What’s So Special About the Word “God”
Andrew Sullivan has been posting for the last couple weeks on a news article that talked about scientists who identified a chemical in hallucinogenic mushrooms that can trigger spiritual feelings. Much of the discussion that followed focused on the differences between scientific and spiritual interpretations. It’s made for really great reading as many of Sully’s atheist and scientifically inclined readers have made there opinions known.
Sully closed out today’s edition with is note:
But what if the universe being conscious of itself is a workable definition of God? In which case, we are indeed made in the image of God but our consciousness is limited by our humanity, by the “fall”. I find far less conflict between these spiritual experiences and the religions that feel threatened by them than others do.
Okay seriously, what is the deal with the word “god” that everyone is so attached to? I mean how many different and new ways to define god are out there.
God is “love”.
God is “nature”.
What about “the universe”? Couldn’t that be god?
Well… no. We already have perfectly fine words for those… “love”, “nature”, and “the universe”. Why do we need to call those things god too?
Do people realize that by being so quick to call anything and everything god, that the word god loses any and all semblance of meaning and explanatory power. I’m pretty sure that a conscious universe is not what Christians pray to at church, or what Hindus pray to in temple. Why are some people so contented with such a nebulous and ambiguous definition of what “god” is.
It seems that “god” is less a noun and more of a… a fraternity pin. A kind of badge that you wear to symbolize that you’re part of a group. Or the password needed to enter an exclusive club.
“I believe in ‘god’ so I’m like you”. Nevermind what that “god” actually is or how radically and exclusively different it is from anyone elses picture of “god”. You said the right words so you’re okay.