Sunday, September 14, 2014

An Apt Corollary

A recent CNN Belief blog post by Matthew Paul Turner, "5 ways America changed God", seems to pair quite nicely with Jonathan Merritt's "Have American's made God in their image." Had these been written as speculative pieces by non-belivers as a way to explore the variations of the "God" concept they might not have been so preposterous. But they weren't. I pointed out how foolish Merritt's piece was in my own post "Duh, of course" (August 31, 2014) and many of those points are equally true of Turner's. I would, however, go even further. Turner unintentionally brings up aspects of the God concept that are innate contradictions.

As a supreme being it seems a bit ludicrous that such fallible limit creature like human being could have even a slight affect on such an entity. To change God implies quite a lot of power on our part. But, wait, isn't the supreme being "all-powerful"? How can humans have any power if God has all the power. Yes, it is true Turner is largely talking about perceptions and interpretations but not entirely. There are implications that God might be changeable. Even internally this is inconsistent and contradictory. God is supposed to be eternal and perfect. How can you change from a state of perfection without becoming imperfect? It is a conundrum that cannot be resolved without dismantling God.

It also seems a bit myopic to, even superficially, focus on America. Doesn't every culture have some variation of the the God concept. Haven't those variations been subject to a variety of interpretations over time. The ideas Turner ascribes to America are not original or unique to America. His summary of American relgious history is as pointless as it is brief. It seems to be little more than a handful of examples wandering around in the hope of finding some cohesive theme to bind them all together.

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