The concept of God has been in existence since the time of Adam and Eve. Every religion talks about God and every region, west or east has the concept of God. The argument on existence and non-existence of God should have definitely started at least during a period when man started talking about God. The entire concept of god goes round two important factors: 1) God as a belief and 2) God as experience. These two factors are interdependent logically. These factors can be understood by a deep study of various religions and their texts. The texts of religions are an important source of the essentials of the religions.
It is essential to base our studies on these religions texts to understand the concept of God (because there are no other sources which discuss God). The Semitic religions talk of prophets like prophet Mohammed and Jesus who are considered messengers of God. The Eastern religions like Hinduism talk about ‘Advent’, i. e. , the concept of God himself taking birth as a human being. Thus, all religions denote God, but in different perspectives. But all religions point to a common view point, namely, “Purpose of God’s advent or God’s messengers”.
A brief study of the religious texts underscores a common purpose of God, i. e. , ‘To save the good from the evil; To save mankind from the clutches of sorrow and pain. This common cause of God brings out the factors of belief and experience. 1) Belief: Every Christian believes in Jesus; Every Muslim in Allah; Every Jew in Jehovah; Every Hindu in Shiva; Every Buddhist on Buddha; The question of interest here is “Is this belief based on experience”? The answer is definitely a big ‘No’. Then, the next question of interest is “if not experience, then, what is the belief based on?
” A logical analysis brings out a view that a common man who believes in God does not necessarily base his belief on his experience but on other’s experience. For example, a Christian relies on the experience of Jesus and his saints; a Muslim relies on the experience of Prophet Mohammed on God. The next question of interest is why should a man believe in God or in other words what prompts his belief or motivates his belief? ” One of the motives seems to be fulfillment of his needs and wants. Hence, a man prays for his needs and wants.
Another motive seems to be a latent psychological fear (Fillmore, 1970) for so many entities starting from natural fury like cyclonic storm, fear of death, fear of loss of dear ones, fear of loss of properties etc. Thus, a belief out of fear for such entities can be categorized as a belief on account of weakness. Another motive for belief in God is more Scientific and analytical. It relies on the human analysis that such a wonderful world, the stars, the galaxy, the creatures of such beauty and diversity should have been a handwork of some supra entity and the supra entity should have super natural powers.
Thus, in human evolution, there has been always a factor of insecurity giving rise to a psychological fear of sub-conscious origin which has prompted man to hold on to a concept that effectively or to an extent relieves him of the fear. Relief from this factor enables him to express himself better. This understanding turns us to another interesting question, i. e. why should man express himself ? The simple answer seems to be because it is natural for him to express. Then what is natural? That which is part of the nature is natural. Then, What is nature? Does nature’s expression have any purpose? Is nature a spontaneous expression?
If so, then, what is spontaneity? If spontaneity is one which has no known cause, then spontaneity comes from nothing. Then everything has come from nothing seems to be the logical end of the discussion. This logical end gives rise to a strong scientific argument that something can come out of only something and not nothing. This theory has given rise to scientific studies on Microbiology and Molecular biology. These studies have proved that life or natural entities can come out of only a pre-existing entity. For e. g. , bacteria arises from another bacterial cell (Engelkirk,2006). Such questions lead to a scientific conclusion, i.
e. God should be experienced to believe; God should be scientifically proved to believe. 2) Experience: Every aspect of our human life is based on experience. The joy, pain and other feelings we experience is a product of experience of either ourselves or others. Thus, experience needs a reference and this reference is a knowledge. Hence, to experience God and believe God based on that experience is the aspect of interest now. For this experience we do not have the reference knowledge. Hence, we should look for people who have the knowledge of the experience of God. Our contemporaries seem to be in the same point as that of ours!
Hence, such debate goes on about God’s existence. The only available referral sources of God experience seem to be that of Prophets and texts that have the experiences of these men in the west and in the east. The main western source of god experience is the bible and Jesus is the widely accepted reference of God experience. In the middle east, prophet Mohammed is an established source of reference. In the east, the Indian spiritual tests are the source of reference and in the far east, Buddha. All these reference sources of God experience talk and discuss about the same concept of God at different geographic periods and places.
They all discuss the same principles of Justice and destruction of the evil. All these reference sources of God experience have common or similar personal characteristics like love for fellowmen, compassion, sacrifice and a longing for salvation. Their teachings, like Sermon on the Mount of Jesus, Quran of Mohammed, Bhagawat Gita of Krishna summarize the same principles in different languages and contexts. These similarities of character and teachings among these reference sources of God experience points to a conclusion that these sources could have had the same or similar experience on God concept.
Thus, a research study on these personalities may reveal some leads to what they experienced; what are the basic qualifications at psychological plane they had for such experience (for example; a researcher in microbiology should have a basic qualification of knowledge base on microbiology); the methods they devised for such an experience like their way of life, life-style; attitudes and discipline. For instance, Jesus advocated the principle of love for fellowmen, Buddha did advocate the same and so did Krishna.
The question here seems to be whether these personalities express these traits on account of their experience of God or as a basic qualification in order to experience God concept. The answer seems to the first option i. e. the traits expressions seem to be an expression of God experience. This is on account of the fact that all these personalities started talking about God and related concept after a long life of seclusion away from the common world. The religion seems to be a product of their teachings after their God experience.