No, am not religious.
I often write about religion and that means sometimes am going to write about god[s]. I know you this what you don’t know is every so often a believer tells me the god I have written isn’t their god. They will tell you that even them don’t believe the god you have described. I’m an igtheist when it comes to the discussion about gods. Today we are not talking about me, but will respond to Giles Fraser who in a Guardian article says he doesn’t believe in the god Stephen Fry described.
Fraser tells us many people think of god as synonymous with power. I don’t know about you, but it would be plain to anyone with an iota of common sense that a being that to create the vastness that is the universe needed only to say let there be and it was, is a being with immense power.
But Fraser wants to change all that. He writes
This is why the Jesus story is, for me, the most theologically revolutionary story that there can be. Because it imagines God and power separated. God as a baby. God poor. God helpless on a cross. God with a mocking and ironic crown of thorns. In these scenes it is Caesar who has the power.
That maybe, but this god was born of a virgin, makes water into wine, feeds thousands on a loaf of bread, calms the sea and resurrects from the dead. If this is not a show of power, I don’t know what is. Let us not forget this god could have chosen to forgive humanity without suicide by centurion. It doesn’t move us to imagine god instead of using his power to forgive power, chose to die to save us from himself. Only unimaginative people think this is the greatest story ever told.
Fraser wants us to imagine god as love only. He writes
Furthermore, this powerless thing subverts Fry’s accusation of God’s iniquity. For if we are imagining a God whose only power, indeed whose only existence, is love itself – and yes, this means we will have to think metaphorically about a lot of the Bible – then God cannot stand accused as the cause of humanity’s suffering.
and who cares about a suffering god. Who wants such a god? How many believers worship a suffering god, a god who is hungry, a good who is homeless, a good who is powerless? By a show of hands please, am counting. And when we start to think metaphorically about the bible, does this apply to the book or just sections of it. Fraser doesn’t tell us where to stop with metaphors.
We must ask Fraser why he thinks his definition of god as a suffering god is the one every other believer worships. There are those who believe in a vengeful and powerful god, are they mistaken?
Fraser wants us to believe that the god Fry was answering is the celestial teapot made famous by philosopher Bertrand Russell. It doesn’t need hard work to find the god of the bible being capricious, mean minded, tribal and many other negative qualities.
Fraser tells us god is
is the story of human dreams and fears. God is the shape we try to make of our lives. God is the name of the respect we owe the planet. God is the poetry of our lives. Of course this is real.
and me wonders who goes to church to pray to the shape of samosas, respect and so on. This is as nebulous as a god can be. And it is for this reason theists keep saying that isn’t my god you are talking about. They have redefined it to mean anything they want it to mean. On the first day, man created god and he has since been working to define it coherently.