Man is an inquisitive animal. The quest of the ultimate truth is an innate desire of human nature. But the greatest fallacy and possibly also the comic-tragedy of human life is its almost unshakeable belief in the existence of a superior being (having a form or formless), who is supposed to keep record of our actions as well as to control our lives. What is baffling that most of us are not ready to logically argue on this subject and many are ready to sacrifice their wealth, pleasure, leisure and even life on this 'God'. This rigid belief in God gives succour to many persons during their hours of tragedy and provides mental strength to face the hardships, but has also been the cause of constant and vast tragedies in personal and social lives. In order to hide the irrationality of this belief people have devised an illogical argument that the God is a matter of faith and there can be no argument on him. This argument itself is a proof that the God is mere blind faith. With this postulate based on blind faith most of us try to search for truth and, therefore, end in a quagmire of untruth. Any quest of truth must begin from the reality or otherwise of God’s existence.
The religious scriptures and rituals as well as social practices create an opinion about God in a child’s mind, which becomes the basis of our unshakeable beliefs- even if irrational. In fact the rituals and social practices are often derived from the scriptures. Some writings in scriptures, which qualify God, of some religions are being quoted below:
"The Lord is the savior of the fallen,
Remover of fear, helper of the orphan,
Nanak sayeth: Know your true Master,
Your protector, who ever bides with you."
- Guruvaani- Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji
[In brief this means that anybody high or low including criminals, when completely surrender (leaving their worldly attachments) before me, turn into great souls and can attain Moksh (a state of eternal bliss).]
[Everything on the earth or in the skies belongs to Allah, who is omniscient and omnipotent- you cannot hide anything from him nor can you escape his reward and punishment.]
Other Semitic religions also speak of their God on similar lines.
Thus all major religions attribute to God the state of being eternal, self-created, omnipotent, creator of universe, keeper of record of our deeds and controller of human life. Only difference between the Semitic religions' God and oriental religions' God is that in Semitic religions each religion's God is benefactor of their followers alone while in oriental religions God is all pervading and, therefore, takes care of entire humanity according to their deeds irrespective of their religious faith.
Let us examine the rationality of the attributes of God which are generally common in all major religions:
1. God is Eternal:
God is believed to be eternal, although eternity itself is a concept beyond human imagination. This is a way to stop examination of a pertinent question that, if this grand universe must need a creator (God), then God must also need a creator.
2. God is Self-created (Swayambhoo):
God is self-created. This is to stop one’s mind from questioning that if man needed a creator, then God must also need a creator. However, this belief gives rise to a counter-question, i. e., when? And as soon as this question is answered the belief in God’s eternity falls flat.
3. God is Creator of Universe:
It is argued that this awesome world must have been created by some super-being with design. If it is so, then a question immediately props up that who created that super-being, and then who created the other super-being and so on.
4. God Created this Beautiful World
for the Benefit of Human Beings:
The natural world has beauty as well as ugliness, pleasure as well as pain, joy as well as grief, and the afterworld is supposed to have heaven as well as hell. If there is any excess of security, comfort and beauty today, it is exclusively due to our forefathers’ intelligence and effort: Such creatures as are unable to overcome nature and improve their surroundings, perforce live in fear, pain and are butchered like chicken.
5. God is Keeper of Record of Every Human Being’s Actions:
In all religions there is a belief that the God keeps record of all our actions and thoughts, and human beings are rewarded or punished by God for their actions subsequently (theory of Karma in Gita and Qayamat in Quraan). However, there is another tenet of all religions that God is omnipotent and nothing happens in this world without His wish. The two beliefs are obviously contradictory to each other and cannot coexist.
Scriptures of all religions also emphatically and repeatedly state that by worshipping God (or surrendering before God) one can escape punishment for one's misdeeds. During Middle Ages the Pope had put this belief to commercial use by selling certificates to heaven. This is again contradictory to the theory of Karma (or Qayamat) which states that all good actions are rewarded and bad ones are punished by God.
6. God has Complete Control over Human Life and Universe:
This belief is a basis of mad rush of people towards places of worship and offerings (often of ill-earned wealth) made to please God. Logically speaking, this action of human beings downgrades the God to the level of a greedy being who is ready to excuse guilt for money.
7. God is Perfect and Does Not Change:
If God were perfect, there could not be different Gods for different religions. The concept and attributes of God have been changing over time - Hindus’ God, Jews’ God, Christians’ God, Muslims’ God, etc. came into human imagination at different times with differing attributes. Actually there is only one law in this universe which does not change and that is the Law of constant, unstoppable and universal change, and this law applies to everything that human beings see, feel, perceive or imagine.
So if one does not throw one's rationality in the dustbin, one can easily see that God is an imaginary creation of either weak minds who desperately needed superpower support against vagaries of nature or of such treacherous persons who wanted to control and rule others by instilling fear of God in their hearts. The sooner we accept it, the better it will be for the pursuit of truth.
Continued to : Quest of Truth : The Absolute