god(s) isn't
This symbol represents a singular being in the center of it all. That being is the creator, maintainer, and king of life, the universe, and everything. This is the ancient symbol of an idea of daunting historical and cultural weight. This symbol represents god, or gods, or atman, or any of dozens (at least) of similar supreme spirits: buddha-hood, boddhisatvas, saints, demi-gods, wise dead ancestors, or an all encompassing feel-good spirit-of-man.

Alternative, and simpler, explanations for the events spiritual movements are built upon exist, explanations that do not require a supernatural interdiction. It takes a herculean imagination to hold god as a neccessity, or to see evidence for a god's activity. "Herculean" is here used in its figurative sense, not in its Greek ultra-ultra-orthodox sense.

What does a superspirit do? There are many things they are supposed to do, depending on the system being discussed: they make, sustain, and destroy worlds, they are the only spirit that exists but seems to have a personality disorder that makes "us", they are where spirits go once they attain self-knowledge. In other words, this writer is confused by this concept.

Why believe in a superspirit? The problem of origins is often seen as a place for a god to fit. This isn't a universal problem, however. Eastern religious systems generally see the universe as eternal. But both the universe's origins and humankind's origins are understood, at least in outline, in natural terms. Logic or the Syllogism is sometimes cited as a good reason, and who can argue with logic? I am not arguing against Logic or against Syllogisms, I am merely saying I do not assign existential import to your premises. Pop Culture embraces the god-idea, US television and theaters are full of shows expressing various spiritual sentiments. Touched by an Angel, Touched by my Dead Mother (Providence), Touched by a Newspaper (Early Edition), Touched by three sisters who are Witches (Charmed), Touched by the FBI (X-Files), and last on my list, Touched by Satan's Policeman (I think that's what "Spawn" was about, right?). My mother would say, and probably yours too since mothers are like this, "If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?" The correct answer is "No, Mom" (and hang your head too). Similarly, I do not believe the popularity of the god-idea is evidence, especially given the counter evidence. Mystical Events are hard to debunk without slamming a religion, I really don't want to do that. From my little experience with such things (bloody plaster virgins) it appears that once one is debunked, the faithful find another. Then they hang onto that until it, too, is debunked. I'm physically in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; there was a Medugorje-crazed church here that had a bleeding statue, the natural reason (more exactly, tampering) was discovered...even though people know this, there is still a belief in this kind of "miracle". Shroud of Turin... same thing, Crop-Circles...same thing, Y2K...same thing, Equidistant Letter Sequences... same thing . How many times do theists need to be bit to understand the problem?

The Really Good News is: evidence for gods are evidence only if you believe in gods already, but you don't have to accept the "evidence" just because everybody else does. Evidence for gods are not presented without a pattern, but patterns have explanations, including randomness perceived as pattern, and pattern as artifice. A natural cause is not an artificer, but it leaves a pattern perceived as an artifact.

You're not crazy if you doubt god. You're not missing something if you aren't moved by faith promoting rumors that others seem drawn to and you see as coincidence, wishful thinking, or the result of stage-props.

Web-based Resources- natural explanations for supernatural events:

Frequently Encountered Criticisms in Evolution vs. Creationism creating "us" does not need a superspirit | Creation Ex Nihilo creating "everything" does not need a superspirit

Books I'd recommend:

The Masks of God by Joseph Campbell

The Golden Bough by Sir Frazier

The Hero with A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

Back toThe Really Good News

modified: 1/6/00

Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!