“What is your concept of God?” asks Carl Sagan – part 2
In my earlier post, I mentioned that my understanding of God improved after reading Carl Sagan’s book. I also believe that overall scientific advancement historically improved human understanding of God. For example, I vaguely remember reading, as a kid, a Hindu mythological story that thunder is caused by God Indra, riding his chariots in heaven. Similarly, in olden days, there were multiple natural phenomena attributed to God’s anger, sorrow, happiness etc., Once some of the natural phenomena were explained by science a better understanding prevailed.
What is a better understanding?
In my opinion, a better understanding is when more people: culturally, geographically and religiously, can agree on a topic or subject. Most times the topic could be in the purview of science but since the understanding of God is outside of that, can we apply this same principle?
A better understanding can be closer to truth and if we can make diverse folks agree on a concept then there is a possibility that we could be inching towards the truth. We all know that every religion and every sect within a religion, does not have the same understanding of the concept of God. So, how can more people who are from different religions, cultures, and nations agree on a single or similar concept of God? This is a very difficult question for which we first need a framework.
Framework for the concept of God
For the framework to be meaningful and successful, it needs to be all-inclusive. An all-inclusive framework should include believers of different faiths as well as agnostics and atheists. This way the model, in this case the concept of God can be tested from multiple perspectives. However, including atheists in the discussion of God may seem counterproductive when an atheist does not believe in any God. But, here is how we can address that dilemma.
It is so easy to prove an existence. All you have to do is ask to be shown the object that exists. If someone cannot make that object appear then you can pretty much say that the object does not exist. As simple as that.
Taking this simple example, it is easy to disprove the existence of God. All any atheist has to to do is ask a theist to show God, the God who has created the universe in which the earth that we live, looks like a pale blue dot from 4 billions miles away. I am guessing no theist in recent times, has proven the existence of God by making God appear in front of the atheist. So, instead of getting into an argument of God’s existence, we all can agree that for most people it is a matter of faith. Faith in the unseen.
In other words, we can take away the argument of God’s existence and start the discussion on, if God were to exist then what are the characteristics of this existence? The answer/s to this question can become a common framework. A framework that can include religion and science. As we all know, science solves one mystery and at the same time unleashes more mysteries for future scientists to solve. So, science can provide the knowledge of the known universe and religion can fill the void opened up by scientific advancement.
When the argument is framed in this manner then the atheist can participate in the discussion and if nothing else, can at least confirm the void created by scientific advancement. So, it is imperative for the framework to include all opinions and the crux of the framework is to engender a discussion on the characteristics of God and stop the argument about the existence of God.
In my next post, I will try to discuss the characteristics of God that most of us can agree on.
Thanks for reading, have a nice day!