There is not a day that a new calamity does not hit a group of people, destroying their lives and bringing much pain and misery. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, plagues and incurable diseases every day claim their own share of devastations and deaths. “Where is God?” is the unheard cry of the victims of these “acts of God”
God as described in the Semitic religions, is a compassionate, omnipotent, all hearing all seeing god. If that were true, then a god, who witnesses the suffering of his creatures and does not respond to their cry for help, is an unjust, callous, and cruel god. Thousands of children are dying every day around the world by draughts, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters or as we call them the “acts of God”. The victims of these natural “holocausts” cry in desperation, pray with anguish, weep in silence, yet God does not care or is unaware that they need help. What god is this God? Where is his justice? What happened to his claim of being the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful?
This very fact proves:
a) God is not hearing the cry of his creatures,
b) he is incapable of helping them or
c) he is a sadistic merciless, ruthless, tyrant that enjoys watching the suffering of his creatures just as Roman Emperors enjoyed watching people being devoured by lions or killed in coliseums.
If this is the god of this universe, I want no part of it. I abhor a god who is less compassionate than me and therefore inferior to me; who does not feel the pain of his children the way I feel; who cares less of their suffering than I do. If this is the God, then perhaps it is time that we, the mortal humans, send a messenger to him teaching him some of our humanistic values. We could teach him a lesson of Justice, a word of compassion, tell him about helping those that are in need, rescuing those who are in danger, soothing the pain of those who are suffering, saving the world from disease, pain and unnecessary calamities. We probably could even help him to redesign the world. If I was chosen to be a messenger to God, I will tell him that it is unfair to make some of the creatures, meals for others. I will tell him that his justice sucks and his apathy is nauseating.
Yet it seems that none of that bothers the supporters of this god. They say that God can do “whatever he wishes” and no one is to question him and his authority.
Why not? If God made us with the capacity to distinguish between good and evil , to the extent that we, the humans, universally agree that killing and inflicting pain is evil and helping someone in need is good, why should he not live and act by the same standards? If what he wants us to believe as good, is diametrically different to what he does, how are we supposed to know he is good? Isn’t it absurd that he makes us feel sympathy; compassion and love for our fellow human beings, telling us that these are good then he would do exactly the opposite? As Galileo said, “why did he gave us reason, if he wanted us to forgo its use?”
Let us make it clear that we are not talking about God but the god as perceived by Muhammad and the desert religions that inspired him to launch his prophetic career. Muhammad’s perception of God was the same as taught to him by his idol worshipping society. The Mesopotamians and the people of Asia Minor believed in anthropomorphic gods. They made their gods in their own image and similitude. Gods were immortal “people”. They were like men and women, with especial powers. They were supermen and wonder women with the same psyche of their creators, the primitive humans. Each nation adopted one of the gods as their patron and protector, whose job was to give them strength to fight against the enemy who followed other gods. They attributed their victory to the greatness of their god. Messengers of these gods where abounding. They talked to their followers, demanded sacrifices and donations to the priests. (see Leviticus). Eventually people matured and because religion is nothing but the figment of human mind, their concept of God also matured. They could no more believe in a multitude of gods, each competing with the other over the allegiance of the people. So, as different cultures intermingled and international commerce flourished, polytheism gave way to monotheism. For example, although Christ did not think much of the non-Jews comparing them to dogs, (Mat 15:26) Paul his apostle, the salesman of Christianity to the West, modified the religion of his master and changed its exclusivist character to make it palatable to the pagan nations of Europe. He even accepted their “unknown god” to be the same as Yahweh, the god of the Jews (Act 17:22,23). So what Muhammad did was nothing new. He rehashed the monotheistic view that was already accepted by most of the people, including the Hanifies a group who considered themselves, to be the followers of Abraham to which Muhammad belonged. Arabs already believed in Allah. And Allah, whose original name was Enlil, was the chief of many gods, and as the legend has it his throne was over the waters, just as Muhammad described in Quran.
So this god of the Semitic religions is actually an evolution and amalgamation of many gods. Although now most of us have come to believe that monotheism is an indisputable, self-evident fact, its god is nothing but one (or amalgamation of several) of the ancient gods. He is still an anthropoid. He gets angry, becomes happy, rewards, answers the prayers and does pretty much the same things, we humans do. This god as described by Muhammad, is a petty, paranoid, petulant god who is vengeful, unforgiving, irrational and ruthless. Forget about what he CLAIMS to be. Read between the lines and pay attention to what he DOES and commands. His actions speak louder than his words. And his actions are far from those behooving a wise and merciful god.
Is it more reasonable to believe that God is a merciless tyrant as described in the Quran or that the Quran is a false book?
I opt to believe in the second case. I refuse to accept a lunatic god as described in the Quran. I do not believe that Muhammad received any revelation or that he had any knowledge of divine reality.
It is surprising that while so many people admit that there is something unjust in the structure of this world they accept all that injustice under the pretext that God must know what he is doing and we are not to even think of questioning him. Instead of assuming that a merciful God has an esoteric reason for committing horrific acts, the traditional definition of God needs to be replaced.
All the evidence shows that the God as described in the Quran and the Bible is not wise, compassionate and loving, although this is what these books claim. Even if that was true, I cannot believe in a god that is wise, loving and compassionate. And I cannot believe in a god that sends messengers, answers prayers, rewards or punishes. Because in the first case a god that possesses attributes, is being separated from his attributes. A being cannot be infinite unless you and I are part of it. And in the second case, a god that acts is limited in time and in space. What if we did not think of God as wise, but as wisdom? What if we did not view him as loving, but love? What if God was not compassionate but compassion? What if God was not a “being”? What if It was not a “thing”, things have attributes. What if we thought of God as the Principle underlying the creation? What if God was the Reality? Reality is formless, eternal and unchanging. As the Reality, God would not have attributes. It would be the Principle behind the process of creation. It would be the Principle and the creation the process. The Principle does not act. It does not create, it does not send messengers nor is it aware of you, me, and the entire creation. Being aware is an attribute. God has no attributes. Instead God is awareness itself. It is not knowing, but knowledge itself. It is not loving, but love itself.
Note that I did not use the pronoun “he” or “she” to speak of God, but “It”; because God is not a person. “It”, is a Reality. “It”, is the Ultimate Reality.
As the principle God is neither cruel nor kind. It does not answer your prayers and does not need your worshipping. Everything depends on this Principle but the Principle is indifferent towards all things. Just like the Sun, all life on Earth depends on it, yet it has no concerns for those things that it illumines and benefits.
You may ask: how could love exist without a person who could love? If love is seen as a feeling, it cannot exist per se. It needs a feeler. Therefore one cannot speak of cosmic Love without acknowledging the existence of a cosmic being or a personal god. But a personal god, as I explained in my articles on God, is a logical impossibility. The love that I speak of is not the love as a feeling but as a principle. Feelings cannot exist without feelers, but principles exist independent of everything.
Let me explain this with a simpler principle. Take the example of the law of gravity. Gravity as a force cannot exist without the existence of masses. Where there are no masses, there is no gravity and there is no weight. But gravity as a principle or as a law exists independent of masses. The law of gravity existed before the creation of this universe and will exist when this universe ceases. If there are other universes (which I see no reason why not) this principle must apply there too.
The principle is independent; it is eternal and immutable. Objects, however, manifest those principles in different degrees and forms.
Love as a principle exists independently. Objects reflect that principle and the more complex and evolved objects manifest it with more strength. Many animals and especially humans are capable of manifesting love in its most advanced form. What we experience as love is feeling. This feeling cannot manifest itself without us and it will disappear when we no longer exist. But Love as the principle exists forever.
Another example is True knowledge. One can ask how can knowledge exist without a knower? But we humans do not invent knowledge we discover it. False knowledge is not knowledge but is based on false assumptions. Knowledge as a principle exists even before we learn it and it would exist even when no one can discover it. 3 x 2 = 6. This is a fact. Whether we know it or we don’t; whether we agree with it or we don’t, this fact won’t change. Because mathematics is a principle! It does not have physical existence but it is not subjective either. It is a reality. Realities or principles exist independently without having any “form” of existence. The entire creation depends on them. They are the laws of the creation. They are HOW the creation came to be and HOW it evolves and HOW it is going to come to an end. They are HOW and everything else is WHAT! The love that you and I experience and feel, is a manifestation of the cosmic Love that exists as a Principle of this universe. Just as our bodies feel the gravity, our hearts feel the love. But just as gravity is a principle that exists independent of our bodies, love too exists independent of our hearts and any being. These are all my opinions. You don’t have to believe or accept them. I do not wish to promote a philosophy but rather ask questions and make you think. It is up to you to question the validity of your own beliefs, “doubt everything and find your own light”.
By Ali Sina