July 19, 2011

Are You There, Sylis? It's Me, God.

Note: I've started writing this post in some form or another several times over the last few weeks. They were all scrapped due to my utter inarticulate...ness? Here goes nothing.

It's the oldest question in the world: is there a God? Should god be capitalized? Does he care? Or, should I ask if she cares? Would he/she care if his/her name was capitalized? After all, if you're god, I think you'd be accomplished enough to not worry about the semantics of your name when it's printed on The Watchtower. If there is a god, he/she is definitely Anti-Semantic. Deal with it.

I'm always up for a good debate. And this is probably the best one you can have. But it seems people are incapable of using the rational brain that god allegedly gave them when it comes to discussing that very god.

I should clarify, this isn't about the existence (or lack thereof) of god. If there were clear, concrete evidence on either side, this debate would cease. People don't debate the existence of trees, rocks and Lady Gaga, do they? No.

The point of this post is about the uncomfortable discussion of whether there is or isn't a god. In the interest of full disclosure, I was raised Roman Catholic. If you don't believe me, I've saved the guilt to prove it. As I've gotten older, and put a lot of thought and energy into the idea of what god really is, I've realized I just don't fall in line with any one set of beliefs. That's not to say I think the Catholic Church is right or wrong. I'm not nearly smart enough to make that decision.

I recognize that I don't know everything. Hell, in the grand scheme, I hardly know anything. Same as most people. So I try not to speak with a tone of authority on these matters. Yet, when someone is speaking in favor of there being a god, they are telling you that, yes, 100%, there IS a god. They speak with such conviction and authority, surely they must have absolute proof to make such an important, life altering claim. So I ask them what their proof is. And invariably, the answer is faith. Well, faith is a great thing. I really mean that. It can be all we have to get through the day at times. That the next day will be better. Sometimes we need faith to trust that our significant other isn't fooling around on us. But I'll be god damned if I'm going to base my entire life, and thus my after life, on the notion of faith.

Again, let me be clear. I am in no way denigrating anyone's belief system. This is a cold, disappointing, horrible world. And whatever it takes to get through is ok by me. I find most major religions to have some fantastic points. But I just don't find myself lining up with any one belief system enough to submit myself wholly to it. If others do, that's great. And frankly, in a way, I'm envious of them. It's got to be incredibly comforting to have the knowledge that you're on the right team. I wouldn't know.

So, I suppose my question is faith. If one can use faith as an argument for god's existence, then surely the opposing view can use it as well, right? And if that's true, then aren't we just bogging ourselves down in a philosophical circle jerk that will never end? We're using the same weapon to shoot each other, and nobody is conceding defeat. Because of faith. Something this frustrating is considered a good thing? Again, to my uneducated brain, any god worth her salt wouldn't make it so hard to follow her. If she did, she's a tease, and nobody likes a tease.

What I picture god as being is the supremely confident being that needs no worship or praise. It is self assured. Its existence is validation of its greatness. Genderless, nameless, formless. It takes no part in our suffering. It understands that we will never understand its ways, and thus doesn't press the issue. It's not some temperamental brat subject to human whims of anger or hurt ego. It does not inflict harm upon its creations to prove a point that it knows we could never understand. For it to strike down upon us would be to strike down upon itself. Also, it's not for sale. It can't be bought by our pathetic bartering for its favors. It knows we will go back on our word. And we will offer an apology that means nothing to it. If we choose to acknowledge its existence, it doesn't care if we're in a mosque, synagogue or church. It doesn't care if we're on our knees, or if our hands are clasped in the proper fashion.

I would think it would prefer we do good to each other because it's in our nature, as it created us, to do good. Not to chase the carrot on the end of the stick. It doesn't need you to get offended by what others say about it, but it understands why you do. It wishes we didn't kill each other in its name, but again, understands that we as humans don't understand, and thus we kill. There is nothing a human can say against it to offend it, as we're its own creation. There are zero human qualities to it. That's what makes it perfect.

All of this could seem ridiculous to you. Again, it's strictly my idea of what god is. Even the name god...that's a human thing. God was around before any life form, time immemorial. I bet dinosaurs had no need to name their origin. Humans, though, we need to categorize things. "This is a shoe, that's a book, this is a god." It offers comfort through its certainty.

I sense I've gone a bit astray with my intention when I started writing this. So let me wrap this up with minimal meandering. I think there is far too much evidence to call everything coincidence. Whatever you believe in, if it gets you through your day, week, year or life without harming others, then I'm truly happy for you. But I think we all need a bit of open mindedness when it comes to discussing god (among other things) and a realization that not everyone believes what you do. That makes them no less religious or spiritual.

god bless you.



  1. I think the convention of capitalizing God/He/Him/His started in the Victorian Era. Glad I could help.

  2. Not surprised. The only good thing to come from the Victorian Era is Jack the Ripper.