A recent visitor to my blog who goes by the user name Budha left a comment that was actually more of an invitation to view his site and engage in what he hoped would be a substantive discussion about "God concepts." Being curious, I checked out his site and his three latest posts having to do with this enticing subject.
There were a number of comments from thoughtful contributors suggesting various definitions of "God." Some were rather ethereal and defended the popular concept of God as the omnipotent and omniscient presence so many of us were brought up to believe was true. Others were clearly skeptical and mindfully critical of traditional God concepts.
(As a rule, I resist the urge to take part in "commentary wars" on blog sites, but the tone of most of the discourse on this site was very civil. Though many no doubt held strongly to their views, the discussion avoided deteriorating into mindless flaming, which is a prerequisite for my participation.)
But did I have anything of value to contribute? What, in fact, was my understanding of the concept of God? After some initial trepidation, I decided to accept the challenge of quantifying this idea in my mind and leaving a brief comment.
What were the essential components of my understanding of "god?" My nearly life-long process of attempting to construct a concept that both reflected my true feelings on the matter and offered a meaningful convention for others led me to submit (and properly credit) something that was actually not my own original idea. The most meaningful explanation I have come across for so many people's insistence upon God's reality comes from none other than Sigmund Freud.
Freud essentially posited the following: "...owing to feelings of helplessness and guilt, the need for security and forgiveness arises, so man creates for himself an entity that can provide precisely these things." In other words, "religion is seen as childish delusion and atheism as grown up realism." (Sigmund Freud: Religion as Wish Fulfillment) God, therefore, is rightly understood to be a construct of the imagination, and its creation is artfully explained as a 'necessity' arising out of psychological considerations.
I closed my comment to Budha's God Concepts, Part 3 with the following: "So where do I turn in times of need? To my fellow man. If I've developed a 'faith' in anything, it is in our ability as human beings to provide the love, solace and comfort we so often need from one another."
Thank you, Sigmund Freud, for a God concept I can work with.
2 years ago