Wednesday, 8 May 2013

So when was God invented, then?

On Sunday my friend Steve got kicked out of Sunday school for asking who invented God. He's a pretty strange kid too (he likes dismantling things). But on Sunday I think he just asked one too many questions. Our teacher didn't answer but got all red in the face and started yelling at him. Then he called his parents and told them to pick up their devil-child and not to bring him back.

I have to say I didn't understand what all the fuss was about. I always thought Sunday school was about learning something. (If you have never been to Sunday school, this story about Sunday schools in Britain will tell you what it's all about.) I even found this quote on a website called time4thinkers:

'What is Sunday School all about?
It’s an environment where you feel totally supported. You can ask the hardest questions as you’re figuring out how to apply spiritual truths to your own experiences.'

I am thinking of bringing it to Sunday school next Sunday and showing it to our teacher. But I have a feeling that this might tip him over the edge.

I thought Steve's question was really interesting. So I asked if it was OK for me to use it on my blog. His parents didn't want me to. But when they called my dad to complain about it, he said he had no idea what blogging was. My dad can be really funny sometimes.

Anyway. 'When was God invented?' is quite a difficult question to answer. Most people would say that he wasn't invented at all, but that he has always been around. (While we're on it, I have to say that I don't understand why God has to be a man. He might as well be a woman. But that's something that will have to wait until some other time. Here's a website on God and Science that goes some way in answering the question. It's still not very clear, but it basically says that 'God is not male, since He is not a physical, but a spiritual, being.')

For people who believe that earth was created in seven days, God has to be something that came first because otherwise he wouldn't have been able to create everything. This means that for creationists (that's what you call them), God was 'invented' before everything else. But for people who believe that God is only an idea, he has been around pretty much as long as people have, because they are the ones with the ideas.

Other religions such as Islam and Judaism have a God too. This complicates things a bit because some religions have been around a lot longer than others. It seems that people have always had to believe in some God-like creature, no matter where they're from. In ancient Greece, people even thought that there were several Gods sitting on a hill called Olympus. Those gods enjoyed messing with people, so they sent all kinds of challenges their way and watched them struggle. It's not clear when the Greek gods were invented but they pretty much died after the fall of the Roman empire. I think that Gods in general only live as long as the culture that believes in them.

Here's a cool website about all of the Greek gods and their relationships. (Check out this Wikipedia picture if you want to know what the Greek gods on Olympus looked like). I think you can say that every culture invents or discovers their own gods. And depending on the culture, these can then be around for quite some time or disappear when the culture that invented them goes down the drain.

The problem with Steve's question is that most people act a little crazy when religion is involved. I think this is because people have to believe in something that can structure their lives. But I don't think they should go all red in the face when they have to explain it to someone. If it is true that God gave his only son to the world as a payment for our sins - as we were told in Sunday school -, I'm sure he won't mind us asking a few questions about his age.

After all the stuff I found, I think it really doesn't matter if God was invented or if he has always been around. If you're a religious person, you should always act as if he's watching you. And if that helps you be a nicer person, it also doesn't matter if God is Jewish, Christian or if he is a Muslim.

I took the picture with the religious fanatic from The picture of God was painted by Michelangelo.

1 comment:

  1. when I asked my teacher back in highschool: "How come you keep your personality after you're dead, isn't that kind of a strange concept? cause i always thought the soul resolves into something greater" she kicked me out of class, telling me: "I won't answer this, this is classical criticism".