept of god to justify their beliefs and actions. You can probably pick any current social issue and use a Biblical reference to support an argument, regardless of what side one chooses.
Some use their god or scriptures to justify discrimination, violence, etc. while others use those same teachings to vilify or condemn the actions or beliefs of their counterparts/adversaries; but who’s correct?
There are also those who pick out certain things they do and don’t like about the ‘established god.’ For example, if one does not believe in the homosexual-hating god, then that person can simply omit or ignore that tidbit, making their god conform to their beliefs.
In the end, it’s up to the individual’s interpretation and how their god fits within their systems of belief. I don’t think a god would bend to any individual’s ideology.
Reason # 3: We cannot put limitations on the concept of god.
Humans have a limited ability to comprehend and understand the world around them. As we evolved, our understanding of things evolved too. The concept of god was created as a way to explain the unexplainable. We didn’t understand where the sun went every day, or why some months rain didn’t fall while it did during others, and we didn’t know why the seasons change
We do know now though and is why many god’s of the past are now extinct (the sun-god, for example).
Every rule, every form of scripture, and every interpretation is a limitation we put on god. We have limited ability to understand so we project those limitations onto our gods. We bend and change our definitions to fill in the gaps in our understanding. There’s reason to believe that the gods of today will go away as we learn more and find ways to explain what we currently don’t understand. In the meantime, faith in god is our way comprehending things we don’t have the answers to, yet.
I think that even the label ‘god’ is a limitation. If a god exists, it is not bound by these labels, rules, or even our wildest dreams. These are all constructions of our own, methods in which we try to contain and explain what god is, but I don’t think it can be restricted.
Our gods are a reflection of mankind’s knowledge and understanding, and no god can be condensed into our limited capacities of comprehension.
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to voice your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section! And, as always, don’t forget to ‘Like!’ & ‘Share!’