What is God to you?

29 Nov

I got this idea from TheSecretAtheist and I thought I’d do something similar here.

The term “God” is used by everybody, but the individual definitions of “God” can vary from person to person, sometimes dramatically. When discussing religion with a person, you can spend hours talking about God, arguing points of faith, and only later realize that both of you are talking about different things when using the term “God.”

So my question to you is this: What is “God” to you? What are the properties of this being? What is he/she/it like? Do you identify with a particular sect? Are your views on God concurrent with this sect’s views? If not, how do you differ?

It is not my intent to attack your view of God in this post. I am simply curious. If you would like to discuss it further, I can create a separate post for that, but this is meant to be a neutral learning post.

I’ll start. For me, when I was a Methodist Christian “God” was the male God of the Bible. He preformed miracles, sent his son (himself) to die for us, he was jealous and wrathful, yet also a loving fatherly figure, he intervened in our daily lives, he had a plan, was all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere. He gave us free will and created everything (including evolution). That’s a rough picture, but you get the idea.

9 Responses to “What is God to you?”

  1. timberwraith November 29, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    I’m an agnostic/atheist, but I can describe the god I believed in as a kid. The god I once believed in was like a stern, unforgiving father figure. He was the creator of everything that exists and as such, he was also the rule giver. If you broke his rules, you’d eventually face his wrath, most likely by going to hell after you died. I was raised to be a Lutheran.

    Why so negative a view of god? Well, I was a gender variant, LGBT child. I knew I was “defective”, I couldn’t change who I was, I realized that god hated who I was, and consequently, I suspected that god would most likely punish me for my corrupted nature.

    Not once did I feel a sense of love, connectedness, and comfort with god. I did feel a sense of fear, dread, and respect.

    I left Christianity in my teens.

    The atheist part of me tends to see organized religion’s concept of deities as nothing more than social constructs. They’re social constructs that hold an important place in people’s lives, but they are still social constructs.

    The agnostic part of me entertains the vague notion that an awareness or set of awarenesses that somehow underlie the existence of life and reality may be possible (or maybe not), but I have no clue as to any details. I haven’t the slightest idea how you could prove or disprove such a vague notion and if such a phenomena does exist, then it must be a part of nature itself.

    Not exactly inspiring stuff, I know. Hopefully, you’ll get more interesting answers from someone who actually believes in a deity. 🙂

  2. godlesspaladin November 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    Hey Timberwraith, thanks for the comment. Your blog looks really interesting so I went ahead and subscribed. 🙂

  3. thesecretatheist November 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    The God I believed in when I was a theist Christian was much like yours. He (male) was a father figure, the creator of the world, the God of Israel, a loving father and friend, the savior of us all. I never actively believed in free-will as I hadn’t learned anything about free-will vs. predestination early on, but later I came to believe that this God had predestined some of us to salvation, that he was 100% in control of every aspect of the universe.

    Now, of course, I have no belief in a god of any sort.

  4. ashleyfmiller November 29, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    When I was a kid I think I believed in Santa Claus and that I was going to hell, but not really anything like God.

    • godlesspaladin November 29, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

      Ok, I’ve spent too long badly photoshoping this, but this is the image that came to mind in response to what you (Ashley) said.

  5. thesecretatheist November 29, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

    Interesting, I can’t imagine believing in a place like Hell without a belief in a deity. How long did you believe that, Ashley?

  6. thesecretatheist November 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    This now reminds me of the evil Santa from futurama.

  7. timberwraith November 29, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    Wow godlesspaladin, I’ll never be able to look at shopping mall Santa again without shuddering. Eeeeesh.

    Thanks for the kind words, btw.

  8. greengeekgirl December 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    When I was young, God was the Daddy I didn’t have (I have a father, he’s not dead–but that’s another story that I already wrote ;). When I got older and wised up a bit, I realized that God, improbable as He is, is an awful tyrant, a cruel master, a vain, egotistical schmuck. If, against all reason, He turned out to be real, I’m quite certain I would hate Him and I know that I couldn’t bring myself to worship such a terrible deity. I see Him as the worst of the worst kind of dictator.

    I try not to debate religion with Christians because of this obvious anger toward the idea of God–really, of course, I’m angry at the people who created this concept, and the people who perpetuate it, who set the impossibly high standards and force people to live in guilt and shame for being human. But I just know they’d try to score a point on that. “If you don’t believe in God, how can you be angry at Him, hurrrrrrr?”

    (I am laughing at myself for capitalizing the H’s–but I’ve done so ever since my atheist husband with a philosophy degree told me that it’s considered rude even among atheists not to use the capitals.)

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