God is Almighty, but not perfect

During the break at home, one of the books I read was ‘Outcast’ by Winwood Reade. What I understood of the philosophy of ‘God’ of one of the characters described in the book was something I found interesting.

Now I must put a disclaimer before I go ahead that I do not know anything of the existing literature of philosophy on this or any other matter that has troubled human mind since eternity. Nor do I see myself getting interested in Philosophy in forseeable future for reasons which I will avoid stating here. So, if any of my philosophy oriented readers find the idea hardly novel, they may please excuse me. At the same time, if such readers want to get into a discussion, I do not guarantee my participation. I know there are open questions, but they do not interest me enough. I will be a silent spectator, though I have no objections if a discussion follows here. So long as it is within limits of civility and you know, other etiquittes. Finally it does not exclude the possibility of my getting into a discussion either. It depends on my mood, the line of discussion (if there is one at all), and whether or not BMP decides to dig the road in front of my office/home (unpredictable as weather!).

Okay, the disclaimer might have gone longer than the actual point I was making. The idea there was that this world is a drama (hardly novel :D); not in a metaphorical sense, but in a real one. There is a species, which has its civilization and society and everything else, like we humans have. They have their art-forms too. One of the art-forms is the drama. So, one day one of the drama-writers has decided to make the earth as his stage and story of the earth’s and earthly creatures’ evolution (as we know it) as the plot of the drama. The difference between their drama and ours is that they have the ability to put in lives in their characters. So, while the drama goes on all the pain or happiness or the suffering is real. Though everything vanishes once the drama is over. So, this writer decides to stage this drama and the theme of his drama is evolution of goodness, respect for life and other humane quality from utter bruteness and callousness of the nature of creatures. Whether this evolution was a good story or not, but that drama-writer or the creator had complete control over the characters. In fact, in the review by a magazine (yeah – they had those too), this drama was highly criticized for several reasons including the pains it had given to its characters. The author was blamed for not utilizing the power of putting in life in his characters in a proper and responsible manner.

Now, you get the idea? What does this translate into from humans’ point of view. There is a power above us, which is almighty. Almighty, not in the absolute sense, but in the sense that it has complete powers over us, humans. There are powers above this one too. Further there is no guarantee that this almighty is fair, perfect, all kindness. He/She has just knitted a story; and a story can be tragic, can be painful, can be unfair and what not. It is very likely that this creator suffers from ego problems, some kind of frustration or complex and by exercising his power over his characters, he is trying to get rid of those feelings.

Looking at the state of the world, the history and things around us, to me this sounds like an interesting idea. I have alway found it difficult to accept that there is no power above us. If things are running despite our not knowing them (we are discovering nature’s laws only with time, that too with no certainty that they will not prove to be wrong in due course of time), there has to be something/someone who put them in place and is making sure that they are observed. Again some people have questioned as to why must there be a cause. I do not have an answer, but this counter question does not satisfy me. So, there is a power that is above us is a feeling I can not get rid of. Now, whether that power is indeed what religions would want us to believe – nice, kind, fair, endowed with all goodness and perfection – is something questionable. We see enough of injustice around us, don’t we? And while there are theories explaining all that, they all seem forced justifications. So, God might not be perfect after all.

Of course, even this would leave several open questions, would lead to several other interpretations. On the lighter side, may be all these karmakanda intended to appease the God are not so ridiculous :). He need not be a rational being after all. Might be vulnerable to appeasements!! On a more serious side, there seems to be hierarchy of authorities and drama. Where does it end? Is there a supreme power sitting at the end? In that case, it still makes sense to search for that supreme power. Or is it an infinite series of power? Is there some interpretation of God being anadi (having no beginning) and ananta (having no end) then?

Well, I end here. If readers find/think of something interesting/not interesting, they are welcome to share it.

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About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started Pothi.com, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe (http://instascribe.com) with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: https://jayajha.wordpress.com Twitter: @jayajha Facebook: http://facebook.com/MovingOnTheBook

17 thoughts on “God is Almighty, but not perfect

  1. Quite nice, but I would like to put it in the other way around. That is, each real character of this drama has written his/her own drama (this one being metaphorical :D). Sometimes this metaphorical drama is either written or endorsed by a group of people(read the group as relegion).

    So, all such metamorphical dramas have got a character called GOD. Each such drama has its own interpretation of this character. Some dramas say it is a real character and is almighty, some say it is an infinite series of power ;), some say it is a stupid/unfair/etc-etc character… and some dramas say that this charater does not exist at all.

  2. @Abhaga: But then we have the power to think/imagine that somebody has(or has_not)the power to give life. So that also makes the difference.

  3. Just to add to my previous post – by ‘power to think’ i meant that we have created the concept of god…so, in a way giving life to the character I mentioned in my first comment. So, God has been given life by humans. (of course, some humans prefer not to give life to this character)

  4. Comment from Pushyamitra

    God is an excellent cook and world (duniya) is his best recipe. Earth is his cooking pot and all living creatures are indigents. All emotions love, hater, violence, lifter, sorrow.. are masala. And he is busy in preparing his best recipe by using all masala for creating wonderful test. He is not in mood to make a sweet dish only, he has planed to tear out the guest with mirchi.(because, Isque aur meet main aanshoo na nikle to kya maja) He wants to create mitali by using khatai. Test less rice and pluses are also in his mind. Therefore he is busy in creating deferent spices like George bush, saddam hussain, osama bin laden, maria sarapowa, Stephen Spielberg, amitabh bachchan, salmaan khan, laloo yadav, medha patekar, Gabriela gorsie markhej, sachin tendulker, saurabh ganguli, shahbuddin, shiv khera, baba ramdeo, anil and mukesh ambani, mallika serawat, praveen togariya, uma bharati, atal bihari bajpayi, dawood ibrahim, abu salem, pappu yadav. By reading these names u could fe!
    el the sense of variety of god. He is not serious about our problems, his real concern is about his recipe. We are always crying on god, like yaar bahut garam hai, heat to kam karo. or kitana time lete ho humlog bore ho rahe hai. But he doesn’t notice on it. And in between some philosopher are saying leave everything on god, he knows what to do and how.

  5. oops ! I forgot to close my XHTML tags. Let me try again. And Jaya, please feel free to delete my previous comment.

    If things are running despite our not knowing them (we are discovering nature’s laws only with time, that too with no certainty that they will not prove to be wrong in due course of time), there has to be something/someone who put them in place and is making sure that they are observed.Again some people have questioned as to why must there be a cause. I do not have an answer, but this counter question does not satisfy me.

    One advantage, IMHO, the atheists have is that atheism is falsifiable. You just need to show the ultimate cause to falsify their claim. Whereas the people who do believe in God believe in a predominantly unfalsifiable claim (and the falsifiable part of religions(cosmology, creation myths etc.) have mostly been falsified). Of course, we can always argue whether falsifiability is an important criterion for a non-scientific enterprise like theology.

    The one major “prediction” of theism that can be falsified, but is not falsified is the one you mention- there seems to be an underlying “order” to our universe. But, as I struggle to understand more and more of it, one thing that strikes me is that this order is more subtle than most people think.

    I mean, whenever I look at something like quantum mechanics and look back at the various things about God that people have come up with, I can’t help remarking how “human”, how limited and how naive our conception of God is- I would expect the God of quantum mechanics(if ever he/she/it exists) to be much more subtle and esoteric than any religion has ever imagined. It is in that sense that I think AS is right in saying above that “we have created God”.

    To say that

    It is very likely that this creator suffers from ego problems, some kind of frustration or complex and by exercising his power over his characters, he is trying to get rid of those feelings.

    for example, sounds as too much of an anthropomorphism to me. That God is more like “human” than say an electron or a big star, That God works via ego problems and frustrations rather than say Pauli’s exclusion principle doesn’t make any sense to me. I think this kind of arguments are a clear case of the same self-centric thinking that misled us to believe for example that earth is the centre of our universe.

    It is because of these “reasons” that I think religions are completely useless when it comes to understanding God. They are useful for many other things- for inspiring art and culture, for giving us a framework to organise our already-present morality etc. and they form an essential part of our social life. But, whenever they start talking with authority about the nature of God and nature, they have just led to superstitions and wars, countless arguments which in retrospect are complete junk and which betray the fact that they know not what they are talking about.

    OK, it’s enough of rambling already for a subject notorious for being a topic leading nowhere 🙂

  6. One of the problems in understanding “God” is that we are trying to understand it by using our human mind which is very limited in power and imagination. Using it, there is no way we can make sense of something much more complex like “God”. We cannot use a scale to weigh itself. May be, if humans evolve to become super-humans, we might have a chance.

  7. Limited? Human Mind? If that were true, we would be in the dark ages.

    Complex? God? How is that?

    Human mind created god. If there hadnt been pundit warriors in india, or the genius of a shepherd, or a messiah in the desert sands of Arabia, would god have existed?

    We have given him form, ironically justifying a quid pro quo.

  8. “God” is just a convenient name for that power which created this universe, this Earth, this life. You can call it Nature, if you want. The point is that this power is beyond human understanding as yet. When Einstein introduced his theory of relativity back in 1906, only three people in the world could understand it. Talk about complexity. We humans have a long way to go yet.

  9. That is really rediculous,unfair to say that human mind has created the God . This is the only power whome man can to think to touch even.And I dont understand that why humans are not ready to accept that there is someone who is more powerful than us? Atleast we can leave God out of any such discussion.

  10. Who thought of god first? To that person we owe the concept of god.

    Who decided jesus should be his son, or that shiva should be on kailash and vishnu on seshnag?

    The human mind is limitless in its imagination, and hence is capable of creating everything. Including god.

    Then we also create a sort of reverence where it would hurt our sensibilities to even talk about him. So, its best to leave him out of discussions, though for some weird reason I can never stop asking why. To anything and everything.

  11. I am afraid that lot of people claiming “god is our creation” are not differentiating between the concept religions have given us and the basic concept that there is a power above human. Yes – Jesus, Shiva or Vishnu are our creation… But the concept that there is something above us (for which I have used the convenient word “God” here) can not be done away with as easily. You may not believe even in this concept. But it can not be disregarded in the same breath as the concepts given by religions.

  12. “There’s just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds and expectations, to burst open and give us everything we’ve ever imagined.”

    —“The Hours” by Michael Cunningham


  14. Ok God is the supreme power etc etc, but why the creation?? What were his intentions to take the pain of creating this diverse a creation. Is it just a way to dispel boredom of eternity? Are we being used by god for his entertainment?

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