Author Homer Carroll
Writer, game developer, unschooling mentor & founder/board member of Shine Your Light Event : A non-profit aimed at helping individuals in medical crisis | @homercarroll
Guest Post by Homer Carroll
I’d like to call your attention to a mind-bending social psychological phenomenon. There is a communication symbol, a word, that people use every day and it has no definition. I’m talking about ‘GOD’. When a group of faithful people gather and talk about their god, they pass ambiguous information back and forth, as though facts, and nod at each other in agreement. If a faithless person is amongst them, the solidarity is even stronger- unless you ask them to define in clearer terms the symbols they use.
The believers proclaim things like “god is love” or “god is everywhere.” This kind of generalization is well-known amongst politicians; the more generalized a statement is, the harder it is to reject. For instance, “Every person should be free, liberty is a human right.” That is a benign statement, but if you define it more succinctly, less people tend to agree. If modified to, “Every person should have the right to be free and to do as they please.” the statement gathers less approval, for a variety of reasons.
When I request religious people to clarify their beliefs, suddenly the formerly agreeable people shake their heads in opposition to the differing opinions and translations of how they view their god to be. Some will say their god is in everything, and others will disagree because of course, god isn’t in plastic, as it’s made by man. Very quickly it is obvious that each faithful has their own personal god and the one they each worship is different in many ways to the supposed “same” god their fellow parishioners worship. Yet, when you reveal this phenomenon to them, they refuse to acknowledge the vast differences in their individual beliefs. I’ve even been told that I played a trick on them.
The truth is that they each worship a different god, constructed with bits and pieces of lore they find acceptable. Of course, they are deluding themselves. A realization of this truth would shatter their concept of reality, so they must reject it.
Category: Atheism & Religion