What is God?July 5, 2010
– Kamil Khan.
The basic understanding of ‘God’ is something that should come to us naturally without any external help or influence. If God exists, then the purest concept of God will be something that can be visualized even by a kid who is lost on an isolated island from birth. We differ when it comes to religious scriptures. We differ not only in our order of importance, but also in our interpretations. Therefore this article, won’t quote anything from any religious scripture; no Quran, no Bible, no Vedas, nothing. We’ll discuss simple and plain reasoning.
Over the last few weeks I have been asking people to “define God”. I know it’s become a taboo nowadays to speak about God or any religion. But the more they hate it, the more I love discussing these topics. Running away from such a discussion is not a solution at all. Even if you are an atheist and don’t believe in the existence of God, defining “God” is still necessary; because you can’t deny something you don’t understand.
God & god
The most common reply I got for my question was that God is “A Belief”. What they meant is that “God” is a belief which our parents install into our brains as we grow up; and hence, they reject the existence of God. Now there’s a slight problem here. Let me give an example. Once when I was in school, I had a lot of homework to do. I spent the whole evening doing my work, and when I finished it my grandfather joked and told me I didn’t do any work at all. His definition of work was WORK=MASS x DISPLACEMENT. This definition of work was completely alien to me as a 10year old kid. My definition of WORK was more to do with LABOUR. My grandfather didn’t deny my labour at all. But the problem was that both of us had different definition of the same word, “WORK”. In the same way, what people deny is not “God”, but a wrong definition of God which their parents gave them. The correct definition was right there in their heads, which had come up naturally. So when they were told stories about God doing this and that, it was natural for a sound mind to reject them. Such an act is really appreciable, since this ability to classify things as godly and ungodly is really important to understand what “God” truly means. But the problem is that people often stop completely at this point. They think that they’ve successfully rejected the existence of God, although what they’ve done is only rejected an improper concept of God. What’s worse is that most of them live under a wrong impression that they are in conformity with science.
So what is God?
You will hardly find a specialist in his field denying the existence of God. No astrophysicist denies the existence of a creator after studying the creation of universe. Every biologist believes in the theory of ‘Intelligent Design’ after studying the complexities of living organisms. Let alone these men of knowledge who have studied things deeply, even a photographer who clicks nature and landscapes will testify to you the existence of a creator. The fact is that all this that exists around and within us makes no sense unless there is a creator who ‘designed’ it. Let’s take an example that I heard from Dr.Laurence Brown. Imagine if you are walking in a desert and come across a beautiful palace near an oasis. You ask an Arab staying inside as to who designed this beautiful palace and he replies, “There was nothing here except this oasis and sand. Then one day, a strong wind blew from the east. The sand got mixed with water from the oasis and this produced clay. The wind also shaped the clay cubic, and it formed bricks in the sun’s heat. Then a very strong wing blew from the south and placed the bricks properly to form walls. Then some days later a wind from the west blew to fill the gaps in the wall with sand and clay. Then due to the sun’s heat, sand got heated up to form glass and wind from different directions placed the doors and windows”. Are you going to believe it? Obviously this beautiful palace has been designed by someone. The probability of this palace getting built “by chance” is completely NIL in a million, billion or even trillions of years. So how then do you believe in the creation of the universe and all its complexities in living and non-living creatures to be a matter of chance and evolution of a few million years? Forget the complexities of our ecosystem; just the probability of formation of the first living organism is less than the formation of that Arab’s Palace. Yes, things did happen the way we science tells us, but all this was obviously planned intelligently; it just cannot happen by chance.
But the common man, especially urban Indians, still live under the myth that science denies God. However the fact is that all this is just not possible without a creator. And yeah, just “creation” is not important. The entity that has created all this must also be doing something to “sustain” all this creation. Hence, my answer to the question “What is God”, will be someone who is the “CREATOR and SUSTAINER” of all that exists.
God is much purer to be anything like His creation i.e. He does not have a shape, size or weight like His creations. He doesn’t need a social life and has no friends, brothers, sisters, parents, wife or kids. He is completely different from his creation.
A concept that is prevalent in the Indian subcontinent is that all that exists is God. However, people who have deeply studied Indian philosophies and Hindu scriptures say that it only means God is the essence of everything. Although both seem almost the same, there is a vast difference. As the sustainer of the creation, God is metaphorically the essence of everything. Everything that exists certainly reflects existence of God. But to say that God is physically a part of everything incorporates a lot of fundamental mistakes. Such people believe that the entire existence is unity, and that is God, and that we all are just ignorant of being a part of God. Such a philosophy is fundamentally incorrect since it leaves no room for difference between good and evil. What if a person murders someone? Is that good or is it bad? Well, it is neither, according to the philosophy of “Everything is God”. There just can’t be a punishment for a murder, since it is just God doing everything. With this principle, you can’t even blame a terrorist. What’s the maximum punishment you can give to Osama? Death? Will that really be a punishment if he is god, although ignorant? I mean, that’s not a punishment at all since he is god. So everyone will be left free to do whatever he/she wants. This will result in a complete chaos. Had such a free will been given to other creations by the Creator, the creation would not have sustained. Humans certainly have a free will to a great extent unlike other creations (which follow their instincts) and planets (which follow laws of physics). But had humans been ignorant gods, the world would have been either “evil-free” or a “complete chaos”. It would have never been what it is today i.e. half-evil.
There’s yet another class of people that says, “Our conscience is our God”. Such people believe that we can do all that we want to, as long as it is not evil or bad. But the question arises, who will decide what is evil and what is not? If everyone is left free to decide, we all will differ. Certainly the same thing can’t be good for someone and evil for me. Either of us has to be wrong. Who will decide or judge? Obviously it has to be the One who created both of us and everything else. God must send down a clear message of what is right and what is wrong. Because if it is left to the conscience, then Osama’s conscience tells him to kill Americans and he feels it is justified. Is he right? No way!! Two decades ago a girl wearing a T-shirt and jeans would hardly walk on streets in India. Her conscience would have killed her back then. But today it is common. What happened? Did God change or are all girls wearing T-shirts and jeans doing evil? (You decide.) The fact is that our conscience is not centrally controlled by a common classification system of good and evil. It depends on the environment, era and culture we live in. The moment you justify conscience, you are justifying Osama’s actions. Because everyone around him believes that killing Americans is the best thing to do, and their conscience is silent. And as I said earlier, we only land up creating chaos in this world if we are ourselves left free to decide what is good and evil for us.
Now, since we are on the topic of God guiding us to decide between good and evil, people believe God does it by incarnating in human form. On the surface, it seems great. “Wow”, you think, “God Himself comes down to guide us. That’s so nice of Him”. But let us think about it. Is that possible? The first question that arises is that whether such an incarnate remembers he is god or not?
If you say God came to earth as incarnation to show us an ideal life, then you either say that the incarnation was a God or he was a human. He cannot be both because if he possessed even a few properties of God, then he is “not entirely human”. Hence I will never accept such an example of ideal life. God gave me hunger, desires, needs, etc. He can’t show me an ideal life by ACTING LIKE A HUMAN, while he was actually God. I can then easily argue with God that He had enough powers to control His needs & desires being God, while He gave me so many limitations and still expects to follow that same kind of life. And if you tell me that the incarnation was completely human, i.e. he really had desires and needs at that time, it means HE HAD CEASED TO BE GOD. So rather than God himself giving up His Divinity (which is UNGODLY); God should have just somehow pointed out a REAL HUMAN BEING to show us an ideal life. And the most important point is that if this incarnation is “entirely human” in nature, he is not worthy of being worshipped. Even if this incarnation came down to earth, we are still supposed to worship only the creator of this universe. In times of trouble, we are still supposed to be asking and begging before the sustainer of this universe and not some incarnation (who was human with needs and desires himself).
So that was how we can define God; the creator and sustainer of the entire universe. This is just the basic. And this is not something that you learn only from a religion. This concept is something that develops naturally unless curtailed or restricted by your own self. If you feel God is silent and doesn’t speak to you personally, then think again. God does speak to you. Not in English, French, German or Hindi. But He speaks to you the way He speaks to the entire creation; in the language called “nature”, through which He gives you so many proofs of His existence. It is you who fails to understand this language. Once you understand God, turn around and search which is the religion that actually believes and adheres to the right attributes of God. You will find only one religion doing that, and you will find only one religion which asks for complete submission to God and Him alone. So let us all think rationally and logically in this direction. God gave you a brain, He cannot ask you to shut it down and believe blindly.