Rejecting God and Social Work
Which is it? , Nietzsche asked , “ is man one of god’s blunder or god one of man’s ? I would go with both. As a human, man would certainly be god’s big mistake. The cruel abode which I call my world seems illusionary experience and pursuit of happiness makes it more hellish than hell. But again, as a social worker, god would be one of man’s brilliant invention. “God is dead”, said Nietzsche infamously. But by asserting god as dead he didn’t mean that god had lived before and now no longer does but the theory of god as a holy spirit should be abandoned. People with even an ounce of intelligence would now perceive that there is no intelligent plan to the universe or rational order in it: there is no reason why things happen one way and not the other and the existence of god as a supreme being is just an imagination pasted upon human mind since his birth.
The origin of god can not be traced, since god is the supreme father and his existence was simply there before the dawn of the universe. Such irrational views can not be justified by a mere statement of god not being perceivable to human intelligence. The history of mankind shows that humans are able to grasp the knowledge of every tangible things existing but the knowledge of god has not been able to be perceived in human mind shows that god doesn’t exist but the idea of god is a mere imagination of human mind long before.
Nobody knows the accurate origin of the first religion. Certainly the idea of god was established before the dawn of religion. This omnipotent being has history far beyond the origins of religion as one can apprehend. It has been established that the knowledge which humans in primitive times couldn’t grasp was feared and the theory of god was a response to this fear. It gave the people feeling of security in an insecure world and a feeling of control over the environment which was of course little. Fear, a psychological phenomenon often said to be the cause for emergence of god or religion is a quite old view, as old as ancient Greeks and Romans. Ancient Roman philosopher and poet Lucretius contended that “the belief in gods was based on illusion and that fear was the root of religion”.
Living in pre-scientific world the people had no answers to the phenomena of change of seasons and what controlled this seasonal cycles- passing of seasons, day and night, the motion of stars, what controlled their environment-who caused dry spells, floods, storms, rains, what controls fertility, what are the best morality to promote the stability of their tribe and above all what happened after they died? Such questions were no way they could answer. Even today ,living in a scientific age we debate about our proper set of morality and we don’t have the knowledge of after death. The development in human mentality needed the answers to such questions so the response to this fear of uncertainty was-the invention of God. Thus,the belief system was established.
The oral tradition of this intuition which was disseminated among the members of the tribe and to the next generation and when writing was developed these belief were recorded. Because of these intuitions varied with geography, different religions developed in different places so belief systems come in conflict with each other as every one believed their beliefs to be directly derived from god- who they forgot to be a response to the fear of uncertainty. As a result of this fear, people began to development of Fetishism, Animism, Totemism and the Theory of Aleatory Element began whose progress we can see in today’s modern religions.
The idea of god as a father figure plausibly leads to the establishment of law and order in the society. But the gender of god shouldn’t be looked upon as a mere argument for feministic ends. Almost in all religions god has been looked upon as male. The Christians, Muslims , Jews and also Hindus regard god as a male. We speak of god as “he” and there is no doubt that most people who believe in god think of god as of male gender. But in what sense if god a male? Certainly not in a sense that he possess male genetic or body features. The gender of god to be thought as male cannot be taken as a mere argument but it has proved to be harmful to social consequences.
Discrimination of male and female has been a major social concern. This discrimination has been supported by the very existence of god. Social dictatorship against women has its roots buried in the existence of god. The concept of god as a creator of heaven and hell seems to call to mind nonhuman properties. Women have always been exemplified as a lower status than men and this concept of god being a male supports the repression of women. Religion has always been patriarchal and has always dominated women socially constraining their social, mental and emotional development.
Women has been always taken as a property and as a slave by the society and social workers are always advocating the equality between man and woman. When we are fighting the repression of women and advocating women equality, we need to eliminate the causes of this social dominance from grassroot level. In doing so we have to eliminate the concept of god. So, the concept of god should be neutralized. Religion in all its forms has continued the oppression of women by “invoking the words and deeds of the exclusive male deity”. Religion and God has thus been used as a powerful weapon upon by subordinating the social power of woman as a human being. There can be no justification for denying equal rights to woman, anywhere in the world despite differences in culture or religion throughout the world. Any proclaimed adherence to a specific religion of system of beliefs has always intimately been tied to women’s continuing discrimination and abuse which feminists regard as the distortion of true messages or faiths. Most, if not all of the religion has been discerning the status of women in the society and this discrimination has been seen as a universal ethic across all culture and religion.
For ages, the wrath of woman has yet to be felt upon aristocratic patriarch society but the wrath of the morbid god has always been felt by women all over. Belief systems – Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism has all neglected woman as a poisonous snake slithering to cause annihilation to a man’s pure mind. The world’s largest belief system Christianity has depicted woman as tainting the mind of her male companion to consume what god has forbidden. The traditions and customs of Hinduism developed over a long period establishes such diverse dictating perception that human beings are disgraced being born. Such parables, legends, myths and anecdotes is in plenty across all religious beliefs squelching women as impure. I should ask, why such injustice? Due to our belief system which is based on the theory of intangible god? Due to god’s will?
Here, by dismissing the concept of god and involving the theory with feminism, I have depicted the spiteful side of man who has been conceptualizing the lowly status of women in the society as the will of god- an invention of the great human mind.
Conflict among humans are inborn said Sigmund Freud. Generalizing this concept conflict, human history has been a history of appalling conflict through warring. Human beings have great passion for courageous acts. War certainly brings the bravery and acts of courage in any human heart. But war fought for spiteful reasons cannot justify being courageous. The audacity of human heart can certainly be questioned.
“Religion is the cause of all wars” – it causes people to rise up and fight.
“Religion is the opium of the masses” – it causes people to sit down and be quiet.
Statements may seem contradictory but both depict conflicts. Religion is the cause of conflict both in human mind and human heart. War is the external conflict of religion and inner conflict makes people keep quiet and not revolt despite suppression. The concept of god has been taking many innocent and blameless lives throughout the annals of human warfare. Countless lives and property has been destroyed and is being destroyed in the name belief system. But the supreme god doesn’t see.
The Crusades, Holocaust by Nazis, Israelite conquest of Canaan, declaration of jihad, Sri Lankan Civil War and many more countless has all caused human pain and suffering. War has been a common means for resolving any dispute or forceful conversion of beliefs in the name of god. Doing away with religion doesn’t pave way for peace but the love of a human towards other human by trying to save him of sin through forceful conversion apparently cannot be solved. What can be solved is the reduction in unjustified deaths of innocents through dismissing god as a mere human invention. War has never ceased to amaze human minds and religious wars certainly enthralls the cruelest of human imagination.
The major argument of the “will of god” has frivolously persisted even with the progress in science. Living in the virtual world of angels and demons, the people at the helm of religious power has always influenced the mass to expand their belief system, such expansion of their belief system were considered to be act of heavenly virtues. Occasionally, war breaks out leaving a trail of human indignity towards each other. In the name of respecting god, human life maroons. The conflict among Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and others to name a few, has been prevailing and battering human civilization. The obligatory condition of being god’s child after birth also creates conflict ensuing the predicament of following their hereditary way of life. Such indignation and prejudice has been epitomized by the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The invention of god has triggered the invention of religious warring. When the interpretation of belief effects negation then such conflict instigating concept should be neutralized. Depicting that the belief in “god” can succumb human advancement and conflict can destroy rudimentary human morality. The neutralization of this “supreme god” is a must for neutralizing conflicts in human society. With this assertion I hereby argue the elimination of this concept of “heavenly god”.
Respecting god includes sacrifices in literal sense according to practices of many belief systems. Sacrifices involve both animal and human executing. The practice of sacrifice is found in the oldest human records. Sacrifices are a common theme in most religions, though the frequency of animal, and especially human, sacrifices are rare today. Literally anything of some value may be a sacrifice in some religion’s practices. The more valuable the offering, generally, the more highly the sacrifice is regarded but the more difficult to make. On a day-to-day basis, offerings may be quite simple indeed: flowers, candles, incense milk and milk products. Commonly, the most valuable sacrifices have been that of lives, animal or human.
Animal sacrifice is the ritual killing of an animal as part of a religion. It is practiced by many religions as a means of appeasing a god or gods or changing the course of nature. It also served a social or economic function in those cultures where the edible portions of the animal were distributed among those attending the sacrifice for consumption. Animal sacrifice has turned up in almost all cultures, from the Hebrews to the Greeks and Romans , Ancient Egyptians and even Aztecs. Animal sacrifice is still practiced today by the followers of Hinduism and other lineages of Orisa as a means of curing the sick and giving thanks to the Orisa (gods). Christians from some villages in Greece also sacrifice animals to Orthodox saints in a practice known as kourbània. The practice, while publicly condemned, is often tolerated for the benefits it provides to the church and the sense of community it engenders. The Muslims and Jews equally believe in animal sacrifices.
Similarly, human sacrifices were also ritualized in many religions. The sacrifice of humans were done to appease the gods from their wrath. But now in modern times it has become rare though some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and India still practice it. The sacrifice ritual disrespects the life of human individual contrast to their belief in god. The invention of god has thus caused suffering to human civilization. Mass animal sacrifices depicts the cruelty of human heart by interpreting “god” as the supreme one who governs our daily life. This misinterpretation has certainly provided me the argument to dismiss god as the pretentious one whose invented concept has brought more plight upon human understanding than diminution of insecurity.
From my argument of rejecting god I have come to assert that god is a invented being and the concept of god that has been interpreted should be neutralized. I argue to all the social workers to help the society in its most needed times by dismissing the exposition of the concept of the “supreme god”. Modernity has grasped the claws of human civilization and this concept of god as the illuminated one should be neutralized to make human civilization realize the propriety of a human being. The rejection of this idea of god as the supreme one shall bring in the apprehension of morality and decency of being humane. As social work profession is not based on judgmental attitude, rejecting god merely evaluates human society, on the other hand, it enriches and restores their capacities to social functioning.