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Part of a series on
God

General conceptions
Atheism · Deism · Henotheism · Monolatrism
Monotheism · Panentheism · Pantheism


Specific conceptions
Creator · Architect · Demiurge · Devil
Sustainer · Lord · Father · Monad
Oneness · Supreme Being · The All
Personal · Unitarianism · Ditheism · Trinity
in Abrahamic religions
(Bahá'í Faith, Christianity, Islam, Judaism)
in Ayyavazhi · in Buddhism · in Hinduism
in Jainism · in Sikhism · in Zoroastrianism


Attributes
Eternalness · Existence · Gender
Names ("God") · Omnibenevolence
Omnipotence · Omnipresence · Omniscience


Experience and practices
Faith · Prayer · Belief · Revelation
Fideism · Gnosis · Metaphysics
Mysticism · Hermeticism · Esotericism


Related topics

Philosophy · Religion · Ontology
God complex · Neurotheology
Euthyphro dilemma · Problem of evil
Portrayal in popular media
List of religious texts


God is the English name given to a singular omnipotent being in theistic and deistic religions (and other belief systems) who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a principal deity in polytheism.[1]

God is most often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of the universe. Theologians have ascribed a variety of attributes to the many different conceptions of God. The most common among these include omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence. God has also been conceived as being incorporeal, a personal being, the source of all moral obligation, and the "greatest conceivable existent".[1] These attributes were all supported to varying degrees by the early Jewish, Christian and Muslim theologian philosophers, including Maimonides,[2] Augustine of Hippo,[2] and Al-Ghazali,[3] respectively. Many notable medieval philosophers and modern philosophers developed arguments for the existence of God.[3] Many notable philosophers and intellectuals have, in contrast, developed arguments against the existence of God.

Contents

Etymology and usage

The earliest written form of the Germanic word god comes from the 6th century Christian Codex Argenteus. The English word itself is derived from the Proto-Germanic * ǥuđan. Most linguists agree that the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European form * ǵhu-tó-m was based on the root * ǵhau(ə)-, which meant either "to call" or "to invoke".[4] The Germanic words for god were originally neuter—applying to both genders—but during the process of the Christianization of the Germanic peoples from their indigenous Germanic paganism, the word became a masculine syntactic form.[5]

The capitalized form God was first used in Ulfilas's Gothic translation of the New Testament, to represent the Greek Theos. In the English language, the capitalization continues to represent a distinction between monotheistic "God" and "gods" in polytheism.[6][7] In spite of significant differences between religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, the Bahá'í Faith, and Judaism, the term "God" remains an English translation common to all. The name may signify any related or similar monotheistic deities, such as the early monotheism of Akhenaten and Zoroastrianism.

When used in English within a community with a common monotheistic background, "God" always refers to the deity they share. Those with a background in different Abrahamic religions will usually agree on the deity they share, while still differing on details of belief and doctrine—they will disagree about attributes of [the] God, rather than thinking in terms of "my God" and "your (different) God".

Names of God

Conceptions of God can vary widely, but the word God in English—and its counterparts in other languages, such as Latinate Deus, Greek Θεός, Slavic Bog, Sanskrit Ishvara, or Arabic Allah—are normally used for any and all conceptions. The same holds for Hebrew El, but in Judaism, God is also given a proper name, the tetragrammaton (usually reconstructed as Yahweh or YHWH), believed to be a mark of the religion's henotheistic origins. In many translations of the Bible, when the word "LORD" is in all capitals, it signifies that the word represents the tetragrammaton.[8] God may also be given a proper name in monotheistic currents of Hinduism which emphasize the personal nature of God, with early references to his name as Krishna-Vasudeva in Bhagavata or later Vishnu and Hari.[9] For aboriginal Guanches (Tenerife, Spain) God is called Achamán.[10]

It is difficult to distinguish between proper names and epitheta of God, such as the names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament, the names of God in the Qur'an, and the various lists of the thousand names of Hindu gods and List of titles and names of Krishna in Vaishnavism.

Throughout the Hebrew and Christian Bible there are many names for God that portray his (God is always characterised as male) nature and character. One of them is elohim[11][12], which has been argued to mean “strong one”[citation needed], among other things, although the etymology is debated and obscure. Another one is El Shaddai, meaning “God Almighty”.[13] A third notable name is El Elyon, which means “The Most High God”.[14]

Conceptions of God

Detail of Sistine Chapel fresco Creation of the Sun and Moon by Michelangelo (c. 1512), a well known example of the depiction of God the Father in Western art.

Conceptions of God vary widely. Theologians and philosophers have studied countless conceptions of God since the dawn of civilization. The Abrahamic conceptions of God include the trinitarian view of Christians, the Kabbalistic definition of Jewish mysticism, and the Islamic concept of God. The dharmic religions differ in their view of the divine: views of God in Hinduism vary by region, sect, and caste, ranging from monotheistic to polytheistic to atheistic; the view of God in Buddhism is almost non-theist. In modern times, some more abstract concepts have been developed, such as process theology and open theism. Conceptions of God held by individual believers vary so widely that there is no clear consensus on the nature of God.[15] The contemporaneous French philosopher Michel Henry has however proposed a phenomenological approach and definition of God as phenomenological essence of Life.[16]

Existence of God

Many arguments which attempt to prove or disprove the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, and other thinkers for many centuries. In philosophical terminology, such arguments concern schools of thought on the epistemology of the ontology of God.

There are many philosophical issues concerning the existence of God. Some definitions of God are sometimes nonspecific, while other definitions can be self-contradictory. Arguments for the existence of God typically include metaphysical, empirical, inductive, and subjective types, while others revolve around holes in evolutionary theory and order and complexity in the world. Arguments against the existence of God typically include empirical, deductive, and inductive types. Conclusions reached include: "God does not exist" (strong atheism); "God almost certainly does not exist"[17] (de facto atheism); "no one knows whether God exists" (agnosticism); "God exists, but this cannot be proven or disproven" (theism); and "God exists and this can be proven" (theism). There are numerous variations on these positions.

Theological approaches

Theologians and philosophers have ascribed a number of attributes to God, including omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, perfect goodness, divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence. God has been described as incorporeal, a personal being, the source of all moral obligation, and the greatest conceivable being existent.[1] These attributes were all claimed to varying degrees by the early Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars, including St Augustine,[2] Al-Ghazali,[3] and Maimonides.[2]

Many medieval philosophers developed arguments for the existence of God,[3] while attempting to comprehend the precise implications of God's attributes. Reconciling some of those attributes generated important philosophical problems and debates. For example, God's omniscience implies that God knows how free agents will choose to act. If God does know this, their apparent free will might be illusory, or foreknowledge does not imply predestination; and if God does not know it, God is not omniscient.[18]

The last centuries of philosophy have seen vigorous questions regarding the arguments for God's existence raised by such philosophers as Immanuel Kant, David Hume and Antony Flew, although Kant held that the argument from morality was valid. The theist response has been either to contend, like Alvin Plantinga, that faith is "properly basic"; or to take, like Richard Swinburne, the evidentialist position.[19] Some theists agree that none of the arguments for God's existence are compelling, but argue that faith is not a product of reason, but requires risk. There would be no risk, they say, if the arguments for God's existence were as solid as the laws of logic, a position summed up by Pascal as: "The heart has reasons which reason knows not of."[20]

Most major religions hold God not as a metaphor, but a being that influences our day-to-day existences. Many believers allow for the existence of other, less powerful spiritual beings, and give them names such as angels, saints, djinni, demons, and devas.

Theism and Deism

Theism generally holds that God exists realistically, objectively, and independently of human thought; that God created and sustains everything; that God is omnipotent and eternal; personal and interacting with the universe through for example religious experience and the prayers of humans.[21] It holds that God is both transcendent and immanent; thus, God is simultaneously infinite and in some way present in the affairs of the world.[22] Not all theists subscribe to all the above propositions, but usually a fair number of them, c.f., family resemblance.[21] Catholic theology holds that God is infinitely simple and is not involuntarily subject to time. Most theists hold that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent, although this belief raises questions about God's responsibility for evil and suffering in the world. Some theists ascribe to God a self-conscious or purposeful limiting of omnipotence, omniscience, or benevolence. Open Theism, by contrast, asserts that, due to the nature of time, God's omniscience does not mean the deity can predict the future. "Theism" is sometimes used to refer in general to any belief in a god or gods, i.e., monotheism or polytheism.[23][24]

Deism holds that God is wholly transcendent: God exists, but does not intervene in the world beyond what was necessary to create it.[22] In this view, God is not anthropomorphic, and does not literally answer prayers or cause miracles to occur. Common in Deism is a belief that God has no interest in humanity and may not even be aware of humanity. Pandeism and Panendeism, respectively, combine Deism with the Pantheistic or Panentheistic beliefs discussed below.

History of monotheism

The Name of God written in Arabic calligraphy by 17th century Ottoman artist Hâfız Osman. In Islam, it is considered a sin to anthropomorphize God.

Some writers such as Karen Armstrong believe that the concept of monotheism sees a gradual development out of notions of henotheism and monolatrism. In the Ancient Near East, each city had a local patron deity, such as Shamash at Larsa or Sin at Ur. The earliest known claims of global supremacy of a specific god date to the Late Bronze Age, with Akhenaten's Great Hymn to the Aten, and, depending on dating issues, Zoroaster's Gathas to Ahura Mazda. Currents of monism or monotheism emerge in Vedic India in the same period, with e.g. the Nasadiya Sukta. Philosophical monotheism and the associated concept of absolute good and evil emerges in Classical Antiquity, notably with Plato (c.f. Euthyphro dilemma), elaborated into the idea of The One in Neoplatonism.

According to The Oxford Companion To World Mythology, "The lack of cohesion among early Hebrews made monotheism – even monolatry, the exclusive worship of one god among many – an impossibility...And even then it can be argued that the firm establishment of monotheism in Judaism required the rabbinical or Talmudic process of the first century B.C.E. to the sixth century C.E.".[25] In Islamic theology, a person who spontaneously "discovers" monotheism is called a ḥanīf, the original ḥanīf being Abraham.

Austrian anthropologist Wilhelm Schmidt in the 1910s postulated an Urmonotheismus, "original" or "primitive monotheism", a thesis now widely rejected in comparative religion but still occasionally defended in creationist circles.

Monotheism and pantheism

Monotheists hold that there is only one god, and may claim that the one true god is worshiped in different religions under different names. The view that all theists actually worship the same god, whether they know it or not, is especially emphasized in Hinduism[26] and Sikhism.[27] Adherents of different religions, however, generally disagree as to how to best worship God and what is God's plan for mankind, if there is one. There are different approaches to reconciling the contradictory claims of monotheistic religions. One view is taken by exclusivists, who believe they are the chosen people or have exclusive access to absolute truth, generally through revelation or encounter with the Divine, which adherents of other religions do not. Another view is religious pluralism. A pluralist typically believes that his religion is the right one, but does not deny the partial truth of other religions. An example of a pluralist view in Christianity is supersessionism, i.e., the belief that one's religion is the fulfillment of previous religions. A third approach is relativistic inclusivism, where everybody is seen as equally right; an example in Christianity is universalism: the doctrine that salvation is eventually available for everyone. A fourth approach is syncretism, mixing different elements from different religions. An example of syncretism is the New Age movement.

Pantheism holds that God is the universe and the universe is God, whereas Panentheism holds that God contains, but is not identical to, the Universe; the distinctions between the two are subtle. It is also the view of the Liberal Catholic Church, Theosophy, some views of Hinduism except Vaishnavism which believes in panentheism, Sikhism, some divisions of Buddhism, some divisions of Neopaganism and Taoism, along with many varying denominations and individuals within denominations. Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, paints a pantheistic/panentheistic view of God — which has wide acceptance in Hasidic Judaism, particularly from their founder The Baal Shem Tov — but only as an addition to the Jewish view of a personal god, not in the original pantheistic sense that denies or limits persona to God.

Dystheism and nontheism

Dystheism, related to theodicy is a form of theism which holds that God is either not wholly good or is fully malevolent as a consequence of the problem of evil. One such example would be Satanism or the Devil.

Nontheism holds that the universe can be explained without any reference to the supernatural, or to a supernatural being. Some non-theists avoid the concept of God, whilst accepting that it is significant to many; other non-theists understand God as a symbol of human values and aspirations. Many schools of Buddhism may be considered non-theistic.

Non-religious views regarding God

Stephen Jay Gould proposed an approach dividing the world of philosophy into what he called "non-overlapping magisteria" (NOMA). In this view, questions of the supernatural, such as those relating to the existence and nature of God, are non-empirical and are the proper domain of theology. The methods of science should then be used to answer any empirical question about the natural world, and theology should be used to answer questions about ultimate meaning and moral value. In this view, the perceived lack of any empirical footprint from the magisterium of the supernatural onto natural events makes science the sole player in the natural world.[28]

Another view, advanced by Richard Dawkins, is that the existence of God is an empirical question, on the grounds that "a universe with a god would be a completely different kind of universe from one without, and it would be a scientific difference."[17]

Carl Sagan argued that the doctrine of a Creator of the Universe was difficult to prove or disprove and that the only conceivable scientific discovery that could challenge it would be an infinitely old universe.[29]

Anthropomorphism

Pascal Boyer argues that while there is a wide array of supernatural concepts found around the world, in general, supernatural beings tend to behave much like people. The construction of gods and spirits like persons is one of the best known traits of religion. He cites examples from Greek Mythology, which is, in his opinion, more like a modern soap opera than other religious systems.[30] Bertrand du Castel and Timothy Jurgensen demonstrate through formalization that Boyer's explanatory model matches physics' epistemology in positing not directly observable entities as intermediaries.[31] Anthropologist Stewart Guthrie contends that people project human features onto non-human aspects of the world because it makes those aspects more familiar. Sigmund Freud also suggested that god concepts are projections of one's father.[32]

Likewise, Émile Durkheim was one of the earliest to suggest that gods represent an extension of human social life to include supernatural beings. In line with this reasoning, psychologist Matt Rossano contends that when humans began living in larger groups, they may have created gods as a means of enforcing morality. In small groups, morality can be enforced by social forces such as gossip or reputation. However it is much harder to enforce morality using social forces in much larger groups. He indicates that by including ever watchful gods and spirits, humans discovered an effective strategy for restraining selfishness and building more cooperative groups.[33]

Distribution of belief in God

The percentage of population in European countries who responded in a 2005 census that they "believe there is a God". Countries with Roman Catholic (e.g.: Poland, Portugal) Eastern Orthodox (Greece, Romania) or Muslim (Turkey) majorities tend to poll highest.

As of 2000, approximately 53% of the world's population identifies with one of the three Abrahamic religions (33% Christian, 20% Islam, <1% Judaism), 6% with Buddhism, 13% with Hinduism, 6% with traditional Chinese religion, 7% with various other religions, and less than 15% as non-religious. Most of these religious beliefs involve a god or gods.[34]

See also

References


Notes

  1. ^ a b c Swinburne, R.G. "God" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 1995.
  2. ^ a b c d Edwards, Paul. "God and the philosophers" in Honderich, Ted. (ed)The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 1995.
  3. ^ a b c d Platinga, Alvin. "God, Arguments for the Existence of," Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Routledge, 2000.
  4. ^ The ulterior etymology is disputed. Apart from the unlikely hypothesis of adoption from a foreign tongue, the OTeut. "ghuba" implies as its preTeut-type either "*ghodho-m" or "*ghodto-m". The former does not appear to admit of explanation; but the latter would represent the neut. pple. of a root "gheu-". There are two Aryan roots of the required form ("*g,heu-" with palatal aspirate) one with meaning 'to invoke' (Skr. "hu") the other 'to pour, to offer sacrifice' (Skr "hu", Gr. χεηi;ν, OE "geotàn" Yete v). OED Compact Edition, G, p. 267
  5. ^ Barnhart, Robert K (1995). The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology: the Origins of American English Words, page 323. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-270094-7
  6. ^ Webster's New World Dictionary; "god n. ME < OE, akin to Ger gott, Goth guth, prob. < IE base * ĝhau-, to call out to, invoke > Sans havaté, (he) calls upon; 1. any of various beings conceived of as supernatural, immortal, and having special powers over the lives and affairs of people and the course of nature; deity, esp. a male deity: typically considered objects of worship; 2. an image that is worshiped; idol 3. a person or thing deified or excessively honored and admired; 4. [G-] in monotheistic religions, the creator and ruler of the universe, regarded as eternal, infinite, all-powerful, and all-knowing; Supreme Being; the Almighty
  7. ^ Dictionary.com; "God /gɒd/ noun: 1. the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe. 2. the Supreme Being considered with reference to a particular attribute. 3. (lowercase) one of several deities, esp. a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs. 4. (often lowercase) a supreme being according to some particular conception: the god of mercy. 5. Christian Science. the Supreme Being, understood as Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle. 6. (lowercase) an image of a deity; an idol. 7. (lowercase) any deified person or object. 8. (often lowercase) Gods, Theater. 8a. the upper balcony in a theater. 8b. the spectators in this part of the balcony.
  8. ^ Barton, G.A. (2006). A Sketch of Semitic Origins: Social and Religious. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 142861575X. 
  9. ^ Hastings 2003, p. 540
  10. ^ Guanche Religion
  11. ^ Isa. 45:18; 54:5; Jer. 32:27; Gen. 1:1; Deut. 5:23; 8:15; Ps. 68:7
  12. ^ Bible Gateway, http://www.biblegateway.com/. . .
  13. ^ Gen. 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; Ex. 6:31; Ps. 91:1, 2
  14. ^ Gen. 14:19; Ps. 9:2; Dan. 7:18, 22, 25
  15. ^ "DOES GOD MATTER? A Social-Science Critique". by Paul Froese and Christopher Bader. http://www.hds.harvard.edu/news/bulletin/articles/does_god_matter.html. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  16. ^ Michel Henry : I am the Truth. Toward a philosophy of Christianity (Stanford University Press, 2002)
  17. ^ a b Dawkins, Richard. "Why There Almost Certainly Is No God". The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-dawkins/why-there-almost-certainl_b_32164.html. Retrieved 2007-01-10. 
  18. ^ Wierenga, Edward R. "Divine foreknowledge" in Audi, Robert. The Cambridge Companion to Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  19. ^ Beaty, Michael (1991). "God Among the Philosophers". The Christian Century. http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=53. Retrieved 2007-02-20. 
  20. ^ Pascal, Blaise. Pensées, 1669.
  21. ^ a b Smart, Jack; John Haldane (2003). Atheism and Theism. Blackwell Publishing. p. 8. ISBN 0631232591. 
  22. ^ a b Lemos, Ramon M. (2001). A Neomedieval Essay in Philosophical Theology. Lexington Books. p. 34. ISBN 0739102508. 
  23. ^ "Philosophy of Religion .info - Glossary - Theism, Atheism, and Agonisticism". Philosophy of Religion .info. http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/definitions.html. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  24. ^ "Theism - definition of thesim by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia". TheFreeDictionary. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/theism. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  25. ^ The Oxford Companion To World Mythology (David Leeming, Oxford University Press, 2005, page 153)
  26. ^ See Swami Bhaskarananda, Essentials of Hinduism (Viveka Press 2002) ISBN 1-884852-04-1
  27. ^ Sri Granth: Sri Guru Granth Sahib
  28. ^ Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion. Great Britain: Bantam Press. ISBN 0-618-68000-4. 
  29. ^ Sagan, Carl (1996). The Demon Haunted World p.278. New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-40946-9. 
  30. ^ Boyer, Pascal (2001). Religion Explained,. New York: Basic Books. pp. 142–243. ISBN 0-465-00696-5. http://books.google.com/books?id=wreF80OHTicC&pg=PA142&lpg=PA142&dq=boyer+modern+soap+opera&source=web&ots=NxBK3w-s5u&sig=_zo19-nO6z8BS9XPTudCnjH8ybg&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result#PPA142,M1. 
  31. ^ du Castel, Bertrand; Jurgensen, Timothy M. (2008). Computer Theology,. Austin, Texas: Midori Press. pp. 221–222. ISBN 0-9801821-1-5. 
  32. ^ Barrett, Justin (1996) (PDF). Conceptualizing a Nonnatural Entity: Anthropomorphism in God Concepts. http://www.yale.edu/cogdevlab/People/Lab_Members/Frank/Frank%27s%20papers%20pdfs%20/Frank%27s%20articles/conceptualizingnonnaturalentity.pdf. 
  33. ^ Rossano, Matt (2007) (PDF). Supernaturalizing Social Life: Religion and the Evolution of Human Cooperation. http://www2.selu.edu/Academics/Faculty/mrossano/recentpubs/Supernaturalizing.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  34. ^ National Geographic Family Reference Atlas of the World p. 49

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

One boy would not get it through his head that for all adults God is not an old man in a white beard sitting on a cloud... ~ Madeleine L'Engle

God is a term used in referring to various notions of a supreme being, often described to be the ruler or creator of the universe, or immanent within it.

Contents

A - Z

A

Quotations listed alphabetically by author or work.
In the Beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. ~ Douglas Adams
  • "Does God know he [exists]?" "Of course he does. Otherwise, you could not have asked the question, and I could not have answered."
  • When I observe into what inconsistent absurdities those persons run who make speculative, metaphysical religion a matter of importance, I am fully determined never to puzzle myself in the mazes of religious discussion, [and] to content myself with practicing the dictates of God and reason so far as I can judge for myself...
  • Facts are the words of God, and we may heap them together endlessly, but they will teach us little or nothing till we place them in their true relations, and recognize the thought that binds them together.
  • It is the job of prophets and scientists alike to proclaim the glories of God
  • "We have one life; it soon will be past; what we do for God is all that will last."
  • God will not place a burden on a man's shoulders knowing that he cannot carry it.
  • How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?
  • If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse.
  • Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends.
  • God is not a limited individual who sits alone up in the clouds on a golden throne. God is pure Consciousness that dwells within everything. Understanding this truth, learn to accept and love everyone equally.
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. ~ Susan B. Anthony
  • I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
    • Susan B. Anthony, in an address to the National American Woman Suffrage Association (1896)
  • To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.
  • A God who cannot smile could not have created this humorous universe.
  • In God alone, essence (what He is) and existence (that he is) coincide.
  • God, the supreme being, is neither circumscribed by space, nor touched by time; he cannot be found in a particular direction, and his essence cannot change. The secret conversation is thus entirely spiritual; it is a direct encounter between God and the soul, abstracted from all material constraints.
    • Avicenna, as quoted in 366 Readings From Islam (2000), edited by Robert Van der Weyer

B

  • God alone is real, nothing matters but love for God.
  • It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.
  • There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures, which express His power.
  • I reverse the phrase of Voltaire, and say that if God would have existed, it would be necessary to abolish Him.
  • The orthodox faith painted God as a revengeful being, and yet people talk about loving such a being.
  • That men should live honestly, quietly, and comfortably together, it is needful that they should live under a sense of God's will, and in awe of the divine power, hoping to please God, and fearing to offend Him, by their behaviour respectively.
  • Stop telling God what to do with his dice.
  • When with bold telescopes I survey the old and newly discovered stars and planets, when with excellent microscopes I discern the unimitable subtility of nature’s curious workmanship; and when, in a word, by the help of anatomical knives, and the light of chemical furnaces, I study the book of nature, I find myself oftentimes reduced to exclaim with the Psalmist, ‘How manifold are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou made them all!
  • An outlook through this peephole [that manned space flight had opened] at the vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator. I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.
  • All names of God remain hallowed because they have been used not only to speak of God but also to speak to him.
  • Some would deny any legitimate use of the word God because it has been misused so much. Certainly it is the most burdened of all human words. Precisely for that reason it is the most imperishable and unavoidable. And how much weight has all erroneous talk about God's nature and works (although there never has been nor can be any such talk that is not erroneous) compared with the one truth that all men who have addressed God really meant him? For whoever pronounces the word God and really means Thou, addresses, no matter what his delusion, the true Thou of his life that cannot be restricted by any other and to whom he stands in a relationship that includes all others.
  • God's merits are so transcendent that it is not surprising his faults should be in reasonable proportion.

C

  • God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that.
  • At best, God can be viewed as nothing more than an uncaring incompetent father-figure
  • Religion has never really had a big problem with murder. Not really. More people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason.
  • Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money!
  • Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.
  • Nihil est, quod deus efficere non possit - there is nothing god cannot do
  • God: a disease we imagine we are cured of because no one dies of it nowadays.
  • Perhaps our role on this planet is not to worship God — but to create Him.
  • I've steered clear of God. He was an incredible sadist.
    • John Collier
  • We spoke to God about the children, and we were afraid to ask God for specific things. We thought that it might be too much. So we said to God 'Please give us a healthy child' and left it at that, not knowing that God is a generous God, but also has a sense of humor. And if you leave that much open for God, some wonderful jokes are going to come about.

D

  • Realization of Happiness Itself Is Realization of God, Truth, or Reality Itself
  • I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose.
  • I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.
  • A man who recognizes no God is probably placing an inordinate value on himself.
  • The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
  • Nothing is discovered without God’s intention and assistance, and I suppose every new knowledge of His works that is conceded to man to be distinctly a revelation by which men are to guide themselves.
It is solemn to remember that Vastness —
Is but the Shadow of the Brain which casts it — ~ Emily Dickinson
  • They say that God is everywhere, and yet we always think of Him as somewhat of a recluse.
  • It is solemn to remember that Vastness —
    Is but the Shadow of the Brain which casts it —
    All things swept sole away
    This — is immensity —
  • If there is a supreme being, he's crazy.
    • Marlene Dietrich, as quoted in Rave magazine (November 1986)
  • God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.
  • God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world.

E

  • God says do what you wish, but make the wrong choice and you will be tortured for eternity in hell. That, sir, is not free will. It would be akin to a man telling his girlfriend, 'Do what you wish, but if you choose to leave me, I will track you down and blow your brains out.' When a man says this we call him a psychopath and cry out for his imprisonment/execution. When a god says the same, we call him loving and build churches in his honor.
  • If we pray to God as a corporeal person, this will prevent us from relinquishing the human doubts and fears which attend such a belief, and so we cannot grasp the wonders wrought by infinite, incorporeal Love, to whom all things are possible.
  • Before God we are all equally wise — and equally foolish
  • I believe in Spinoza's God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.
  • I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science.
    My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance — but for us, not for God.
  • I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him.
  • It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious, then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
    • Albert Einstein from a letter to an atheist, written in English (24 March 1954). It is included in Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman
  • My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.
  • Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the Old One. I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice.
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science... ~ Albert Einstein
  • The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man.
    • Albert Einstein
    • Variant translation: The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
  • Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to... If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked... If, as they say, God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?... If he is unable to do either, then why call him 'God'?
  • If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all men would quickly have perished: for they are always praying for evil against one another.
  • God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
    • Exodus 3:14 (King James Version)
    • Variant: God said to Moses, 'I will be what I will be'

F

  • When people expect God to plan their lives for them, and protect them, they tend to lose their motivation to guide and control their own lives.
    • Charles W. Faulkner
  • If you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

G

  • I looked and looked but I didn't see God.
    • Yuri Gagarin after becoming the first person to orbit the Earth. Sometimes misquoted as "I see no God up here" as if he said this in space, but there are no transcripts or recordings indicating that he ever did.
  • I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them.
  • Mathematics is the language in which God wrote the universe.
  • It is beyond my power to induce in you a belief in God. There are certain things which are self proved and certain which are not proved at all. The existence of God is like a geometrical axiom. It may be beyond our heart grasp. I shall not talk of an intellectual grasp. Intellectual attempts are more or less failures, as a rational explanation cannot give you the faith in a living God. For it is a thing beyond the grasp of reason. It transcends reason. There are numerous phenomena from which you can reason out the existence of God, but I shall not insult your intelligence by offering you a rational explanation of that type. I would have you brush aside all rational explanations and begin with a simple childlike faith in God. If I exist, God exists. With me it is a necessity of my being as it is with millions. They may not be able to talk about it, but from their life you can see that it is a part of their life. I am only asking you to restore the belief that has been undermined. In order to do so, you have to unlearn a lot of literature that dazzles your intelligence and throws you off your feet. Start with the faith which is also a token of humility and an admission that we know nothing, that we are less than atoms in this universe. We are less than atoms, I say, because the atom obeys the law of its being, whereas we in the insolence of our ignorance deny the law of nature. But I have no argument to address to those who have no faith.
  • "Either half my colleagues are enormously stupid, or else the science of Darwinism is fully compatible with conventional religious beliefs". Stephen Jay Gould. mpeaching a Self-Appointed Judge," Scientific American, July 1992

H

  • Give according to your means, or God will make your means according to your giving.
    • Reverend John Hall
  • If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is 'God is crying.' And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is 'Probably because of something you did.'
  • Men rarely (if ever) managed to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.
  • How much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in his divine system of creation?
  • Faith must have adequate evidence, else it is mere superstition.
    • Alexander Hodge
  • Consciousness is Gods’ gift to mankind.
  • God only speaks to those who understand the language
  • Never tell a young person that something cannot be done. God may have been waiting for centuries for somebody ignorant enough of the impossibility to do that thing.
    • Dr. J.A. Holmes

I

  • All laws for the purpose of making man worship God, are born of the same spirit that kindled the fires of the auto da fe, and lovingly built the dungeons of the Inquisition. All laws defining and punishing blasphemy — making it a crime to give your honest ideas about the Bible, or to laugh at the ignorance of the ancient Jews, or to enjoy yourself on the Sabbath, or to give your opinion of Jehovah, were passed by impudent bigots, and should be at once repealed by honest men. An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures.
  • I do not believe in forgiveness as it is preached by the church. We do not need the forgiveness of God, but of each other and of ourselves.
  • I have made up my mind that if there is a God, he will be merciful to the merciful.
    Upon that rock I stand.
    That he will not torture the forgiving.
    Upon that rock I stand.
    That every man should be true to himself, and that there is no world, no star, in which honesty is a crime.
    Upon that rock I stand.
    The honest man, the good woman, the happy child, have nothing to fear, either in this world or the world to come.
    Upon that rock I stand.
  • The old doctrine that God wanted man to do something for him, and that he kept a watchful eye upon all the children of men; that he rewarded the virtuous and punished the wicked, is gradually fading from the mind. We know that some of the worst men have what the world calls success. We know that some of the best men lie upon the straw of failure. We know that honesty goes hungry, while larceny sits at the banquet. We know that the vicious have every physical comfort, while the virtuous are often clad in rags.
  • Would God give a bird wings and make it a crime to fly? Would he give me brains and make it a crime to think? Any God that would damn one of his children for the expression of his honest thought wouldn't make a decent thief. When I read a book and don't believe it, I ought to say so. I will do so and take the consequences like a man.
  • I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create calamity: I the LORD do all these things.
    • Isaiah 45:5-7 (King James Version)
    • Variant: I am the Lord and there is no other. Who forms light and creates darkness, Who makes peace and creates calamity; I am the Lord, who makes all these.
  • When gods quarrel, it is the mortals who suffer
    • Tatsuya Ishida
  • We all have regrets and God's regret is mankind!
  • If God exists, it is ok; if He doesn't exist, it is still ok; what matters is our existence, the rest is mere details!
  • GOD is the invisible power that governs the universe.
    • Ishan Arora

J

  • The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.
  • It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
  • Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
  • Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
    • Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to his nephew Peter Carr from Paris, France, (10 August 1787).
  • No historical fact is better established, than that the doctrine of one God, pure and uncompounded, was that of the early ages of Christianity … Nor was the unity of the Supreme Being ousted from the Christian creed by the force of reason, but by the sword of civil government, wielded at the will of the fanatic Athanasius.
  • The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.
1. That there is one only God, and he all perfect.
2. That there is a future state of rewards and punishments.
3. That to love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion.
  • You cannot serve both God and Mammon.
  • Some foolish men declare that creator made the world. The doctrine that the world was created is ill advised and should be rejected. If God created the world, where was he before the creation? If you say he was transcendent then and needed no support, where is he now? How could God have made this world without any raw material? If you say that he made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression. If you declare that this raw material arose naturally you fall into another fallacy, For the whole universe might thus have been its own creator, and have arisen quite naturally. If God created the world by an act of his own will, without any raw material, then it is just his will and nothing else — and who will believe this silly nonsense? If he is ever perfect and complete, how could the will to create have arisen in him? If, on the other hand, he is not perfect, he could no more create the universe than a potter could. If he is form-less, action-less and all-embracing, how could he have created the world? Such a soul, devoid of all morality, would have no desire to create anything. If he is perfect, he does not strive for the three aims of man, so what advantage would he gain by creating the universe? If you say that he created to no purpose because it was his nature to do so, then God is pointless. If he created in some kind of sport, it was the sport of a foolish child, leading to trouble. If he created because of the karma of embodied beings [acquired in a previous creation] He is not the Almighty Lord, but subordinate to something else. If out of love for living beings and need of them he made the world, why did he not take creation wholly blissful free from misfortune? If he were transcendent he would not create, for he would be free: Nor if involved in transmigration, for then he would not be almighty. Thus the doctrine that the world was created by God makes no sense at all, And God commits great sin in slaying the children whom he himself created. If you say that he slays only to destroy evil beings, why did he create such beings in the first place? Good men should combat the believer in divine creation, maddened by an evil doctrine. Know that the world is uncreated, as time itself is, without beginning or end, and is based on the principles, life and rest. Uncreated and indestructible, it endures under the compulsion of its own nature.
    • Jinasena (9th Century) in the Mahāpurāna, as translated in Primal Myths (1979) by Barbara Sproul
  • The very pure spirit does not bother about the regard of others or human respect, but communes inwardly with God, alone and in solitude as to all forms, and with delightful tranquility, for the knowledge of God is received in divine silence.
    • John of the Cross in The Sayings of Light and Love as translated by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez (1991)
  • It is easy to understand God as long as you don't try to explain him.
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life
    • John 3:16

K

  • It is not God's will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy.
  • The wish to talk to God is absurd. We cannot talk to one we cannot comprehend — and we cannot comprehend God; we can only believe in Him. The uses of prayer are thus only subjective.
  • I had the intention of becoming a theologian...but now I see how God is, by my endeavors, also glorified in astronomy, for 'the heavens declare the glory of God.'
  • [God] is the kind Creator who brought forth nature out of nothing."
  • "The Creator, the fountain of all wisdom, the approver of perpetual order, the eternal and superessential spring of geometry and harmonics."
  • God is cruel, sometimes he makes you live.
  • God said take what you want...and pay for it.

L

  • It isn't always the middle-aged who refuse to listen, who will not even try to understand another point of view. One boy would not get it through his head that for all adults God is not an old man in a white beard sitting on a cloud. As far as this boy was concerned, this old gentleman was the adult's god, and therefore he did not believe in God.
  • God is only a great imaginative experience.
    • D.H. Lawrence, Phoenix: The Posthumous Papers of D. H. Lawrence (1936) pt. 4, edited by E. McDonald
  • God created the world and then created the devil, to blame for his mistakes.
    • Simon Le Bon
  • God is a concept by which we measure our pain.
  • God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
  • God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love.
  • If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will... then we may take it it is worth paying.
  • Is it not better to place a question mark upon a problem while seeking an answer than to put the label "God" there and consider the matter solved? Does not the word "God" only confuse and make more difficult the solution by assuming a conclusion that is utterly groundless and palpably absurd?
  • I can see how it might be possible for someone to look around on earth and not believe in God, but I cannot conceive how anyone could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.
  • You notice how God's not around anymore? He spends all that time playing with Adam and Eve and the Israelites and smiting cities and things and has got bored over the last... recorded history or so. I wonder if he has new toys? And if so, are the old toys still going to be wanted when we show up to cash in the "life everafter" tokens.
    • Katie Lucas
  • I believe our limited minds are unable to grasp such a concept

M

  • If, it was natural to reason, God punishes men with eternal torment, it is surely lawful for men to use doses of it in a good cause.
  • Creator — A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh.
  • God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in his arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.
  • When people ask what my beliefs are, I respond that if I try to explain I would get lost.
    • Edgar Mendez
  • To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that Love is the reason for my existence, for God is love.
    Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.
  • O God, we are one with You. You have made us one with You. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, You dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept You, and we thank You, and we adore You, and we love You with our whole being, because our being is Your being, our spirit is rooted in Your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes You present in the world, and which makes You witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious. Amen.
    • Thomas Merton, in his closing prayer to an informal address delivered in Calcutta, India (October 1968), from The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton (1975); quoted in Thomas Merton, Spiritual Master : The Essential Writings (1992), p. 237
  • God is a word to express, not our ideas, but the want of them.
  • And God said, 'Let there be light' and there was light, but the Electricity Board said he would have to wait until Thursday to be connected.
  • There is a very good saying that if triangles invented a god, they would make him three-sided.

N

  • This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all, and on account of His dominion He is wont to be called Lord God, Universal Ruler."
  • The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of the Creation.
  • It seems probable to me that God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end to which he formed them."
  • A Heavenly Master governs all the world as Sovereign of the universe. We are astonished at Him by reason of His perfection, we honor Him and fall down before Him because of His unlimited power. From blind physical necessity, which is always and everywhere the same, no variety adhering to time and place could evolve, and all variety of created objects which represent order and life in the universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, Whom I call the Lord God.
  • God is a thought which makes crooked all that is straight.
  • God is dead: but considering the state Man is in, there will perhaps be caves, for ages yet, in which his shadow will be shown.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche in The Gay Science (1882), section 125
    • A famous satirical response to Nietzsche's statement is:
      "God is dead" — Nietzsche
      "Nietzsche is dead" — God
  • God's just a mean kid with a magnifying glass. And we're the ants.
    • Bruce Nolan

O

P

  • It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
  • The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.
  • Science brings men nearer to God.
  • I cannot believe that God is a weak left-hander.
    • Wolfgang Pauli after hearing of experiments that violated parity conservation
  • For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse..
  • God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
    • John the Apostle in 1 John 1:5
  • God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
    • John the Apostle in 1 John 4:16
  • All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.
    • Max Planck, As he accepted the Nobel Prize (1919)
  • The fool says in his heart "There is no God".
    • Psalms 53:1

Q

  • God! There is no god but He, — the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there that can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? he knoweth what before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme.

R

  • God is hope—that is what people turn to.
    • Swami Raj
  • Kill one man and you are a murderer. Kill millions and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone and you are a God.
  • If I were granted omnipotence, and millions of years to experiment in, I should not think Man much to boast of as the final result of all my efforts.
  • So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
  • We must be greater than God, for we have to undo His injustice.
    • Jules Renard

S

  • I think that if there were a God, there would be less evil on this earth. I believe that if evil exists here below, then either it was willed by God or it was beyond His powers to prevent it. Now I cannot bring myself to fear a God who is either spiteful or weak. I defy Him without fear and care not a fig for his thunderbolts.
    • Marquis de Sade, Justine or The Misfortunes of Virtue (1787) [This quote is strikingly similar to Epicurus' above.]
  • The existence of the world without God seems to me less absurd than the presence of a God, existing in all his perfection,creating an imperfect man in order to make him run the risk of Hell.
  • Respectable society believed in God in order to avoid having to speak about him.
  • You don't fuck around with the infinite.
  • [God is] a force more powerful than mom and dad put together.
  • Lisa Simpson: I haven't stopped believing in God, I just think there's a different path to him...Or her.
    Marge Simpson: HER?! [addressing God] She's just kidding, Mister Lord!
  • Stan: Why would God let Kenny die, Chef? Why? Kenny's my Friend. Why can't God take someone else's friend?
    Chef: Stan, sometime God take those closest to us, because it makes him feel better about Himself. He's a very vengeful God, Stan. He's all pissed off about something we did thousands of years ago. He just can't get over it. So he doesn't care who he takes: children, puppies, it don't matter to him, so long as it makes us sad. Do you understand?
    Stan: Then why does God give us anything to start with?
    Chef: Well, look at it this way: if you want to make a baby cry, first you give it a lollipop. Then, you take it away. If you never give it a lollipop to begin with, then you would have nothing to cry about. That's like God, who gives us life and love and health just so that he can tear it all away and make us cry, so he can drink the sweet milk of our tears...You see, it's our tears, Stan, that give God his great power.
    Stan: I think I understand.
  • It is sometimes hard, in times like these, to understand God's way. Why would he allow nine innocent people to be run down in the prime of their lives by a senior citizen who, perhaps, shouldn't be driving? It is then that we must understand, God's sense of humor is very different from our own. He does not laugh at the simple "man walks into a bar" joke. No, God needs complex irony and subtle farcical twists that seem macabre to you and me. All that we can hope for is that God got his good laugh and a tragedy such as this will never happen again.
  • Whatsoever is, is in God, and without God nothing can be, or be conceived.~ Baruch (Benedict) Spinoza in Ethics Pt. I, prop. 15
  • Things could not have been brought into being by God in any manner or in any order different from that which has in fact obtained.
  • Get out of our schools God, get out of our textbooks God, get out of our government God, go away God, go away God, go away God, Katrina hits, God, where are you?
  • I bring up God alot in my show, know why? Because I miss him.
    • Brad Stine
  • It is an insult to God to believe in God. For on the one hand it is to suppose that he has perpetrated acts of incalculable cruelty. On the other hand, it is to suppose that he has perversely given his human creatures an instrument — their intellect — which must inevitably lead them, if they are dispassionate and honest, to deny his existence. It is tempting to conclude that if he exists, it is the atheists and agnostics that he loves best, among those with any pretensions to education. For they are the ones who have taken him most seriously.

T

  • Bondage and liberation are not antagonistic in love. For love is most free and at the same time most bound. If God were absolutely free there would be no creation. The infinite being has assumed unto himself the mystery of finitude. And in him who is love the finite and the infinite are made one.
  • Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of humanity.
  • I believe in a spiritual world — not as anything separate from this world — but as its innermost truth. With the breath we draw we must always feel this truth, that we are living in God.
  • Those who have everything but thee, my God, laugh at those who have nothing but thyself. Rabindranath Tagore
  • The meaning of our self is not to be found in its separateness from God and others, but in the ceaseless realisation of yoga, of union.
  • The self-expression of God is in the endless variety of creation; and our attitude toward the Infinite Being must also in its expression have a variety of individuality ceaseless and unending. Those sects which jealously build their boundaries with too rigid creeds excluding all spontaneous movement of the living spirit may hoard their theology but they kill religion.
  • Your idol is shattered in the dust to prove that God's dust is greater than your idol.
  • We cannot know whether we love God, although there may be strong reason for thinking so; but there can be no doubt about whether we love our neighbor or not. Be sure that, in proportion as you advance in fraternal charity, you are increasing your love of God.
  • If you do not believe in a personal God the question: 'What is the purpose of life?' is unaskable and unanswerable.
  • Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.
God is that infinite All of which man knows himself to be a finite part.
God alone exists truly. Man manifests Him in time, space and matter. ~ Leo Tolstoy
  • The Kingdom of God is within you... and all beings.
File:Millennium Park Sculpture Inside mirror view of metallic sculpture.jpg
We acknowledge God only when we are conscious of His manifestation in us. ~ Leo Tolstoy
  • God is that infinite All of which man knows himself to be a finite part.
    God alone exists truly. Man manifests Him in time, space and matter. The more God's manifestation in man (life) unites with the manifestations (lives) of other beings, the more man exists. This union with the lives of other beings is accomplished through love.
    God is not love, but the more there is of love, the more man manifests God, and the more he truly exists...
    We acknowledge God only when we are conscious of His manifestation in us.
  • Why is it when we talk to God we're said to be praying, but when God talks to us we're schizophrenic?

U

V

  • I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.
    • Voltaire, in a letter to Étienne Noël Damilaville (16 May 1767)
  • If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
    • Voltaire in Épître à l'Auteur du Livre des Trois Imposteurs (10 November 1770)
  • "If God did not exist, He would have to be invented." But all nature cries aloud that he does exist: that there is a supreme intelligence, an immense power, an admirable order, and everything teaches us our own dependence on it.
    • Voltaire quoting himself in a letter to Prince Frederick William of Prussia (28 November 1770), as quoted in Voltaire in His Letters (1919) by [[Evelyn Beatrice Hall|S. G. Tallentyre (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)].
  • I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clockmaker.
    • Voltaire, as quoted in More Random Walks in Science : An Anthology (1982) by Robert L. Weber, p. 65

W

  • God's greatness and goodness are measured by the fact that he gives us choices. He doesn't require us to thank him for our food. (In case you hadn't noticed.) God is not a Modernist. He doesn't view us as nails. God expects us to behave like carpenters. Indeed, he gave us a carpenter as an example.
    So I think God is postmodern. He has his own ideas of what rules, and what sucks, and he doesn't expect everyone else to agree with him.
  • No reason can be given for the nature of God, because that nature is the ground of rationality.
  • All your Western theologies, the whole mythology of them, are based on the concept of God as a senile delinquent.
  • I believe in God, only I spell it "Nature".
  • God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature and it has been said often by philosophers, that nature is the will of God. And, I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see. If we wish to know the truth concerning anything, we'll find it in the nature of that thing.
    • Frank Lloyd Wright, quoted in Truth Against the World : Frank Lloyd Wright speaks for an organic architecture (1987) edited by Patrick J. Meehan

X

Y

Z

  • "Time is the brush of God, as he paints his masterpiece on the heart of humanity."
    • Ravi Zacharias
  • Arthur Frayn: "And you, poor creatures, who conjured you out of the clay? Is God in show business, too?"

Anonymous

Proverbs or widely known statements by unknown authors.
  • Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
    • English proverb
  • God does not love those who have not suffered.
    • Croatian Proverb
  • God is like a barber: don't expect him to give you a haircut, you must first get at his barbershop.
  • God is lonesome. He loves the lone.
    • Muslim proverb
  • Trust in God but tie your camel.
    • Muslim proverb (possibly attributed in the Masnavi of Rumi).
  • If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.
    • Yiddish proverb
  • To make God laugh at you, tell him your plans.
    • Yiddish proverb
  • Black holes are where God is dividing by zero.
  • God is real, unless you declare him an integer.
  • Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
    Workin' in the dark against your fellow man
    But as sure as God made black and white
    What's down in the dark will be brought to the light.
  • Go tell that long tongue liar
    Go and tell that midnight rider
    Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
    Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down.
    • Anonymous "God's Gonna Cut You Down", traditional folk song

See also

External links

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god (wiktionary | wikipedia | wikibooks)


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

God
disambiguation
This is a disambiguation page, which lists works which share the same title. If an article link referred you here, please consider editing it to point directly to the intended page.


God may refer to:


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

GOD, the common Teutonic word for a personal object of religious worship. It is thus, like the Gr. 0E6s and Lat. deus, applied to all those superhuman beings of the heathen mythologies who exercise power over nature and man and are often identified with some particular sphere of activity; and also to the visible material objects, whether an image of the supernatural being or a tree, pillar, &c. used as a symbol, an idol. The word "god," on the conversion of the Teutonic races to Christianity, was adopted as the name of the one Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, and of the Persons of the Trinity. The New English Dictionary points out that whereas the old Teutonic type of the word is neuter, corresponding to the Latin numen, in the Christian applications it becomes masculine, and that even where the earlier neuter form is still kept, as in Gothic and Old Norwegian, the construction is masculine. Popular etymology has connected the word with "good"; this is exemplified by the corruption of "God be with you" into "good-bye." "God" is a word common to all Teutonic languages. In Gothic it is Guth; Dutch has the same form as English; Danish and Swedish have Gud, German Gott. According to the New English Dictionary, the original may be found in two Aryan roots, both of the form gheu, one of which means "to invoke," the other "to pour" (cf. Gr. Vav); the last is used of sacrificial offerings. The word would thus mean the object either of religious invocation or of religious worship by sacrifice. It has been also suggested that the word might mean a "molten image" from the sense of "pour." See Religion; HEBREW Religion; Theism, &C.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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See also god

Contents

English

Michaelangelo: The Creation

Etymology

From Middle English, from the Old English god (supreme being, deity), from Old High German got (a rank of deity), from the Proto-Germanic *ǥuđan, from the Proto-Indo-European *ǵhuto- (meaning that which is invoked), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵhau- (meaning to call, to invoke) or *ǵheu- (to pour). Not related to the word good.

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
God

Plural
-

God

  1. The single god of various monotheistic religions.
  2. The single male god of various duotheistic religions.
  3. An impersonal and universal spiritual presence or force.
  4. An omnipotent being, creator of the universe (as in deism).

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also

Anagrams


Dutch

Pronunciation

Proper noun

God

  1. God
    God, neem me mee naar een plek hier ver vandaan. -- Kempi & Willy - Hier Ver Vandaan 2009 [1]
    Oh, mijn God - Oh my god

Derived terms

See also


West Frisian

Proper noun

God

  1. God

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

(A.S. and Dutch God; Dan. Gud; Ger. Gott), the name of the Divine Being.

Contents

Name

It is the rendering (1) of the Hebrew El, from a word meaning to be strong; (2) of Eloah, plural Elohim. The singular form, Eloah, is used only in poetry. The plural form is more commonly used in all parts of the Bible, The Hebrew word Jehovah, the only other word generally employed to denote the Supreme Being, is uniformly rendered in the Authorized Version by "LORD," printed in small capitals.

Existence of God

The existence of God is taken for granted in the Bible. There is nowhere any argument to prove it. He who disbelieves this truth is spoken of as one devoid of understanding (Psalm 14:1).

The arguments generally adduced by theologians in proof of the being of God are:

  • The a priori argument, which is the testimony afforded by reason.
  • The a posteriori argument, by which we proceed logically from the facts of experience to causes. These arguments are,
    • The cosmological argument, by which it is proved that there must be a First Cause of all things, for every effect must have a cause.
    • The teleological argument, or the argument from design. We see everywhere the operations of an intelligent Cause in nature.
    • The moral argument, called also the anthropological argument, based on the moral consciousness and the history of mankind, which exhibits a moral order and purpose which can only be explained on the supposition of the existence of God. Conscience and human history testify that "verily there is a God that judgeth in the earth."

Attributes

The attributes of God are set forth in order by Moses in Exodus 34:6, 7. (see also Deut 6:4, 10:17; Num 16:22; Exodus 15:11, 33:19; Isa 44:6; Hab 3:6; Ps 102:26; Job 34:12.) They are also systematically classified in Rev 5:12 and 7:12.

God's attributes are spoken of by some as absolute, i.e., such as belong to his essence as Jehovah, Jah, etc.; and relative, i.e., such as are ascribed to Him with relation to His creatures. Others distinguish them into communicable, i.e., those which can be imparted in degree to His creatures: goodness, holiness, wisdom, etc.; and incommunicable, which cannot be so imparted: independence, immutability, immensity, and eternity. They are by some also divided into natural attributes, eternity, immensity, etc.; and moral, holiness, goodness, etc.

See Also

This article needs to be merged with GOD (Jewish Encyclopedia).
This article needs to be merged with God (Catholic Encyclopedia).
This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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