(Note: So, Is the big question whether Man created God or God created man? It is like asking which is first: Egg or chilken?
The great spiritual Guru Sankaracharya used to be pestered by his disciples asking: “Tell us something clear about God.” The Guru always used to evade the question saying: “Will tell you tomorrow!” When that answer became a pile of “tomorrows”, some of the disciples lost all their cool and retorted: “We will be all dead and gone before your opportune ‘tomorrow’ comes!”
To this the Guru responded very calmly: “The most eloquent speech I can give to answer your question is: “Profound and prolonged SILENCE!”
Karl Rahner, the great Catholic Theologian was asked if he could explain God and life beyond while he was nearing his death and his reply was: “We see those things only through the DARK LIGHT called FAITH!” What can you see through a ‘dark light’ which is a contradiction or the explanation of the blind describing an elephant?
Most of you know the beautiful and inspiring song: (Iswarane Thedy) In search of God I wandered lands, deserts and crossed seas asking “where is God?”, has any one seen hisssm?. Even the birds chirped and sang: “Not here, not here, you will never see or find!” Finally I turned into myself, into my own heart and I found Him there: Love is His name, heart is his temple.” The song is attributed to Fr.Abel, my friend now in heaven and idea to St.Augustine. Similar are the songs of Communist poet Vayalar Ramavarma: “Man created religions, religions created Gods etc.
I taught all these songs my children (3 girls and one boy) as part of their prayer songs to help them think without borders. If this “Know-nothing” is allowed to write more you will miss listening to our main precious speaker Varghese Pamplanil. So let us listen and learn from what this research scholar has to say. james kottoor, editor ccv.
The caption “God is Dead, Man is Free” in Dr. Kottoor’s article of 27th January prompts a counter poser: “Do God exists at all?”
My first submission: what is the gender of God. In the patriarchal church, God is called HE. But it cannot be so. Male and female are the two sides of a coin. Hence I would prefer to refer God, if any, as a big IT.
According to J. Anderson Thomson Jr. M. D. Psychiatrist, God is the creation of brain chemicals such as dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins. Thus as of now God is the product of the mind or more precisely, the by-product of mind’s cognitive mechanisms. Our ancestors most likely dreamed up their gods. Gods may have been created as personifications and explanations of natural forces such as fire, dramatic weather changes, volcanoes, the sun, the moon and other natural wonders.
There is only one real religion created by our hunter-gatherer ancestors in Africa 50,000 to 70,000 years ago. Our window to their religious rituals comes from three surviving populations of Kung San of Africa, the aborigines of Andaman Islands and the Australian aborigines who are thought to be the original humans who came out of Africa. All three tribes have their religions based on song, dance and trance, activities that harness some of our most powerful brain chemicals. They are the ones that influence pleasure, fear, love, trust self esteem and attachment. We can see the echoes of this first religion in all faiths on the planet today. Our religions are derivatived of the power of song, dance and trance.
“The God of Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction; jealous and proud of it; petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a misogamist, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochilistic, capriciously malevolent bully" (Richard Hawkins in God Delusion)
The Christians say they believe in a monotheistic God, which at the same time is as well, a “Three in One and in One God" with a Father, a Son and a Holy Spirit. This ridiculous concept takes the trophy for verbal gymnastics and double speak or no speak, now consigned to an Unfathomable Mystery. The Son God is believed to have born from a human female after being impregnated, in an asexual way, by the Holy Spirit. Asking, what was the role of the Father God in the whole business is SACRILEGE of the highest order according to the mandarins of the Church. The Catholics firmly hold the view, as an article of absolute faith, that this female continues. to be a Virgin despite giving birth to child in the normal way. She seem to have given birth to other children as well. Her perpetual Virginity beats common sense . But one has to swallow this utter bullshit if one doesn’t want to be consigned to the most horrible part of the Hell, Catholic Church says. What this preposterous idea has to do with human lives is begging the question.
Dr. Roy Willis, Research Fellow in Social Anthropology, University of Edinburg says that some mythologies formalise the struggle between creative order and destructive chaos in terms of perpetual cycle of creation and destruction. In the Greco-Roman tradition, the cycle began with the Golden Age when human beings enjoyed eternal youth and freedom from toil and concludes that the present era, the Age of Man, is destined to end in humanity’s self destruction. Most traditions describe the normally invisible component of the universe as a world above or heaven which is the abode of superior beings: gods or divine ancestors and that the under world is peopled by the dead and by subterranean spirits.
A vast number of gods, especially goddesses are connected with fertility such as Earth mother and other complex female figures.
This short presentation doesn’t allow elaborate explanation. Suffice to say that God is a product of the human brain social and environmental milieu. Homo Sapiens in general tend to have faith in some gods and subscribe to some religions because they are evolving creatures. These beliefs would not die at least until humans get over the fear of death and of the unknown and each other.
Humans are born moral animals and they don’t need any God or religion to keep them from being immoral monsters as some faiths would like to say. If human ancestors had no sense of right and wrong, whatever way they interpreted the terms, they could not have long survived in social groups. Morality is not a learned behaviour without inborn aspects. Empathy, compassion, grief, comfort, assistance, forgiveness, trust, reciprocity and sense of justice, revenge, spite and much more are inherent in humans and in other animals. The evolution of moral behaviour goes hand in hand with the evolution of sociality. Paul bloom argues that we are born altruists, who then have to learn strategic self-interest.
It is quite possible to be non-religious but highly moral. If one follows the exact wording of the Bible, one may have to sell one’s uppity daughter into slavery. Ancient scriptures seem full of moral advice that sounds anything but moral today. The less we abide by the scriptures, the more we use our basic moral intuitions and the more moral we are likely to be. Genuine morality is doing right regardless of what may be the outcome. Following religious morality is doing what we are told. Religion compels us to be part of an in-group with an unproven promise of eternal reward and an equally ridiculous threat of burning hell for eternity. People who abandon religion require much more moral strength to make their own moral decisions. Most of the religious people are moral for fear of punishment or reward in the after-life. A non-religious person has his or her own reference point of morality.
There are trillions of stars, planets, asteroids, meteors and other bodies in the space. Then there are unknown forces including dead stars, dark matter, antimatter and who knows what else? How these things impinge on the lives of the creature Homo Sapiens is still is in the area of speculation. Hence one may not know nor may care about theology or metaphysics and the so called higher destiny of the human species. Let the God(s) go their way and humans in their way during their very brief existence on earth.
One thing may be crystal clear, one may not have to be burdened by the mumbo jumbo of the clerics/shamans who have free lunches and creature comforts by doing nothing useful to humanity These moochers and social parasites should not be allowed to lord over us and keep us in mental bondage in the name of their God who is supposed to haul all of us over the coals simply because we care to live our way with all our human goodness, frailties and inadequacies. They have taken us for a ride for too long for our comfort. Enough may be enough.
God, if any, may mind it’s business as best it can. It may not be none of our concern. Grateful if it’s devotees allow us to sleep and take rest in the night undisturbed without their ear splitting noisy prayers and rantings and mad crescendo of meaningless cacophony of invocations. Let the unhinged mobs of faithful allow one to move round freely without being waylaid by their processions carrying statues of some suspected saint of foreign origin such as the arrow ridden Sebastian, who is alleged to have been killed by arrows. But arrows and javelins as weapons of war or means of killing had long disappeared by the time of this imaginary character was said to have been killed. If the Romans really finished him off, either his throat would have simply been cut by a sword/ his heart pierced by a lance or he would have been fed to the lions while the commoners of the Rome gleefully watched and enjoyed the bloody and macabre spectacle or resorted to hanging the unwanted lumpen element on a stake or a wayside tree and made to die harrowingly; the victim’s dead body would have been eaten by vultures and other birds of carrion leaving only the bare skeletons for all the rebels to see and learn the bitter lesson for rebellion against Empire.
All the same the clerics have to make money by hook or crook from the foolish believers. Let the superstitious “goats” move about with some toy arrows after paying the prescribed fees. “Deepastambam, mahascharium , namukkum venam panam". How else the cassock wearer will live. He knows no other useful craft for survival.