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God Doesn't Need Us. We Do!

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From http://www.flickr.com/photos/63258847@N02/9376549408/: God's Ray
God's Ray by RenoVal

Praise means to offer words that express approval or admiration for someone. Worship means to treat somebody or something as divine and show respect by engaging in acts of prayer and devotion. When the words praise and worship are used together, religion comes to mind. If you're one of the billions of religious people on the planet you probably praise and worship the God of your religion.

Let's put our religious practice of praise and worship into perspective. Our little planet orbits one of 100 billion stars in one galaxy, which is only one of 100 billion galaxies. The universe is at least 13.7 billion years old and we know nothing about what exists beyond our approximately 42 billion light years viewing horizon. The universe is expanding faster than the speed of light at the farthest edges so we will never know what's out there. We have no idea how big the universe is. And at the small end, where human math and logic break down, we find a quantum foam of probability. At this level ordinary human measurements make no sense.

And I'm to believe an entity who could create this magnificent and mysterious universe from nothing needs praise and worship from frail creatures who can't live out of the   thin film of life on this insignificant rocky planet?

This sounds very suspicious to me.

In fact, it sounds very much like the entity in question has human characteristics. Or better yet, those who prosper from promoting praise and worship have convinced these frail, earth-bound creatures that this omnipotent and omniscient entity has human characteristics.

To be clear, I'm not commenting on the existence of such an entity. I'm commenting on the intuitively obvious absurdity of it needing praise and worship from feeble earthlings.

I'm also not commenting on prayer. I think prayer is valuable to those who pray. And I'm not criticizing religion per se. It does a great deal more good than the evil rap it gets from some.

My problem is with certain human ideas contained in organized religions; in this case, the one that promotes praise and worship as though the most powerful being in the universe, their God, needs it and without it, "He" roams around heaven feeling irritable.

If we trace the practice of praise and worship back far enough we would find self-selected holy men offering sacrifices to appease an angry god, interpreted to be in need of it by these same holy men. And we would find a society of these holy men who make a market in convincing ordinary folks that this god needs lots of praise and worship -- designed, ritualized and led by them. And that this same god wants believers to tithe in support of the organizations designed by these holy men or "He" will fell more disgruntled.

Let's do a little word experiment here. If I believe my praise of someone is so powerful that he or she would suffer without it, I have a pretty high regard for myself and a lower regard for him. Using the same logic, doesn't it sound a bit arrogant to believe that God can't get along without tons of praise and worship from simple earthlings?

Yet, what are a good portion of religious services about? Doing exactly that.

Here's my proposal. If this God exists, "He" doesn't need a thing from us. We need a whole lot more from us. So if we simply dropped the praise and worship part and concentrated on helping each other, (a message spread by a human some believe to be God's only begotten son) I bet we could make a much better world.

And somehow, I think that this God, if He, She, It, does exist would be very happy about how   creatures on this little planet are behaving toward each other and the web of life, of which they are a strand.

Robert De Filippis      

 

Author, columnist and blogger with a long career in business management, management consulting and executive coaching. I am a certified ontological coach. I've studied clinical therapeutic practices in Gestalt psychology and am a Certified Birkman (more...)
 

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displaced a sense of moral values and rightous beh... by David Chester on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 2:20:51 PM
Since the dark ages.... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 10:01:44 PM
I think you've missed the point of praise and wors... by Larry Hooten on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 4:25:17 PM
I don't think so. Re-read the article.... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 10:03:20 PM
I personally believe in most of what you said exce... by Stephen Zimmett on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 4:25:37 PM
I wrote that prayer is good for the one doing the ... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 10:04:31 PM
  We wouldn't exist if God didn't exist.... by Bob Gormley on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 4:28:33 PM
I made no claims about needing God. I wrote that G... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 10:05:33 PM
You actually wrote: " "He" doesn't need ... by Kaz Boroszko on Monday, Aug 12, 2013 at 12:09:24 AM
That's a big IF... by Robert De Filippis on Monday, Aug 12, 2013 at 7:39:52 AM
Does not exist.  That IMAGE is pure crap. &nb... by Michael Dewey on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 5:39:07 PM
Thanks for your interpretation.... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 10:06:45 PM
I'm sorry to say so. Not singular, yet in a hopele... by Ad Du on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 7:57:16 PM
Thank you.... by Robert De Filippis on Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 10:07:17 PM
 Some of us (perhaps many) doubt (or more tha... by Ad Du on Sunday, Aug 11, 2013 at 5:56:06 PM
The article seems to be aware of that, but here's ... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Aug 11, 2013 at 1:53:33 PM
That's one interpretation. Thanks.... by Robert De Filippis on Sunday, Aug 11, 2013 at 5:04:06 PM
Whatever personal needs people get met by subscrib... by anna kakol on Sunday, Aug 11, 2013 at 5:29:51 PM
you can be deflected from questioning the liturgy,... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Aug 12, 2013 at 11:15:58 AM
In fact, funny to say that ( I am an atheist), US ... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Aug 12, 2013 at 8:42:07 AM
I think you missed the point of the essay. No offe... by Robert De Filippis on Monday, Aug 12, 2013 at 8:50:52 PM
I would not have  argued if this article abov... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 at 7:35:20 AM
I'm not familiar with the writings of Gorky. I cam... by Robert De Filippis on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 at 7:47:07 AM
I guess we have to understand that US-Christianity... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 at 8:34:09 AM
Thank you. I write as much to learn as I do to pre... by Robert De Filippis on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 at 9:43:21 AM
how can we help each other on Opednews?  if t... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 at 12:06:57 PM
with the right balance between freedom of expressi... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 at 12:25:05 PM
Like for instance we could  offer an answerin... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 at 1:35:08 PM
Whatever is constantly praised is given a superior... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Aug 12, 2013 at 11:10:32 AM
Certainly God doesnt need our praise. Maybe barely... by Paul Easton on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013 at 3:18:57 AM