Sunday, September 6, 2015

God Definition - no Delusion

Sometime back, I watched a dialog / debate between a American Christian theologian turned atheist and an India Theoretical Physicist turned spiritual master.   The Indian is a man I respect for his knowledge and wisdom.  The topic was given as God and Science.  The mediator and organizers were all learned people; so I was expecting a serious discussion if not a debate.

Since it was a huge disappointment, I'm not linking to that content.  The debate was a dud even from the word go.  The American played up the body language, legs put up, nonchalant and treated the other person with disrespect.  The Indian was  polite and humble, in spite of his education and achievements.

I realized that they were speaking two different languages.  This blog is an attempt to get my thoughts organized in such a way that an atheist understands what - for want of a better word - the other person means.

First - the definition of the word - God.  In India, this term is used freely - to refer to the millions of Gods and also cricketers, movie stars, politicians and what not.  So, there is no special status for the word God.  So, the term doesn't refer to the super-almighty  or even the manifestation of unconditional love as a Westerner interprets.  Parents are Gods, teachers are, trees, cows, rivers, mountains - anything to which we show gratitude is a God.  This is just one definition.

To an average Indian, God is an entity designated for his personal comfort.  This God can be loved, hated, mocked, chided, even ignored.  The God doesn't give them any commandments or diktats, but just a sense of comfort.  This suits Indians, who are in general against rules.

How did we arrive at millions of Gods?  We have a long history, large land and a long coastline.  With no rule to restrict the creation of Gods, we create Gods.  Local heroes and heroines were designated as Gods in villages.  The annual festivities for these deities ensure social participation and lots of fun.  As people moved from place to place, they created more sophisticated deities.  Typically, a family has more than one family deity - even if the family chooses any spiritual / religious ideologies.   Recently, my son created his God in a three-piece suite with a MacBook Air in His hand.

Do we need to prove that this God exists?

I do not think so.  This God is a creation of man, for his support.  This God is personal and doesn't need a proof.