The Conception of the Idea of God

How did the idea of God become conceived? During the primordial human era, how did a human come up with the idea of God? I think it would be extremely difficult to comprehend the notion of an omnipotent deity. I would like to think that God revealed Himself to humankind instead of humanity imagining that there is a God. What do others think? I’d like some varying opinions. Thanks!

the answer to your question is the blockbuster. if the one it’s just our need to explain the unknown. if the other there is God.

then why so many different revelations?

Right, but how did the idea of God emerge?

I read once an excellent line of thought. It consisted of two parts:

  1. Humans are curious about the world, and seek for explanations. In the old times, the only “explanation” was some “god”, which is just a word for the unknown forces of nature. These gods were not “freindly”, they needed to be appeased, so sacrifices were offered. Most of the time the sacrifices did not bring any fruit, but sometimes - lucky coincidence - it looked like that they were successfully “accepted”. People tend to forget the (million) failures, and remember the (few) positive results. Simple self-deception.

  2. The other part comes from the fact that we have dreams. Those simple people had no idea what the dreams were, but (as we all know) dreams can be very life-like. People dreamt about their deceased loved ones, and those dreams were vivid. The “obvious” conculsion was that the dead ones are not “really gone”, that there is some incorporeal substance which lingers on. And thus the concept of “soul” has been born (invented).

That is what the line of argument was. It is most plausible.

From time immemorial human beings have intuitively recognised the distinction between mind and matter. Animism was common because spirits were thought to inhabit and explain physical phenomena like wind, rain and lightning. The religious instinct is universal and materialism is rare because it does not correspond to the reality of our personal experience. We know we can control events to some extent in a way that inanimate objects cannot. It is this power which points to a Supreme Power that creates everything…

How did early humans inquire about the unknown? Where did the dichotomy of the known and unknown emerge?

things they couldn’t understand. say the sun. it was powerful and fascinating so they worshipped it. and so on.

Interesting… I also welcome friendly discourse among each other (fellow posters).

I think the first human beings were like babies in their intellectual development. Their starting point was the unknown because everything seemed strange and incomprehensible until they began to understand how persons and things interact and produce effects. Even now we are fundamentally in the same position: our knowledge is a pinpoint of light in the darkness of eternity. We are all living with a stranger: we don’t understand ourselves let alone the Source of reality!

Observation, and extrapolation. Clouds -> rain… The so-called scientific method in its simple form.

Plato and Aristotle seem to have been the first to naturally conceive of something which we might refer to as the true God – that is, in our rough philosophical understanding of Him at least. Plato’s idea of a single, supreme Form of Forms, the Form of the Good, was remarkably close to how Augustine thought of God through his own sort of Platonic terms. And, not surprisingly, Aristotle’s “Thought Thinking Itself” ended up pretty similar to the “Subsistent Being Itself” that Aquinas later worked out of his own Aristotelian-based metaphysics.

I don’t think it’s too difficult to imagine an ancient human basically proceeding to consider a gradual reduction of all his thought unto a single concept which most broadly and totally encompasses the rest: in other words, to ‘being.’ Nothing in our thought could conceivably extend beyond it, since anything outside would in fact have to be literally nothing at all, non-being, just a mere negation of this fundamental concept of existence. From there I suppose nearly everyone would at least be curious enough to entertain the idea that his internal world of thought could reflect some real constitution of the external world, that all things end up having one thing in common by way of dependent participation, something greater than which nothing is or can be thought.

I’m not saying that’s the outline for a sufficient proof of God’s existence, however.

The word, “God,” is of Germanic origin and probably signified “good.” Words tend to take on wider meaning and significance as time transpires, and as a word may be used more and more to represent that which might only have been understood as a multi-idea concept before.

Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch god and German Gott

But, I think your question is not so literal. I think you are asking “from where did the idea of God arise?” For an answer to that you may have to look to the history of various parts of the world. Throughout history mankind has realized that a transcendent “good” existed and that it was fairly easy to recognize. It was there in the things we wanted. It was there in the things we desired to attain. It was there in our aspirations. And, it was there in the actions and interactions of others.

A full-blown treatise on the origins of our recognition of God would be difficult to accomplish in a forum such as this. I suggest you ask someone, perhaps a Priest, or Pastor at a nearby Church. Many church schools have small libraries and may have some excellent books on the subject. Find one and read it. :slight_smile:

God bless,

I think that pretty much every society ever to emerge has had some sort of religion. So it could just be that the ancient Jews, instead of assigning lots of small gods to each thing assigned one all powerful God to control everything. They didn’t have to really have any concept of omnipotence, just the concept that their God controlled and commanded everything they knew. The idea grew from there to the omnipotent, omniscient God we know today.

Did Adam and Eve not talk to God?

This would be due to a revealed God, not an imagined one.

So, God was revealed in the beginning to man; but man subsequently constructed his own definitions and revelations, when no longer in Eden.

The term “God” would acquire any identifier that was not human.

A tree, fear, an unexplained, other, etc., ad infinitum, could and did serve that identifier.

You’ll get two separate answers. One is the ontological explanation of the mental concept of God and the other is apophasis explanation to account for existence.

The idea of a Higher Power :

The idea of a higher power is a concept which is in keeping with the reality of consequence
of which cannot exist without order.

The abundance of nothing but consistent logically conforming consequence in everything especially nature-environment self explains an origin of order, an order origin which consequence must concede to.

science has reduced gravity to a necessity of the simple equation of 2+2=4 ,a consequence which demands a local in order, re m theory

The Sun God idea would have been an absolutely irresistible keeper-god idea in compliance with any consciousness what so ever… and…is very much in keeping with a realistic approach…unless you want to put limitations on things while thinking you know everything, or thinking that God thinks like a human emperor of goodness…selecting chosen ones in the chosen ones relative expectation…I wouldn’t think so…although it would seem keeping out from shelter would encourage the nutrients, while our composition is as we know made up of this interesting solar keeper.

I’m in primitive mans camp on not exacting too much, out of something which lets face it, and this is important…the whole concept is not about itself, its about a given natural understanding in foundation…if you took the toddlers out to the park for a nice time in sunshine-discovering…would you want them sitting under the tree wondering what the parents are doing while all this is going on, …NO…its a foundation in order to bring order into the park for greater meaning in the afternoon, not analyzing the nature of the happening…anyway thats my 2 cents worth on the importance of not only moderation but the great quality in simplicity which has equal importance …by virtue of simplicity’s very existence. This God then don’t forget…would be All Innocent…so the Sun Idea would yeild a fairly decent dialectic in many many ways.

So the idea of God can be resumed on Descartes’ innateness. Not only on him but we can talk about Aquinas, Augustin, Plato and Aristotle. The idea of God emerges from the observation and grasp of the natural at first place — That nature have to be a force from beyond, no matter how; it have to exist (this is the first thought) - . This is why, in short, there was never an atheist society, according to our knowledge.

Thus we conclude that the idea of God appeared in several places and times, so that people started to sedentarize; it became fixed on a point. However the idea of SEVERAL gods in lieu of ONE god is a distortion. One though can be easily refuted by the the lex parsimoniae. Which is simpler, the universe converging to one God or several of them?

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