Saturday, July 17, 2010


Upon closer examination of the human psyche, I now understand why gods have anthropomorphic traits. To say that gods are simply reflections of mankind might still be true. But even so, such a description may be a bit too simplistic.

According to Christianity and Judaism at least, humans are made in the image of God. This has been debated to mean that humans are like God in that we share the capacity for emotion and personality just like God does. Many other origin stories of humanity involve some anthropomorphizing of nature-- thus nature creating humankind becomes a supernatural event.

In light of this interpretation, it only makes sense that God would be anthropomorphic in his (or her) behavior. Humans have a nature for sure. We are social yet territorial. We are cooperative, yet always find ourselves in conflicts and struggles with each other. We are generally altruistic, and have the potential to be murders. We humbly give in one minute and can then seethe with angry jealousy the next.

The God of the Old Testament (at least) had to be human-like if we were designed after him; It only makes sense.

But one oddity I find in this analysis is that we humans are deeply social. Thus, the dichotomies I mentioned above. Our social nature makes conflicts inevitable. We are not Utopian creatures. We live in a competitive environment with limited resources. Selfishness is sometimes a virtue when there is only one precious item left-- but many people need or want it.

See, the fact that the social nature of humanity brings out the best and worst in us begs (in my opinion) an important question:

Why is it that God (who is solitary and omnipotent) exhibits the traits of social creatures?

Ah! But God is not alone. He's the alpha-male over his angels. He has a beta-male rival named Lucifer who tries to take away God's most prized possession-- Mankind, the crown jewel of all that was created.

Lucifer was kicked out of heaven, like a beta-chimp who failed in his coup against the alpha-male of his troop.

So the God of the Old Testament is most likely described with accuracy if we are indeed made after his image. God is jealous. He will crush those that oppose him. Now it makes sense that God would threaten to make you burn for eternity if you angered him enough. Just give him a reason to make an example of you and he will do it.

The idea of Hell is simply a deterrent devised to protect the next Utopia God creates-- AKA "The Afterlife".

Beta-deities need not apply.

God is at the top of the grand social hierarchy of the universe. He is dominant over all creation.

Dig back into time and archeology will suggest that Yahweh was contending for the top spot in a pantheon of Canaanite gods thousands of years ago. When Yahweh finally reached the top, he didn't just simply declare himself and his consort the ruler of all other gods, but he eliminated all gods and declared himself the only true deity of all time.

No wonder we humans act so much like God!

Ah, but then there is another alternative.

God is an artifice of the human psyche and thusly, any given god acts like us humans.

Either way, God can be a brute just as we can be. He's prone to be irrational, illogical, and irritable just like we. He enjoys bragging that he's the best-- even to the point of claiming omnipotence-- though at times he's failed to fulfill this description.

Just as we humans sometimes do.

People constantly vie (in overt and subtle ways) for dominance. God (and any other "little" god) is no different.

Yes, God is no different from us; He is human.

And it's human nature for me to refuse kneeling down* to any god upon this revelation. No human kneels to anyone else without first witnessing a proper display of dominance. Only after that will most people humble themselves into a state of abject submission.

So tell me then . . . is that analysis descriptive of creationism?

Or does that sound like hard core evolution?


* I can't help but think of these lines from the movie 300:

Xerxes: It is not the lash they fear. It is my divine power. But I am a generous god. I can make you rich beyond all measure. I will make you warlord of all Greece. You will carry my battle standard to the heart of Europa. Your Athenian rivals will kneel at your feet if you will but kneel at mine.

Leonidas: You are generous as you are divine, O King of Kings. Such an offer only a madman would refuse. But the, uh, the idea of kneeling, it's... You see, slaughtering all those men of yours has, uh, well, it's left a nasty cramp in my leg, so kneeling will be hard for me.

Xerxes (now, infuriated): There will be no glory in your sacrifice. I will erase even the memory of Sparta from the histories. Every piece of Greek parchment shall be burned and every Greek historian and every scribe shall have their eyes put out and their tongues cut from their mouths. Why, uttering the very name of Sparta or Leonidas will be punishable by death. The world will never know you existed at all!

Leonidas: The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many and, before this battle is over, that even a god-king can bleed.
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