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Thread: What does God look like? The nature of faith... and religion

  1. #1

    What does God look like? The nature of faith... and religion

    Reza Aslan straddled two religions growing up - the Shia strain of Islam from his Iranian parents, and the Christianity he embraced as a teenager.

    This article digs deeper into how humans envision God as being human, who looks a lot like we do, or at least like our fathers (presumably in patriarchal societies. Traditional Navajo may see God as being the supreme mother).

    From the northern European version of Jesus found in many Christian churches (including LDS) to the browner version of Jesus that appears in many African American churches, it's an innate human trait that we tend to view God / Jesus in a physical form we're most comfortable with.

    Like the "All in the Family" episode where Archie Bunker gets locked in the basement, and while waiting for somebody to rescue him, finds some wine and gets drunk. Finally, desperate, he starts praying to God to rescue him, and when a black Fireman breaks through the door at the top of the stairs, Archie concludes in horror: "Oh God, Jefferson was right!"

    Aslan notes that even followers of Islam, which prohibits portrayals of Allah, believe Allah possesses traits they view as positive in themselves.

    Here's where the article gets interesting: Aslan notes that while it's pretty easy to catalog different anthropomorphic visions of God from different religions in different areas of the world, this doesn't necessarily negate the fundamental question religions try to answer: Is there a life after this one?

    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.84)]I have no interest in trying to prove the existence or nonexistence of God for the simple reason that no proof exists either way. Faith is a choice; anyone who says otherwise is trying to convert you.[/COLOR][COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.84)][/COLOR]

    Aslan happens to be a believer, but he recognizes the human imprint religions have on faith. Religions are the vehicle by which faith is embodied, shared, etc.

    Interesting read: https://medium.com/@rezaaslan/god-a-...y-ba5e62e401e1

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'ake View Post
    Reza Aslan straddled two religions growing up - the Shia strain of Islam from his Iranian parents, and the Christianity he embraced as a teenager.

    This article digs deeper into how humans envision God as being human, who looks a lot like we do, or at least like our fathers (presumably in patriarchal societies. Traditional Navajo may see God as being the supreme mother).

    From the northern European version of Jesus found in many Christian churches (including LDS) to the browner version of Jesus that appears in many African American churches, it's an innate human trait that we tend to view God / Jesus in a physical form we're most comfortable with.

    Like the "All in the Family" episode where Archie Bunker gets locked in the basement, and while waiting for somebody to rescue him, finds some wine and gets drunk. Finally, desperate, he starts praying to God to rescue him, and when a black Fireman breaks through the door at the top of the stairs, Archie concludes in horror: "Oh God, Jefferson was right!"

    Aslan notes that even followers of Islam, which prohibits portrayals of Allah, believe Allah possesses traits they view as positive in themselves.

    Here's where the article gets interesting: Aslan notes that while it's pretty easy to catalog different anthropomorphic visions of God from different religions in different areas of the world, this doesn't necessarily negate the fundamental question religions try to answer: Is there a life after this one?

    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.84)]I have no interest in trying to prove the existence or nonexistence of God for the simple reason that no proof exists either way. Faith is a choice; anyone who says otherwise is trying to convert you.[/COLOR][COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.84)][/COLOR]

    Aslan happens to be a believer, but he recognizes the human imprint religions have on faith. Religions are the vehicle by which faith is embodied, shared, etc.

    Interesting read: https://medium.com/@rezaaslan/god-a-...y-ba5e62e401e1

    I just like that the guy discussing God's appearance is named "Aslan."

  3. #3
    Malleus Cougarorum Solon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    I just like that the guy discussing God's appearance is named "Aslan."
    He’s a good writer, to be sure. I enjoyed his book, Zealot, about Jesus, although it had some leaps and stretches historically speaking. Worth the read, though.
    Honestly, Logos (by Neeleman) is just as good for historical context but doesn’t pretend to be nonfiction.
    σοφῷ ἀνδρὶ Ἑλλὰς πάντα.
    -- Flavius Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 1.35.2.

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