God

God . It is the name given in Spanish to a unique omnipotent and personal being in theistic and deistic religions (and other belief systems) who is: either the only deity, in monotheism , or the main deity, in some forms of polytheism , as in henotheism .

Summary

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  • 1 Concepts
  • 2 Conceptions of the supreme being
    • 1 God defined as a personal supreme being
      • 1.1 Proposed Features
    • 2 God, a supreme non-personal being
  • 3 Etymology
  • 4 Exposure
    • 1 Use of the capital letter
  • 5 The names of God
  • 6 Attributes of God
    • 1 Christian monotheistic position
    • 2 Unrelated attributes
      • 2.1 Spirituality
    • 3 Infinity
    • 4 Unit
    • 5 Omnipotence
    • 6 Omniscience
    • 7 Wisdom
  • 7 History of monotheism
  • 8 Theology
    • 1 Christianity
    • 2 Islam
    • 3 Theology and laws
  • 9 God and neurobiology
  • 10 Rational Proofs for the Existence of God
    • 1 Classification
      • 1.1 Rational position
      • 1.2 Historical-legal position
    • 11 Search for God
    • 12 Construction of God
    • 13 External links
    • 14 References
    • 15 Sources

Concepts

God is often conceived as the personal creator, Supernatural and supervisor of the universe. Theologians have ascribed a variety of attributes to the many different conceptions of God. Among these, the most common are omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence. God has also been conceived as incorporeal in nature, a personal being, the source of all moral obligation, and the “greatest conceivable being with existence.” These attributes were described to varying degrees by early Jewish, Christian, and Muslim philosophers- theologians , including Maimonides , Saint Augustine , and Al-Ghazali , respectively.

Conceptions of the supreme being

God is often imagined as a force of Nature or as a conscious entity that can manifest in a natural aspect. Both the Light and the twilight are canonical symbols to represent God.

The most common definition of God is that of a supreme, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient being; creator, judge, protector and, in some religions, savior of the Universe and humanity.

There are variations on this definition

God defined as a personal supreme being

Depending on the different visions, they can be varied and not always harmonizable. In addition, there are those who believe in a personal God simply according to philosophical arguments, but without having to resort to a religious way of dealing with that God, while others consider God, with religious arguments without excluding other arguments (they can also have philosophical arguments), as a being with whom they deal with and expect saving action on behalf of men.

Proposed Features

  • God would be able to breathe the proper breath that allows his worshipers to sustain the system of self-government that he himself defines in a compendium of laws, norms and / or principles cataloged in a collection of books defined as sacred by his followers, and whose human editors they claim to have been guided by divine enlightenment. By infusing that power, it causes no added suffering to the routine life system.
  • God as being able to submit wills.
  • In some religions and philosophical currents, God is the creator of the universe (cf. Genesis chapter 1; Romans 2; Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed).
  • Some traditions hold that, in addition to creator, God is conservative (theism), while others believe that God is only creator (deism).

In the great monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Bahá’í faith and Sikhism, the term “God” refers to the idea of ​​a supreme, infinite, perfect being, creator of the universe, who would be, then, the beginning and the end of all things. Among the main characteristics of this Supreme God would be mainly:

  • Omnipotence: absolute power over all things;
  • Omnipresence: power to be present everywhere;
  • Omniscience: absolute power to know the things that have been, that are and that will happen.

They postulate that God is a loving being with his creation and just and, in Christianity, that through the Holy Spirit he can instrumentalize chosen people to carry out his work and that God is also intelligence and can express emotions such as joy, anger or sadness.

Man can speak and communicate directly with God, without intermediaries, through prayer, he can receive personal revelations, wisdom and additional intelligence to understand the mysteries of God. God also makes revelations to prophets, face to face, as is the case with Moses , Elijah and other prophets. God’s work is to give men the gift of salvation and eternal life.

  • Some conceptions of God focus on a vision of God as an eternal, transcendent, immutable and ultimate reality, in contrast to the visible and continually changing universe.
  • Mainly, God is attributed omnipotence (everything can), omnipresence (everything encompasses), omniscience (everything knows), and omnibenevolence (it is absolutely good). However, not everyone claims that God is morally good. While some consider that God represents the morally good, admitting that there is an objective definition of good and bad, for others God is above or determines morality, so that what God wants to be good is good. . Not all its attributes agree, contradictions appearing that make critics deny that God can have at the same time the four indicated attributes. For example, it is claimed that if God is the omnipotent, omniscient creator and the sole judge, then in creating humanity, including atheists and pagans, he knows what their behavior will be like and will have to send them to hell. This God cannot, therefore, be good from the point of view of all humans, in the same way that some will affirm that not all humans are good from the point of view of God.
    This, the problem of the existence of evil, is one of the obstacles raised by skeptics to accept this concept of God. Believers often claim the “free will” of human beings to explain evil in the world, although that argument does not serve to explain evil in Nature (although the concept of evil in Nature is not fully defined, since it exists the problem that, if good and evil is a matter of choice made (for freedom or reasoning), Nature lacks these kinds of options, it simply is as it is); and on the other hand, critics do not consider the omnipotence and omniscience of God compatible with free will, arguing that if God can do everything, intervening would imply hindering the freedom of the human being;
    With respect to omnipotence, the omnibenevolent characteristic of God is opposed, that when power is all, it does not necessarily do so, but rather leaves the human being to act according to the free characteristic with which he created him in the beginning and does not interfere, either by apathy or pleasure (which again would contradict God’s benevolence), or out of respect (born of his benevolence) for the nature with which man was created.
  • Negative (or negative way) theology argues that conclusive statements about the attributes of God cannot be determined, while agnostics consider that limited human knowledge does not allow conclusive proof of what or how God is. Some customs related to mysticism establish limits to the power of God, considering that the supreme nature of God leaves no room for chance.
  • The conception of God as an individual entity is a characteristic of monotheism. The differences between monotheism and polytheism depend on the tradition of the peoples (see Trinidad, Dualism and Henoteism).

God a supreme non-personal being

  • God as supreme, but not necessarily as a personal being.

Or some ideas about God may include anthropomorphic attributes: sex, concrete names, and even ethnic exclusivity, while other ideas are merely philosophical concepts. Or the idea of ​​God is often intermixed with the definition of truth, in which God is the sum of all truths. From this perspective, science is only a means of finding God. Or there are divergences in defining God, either as a person or, rather, as an impersonal force or impulse. There are also various ways in which it is understood that God would relate to man and the appearance that God would have.

  • Some argue that there is only one valid definition of God, while for others, it is possible that several definitions of God are possible at once.
  • An explanation of the existence of God can be constructed from psychology, trying to establish what external reality corresponds to his mental recreation. Thus, from the introspective study of consciousness, it would be concluded that it arises associated with the experience of a certain emptiness.

Etymology

In Spanish, as in the other Romance languages, the word “god” comes directly from the Latin deus, ‘deity, god’. Latin deus, in other Romance languages, derived into deus ( Galician and Portuguese ), dieu ( French ), dio ( Italian ) and déu ( Catalan ).

Exposition

There are a number of names of God in Indo-European languages ​​that are interpreted as derived from a single original, proto-Indo-European form, Dyeus. .In Germanic languages ​​the word to designate God has the root got-, from which come god (English) or gott (German). From this same root the name of the Godo people could be derived. The origin of the word got is very old, and does not extend to any other Indo-European family with the exception of Iran. Thus in modern Persian it is said joda (خدا), and in Kurdish, xhwedê. The root originates from the second noun participle of the Indo-German * ghuto-m, from the verbal root * ghau (‘call, make a call, invoke’). In this way, God would be ‘the being called’, ‘the being invoked’.

The name Yahveh comes from the Hebrew yhwh and is not related to any of the Indo-European ways of designating the supreme God. Yahweh is the biblical proper name of the god of the Christian and Jewish religions, while to refer to the divinity in a generic way the Semitic languages ​​have the stem El, which has given rise, among others, to the Arabic Allah or the Hebrew Elohim.

Capitalization

In Castilian it refers to the god of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and, sometimes, of Hinduism with a capital letter (“God”) as is done with any proper name. But also pronouns and adjectives related to God are written in capital letters, as a formula of respect in religious texts, [4] for example, it is written “the Lord”, “He”, “His”, “You”, “You “, etc.

God’s names

In Castilian, the word “God” is used to refer to the supreme deity of monotheistic religions. But there are many gods of this type that appear among the different cultures, including the polytheists, and therefore many the words in different languages ​​with which they are particularly identified according to that exclusive condition of theirs, or the particular names that are given to them has awarded.

For an analysis of the names of God in Judaism and in Christianity , the meaning of the name for these religions must be taken into account.

Below is a list of some of the various supreme gods, from various countries and religious manifestations, according to their respective names: The tetragrammaton (‘four letters’) Yhwh in Phoenician (from 1100 BC to 300 AD. C.), in Aramaic (from the 10th century BC to the 1st century AD) and in modern Hebrew characters

  • Achamán in Guanche mythology, the sustaining god of heaven and sublime god.
  • Ahura Mazda for Zoroastrianism.
  • Allah (Arabic; has given Allah in Spanish), in Islam . Although the opposite is often believed, it is not a proper name but the word “God” in Arabic. With this word, the Arabic speakers (be they Muslims, Christians or Jews) refer to the only God of the monotheistic religions. It is the Arabic version of the Semitic name El, which has also given rise to the Hebrew Elohim.
  • Amaterasu O-Mikami or Kamisama (天 て ら す 大 神 様): ‘Lord God who illuminates the sky’, in the shintoism of Japan .
  • Ameno Minakanushi (‘Lord God the heavenly father’) in ancient Shintoism.
  • Anu is the supreme god of the Sumerian religion.
  • Avalokiteshvara (in Sanskrit) according to Lamaism.
  • Ayyavazhi in southern India .
  • Cao Ðài (Vietnamese), in Caodaism.
  • Elohim (from Hebrew as well), used in the Bible .
  • Igzi’abihier (literally ‘lord of the universe’) in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church .
  • Jah is the apocope of Yahweh (see Yahweh). It is the way that Rastafarians use.
  • Ngai is the Masai name of God.
  • Niskam
  • Shang Di (上帝): ‘Lord of Heaven’, in the ancient Chinese religion .
  • Teotl means ‘god’ in Nahuatl (although it must be remembered that they were polytheists).
  • Holy Trinity (encompassing the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit), represents God in almost all Christian confessions. Some Christians identify God the Father with Yahweh from Judaism as God Himself, yet other Christians believe that Yahweh is Jesus Christ.
  • Waheguru is the term of Sikhism for God.
  • Yahweh or Yahweh (yhwh (יהוה) in Hebrew) is the name of the supreme God of the ancient Hebrews, the god of the biblical Old Testament, later taken by Christians as the supreme God and father of Jesus Christ, so that today He is known as the Judeo-Christian God, the Christian God of the West. It is usually translated as ‘he who is’ or ‘he who lives’. This Hebrew letter (יהוה) is known by the Greek word tetragrammaton. In the Jewish cult this name is never pronounced even though it appears written in religious texts, saying instead Adonai, which means ‘the Lord’. Due to the fact that in the Hebrew text there are no vowels, it is not known how to pronounce the name exactly (which the Hebrew Sages transmitted orally to their students) and therefore there are those who use the transcription of Yahveh while others use the name Jehovah, juxtaposing the vowels of Adonai to the consonants of YHWH. The Jewish practice of substituting titles such as the divine name was adopted in later copies of the Greek Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate and in many other translations, ancient and modern, so there are translations into Spanish of the Bible that substitute the Hebrew name. for ‘Lord’. In1611 , the English version of the King James Bible used Jehovah’s name four times .

Attributes of God

Main article: Attributes of God .

Christian monotheistic position

According to Christian monotheism, the knowledge of the nature of God could be carried out in two ways: an ascending one, based on what one could know about God from nature; and another descending, what God supposedly reveals. In the following section, the alleged attributes of God are classified according to their relationship with what is created: unrelated attributes (they are completely independent of Creation, such as spirituality) and related attributes (are manifested in Creation, such as the omnipotence); the latter are subdivided in turn into active attributes and moral attributes depending on whether the relationship is established with what is created in general or with rational creatures.

Unrelated attributes

They are those divine attributes that are completely independent of what is attributed as created.

Spirituality

This view presents a God who is neither material nor limited to the conditions of material existence. He says that he is spirit, that he thinks, feels, speaks and communicates with his rational creatures, does not possess bodily limbs or passions, is not composed of material elements, and is not subject to the conditions of natural existence. According to the Bible, Jesus would have said that God is Spirit, as it is recorded in the Gospel of John: God is Spirit; and those who worship him, in spirit and in truth, must worship.

An alleged consequence of God’s spirituality would be that God lives. He lives as a moral being in the likeness of man, but in utmost perfection. A. Strong affirms: If the spirit in man implies life, then in God the spirit implies eternal and inexhaustible life

Infinitude

God is absolutely limited by nothing, and therefore would be infinite. Infinite in relation to space (immensity of God) or time (eternity of God). In relation to space, God would be infinite because he is present everywhere and even outside it; such an attribute would be related to omnipresence. As for time, it would be infinite because it is eternal.

Unit

God would be completely simple, and in him there would be neither composition nor parts.

Omnipotence

The Omnipotence of God would mean:

  • Freedom and power to carry out everything that would be consistent with his nature.
  • Control and sovereignty over everything done or what can be done.

Omniscience

Knowledge of God would be perfect, you do not have to reason or reflect, or discover things, or learn, because in theory you have all the knowledge.

Wisdom

God’s wisdom would be a combination of his omniscience and omnipotence. It has the power to apply its knowledge so that the best purposes are accomplished or fulfilled by the best possible means.

History of monotheism

In the ancient East many cities had their own local god, although this worship of a single god did not imply denial of the existence of other gods.

The iconoclastic cult of the Egyptian solar god Atón was promoted by Pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), who ruled between 1358 and 1340 BC. C. The cult of Aton, the sun god, is often cited as the earliest known example of monotheism and is sometimes cited as a formative influence of early Judaism, due to the presence of Hebrew slaves in Egypt. But although Akhenaten’s hymn to Aton offers strong evidence that Akhenaton considered Aton to be the sole, omnipotent creator, the worship of other gods by Atom never ceased outside his court, and the older polytheistic cults soon regained precedence.

Theology

In some societies, religious believers often assume that the behavioral moral system is inspired by the revelation of the majority religion, which can be collected in a book: for Christianity it is the Bible, for Judaism it is the Tanach and for Islam the Koran.

Christianity

Christians consider God as a being who intervenes and participates in human history, which is revealed. In addition, most Christian confessions consider since ancient times that in God there are three Persons in a single substance, which is gathered under the formula that God would be One and Triune. In the Patristic writings, the difference between the pagan gods, considered full of vices and contradictions, and the God known both by the best pagan thinkers (for example Plato and the Platonists, whom Saint Augustine quotes in his work The City of God) as by Christians. From the Middle Ages to the present day, the Catholic tradition makes God an object of theological study, at the same time that it considers him inaccessible to a full rational understanding (as, for example, Saint Anselm of Aosta explains).1225 – 1274 ), the Catholic Church assumes that the existence of God can be demonstrated in the field of metaphysics. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae ( 1266 ) argues that the existence of God can be understood by five ways or ways (ways are understood as “ways to get to”, not as concrete evidence):

  • First engine track
  • Path of efficient cause
  • Way of being necessary
  • Way of degrees of perfection
  • Way of being intelligent and of the government of the world

Islam

In Islam, the Qur’an does not discuss in depth the issue of proving the existence of God , since it says it is confirmed by the pure and healthy human instinct (as well as by the mind not contaminated with “the impurity of polytheism”). Furthermore, the affirmation of divine unity is something natural and instinctive.

Theology and laws

In various ways and throughout history, states have established not always easy relationships with religious beliefs and with the idea of ​​God dominant in society. There are, therefore, different modalities, ranging from the theocratic state, where the vision of God (or of the gods, in the places where polytheism dominates) is something that should be accepted (according to the laws) by all (so pain of losing some or many rights) to the opposite extreme, which considers belief in God (or in the gods) as something that must be completely eradicated or, at least, excluded from any presence in the public sphere. In confessional states civil society and religious society are separate entities, but there is an official religion and civil laws are required to be subordinate to ecclesiastical,

Denominationalism may be compatible with freedom of worship, but not with equality between religions, moving the differences between simple ceremonial pre-eminence or fiscal privileges for the official religion and the prohibition of exercising public offices for members of other religions or non-religious. In theocratic states the highest authority of government corresponds to the clergy, and all political life is subordinate to religion. Some modern regimes, such as the Franco-inspired authoritarian regimes of Francisco Franco or Ante Pavelić, exceed the limits of the confessional state without becoming theocracies.

God and neurobiology

Neurologist Michael Persinger has collected religious-type hallucinations from his patients with temporal epilepsy. Two of the stories frequently alluded to are those of Rudi Affolter and Gwen Tihe, both of whom suffered from temporary epilepsy. He is an atheist and recounts that he experiences hallucinations as if he was really dying. She is a Christian and her hallucination is that she gives birth to Jesus Christ.

Some have wanted to reproduce these epileptic auras experimentally by stimulating the temporal cortex. Michael Persinger did it with a weak intensity magnetic field and the experimental subjects reported that they noticed as if there were some non-bodily being in the room they were in, they sometimes experienced sudden illumination, or spiritual fear, loss of the notion of time etc. For his part, a Swiss researcher, using “electric zaps” at the height of the gyrus angularis applied to an epileptic, the latter experienced the sensation of “outside the body”.

The moment in which a believing person feels in communion with God, or with a superior entity, was studied by Newberg and D’Aquili. They discovered that most of the experimental subjects – when they are not meditating – show the Orientation Association Area much more active than when they meditate. That is, they are able to concentrate so deeply that they no longer perceive external sensory stimuli. According to the researchers, by not receiving sensory information, the orientation association area becomes unable to determine the limits of the individual. And that would be what causes the meditator to perceive sensations related to “God”, the “infinity” or “unity with the Universe”.

Uffe Schjødt studied brain reactions using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a total of 20 Pentecostalists and 20 other non-believers, while all participants were listening to recorded religious sermons.

All of the volunteers were told that six of the recorded prayers had been read by non-Christians, another six by ordinary Christians, and the other six by a healer. In fact, all of them had been read by ordinary Christians. The scientists found that changes in recorded brain activity occurred only in the case of devoted volunteers in response to the sermons heard. Specifically, in this group, neuronal activity was reduced in parts of the prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex of the left hemisphere of the brain, which are areas that play a key role in the state of vigilance and skepticism in situations in which we are judging the truth and importance of what people tell us. Likewise, the activity of the orientation association area was reduced, reaffirming what Newberg proposed. It was also observed, in believers, additional neural activity in what is considered the area of ​​faith, in the right prefrontal lobe, which was not presented by those who declared themselves non-believers.

Rational proofs for the existence of God

They are arguments in favor of the existence of God, supported by concepts with merely rational meaning, with which, by way of conceptual or demonstrative knowledge, the philosophical tradition, that of scholastic orientation above all, reasons the reason for their belief in God .

Classification

Throughout history, tests have been divided into groups, according to the method used by their exponents. The first method is speculative-rational, which is the best known. The second is the historical-legal one, generally exposed by more recent apologetic authors , but followed by personalities such as Blaise Pascal .

Rational position

Rational tests are traditionally classified into three classes, according to the fundamental idea behind them:

  1. The cosmological tests start from the reality of the world to which they attribute certain characteristics, such as order, teleology , purpose. The test for the order of the world, or teleological test, is the fifth way of Thomas Aquinas . The order that exists in the world, as it shows finality, leads to the demand of an intelligent cause. It is also known as design test, developed in the context of a mechanistic view of the universe. Hume, in Dialogues on Natural Religion( 1779 ) and Kant , in Critique of Pure Reason ( 1787), where it is called a physical-theological test, criticize the value of this test.
  2. The moral tests refer to the universal consent of mankind (as a natural conviction of mankind, which, for some insight religious, leads to affirm the existence of God), to the desire for happiness, eternity (Unamuno) .
  3. Finally, the metaphysical tests , those most typical of the philosophy of the scholastic tradition, and to which a greater rational charge has been attributed. These are the five traditional routes of Thomas Aquinas (minus the fifth, or teleological test). Evidence is constructed by applying the principle of causality to (metaphysical) realities attributable to the world, such as efficient causality, contingency, perfection to varying degrees. These tests try to arrive at a concept of God that appears as the first efficient cause, to be necessary and perfect or infinite.

Historical-legal position

This position is based on the historical research method. It emphasizes the historical truth of New Testament events , such as the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth , and the apostolic preaching of the 1st century AD.

Search for god

Russian bourgeois philosophical-religious current tending to revive already:

“Strengthen in a new way religion in the people”.

Lenin

It arose at the beginning of the 20th century and transcended in the organization of religious meetings ( 1901 – 1903 , Petersburg ), in the publication of the magazines “New way”, “Problems of life”, etc.

The ideas of the “search for God” reached singular acceptance in the bourgeois intellectual media after the defeat of the revolution of 1905 – 1907 . They were discussed extensively in writings and in the Philosophical-Religious Society, reborn in 1907. The representatives of this current – decadent philosophers and writers such as Berdiáiev , Dmitri Merezhkovski (“Not peace, but the sword”, 1908 , etc.), N Minski (“On the freedom of religious conscience”, 1902 ; “The religion of the future”, 1905 ), Sergey Bulgákov – exhorted to adopt a “new attitude” regarding the precepts of Christ, they advocated a certain “religious reform.” They said that the end of life lies in the search for God, that the meaning of history is to give reality to God in humanity, to create deified humanity, that is, a social organization based on religious foundations. Only resignation, love and patience can lead people to the end: to the kingdom of God.

The seekers of God defended irrationalism, mystical knowledge; they understood that revelation was the surest procedure to reach the truth. The theory of the search for God was directed, above all, against the Marxist vision of society and was based on Soloviov’s philosophical-theological conceptions . Lenin, Plekhanov, and other Marxists revealed the reactionary character of all mystical-religious philosophy, including that of the search for God. After the October Revolution of 1917 , most of God’s seekers left Russia and demonstrated against Soviet power.

Construction of God

Russian philosophical-religious current emerged after the defeat of the revolution of 1905 – 1907 ( Lunacharski , Bazárov, Iushkévich and others); for a time Gorky was part of the group of the builders of God (“Confession”, 1907; “The destruction of the personality”, 1909 ), but thanks to the influence of Lenin , he broke with this trend.

The goal of God’s construction, closely linked to Bogdanov’s philosophy , was “to unite scientific socialism with religion ” (Lenin), to create the so-called religious atheism , that is, a religion without God.

“… The socialist is more religious than the old-fashioned religious man.

Anatoli Vasílievich Lunacharski » [1]

… because the objects of worship of the socialist are real: humanity and the cosmos. The builders of God also saw Marxism , first of all, as a religious system that shows people the way to a new life. The ideas of God’s construction were propagated with singular breadth in the school organized by Bogdánov and others on the island of Capri ( 1909 ).

Although the builders of God were members of the Social Democratic Party and protested against the search for God, their theories had nothing in common with Marxism; they reflected the ideological vacillations of a part of the proletariat influenced by the petty bourgeois ideology. Lenin and Plekhanov harshly criticized the “construction of God.”

“… In both Europe and Russia, any defense or justification of the idea of ​​God, even the most refined and well-intentioned, is a justification of the reactionary spirit”

 

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