Which came first the chicken or the egg? This philosophical question, first recorded by Aristotle around 350 BC, has long been used to debate the origin of man. The dilemma of the chicken and the egg draws attention to the fact that either something always was or else it was created by something in its current state. While this is a fascinating exercise, what if we questioned, using the same structure, the origin of God and man. The controversial question that deserves to be asked by anyone would be such; Which came first God or Man? Unlike the chicken and egg, these are not cyclical and therefore do not produce each other over and over. Either God created Man or Man created God. Essentially this is the age old question of creation versus evolution or theism versus atheism. As there is plenty of material covering both of these ideas, I would like to explore a less popular alternative.
Much has been said about God’s creation of Man so no doubt we are all well versed in that theory. However, there is much less content available pertaining to Man’s creation of God, at least not from within the christian perspective. If nothing else, it deserves some investigation if one truly does want to incorporate some intellectual thought into their beliefs and not simply subject them to the presupposed position of organized religion. Even if one chooses to denounce such a suggestion, it is always wise to understand why from a philosophical stand point.
Perhaps the first task at hand is to overcome the shock derived from the insinuation that not only might have Man created God, but also that it is implied this could be encapsulated with the christian perspective. To accomplish this we must remember that the scriptures are loaded with the idea that Christ’s message was considered outrageously blasphemous and counter-intuitive and unless we recognize it as potentially such presently, we risk diluting its meaning and purpose. Also, to be vigilant, one must consider the danger, not only of that which is foreign, but that which is comfortable and thereby easily overlooked or under evaluated.
A wise man once asked me, what if God is only an idea? In other words, what if we created God and he is but a figment of our imagination? I would guess that most of the Christians I know will find that idea outrageous. And rightly so for this idea stands diametrically opposed to the traditional thinking which we have been taught. It is only normal to have this kind of reaction when facing something that opposes our fundamental beliefs. Never the less, I invite you to step away from your tightly held opinions momentarily and think critically, as if for the first time, about this possibility. I understand that this is a difficult task and most, if not all, will not only fail to be able to withdraw far enough to be unbiased, but will completely disavow the entire notion. Still I feel this is a useful exercise.
In a debate, once we had gotten beyond all the biblical reasons for negating this idea, the next reason would be that of the experienced God. In this phase there would be examples of feeling Gods presence, hearing his voice, seeing physical evidence of him and experiencing his love. Here in this place I encountered an undeniable truth followed by an earnest question. They are as follows. God is real but does he exist? The paradox seems impossible but let me explain through this comparison. Is love real? Virtually everyone on the planet would answer that question with a yes. The reasons given would be quite similar to those given to argue Gods case. Surely everyone has felt love for or from someone, heard words of love spoken and seen what love has accomplished. So then does love exist? Again most would agree it does. However, though love is real, it does not exist. The only place love exists is within the confines of our minds. It is merely an idea with no physical attributes at all. The state of loves expression relies entirely on how each person relates to it individually. It is dominated by the reaction of the emotional mind and controlled by the tolerances surrendered to it. Interestingly, although love does not exist physically, it is one of the most powerful ideas the mind can conceive and utilize. When minds are united by love humans are capable of unthinkable accomplishments. A man driven by love can posses motivation and determination to overcome the greatest obstacles.
Perhaps it is possible to see how it is not so absurd to view God it this same manner. In the scriptures it is expressed that God is Love. Think about that again for a moment. I would suggest that perhaps if God is Love then Love is God. Do they not work in much the same fashion? Of course this view of God does not explain a large portion of the scriptures and I will not attempt an explanation at this time. This may sound like complete heresy and perhaps it is. Regardless I have found it to be an interesting thought process that stretches far beyond the writings here.
What use is there in thinking of God in this way? One might argue that if God is only an idea then he would be useless and powerless yet we see the usefulness and power of love. One philosopher suggested Humankind created God because we needed God. We needed something to project all the positive attributes of humanity on that no human could posses individually at any given time. There are perhaps many ways in which this thinking of God could be viewed as positive or negative. I think one positive is that it would obliterate any ulterior motives to one becoming a Christian. If the Christians goal was purely to be Love to a broken world solely because Love (God) had the power to transform it into beauty; If they did that regardless of the benefit that might be bestowed upon them, and because to be that love would begat them experiencing that Love reciprocated, would that be to experience God?
Perhaps Godless Christianity would be more Godly than the godless expression that dominates an abundance of God fearing communities.