Chapter One:

Redefining the Concept of God

     Isn't it about time we got serious about what we're willing to believe concerning God, Heaven, Hell, and the meaning of life? There are way too many versions of the truth for everyone to be right.  

     On one hand, you have a bunch of religious groups claiming they are the only ones with the right answers.  On the other hand, you have people who believe there are no right answers.  The atheists among them say it is because there is no God.  The one thing everyone seems to miss is these opinions or beliefs are based on somebody’s interpretation of words written or said a long ass time ago. 

     I don't mean any harm, but it makes absolutely no sense for people living today, in what is supposed to be the age of information, to be stuck interpreting the words of people who believed the world was flat and the center of the universe in order to understand any subject, especially one that was supposed to be beyond their comprehension. 

     At what point do we turn away from the lexicons of dead languages and turn towards math and science?  At what point do we recognize that if somebody in the past got it completely right, there wouldn't be so many getting it wrong afterwards?  When will we realize, or even consider, what was beyond the comprehension of those living centuries ago may be within our intellectual range today? 

     The ancient people believed in God based on faith, so that must be the right way for you, huh? Faith is an open admission that you not only don't know if something is true, but you can't possibly prove it one way or another. Any appeal to faith admits whatever you are asked to believe will contradict the things you already know.  

     For people who don’t understand as much about their surroundings, maybe the concept of faith makes more sense.  People who know less would and should be more inclined to admit their ignorance rather than dispute what they don't really understan.  Confidence in knowledge and sincerity in belief could be the most effective way of swaying people’s opinion short of visible proof.

     It should not be surprising that the atheist population increases as we learn more about our universe...there can be no empirical evidence or tangible proof for God and the conclusions within religion have been illogical, irrational, and downright contradictory. 

     That was then. This is now. Now, we have the ability to do things that the people back then would have called magic or witchcraft…things as simple as take a photograph or videotape someone…medical procedures like open-heart surgery or transplanting organs…building mechanized forms of transportation like cars or airplanes…digging deeper into reality by splitting the atom and mapping genes…travelling farther into outer space or witnessing the expanse of our universe through telescopes.  People couldn’t do any of these things when any of the scriptures were pioneered. 

     That is not to say we have developed into some all-knowing beings or anything like that.  We still have a lot of room for growth, discovery, and enlightenment. That isn't done through faith though. Any form of learning must have a criterium or basic standard for distinguishing what is true from the multiple conclusions that can be drawn from whatever we witness.  

     Since contradictions only exist in the minds of delusional people, anything worthy of being believed should, at least, be consistent and non-contradictory within itself.  It should also be consistent and non-contradictory with anything else accepted as true.  Not to be rude and state the obvious, but I haven't heard of any ideology requiring faith that can take that miniature truth test and pass. Have you?

     Even the idea of faith itself fails this test.  The faithful believe it is our intellect that separate us from the other animals.  That intellect is supposed to be a gift from God.  Some would say that's a part of God within us.  Then, why must I go against it in order to believe in God or why can’t we use it to comprehend or fully understand God? It makes no sense.  

I'll go a step further. Without the ability to use even this mini truth test, how can you distinguish the real from the make believe, the liars from the legitimate, or the actual words of your chosen prophet from any forgeries by phony followers? 

     The answer is you can't.  Whatever words you try to use to defend faith against such a question will amount to you hoping your wants and wishes happen to match what is real.  Since that's how you feel, why bother reading any of the scriptures at all?!  Surely, if your spirit is so inclined to God that you can use that alone to determine the truth from falsehood, then it should be able to just lead you right to God from within. 

     For us mere mortals, who must think and use our puny brains in order to know what to believe, any concept of God worthy of acceptance should not contradict itself or anything else we can prove. While I agree with the atheists’ stand that no theological doctrine or ideology to date meets those minimum requirements, at least none I've ever heard, I wholeheartedly disagree with anyone who says God does not exist.  I assure you: God does exist, and you shouldn’t need faith to believe it. 

     We all know that the word, God, has different meanings, so first, let me define how I use the word God to eliminate any confusion.  When I refer to God, I am referring to the creator of the universe as the only reality deserving of worship.  

     Any ideas about a Supreme Being sounds like some sort of intellectually superior alien to me.  Some of you may want to scoff at me for believing in the possibility of life on other planets, but at least I haven't turned them into gods.  For anyone who doesn't like me implying religious people are deifying E.T.’s, you tell me what you call a being that takes physical form, even if it's just part-time, that is not from this planet…I'll wait.  

     As a matter of fact, I won't wait because whatever you call him, it isn’t the creator of the universe and calling them both by the same name causes confusion because it is a contradiction…a physical being could not create the universe because the creator of the universe would not be a part of it or a participant within it. 

     I understand proving the existence of the creator of the universe beyond a shadow of a doubt would seem like something you just can't do since it is impossible to exhibit empirical evidence to use as an example. While I may not be able to point God out to you like voila, I can introduce you to an understanding of God that is objective (meaning there is a right or wrong answer) and passes the mini truth test (meaning it doesn’t contradict itself or anything else we can prove). 

     Whether you are religious, atheist, or somewhere in between; if you think you have all the answers and your way is the right way, I'm not even talking to you.  I have no time or energy for anyone whose sole objective would be to dispute me and interfere with actual growth and understanding.  If your goal is to stick to whatever it is you already believe, regardless of what I say, please go away.  We both know you’re just going to start making up stuff when you can’t find any truth to use to back up your argument.  

     If you have doubts or questions and you honestly seek the truth whatever it may be, you should listen and listen carefully.  You shouldn't just believe what I say either.  Give these words honest scrutiny and judge for yourself. 

Let’s play a philosophical version of big bank takes little bank with God as the topic of discussion. There will be no witnesses, so you can be honest and keep it real with yourself. In losing, you will win.

     It won't be easy.  It could get boring at times.  There will be times that I may challenge things that you never thought to even question. I may get into subjects that you never learned in school or ones that you forgot as soon as you got out.  I might use a few big words that send you to the dictionary to get what I'm talking about. I may just criticize something you believe in a way that pisses you off, so you won't want to agree with me.  This isn’t about me though.  This is about you getting to know the truth concerning this God you've heard so much about.

     Earlier, I defined God as being the creator of the universe.  In trying to describe this creator, people have been in the habit of using words or ideas that allow room for sensory perception or imagination. While such a tendency may seem logical to us because they are the tools we use to learn about everything else, that tendency leads to confusion when it comes to God.  

     Because all we can ever do is discover and invent, we tend to forget or never even realize: a creator must have existed independently before whatever was created.  That means the creator would not be made of, dependent on, or limited by anything created. 

     The first step in understanding the Creator would be to mentally negate or eliminate everything that was created.  We're talking about the universe, so that means absolutely everything.  You may think if you take away everything, you aren't left with anything, but you are.  Take away everything, and you're left with…God. 

     It would truly surprise me if you didn't finish my statement with another word in mind.  That word you thought of is the most accurate definition or description of God, but it has different meanings and a connotation that is unfit to be used in reference to God. 

To avoid the negativity, confusion, and what would sound like blasphemy if I were to say: nothing is God or God is nothing, I'll give you an analogy.  It is my mantra: God is to reality what zero is to math. 

     Let that marinate for a moment while remembering I said God does exist.  What I'm saying right now is the role that the absolute value, zero, plays within the science of quantifying the attributes of everything in the universe is the same as God giving those things the attributes themselves in reality.  It is in fully understanding the role zero plays within math and applying that to theology, that we can get to know God in a way that is non-contradictory and irrefutable. God is to reality what zero is to math. 

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