Our Big Mistake: The Personification of 'God'

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posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:05 AM
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Personification can be a rich device; it allows us to assign human properties/characteristics to non-human beings/entities/objects, which can be very useful in terms of literature, poetry and philosophy. But what happens when one attempts to personify something that is beyond their comprehension? Remember, all the knowledge we possess is limited by our human perceptions; we cannot technically imagine everything and anything, only that which is within our framework of knowledge and experience.

Perhaps this is one of the biggest mistakes we make about the Source. When you ask most followers of monotheistic religions how they view God, it is very likely they will describe God using human physical/psychological attributes, moral reasoning, emotions and behaviours. They will transform the concept of a non-comprehensible force into an anthropomorphism such as an invisible, old, man dressed in glowing white attire whom watches over people to see that they uphold his commandments and follow his rules.

Perhaps it is due to our own frustrations and insecurities at being unable to properly comprehend 'God' that we turn to personification. That combined with the fact that it is easier to control and manipulate humans through the characterisation of God as a jealous, vindictive and wrathful entity might help explain our misconceptions.

* * * * *

For those curious, I regard myself as an irreligious agnostic. I was raised under a monotheistic religious tradition but no longer attend a building of worship, pray or take part in festivals/holidays. I am still undecided about whether or not God exists, but firmly believe that if a Creator were to exist, most of our modern interpretations about God are probably misconceptions.

edit on 7/1/2014 by Dark Ghost because: added paragraph




posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:09 AM
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S&F....It is highly doubtful that god will look like humans. We just want to believe this.



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:10 AM
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You are right, God is more likely to be a weird cloud of gas with magical powers than it is a person.

But you have to remember that God made us in his image so says the bible, but i dont buy that at all.



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:19 AM
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Biigs
You are right, God is more likely to be a weird cloud of gas with magical powers than it is a person.

But you have to remember that God made us in his image so says the bible, but i dont buy that at all.


Did God make us in His image, or did We make god in Our image?



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:21 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 





Did God make us in His image, or did We make god in Our image?


is it stated in the bible that in his image refer to appearance or in his image like having a trait of it?



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:21 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 

The reports in the Bible present God as communicating with people, and as having a conscious will (which comes across in what gets communicated).
A conscious will which communicates has got to be something at least analogous to a personality.
Other religions can do what they like, but i think the Biblical religions have no choice but to personify God - which is not the same thing as giving him a human body and physical attributes.



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:23 AM
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Biigs
But you have to remember that God made us in his image so says the bible, but i dont buy that at all.


Actually, a preaching friend of mine translated the Bible back to greek. By "image", it really means "traits" (such as qualities, vices), not "physical appearance".

edit on 7-1-2014 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:32 AM
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This is the most likely case for the existence of God. If He exists, he is certainly not personified like the bible describes. Also I believe that the wording that man was created in His image is a misunderstanding of the true meaning. I think it is highly likely that LIFE was created in his image. The idea that God values man above any other life form is laughable. Man being somehow special in the grand scheme of things is probably a holdover from the days when Christians thought the Earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around it. It makes more sense that God would value ALL life as important and to love and cherish ALL life not just mankind. Of course this can elevate someone who contributes to the extinction of a species as being just as abhorrent (if not more so) as someone who commits mass genocide against a group of people. Also the word image is probably incorrect as well. The sentence probably means that He created life to develop, change, and behave much like He does.
edit on 7-1-2014 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:35 AM
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Dark Ghost
Personification can be a rich device; it allows us to assign human properties/characteristics to non-human beings/entities/objects, which can be very useful in terms of literature, poetry and philosophy. But what happens when one attempts to personify something that is beyond their comprehension? Remember, all the knowledge we possess is limited by our human perceptions; we cannot technically imagine everything and anything, only that which is within our framework of knowledge and experience.

Perhaps this is one of the biggest mistakes we make about the Source. When you ask most followers of monotheistic religions how they view God, it is very likely they will describe God using human physical/psychological attributes, moral reasoning, emotions and behaviours. They will transform the concept of a non-comprehensible force into an anthropomorphism such as an invisible, old, man dressed in glowing white attire whom watches over people to see that they uphold his commandments and follow his rules.

Perhaps it is due to our own frustrations and insecurities at being unable to properly comprehend 'God' that we turn to personification. That combined with the fact that it is easier to control and manipulate humans through the characterisation of God as a jealous, vindictive and wrathful entity might help explain our misconceptions.

* * * * *

For those curious, I regard myself as an irreligious agnostic. I was raised under a monotheistic religious tradition but no longer attend a building of worship, pray or take part in festivals/holidays. I am still undecided about whether or not God exists, but firmly believe that if a Creator were to exist, most of our modern interpretations about God are probably misconceptions.

edit on 7/1/2014 by Dark Ghost because: added paragraph


I like what you have written. My worship reaches out to the terrible ancient forces of the Great Old Ones. You know the ones, supremely nightmarish to gaze your eyes upon. Savvy IA IA (and all that. Squelch!)



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:50 AM
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In our minds, mankind in its physicality is the paragon of nature. I guess that's why I welcome transhumanism, because that will open the doors and reveal to us just how low on the totem pole of physical perfection we actually are. In fact, it would hopefully provide us a reference by which to really realize that physical perfection is about as realistic as the perfect painting. There's no such thing.

People are just too concerned with perfection these days. What's the point to being perfect? You just want the game to end? Is that it? The mountaintop is all that matters now? The moment you have no more trials, no more triumphs, and no more travels, that's the moment you are ready to die. The moment you having nothing left to experience.

Seems like that's the best meaning to give life. Life is the journey that leaves you ready to say goodbye and hello at the same time.
edit on 7-1-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by Dark Ghost
 


i agree


we limit God with so many attributes, including word 'God' itself

peace

edit on 7-1-2014 by dodol because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:55 AM
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I think you may be spot on. Those who believe in the bible are led to think this way because it says God created mankind in his own image, but your question """Did God make us in His image, or did We make god in Our image ?""" is also very pertinent....
edit on 7-1-2014 by CosmicDude because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 09:58 AM
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Dark Ghost
Personification can be a rich device; it allows us to assign human properties/characteristics to non-human beings/entities/objects, which can be very useful in terms of literature, poetry and philosophy.


technically, this is called "anthropomorphism"... one of the oldest of Mankind's instincts.

The Wind was a guy blowing on boats. The Sky was a sphere held by Atlas. Everything was assigned a human form... It doesn't mean it was the truth. Only an interpretation of the Truth.


CosmicDude
I think you may be spot on. However, those who believe in the bible are led to think this way because it says God created mankind in his own image.


By "image" it doesn't mean the same "physical appearance" - it means the same "qualities, vices". I got a friend who can read the original text.

edit on 7-1-2014 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 10:09 AM
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reply to post by swanne
 


The qualities I have to agree with. We can be angry, so the god has the biggest anger, and jealousy etc. I think that's just a simple way of explaining it.



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 10:13 AM
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Dark Ghost

Biigs
You are right, God is more likely to be a weird cloud of gas with magical powers than it is a person.

But you have to remember that God made us in his image so says the bible, but i dont buy that at all.


Did God make us in His image, or did We make god in Our image?


Or it could be we made god in our image SO that god could make us in his image. ?Is this a kind of paradox. With a bit of ego self importance mixed in. It seems like it.



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by Tindalos2013
 


Not unless you start with the premise that god is a human construct used to explain the unexplainable. When you reduce god to this then god can be and do whatever the author of this construct says it can be and do.



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 10:20 AM
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swanne

Biigs
But you have to remember that God made us in his image so says the bible, but i dont buy that at all.


Actually, a preaching friend of mine translated the Bible back to greek. By "image", it really means "traits" (such as qualities, vices), not "physical appearance".

edit on 7-1-2014 by swanne because: (no reason given)


I knew it!!!

PIf true its proof right there the biblical god is a mean spirited, greedy, destructive b@stard not worthy of worship



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 10:26 AM
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S & F.

I agree. I've a similar awareness of the divine source we call "God". But, I've given up trying to differentiate the meaning between "God" and "Source" or "Divine Spark/Light" for the benefit of others. Generally, people are where they are at in their thinking about God, for specific reasons and purposes. It isn't really necessary to correct someone's thinking on how they perceive God. As we are not aware of the life experiences that have brought an individual to their current spiritual understanding. It won't be the same as ours, it will likely even change and grow - but to the seasons of their life- not ours.

When I think of those passages in the bible that speak of being made in "God's image" - I imagine God the artist, the Universe it's canvas, and everything reflected in it - made of God's envisioned image.

CdT



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 10:33 AM
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The verse about being created in God's imageis extremely misinterpreted. Look in the mirror, you are created in God's image in that situation because you can see an image of yourself. We are created in God's image in the same way a painting is "created" when we look at it, we collapse the wave function. God's image is the image that we see and that image is the light of the world, it is the image of the invisible God and the light of life.



John 8
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."



Colossians 1
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.


The image is what we see, we are the image because everything we experience is from the image we see. If everything we experience is part of the image then we are the image.



1 John 1
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.


God is light, the light is in front of all of us. Whatever the light touches is God meaning everything is God including your very existence.

We're already in the promised land, only we are neglecting and destroying it. To know yourself is to know God.



posted on Jan, 7 2014 @ 10:43 AM
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When you die, will you be bummed out if God actually is an old man with a white beard sitting on a cloud at his desk, busy ignoring all the pleas and prayers of his little creations?

What if God is not infinite, what if he created the universe, created some animals, then promtly died before seeing it grow up. Doh!

edit on 7-1-2014 by Biigs because: (no reason given)





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