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Constructing God in our minds

April 10, 2009

In this topic, I’m going to use words that I have no idea what they mean in order to make philosophy majors bash their heads into walls in frustration…here goes nothing.

On one of the message boards I visit, I’ve had several run-ins with a rather peculiar character. This guy…I don’t even know…he’s seemed to shift all across the spectrum with religious positions. I mean, first he was this rabid, anti-Catholic (he’s Mexican) Protestant dude, and then he was this less-rabid, less-certain-about-anything kind of person. Then he became a gnostic (like, in the sense of the esoteric movement, not the opposite of agnostic) in search of Sophia…and then he started becoming just regular Christian.

Well, now he’s…lemme see what his title is…an…Eternal Seeker Cosmic Knight Savior of Sophia Gnostic Alchemist Existentialist Christian. And of course, when asked about what the heck this means, he replies:

It’s pretty straightforward imo.

Well, regardless.

I wanted to discuss one peculiar idea this guy had. I can’t even really fully comprehend, but I’ll try.

See, as I discussed in a previous idea, there may be something behind God as an allegory of something like a parent. And I played around and chewed the idea for a little bit, but I came up with the conclusion that if God is merely an allegory, this isn’t very satisfying. For me, God has to be a being-for-itself-in-itself (Oh holy CARP I should not try to play with terms I have NO IDEA ABOUT, darn you Sartre!), instead of just being a being-for-others (another word that I have no freaking clue if I’m using it anywhere near close). If God is just an idea to give us a way of avoiding our world for ‘his’ world…the world of transcendent morality, then that seems really cheap and escapist (especially considering how people *treat* God…they definitely treat him and revere him as more than an idea), whereas if God is another thing…but also its own agent…then we would be escapist to not believe in it.

aslfdj I’m not a philosophy-major!

Anyway, the peculiar guy I have been talking to has the idea that God is *just* an idea…and he is made real by the people who believe in him and act on the idea of him. Most importantly, the Christian god is so important because he is the first time we have an idea about communicating with the Absolute. As he says (sorry for the language):

Think for a moment about an isolated society. Let’s say mexican indigenous people. These people live in the mountains and have no knowledge of cities or anything beyond their community. Their beliefs are oral and archaic. They need rituals, sacrifices and other actions that only a select few can do.

Now, imagine that these people don’t have grasp of an omnipotent creator. They believe in literal mangods, while only the wise, the initiated know that they are symbols.

This was basically what civilization was before Jesus. In India, only the brahman caste had full authority on the vedic texts and heterodox believes were shunned. In Egypt, only those who knew the language of the initiates could discern the art of khem. And especially in jewish lands, pharisees acted with extreme prepotence and abuse, using the out of context Mosaic laws for their benefit.

Greeks however, were different. This will come into play later.

Now, imagine Jesus was merely a man. Nevertheless, he must have existed and he must have been a very special man. Why? Well, think about it. Only someone who had this incredibly keen insight into religious beliefs could say the things he said, act the way he acted. Jesus knew he had to change the people around him. He knew that HUMANITY, ALL OF IT, was tied by the balls to the initiated, to religious authority. He knew animal sacrifices had lost their meaning. He knew people needed a new belief, a belief in which it is the individual that can make peace with the universe and God. Not the individual through the priest.

If Jesus was only a man, he was a goddamn genius. He engineered all of his life to create a belief that would give people peace. He would fix judaism. If Jesus was not the Messiah, he made himself the Messiah. Jesus could convince people. Think about that for a moment. Think how hard it is to stop smoking or to convince a retarded fundie to question his faith. Now think that pharisees were even worse. Jesus knew so much about fucking everything that he could convince them.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to tease out of this guy whether he believes that Jesus was the Messiah or if he just “made himself” the Messiah through the proliferation of a radical idea. Does God truly exist outside of our spectacles of human consciousness or does he only exist in this pervading idea?

I don’t think the signs are hopeful. After all, when someone raises to him a counterexample, “What about Zeus? What about the Flying Spaghetti monster?” he points out, “These too are real because they are real in the minds of people…but the Christian God is the first that is the ‘absolute’ and it is the most successful idea, so it gains more reality.”

I can’t handle all of this.

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  1. Evolving a God? « Irresistible (Dis)Grace

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