“God is a concept by which we measure our pain” – John Lennon

Through the ages mankind has defined and redefined its concept of God. Mine has its roots in western Christianity, and through this site I'd like to examine it and other world religions - past and present. By studying the history and roots of religious beliefs I hope to gain a better understanding of their place in my world today – and what life and the concept of God means to me.

Monday, January 16, 2006

What is God?

What is God? What is religion? These are big questions - and they are questions we will come back to again and again, directly and indirectly. Looking at the second question first, it can be said that religion is a human manifestation. It is man made. Whether or not there is a God or some type of supernatural beings, there would be no religion related to them if mankind did not exist and feel a need for it.

And mankind, as far as we can tell, has always felt a need for religion in some form. A primitive society without some form of religion has never been found. Why? Because life was hard. And what separated man from all the other animals on this planet was the ability to think about it and communicate those thoughts. Primitive people worried, and they were able to share those worries. What problems they couldn’t solve by their own efforts they needed to look elsewhere to solve. They needed to access the powers that seemed to control their destiny and convince those powers to be friendly to them.

As cultures grew, they expressed their beliefs differently. But all peoples had in them a religious tendency, an instinct if you will, to reach out to something they couldn’t see. Something that could hopefully change their condition – physical and spiritual. And this, I believe, is religion. What God is is another question entirely. If there were no religions before man, was there a God? That question reminds me about the tree in the forest. If it falls and no one is around, does it make a sound? I believe it does.

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