God is neither good nor bad. He is like the nuclear power, in itself, in the right hands he is a blessing, and in the wrong hands he is a barbarian. We can make the Bible, Quran, Torah, Bhagvad Gita, Guru Granth Saheb and other religious text to be hell or heaven; it is not about God, but about the disgusting selfishness in us. We need to take responsibility for the balance and not blame God or Religion for it.
Now, onto this week's question, which panelist Cindy Rigby suggested after she read this column by Gary Gutting, a Notre Dame Philosophy professor. The essay hits on several major questions, but the one for this week deals with this issue: If you believe in God, do you believe God is good? If so, why?
Fifteen Texas Faith Panelists weigh in on this, here is Mike’s take:
If you don't believe God is good, please explain.
MIKE GHOUSE, President Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas
God is neither good nor bad, and it is not micro-managing every moment of the universe either.
It is not a being, not a thing, and not an entity but simply the energy that caused a "balanced universe" and functions on the principle of balance, where every component of it is programmed to seek its own balance; both physical and metaphysical.
For lack of linguistic expression, we normally address God as "him" instead of "her." God only knows what it is. Indeed, we have created God in our own image. Each one of the 7 billion of us has a belief and a perception, each perception is unique like our thumb print.
The Jewish culture expresses it beautifully in a dialogue between God and Abraham to illustrate the point. Apparently God tells Abraham to be grateful. He says, "I created you, and you exist because of me." To which Abraham retorts, "Wait a minute, you exist because of me. Had it not for me, who would have known you? "
The dished-out versions of God did not appeal to me for nearly half of my life, but in my reflective moments, I believed that there is something that is causing life and death, and systematically changing forms of matter, not necessarily second by second, but according to a well-defined system.
There is a song in Urdu/ Hindi language by the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. It was a signature song for my talk radio show between 2003 and 2005. And it was called "Wisdom of Religion, all the beautiful Religions."
Our fellow panelist Nityananda Das co- hosted over 100 hours of talk on Hinduism with me, while I did 500 hours of wisdom of all religions. The show opened with the song, "Koi to hai jo nizam-e-hasti chala raha hai, wahi khuda hai."
There is some energy, some power out there that has programmed to run the world systems with precision; someone who is causing day and night, someone who is changing the seasons, someone who is causing the planets to remain in orbits and someone who gives life and ends it as well... that someone must be God.
When universe came into being, through evolution, creation or big bang, it produced two major items: Matter and Life.
Matter is programmed to "remain" balanced with a few anomalies built into it. But overall the universe is on autopilot. It is programmed to run with precision and it will. Jupiter, Earth and the moon will orbit precisely, planets and other universes are expanding and shrinking but have their own space, and their own systems functioning with the laws of physics in place.
However, life in general, but human life in particular was not set on autopilot. A new component was added between balance and life; free will and a brain capable of finding the balance.
So this creator or causer of life is about balance. When we are at balance we have found home (God), defined in terms of living without anxiety, fear or discomfort. I believe this was the bottom line message of Abraham, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, Muhammad, Nanak, Bahaullah, Confucius and all the great teachers.
They manifested love of the creator God (balance) and sought creating cohesive societies where no one has to live with fear of the other. Their intensified effort was directed to get us out of utterly disgustingly selfish interests to the interests of the humanity to achieve salvation, mukti, moksha, nijaat and freedom. Also known as being in heaven.
God is like the nuclear power, in itself, it is neither good nor bad, but in the right hands he is a blessing, and in the wrong hands he is a barbarian (Quran 84:7-15). We can make the Bible, Quran, Torah, Bhagvad Gita, Guru Granth Saheb and other religious text to be hell or heaven; it is not about God, but about the disgusting selfishness in us. We need to take responsibility for the balance and not blame God or Religion for it.
For the rest of the fourteen opinions, please visit Dallas Morning News: http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/04/texas-faith-is-god-good.html
MikeGhouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he writes weekly at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, The Smirking Chimp and several other periodicals. His daily blog is www.TheGhousediary.com