God is a word that means many things. And it’s also the most abused word of all time. How does it affect your life?
The Affects of The Word God
God is a word that creates a division between people. In some cultures, speaking of God as a metaphor is a taboo. To question the origins of a Supreme Being is a serious issue in many cultures. In fact, in some parts of the world, it’s a crime punishable by death. So, let’s be brave and discuss the word God.
The Most Powerful Metaphor
The best place to start this discussion is with the Abrahamic religions. These are religions of Semitic origin including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And, they are the most popular religions with over 3 billion members. So, they have a critical mass effect on many cultures. That means even if you aren’t a follower, you are still very much under their influence.
Today there are over 10,000 versions of these religions. Beliefs differ depending on the sect and the teacher. But, among believers, there are also a variety of beliefs. Everyone has a unique approach to the subject of a higher power. These religions aren’t new. They result from combining Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian and Assyrian mystery religions.
“Gods are metaphors transparent to transcendence. And my understanding of the mythological mode is that deities and even people are to be understood in this sense, as metaphors”…― Joseph Campbell
However, followers of the world’s most popular religions mistake the metaphor of God for a fact. So, myth becomes a fact. When this happens, belief overcomes reason. This makes the word God the most powerful metaphor on the planet.
It is not their fault. Many people have indoctrinated into the dominant religion of their culture. This is possible through the process of groupthink manipulation. This is a brainwashing technique that is the basis for Western theology.
Loving God More than People
Man’s inhumanity to man will continue as long as man loves God more than he loves his fellow-man. The love of God means wasted love. ‘For God and Country’ means a divided allegiance — a 50 percent patriot. ― Joseph Lewis
What happens when we elevate an imaginary being above the people and the planet? That is obvious. Organized religion is at the root of man’s crimes against man. It seems to contradict the message that the creator wants us to love one another. Instead, we use various forms of mythology as an excuse to hate. This is the tangible effect of the most powerful metaphor.
When The Word God Becomes Meaningless
The most abused word in the language of man is the word, God. The reason for this is that it is subject to so much abuse. There is no other word in the human language is as meaningless and incapable of explanation as is the word ‘God.’ It is the beginning and end of nothing. It is the Alpha and Omega of Ignorance. ― Joseph Lewis
Since the word God can mean anything, it becomes the reason and excuses the exercise of hate. The word God becomes the excuse to commit unspeakable acts of violence. It spawns racial, ethnic and religious genocide. It’s the reason for gender discrimination and subjugation. Knowledge is the enemy of ignorance.
Opinion Without Substance
It has as many meanings as there are minds. And as each person has an opinion of what the word God ought to mean, it is a word without premise, without foundation, and without substance. It is without validity. And, It is all things to all people and is as meaningless as it is indefinable. So, it is the most dangerous in the hands of the unscrupulous and is the joker that trumps the ace. It is the poisoned word that has paralyzed the brain of man. ― Joseph Lewis
The nice thing about metaphors can express any meaning we choose. There are over 2,000 different supreme beings and almost 50,000 variations on this theme.
When you overuse any word, it becomes meaningless. This applies to the word God. Semantic satiation makes the word God confusing, divisive and volatile all at the same time. It is a figure of speech. It’s a term for something we infuse with our own meaning. And, the meaning is often contradictory and unsupportable by logic or reason. Therefore, most religions have priests, ministers, and clergy. These teachers are necessary to explain the jargon and create arguments to support the illogical assertions.
Overcoming Reason with Belief
The fear of the Lord’ is not the beginning of wisdom; It has made man a groveling slave; it has made raving lunatics of those who have attempted to interpret what God ‘is’ and what is supposed to be our ‘duty’ to God. It has made man prostitute the most precious things of life—it has made him sacrifice wife, and child, and home. ‘In the name of God’ means in the name of nothing—it has caused man to be a wastrel with the precious elixir of life because there is no God. ― Joseph Lewis, An Atheist Manifesto
Fear is a primal motivator. Our fears become our limits. We become comfortable living our life stuck in the clutches of a dualistic framework. Faith becomes the trap for our intellect. It is a worldview without validity. And, it prompts followers to protect their God with violence, if necessary. Sadly, it is often necessary for believers to resort to violence using God as an excuse.
Overall, this manifesto is a bold statement against the concept of theism and for a humanist approach.
What is Humanism?
Humanism is not a religion. Humanism is a philosophy emphasizing critical thinking. This philosophy has three guiding principles.
- See all living things as equally valuable. This includes all human beings, all living things, and especially the environment. Profit should not take precedence over the health of people or the environment.
- Promote our role in the world as caretakers of the future. Champion the use of the scientific approach to solving the problems.
- Promote the fair and fair flourishing of all people, championing human rights for everyone.
Confusing Spiritual Exploration with Religion
Spiritual Exploration is the practice of processes for expanding awareness and opening the doors to other states of consciousness. These processes have absolutely nothing to do with religion or belief in God.
Point of fact, the believers and followers of one God treats the Gods of others as metaphors. So, the most powerful metaphor is really an excuse to exercise greed, bias and prejudice.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their own path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s Book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
American Humanism Organization, americanhumanist.org