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Who is God ?

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Neutral Singh, Jul 2, 2004.

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  1. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
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    Who is God? by Dr. Gurbakhsh Singh, Ex-Professor, P.A.U., Ludhiana


    Know Him on your own without any intermediary.

    Today, everybody is searching for a satisfactory answer to the age-old question, “What or Who is God?” All are anxious to know whether He/She is there or not. The definitions of God as given by different religions are not verifiable by the standard scientific methods. This has made some people disbelieve in God. To know the answer, we have first to define God as precisely as we can. It is only after we agree on the definition of God that we can decide whether He exists or not.

    The fact is that God defies any definition. It is a word with most complex meanings and connotations. The difficulty arises because God is a Spiritual Being and we have to describe Him in terms of the material world. It is like measuring the value of gold in terms of currency bills that have no intrinsic value, and the face value of which varies in each country. The language of God is love. It is not expressible in words of any of the thousands of languages we humans use to communicate with each other. The language of love is understood only by the heart. Agreed, we are unable to write or speak this language but all of us can experience it, feel it and enjoy it. The faculty of love (the sixth sense) provided to us by the Lord opens the door to His court and helps us to communicate with Him. This is the only way we can understand Him. No intellectual calculations, however complex they may be, will ever help us to define or describe God.

    According to the dictionary, God is the creator and the ruler of the universe; eternal and infinite; omnipotent and omniscient; Almighty, Supreme Being.


    The definitions given by different faiths do not disagree with any of the above descriptions of God. Other qualities of God generally accepted are that He is omnipresent, incomprehensible, immanent and transcendent. Further, God has been described as gracious, kind and caring for all creation. Some also believe that God created eternal Heaven for the comfort of faithful people after their death; they also believe in Hell where all non-believers who ignore His commandments will suffer forever.

    How do we realize Him? And if He is there how do we enjoy His blessings? A very brief historical review of the revelation of God may help us to understand the answer.
     
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  3. Neutral Singh

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    Revelation

    The first need of a human being on this earth is not God but good food for his life and a favorable environment for his physical comfort. This depends upon weather that is controlled by sun, rain, wind, etc. Therefore, the first humans believed the weather elements to be gods and started their worship. In due course of time, they observed that, unlike animals, human beings have been provided with unique faculties. They command a special status among all living beings, large or small. Hence, they thought there must be some higher mission of their life other than just completing their biological cycle, that is, eat, grow, reproduce, get old and die.

    At some stage of this development, persons of supreme intelligence specially gifted by God were born, of course, at different times and in different regions of the world. Those who made worldly inventions and thus contributed to the physical comfort and knowledge of human kind were known as scientists. The holy people who revealed God were called Prophets. They provided spiritual guidance to humanity and were considered as God-incarnate, God’s son, God’s messenger, God-blessed, guide to God etc. Each prophet told people the mission of human life.

    These messages were delivered in different regions of the world and during different periods of history; hence they were in different languages. They all believed in one Supreme Authority, the Creator; of course, they gave their own name to Him. We now address Him with the popular name God. Different methods of worship preached by different prophets for understanding Him were given different names, commonly known as religions.
     
  4. Neutral Singh

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    Misunderstanding God

    Misunderstanding God

    Different names for the same God were unfortunately believed to refer to different Gods Who were mutually callous and antagonistic. This conclusion is totally wrong and baseless because of the very definition of God explained above and accepted by all religions. However, this erroneous belief continued to persist. As a result, people got split into mutually hating religions even when all believe in the same one Lord. In other words, people are fighting to put their own labels on the bottles of water which have been filled from the same fountain. Remember, our need is water and not the label.

    In fact, instead of dividing people, religions should have united all tribes, races and nations into one great brotherhood of humanity. We humans should have accepted all names of the Father-Almighty as genuine, the way a biological father is addressed as dad, daddy, papa and by other innumerable names in the thousands of languages of the world.

    Mistakenly, the believers of each faith consider only their God to be the true and genuine God. Every other God, which actually is another Name for the same God, is preached to be false and fake. This misplaced urge to prove the genuineness and superiority of their faith caused the followers of the ruling faith to inflict (sadly, they do it even today) inhuman tortures and mass killings on the believers of other faiths. No reference to such horrible wars is needed; it is a well-known record of history, a dark spot on the tradition of religions. Politically strong religions have attempted to subdue or eliminate people of other faiths by labeling them as ‘non-believers’. This was and continues to be considered a service to the faith, but these acts are rated as heinous crimes in the court of God whom they want to please.
     
  5. Neutral Singh

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    Discovering God, Father-Mother of Humanity

    A day was destined to come when people would experience Truth by accepting ONE and the SAME God with as many names as they may love to give Him. God, as it was stated earlier, is ‘love’ and one can love Him by any name or even without assigning Him a name. The analogy of a child loving his mother explains it well.

    The child is devoted to the mother heart and soul without knowing her name. The child believes that the mother, irrespective of her name, is the source of love, comfort and every other thing needed for his/her happiness. A child may call her mom, mama, mother or by any of the other innumerable names in different languages of the world. However, in the heart of the child one thing remains unchanged – the love and faith in the affection and protection provided by the mother.

    All of us have experienced this and hence we can learn a lesson, “Love the Lord, the Father-Mother of all humanity, the way we love our dad and mom. All people are His/Her children; love them as your brothers and sisters.” If we practice this lesson, there will be peace all over the earth, and it will become like Heaven we are desirous of getting into after our death.

    This revelation was received by Nanak of Punjab in 1499 and it was, “Do not divide people into Hindus and Muslims. All people are the children of the same Lord; Allah and Ram are both His names. (These two names actually refer to all faiths. Hindus and Muslims were the two major faiths then practiced in India. Hindus loved the Lord by the name Ram, whereas the Muslims called Him Allah. They suffered from strong mutual hatred, hence only these two names are mentioned.) No prophet or community can lay their sole claim to Him. Anybody who loves Him can realize Him.”

    To share this message from the Almighty, Nanak founded the institutions of Sangat and Pangat. The name Sangat was given to a congregation of people (irrespective of the faith in which they were born) who sit together as equals and jointly sing praises of the Lord. All people including Muslims, Hindus, low castes and untouchables (mistakenly so-labeled by the ego-filled high caste), men and women, educated and illiterate, rich and poor etc., all sat together in the Sangat as equals to remember the virtues of God and pray to Him. The Sangat adopted all the names of God then prevalent, such as Allah (a Muslim name for the Lord), Ram and Krishan (used by Hindus), Niranjan (loved by yogis) and many other commonly used names. They worshipped nothing but the Lord by reflecting on His blessings for the whole of humanity.

    When they jointly prepared and partook of food together as equals and without any discrimination among them, their gathering was named Pangat.

    In 1604, the fourth successor to Nanak compiled the hymns revealed to Nanak and other holy people devoted to God. This compilation, the ‘Sacred Book’, contains the experiences of realizing God by about two dozen spiritual seekers, including Hindus, Muslims, ‘low castes’ and even ‘untouchables’. They were born at different times and in different regions of the subcontinent, now divided into India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
     
  6. S|kH

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    St. Thomas Aquinas

    St. Thomas Aquinas
    Summa Theologica I.ii.3


    Whether God exists?

    Objection 1. It seems that God does not exist; because if one of two contraries be infinite, the other would be altogether destroyed. But the word "God" means that He is infinite goodness. If, therefore, God existed, there would be no evil discoverable; but there is evil in the world. Therefore God does not exist.

    Objection 2. Further, it is superfluous to suppose that what can be accounted for by a few principles has been produced by many. But it seems that everything we see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing God did not exist. For all natural things can be reduced to one principle which is nature; and all voluntary things can be reduced to one principle which is human reason, or will. Therefore there is no need to suppose God's existence.

    On the contrary, It is said in the person of God: "I am Who am." (Exodus 3:14)
    I answer that, The existence of God can be proved in five ways.

    The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

    The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

    The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence--which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God.

    The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

    The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.

    Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi): "Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil." This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.

    Reply to Objection 2. Since nature works for a determinate end under the direction of a higher agent, whatever is done by nature must needs be traced back to God, as to its first cause. So also whatever is done voluntarily must also be traced back to some higher cause other than human reason or will, since these can change or fail; for all things that are changeable and capable of defect must be traced back to an immovable and self-necessary first principle, as was shown in the body of the Article.
     
  7. S|kH

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    Hm, if you read Aquinas's reply to Objection 1, it doesn't make sense and is easily refuted.


    If God is "all-good" then why would he let evil exist in the first place, if there are other methods around to it.

    Surely its not possible for enough "good" to arise out of 6 million dead jews.

    Or what most people take the stand and defend an "all-good God" on that those actions were the cause of human free-will, and God can not intervene on that.

    If that is true, that explains the human tortures amongst our selves but does not explain the physical defeats we face. A hurricane comes and wipes out a town...This sort "evil" is by mother nature only, and not by other humans, so there is no free-will here. If "good" can come out of this "evil" deed by God, then why not formulate the "good" that comes out first before the evil? rather then after the evil has happened?

    Just some questions.
     
  8. devinesanative

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    About God ....

    example

    The Intel company manufactures Microprocessors So we May call Intell is the God of Computers .........

    But Computers made out of that Microprocessor can be used for two purposes ......

    1) Destruction
    2) Innovation or Construction

    Some make Virus software Some make Usfull Software by using the same computer .....

    So , Both exist Evil as well as Good . But it cannot be said that Intel Does not exists .........
     

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