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The Meaning Of The Word God Post by :sachac Category :Essays Author :Lemuel K. Washburn Date :November 2011 Read :1393

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The Meaning Of The Word God

I do not deny that the word “God” has today a moral and religious meaning which is derived from his supposed beneficence, but this idea is not the one that I find at the bottom of the Christian faith. I object very seriously to the attempt, which is being made by certain interested parties, to represent the God of Christianity better than he is. This word loses its terror when we realize that it stands for an unknown quantity. It is the attempt to account for what we cannot understand; the effort to explain the universe. The word “God” is a definition of human ignorance. It represents what we do not know. This word does not stand for a person, an object, or a thing. It is an idea that we can have no idea of, a thought of what one cannot think. People who use the word “God” do not know what they are talking about. The word fits nothing that has yet been discovered. Theology is the science of what no one knows anything about. It does not belong to the family of knowledge. When the hands of theology are laid on a man’s head his brains are consecrated to do nothing. Every time a minister is made, a man is lost. Nothing disgraces American civilization more than the theology preached in Christian churches. It is worse than childish; it is old-womanish. The dark ages cast their shadows across the bright skies of the twentieth century, and the relics of that benighted time, the priests, are still walking the streets, like ghosts of bad deeds.

Every theology ends in a creed. A creed is the night-cap of religion. It is a sign that the intellect is asleep. When faith is in, sense is out. A man with a creed has bought the coffin for his mind. The rest of his life will be a funeral service for the dead. A creed is the grave of thought. When a person subscribes to certain articles of belief, he has no further use for his brains. It does not require any mental exercise to believe. Belief does not signify any process of intellectual assimilation or digestion. When a man joins a church, he makes his last will and testament. When reason abdicates in favor of credulity, crime becomes a saint, and folly a martyr. Too much faith makes a Pocasset tragedy. The foolishness of trying to make God intelligible to human understanding is shown in the creeds of Christendom. The dogma of the trinity ought not to pass to any further generation. It is not the “likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”


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Lemuel K. Washburn's essay: Meaning Of The Word God

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