All religions have their own God(s) and they are all different. And every person who believes in God(s) has a different understanding of who or what it is. Atheists don’t believe in any God, hence the name Atheist. Most of the bristle when someone use the G-word in a way that isn’t demeaning. However – if we are going to have a discussion about God – what are we talking about? What really is the definition of God? Is there a definition of God that makes sense even to Atheists? A definition of God that even scientists can agree on? Turns out – there is!
Science, logic, and reason are actually very new concepts. Not that they didn’t exist before, but that science as a discipline is only a few hundred year old. We in this generation really have not appreciation of what a world before science was like. A world where the Earth was flat, the sky was up, and humans understood very little about the Reality we live in. It was a world where the concept of Reality didn’t exist. But evolution favors the smart and those who understood Reality better tended to survive. It is in our genes to want to know Reality because those who didn’t understand Reality didn’t survive as well.
But Reality is a modern term born in the age of science. Back then they didn’t have a word for Reality – so they call it God. God, it turns out, is just a personification of Reality. And that’s the definition I’m going with here. And I assert that defining God as a personification of Reality is the only definition that makes sense. And personifying Reality in some ways actually makes sense to the meat computers we call our brains.
Now – to be clear, I am not saying that God is real. I know that no matter how many times I say that there will be religious people who read this and insist that “an Atheist is admitting God is real.” That is NOT the case. And there are Atheists who are going to squirm at the idea and not like playing word salad with established definitions. I understand that. So I’m asking everyone to read and understand what I’m talking about here because if you evolve Atheism and Theism forward – there is a common future. And that common future is understanding that God isn’t the invisible cloud being, God is a personification of Reality. And early religion was a very primitive form of science. So I’m not advocating that Christian convert to Atheism, I’m advocating that Christians upgrade to Realism. Reality is the new God. Evidence is our scripture. And Science is how we worship God.
Similarly, Atheism is knowing everything about nothing. In a perfect world the world Atheist becomes meaningless. Atheism is dependent on Reality because without Reality there would be no place for God not to be real in. The very term Atheist is flawed because it keeps God in the center of the religious dialog. Religion is not about God, religion is about your relationship to Reality. Now that relationship to reality might be a hostile relationship, but Reality is the center of the universe and we need to start talking about religion and non-religion in terms of Reality. Believers are believers of Reality. Non-believers are those who reject Reality. It’s not about God(s), it’s about Reality!
Now – the interesting think about looking at God as a personification of Reality is that now a lot of what religions say makes sense. For example, God, by definition is the biggest thing in the universe. God is everywhere, omnipresent. That describes Reality, and only Reality. Nothing can be bigger than God, nothing can be bigger than Reality. God is the sum total of everything that exists. Reality is the sum total of everything that exists. God is Truth. Reality is the very definition of Truth. If you turn your back on God you shall die. If we ignore Reality we will go extinct. Substitute Reality for God and a lot of this makes sense.
And – if you have a different definition of God – like the God of the Bible – or the god of the Koran, that definition is at best obsolete. My God, as a personification of Reality will always be bigger and more real than your God. And if my God is bigger then your God isn’t really God. So, if you believe in God, but your God isn’t a personification of Reality, you’re worshiping the WRONG GOD. If you are going to use the term God correctly in a way that makes logical sense then you have to realize than my God is the one true God. It’s time for you to Upgrade to Reality.
Personification is actually a useful tool because it can make complex questions easier to visualize by our meat computers. For example, let’s personify evolution and call it “Darwin”. Darwin is the personification of one of the fundamental laws of the universe, evolution.
So – what does Darwin want us to do? What is Darwin telling us about who we are, where we have been, and where we are going in the future? When we look at the fossil record we see that an asteroid took out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. So Darwin is asking us, “How’s that space program coming?” If we fail to develop a space program the big asteroid is going to wipe us out too. Why did Elon Musk start SpaceX? Because Darwin told him to do it.
Evolution is about what survives, So one can say Darwin wants you to live. Darwin loves you! We all know that in 500 million years the Sun will be so hot that it boils off the oceans, and all life on this planet will be gone. The only hope that Gaia has to survive is if humanity moves out into space. Darwin wants us to evolve and leave this planet. Darwin is our father. Darwin created us. Darwin wants us to continue to evolve. Darwin wants us to Live in Right Relationship with Reality.
So the Atheists might be asking, why bother with this nonsense? The universe isn’t a person. It doesn’t have purpose. Oh really?
We are the universe. The universe evolved into us. It created us through evolution. Was there a mind there that did it on purpose? No – at least not until now. But things without a mind can still have an apparent will or purpose. For example, we say that a plant “wants to grow towards the light.” But a plant doesn’t have a mind, so it can’t “want” in the way humans can. But it still grows toward the light. Evolution favors the smart, so in the same sense that a plant wants to grow towards the light the universe wants to evolve and create intelligent life. And on this planet we are the life that the universe created. Think of us as the brain cells of the universe. We are the universe’s mind. And when we contemplate the universe, the universe is contemplating itself through us.
Why do Atheists care what other people don’t believe in? What is the meaning of meaning? What does living a good life mean in a world ruled by pure science and logic? Is morality scientifically determinable? How do we objectively determine right and wrong? These are questions that Atheism doesn’t answer; questions that need to be answered. These are religious questions, and we need to be looking at Reality based religion to answer these questions. So the notion that all religions are wrong may apply to all current religions. But what if there is the “one true religion?” The religion that actually gets it right. What would that religion look like? It would be the religion that believes in what is actually real. It would be the religion that puts the pursuit of the understanding of reality as it really is first. It would be the religion that defined the meaning of meaning. It would be a religion that is discovered, not invented. What would such a religion be?
Welcome to Religion 3.0. Welcome to the Evidential Reformation. Religion 1.0 was the authority of elders. When humans invented writing it created Religion 2.0, the authority of scripture. writing allowed the stories to be preserved more accurately than word of mouth. But it solidified an early description of Reality that was state of the art in it’s day. but is obsolete now. Religion 3.0 is the authority of evidence. It is the study of Reality as it really is. The pursuit of the one true God. Science is the new Bible.
So instead of Theists and Atheists arguing about the existence or non-existence of various gods it’s time for both sides to upgrade to Religion 3.0. If you are going to worship God, why not worship the right God? Why not turn to the One True God, understanding God to be a personification of Reality? And if you’re an Atheist, why bother reading the Bible and obsessing over God? It’s kind of creepy. It’s like stalking your ex-wife. And why define who you are and what you believe in terms of something that doesn’t exist?
The Buddhists get it. The Dahlia Lama has ordered his monks to go out and get advanced science degrees and understand reality as it really is. Are you Christians, Muslims, and Jews going to be left behind? Isn’t there only one true path and isn’t that one true path understanding Reality as it really is? Isn’t Reality the very definition of Truth? How can one know Truth without putting Reality first?
My God speaks to me today. We can see him through the Hubble Telescope. He hasn’t been silent for 2000 years. (Or 150 years if you’re Mormon.) My God is alive and evolving through us every day. My God is understood through science. My God is real because it performs what the Bible would call miracles. We can heal the sick. We can raise people from the dead. We can fly onto the heavens in a flaming chariot. It’s called an airplane. We can take the heart out of one person and put it in another. And when my God speaks he says the same thing to everyone. So my God passed the “God Test”. Does yours? If not – you’re worshiping the wrong God.