Who Made God?

STORY #172 from Awakenings: Conversations with the Masters (by Anthony de Mello):

Photo Credit: giopuo via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: giopuo via Compfight cc

The preacher was determined to extract from the Master a clear declaration of belief in God.

“Do you believe there is a God?”

“Of course I do,” said the Master.

“And God made everything. Do you believe that?”

“Yes, yes,” said the Master. “I certainly do.”

“And who made God?”

“You,” said the Master.

The preacher was aghast. “Do you seriously mean to tell me that it is I who made God?”

“The one you are forever thinking about and talking about — yes,” said the Master placidly.

When people ask me if I believe in God, my usual answer would be, “Which one?” The word “God” means different things to different people, even among those who share the same basic belief — notice how Christianity or Islam is divided into different sects, each one convinced that it is they who hold the true interpretation and understanding of God. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who knows?

People create their own image of God, whether consciously or subconsciously. A simple survey of the Old Testament shows this God condemning tattoos (Leviticus 19:28) and banning shrimps from the dinner menu (Leviticus 11:9-12, also see godhatesshrimp.com).

This same God tells you that if you have an especially hard-headed child, you should bring him in front of the people to have him stoned to death (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). Look at the New Testament where it says that women should keep silent in church and not have authority over men (1 Corinthians 13:34-35, 1 Timothy 2:12) along with its subtle acceptance of human slavery (Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-2). Do we still practice any of these today? No. What happened?

In a nutshell, we have reinterpreted God. But of course we do not like it when it is said in such a direct manner, so we have terms like theology and apologetics to make it sound more scholarly. In fact, you can do a quick search on any of the topics listed above and you will find countless online apologists explaining how we should understand the verses, and what is the correct interpretation, and so on.

What is funny is that these apologists also contradict one another at one point or another. But that only underscores my point. We create our own notions of God and we create our own meanings and interpretation of “divine revelation” and “holy scripture.”

While I do hold to the possibility that there is a divine creator being out there somewhere, I don’t believe one bit that the caricatures we have created do him/her/it any justice. And until it shows itself irrefutably to me, I will continue in my own merry, agnostic ways.

Originally published in Sunstar Davao

Andy Uyboco is a businessman by profession and an educator by obsession. You may email him atandy@freethinking.me. View previous articles at www.freethinking.me.

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One thought on “Who Made God?”

  1. “And until it shows itself irrefutably to me, I will continue in my own merry, agnostic ways.” “ag·nos·tic
    aɡˈnästik/
    noun
    1.
    a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.”

    Irrefutably? That is a pretty tall order. One that an all powerful being could do if He chose. What constitutes irrefutably to you?

    I think that you know that claiming the different sects of Christianity “each one convinced that it is they who hold the true interpretation and understanding of God. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who knows?” is an intellectual dishonesty to yourself and to your readers. It does twist things enough to your perspective though. It is kind of like when you go on and on about laws in the bible and don’t differentiate between those types of laws (civil, ceremonial, and moral). Your wording makes it seem like they are all the same. You expound on them, making them seem other than they are. Oh, yes, you do have a tiny little quip in their to cover yourself, saying that people can look up apologists answers online, but do not direct any of them like you do for things that seem to favor your side of the argument. Or book, chapter, and verse so the semi-initiated can look at text taken out of context. Then, you try to say that because every single person who believes in the Bible does not say the exact same thing that that is somehow a proof that we don’t know God. Well, I call shenanigans. Some athiests (even those who claim to believe in God) and agnostics contradict each other, so it can’t be true either. And until the great nothing proves to me unequivocally, I will be my merry God-fearing self.

    But, on a better note, it is consistent that not everyone agrees on everything. Of God is real, logically, unless you try to use really out there definitions, He is eternal and infinite. We, His creation, are finite. How can a finite mind understand the infinite? Volumes have been written on this. To paraphrase you, the readers can do a quick search and find solid, logical arguments for that pretty easily. Our understanding will never be complete. And just because some (or even most or all) of us get some things wrong doesn’t mean that the big picture is wrong. Just because we can’t know everything doesn’t mean we can know nothing.

    As far as the different religions go, their can only be two possibilities: either everyone is wrong, or only one can be right. Even if you include athiests and agnostics as their own religion(s).

    Going back to the laws that you point out, I think that if people take the time to read about the different types of laws and why they were they way that they were, it is a pretty easy concept to understand. Your remark about slavery stands out because you said subtle acceptance. There are apologists out there who can do it much better justice than I can, but, one of the biggest points of the Bible is to show us that God knows that our hearts have been corrupted. He loves us and accepts us the way we are, but loves us too much to let us stay that way. Plus, slavery in the Bible is much different than modern-day slavery. As far as the stoning of the “especially hard-headed child”, with all of the reading that you claim to do, and the deeper understanding that you say that you have before you became this quasi believer, do you really think that was an apt description? Even ignoring the whole text out of context deal (again), is this on purpose? To try to further your point, truth be damned? Oh, that’s right. You don’t believe in hell.

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