Sep 12, 2006

Types of God

In reading The Salt Lake Tribune's Study shows America flocks to church, I came across the following descriptions of God:

The highest percentage of Americans, 31.4 percent, believe in a Type A God, who is highly involved in their daily lives and world affairs, but also angry and capable of meting out punishment. Another 23 percent believe in a Type B God, who is likewise engaged, but less willing to condemn or punish individuals.

Sixteen percent believe in a Type C God, who does not interact with the world and is unhappy about the current state of affairs. Another 24.4 percent believe in a Type D God, who is not active in the world and is more the disinterested cosmic force that set the laws of nature in motion.

Uh, if I am forced to choose, I choose Type B. That's the closest I come to the type of God I have. Actually, mine is a combination of Type D and Type B. I.e. all things are set in motion by a creative force in the Universe, and this force can be used consciously in our day to day affairs - if we want. No punishment, though. My God is not irrational; there's no first giving Man the power to do as he wants (free will) and then punishing him for it; any corrective we need is accomplished through cause and effect. My observation is that each individual's concept of God reflects their own life experiences and/or view of authority. Which makes the following comment on the choice of type interesting:

"This is terribly important because it can predict all kinds of things about an individual," Froese said. "A person's opinion of God relates to their world view, their morality, their political views."

Indeed. If you live in an uncertain, cruel world, recheck which God you've made for yourself. As Walt Whitman said:

I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall be complete. The earth remains jagged or broken only to him or her who remains jagged or broken.

5 comments:

Jeff K said...

I think in reality the majority of Americans who believe in God to the point of vocalizing that belief to others tend to vary their perceptions of that God (the Type of God S/He is) based on their own self-centeredness. When they're in a state of judging others, God is Type A. When they're sinning, God is Type B. That's not to say I don't think there are individuals out there who truly believe God is a certain type of god, and thus they do their best to live their lives in a way S/He would want. I know some people like that, and while I might not share all of their beliefs, I have great respect for them. Many, if not most, however, create a definition of their God that suits their life the best.

Oh, for me, God is type O positive.

Keera said...

If one chooses a type of God based on circumstance, it still reflects one's relationship with authority, i.e. hide the evidence before Mommy finds out, or tell Granddad because he forgives everything.

Oh, for me, God is type O positive.

Then your God is coursing through my veins. ;-)

Paula said...

I'm an atheist, but I can still go with the Type D God as it's not really much different from not having one at all except that it explains the beginning of All Stuffs a bit better than the Big Bang.

"Nothin' from nothin' means nothin'
You gotta have somethin' if you wanna be with me"

Kinda thing.

Jeff K said...

I can't believe that I forgot about the Type E God, which only cares about helping athletes win.

"I just wanna thank God for allowing me to catch that pass..."

On a different note, is it just me or are those word verification things getting harder and harder to read?

Keera said...

Paula, one of the best descriptions of How All This Crap Is Put Together I've ever read was the book "Illusions" by Richard Bach. It's pretty much like Hollywood.

Jeff, how does God do that? By not tripping the player up? ;-) Re word verification: Yes.