Did God create man or did man create God?

I have been wondering about this questions for a while now and while the answer may seem obvious to some for me it is not so easy, I have heard many say that God created man, however I have also heard others say that God is a made up being to answer some of life’s toughest questions, the latter appears to be understandable considering we have no evidence that the first humans (Orrorin tugenensis & Australopithecus afarensis) even believed in a higher being or not. In other words what are y’alls thoughts on the matter?

Below is also a link I stumbled upon which appears to argue against religion in regards to archeology and stating that religion is just primitive superstition.

https://damienmarieathope.com/2019/09/australopithecus-afarensis-death-ritual/?v=32aec8db952d

Or yet another possibility… that both might be true? Somebody else once said that God created humans in God’s image, and ever since then man has returned the favor. [And it does seem to nearly always be men too, though others are rapidly catching up I’m sure.]

Given the truism that nobody knows everything about God, we will all have something in our imaginations that is our constructed representation made by us and our culture. But even so, it doesn’t follow that whatever is being represented, however poorly, cannot then itself exist.

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I’ve always found that position to be disrespectful towards believers. Their belief is honest and sincere, even if I don’t share that belief with them. Also, it does a disservice to mischaracterize their deeply held religious beliefs as being frivolous.

Who made who? We simply don’t know, at least in any verifiable or demonstrable way. It goes without saying that all religions have been influenced by the cultures they have emerged in, but we can’t say with absolute certainty if any religion is absolutely false. It is a matter of faith.

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With Jesus’ brother we can say that all religion bar charitability - care, the first, highest biological moral imperative [even trees do it] - is false.

I think that is pretty true though the truth is more psychological in nature than empirical.

That is an interesting post, and some of the dates mentioned are much earlier for various things than I had previously read about, so I definitely would need to do some further investigating. Ultimately though, you can’t argue against religion from this, as I can easily argue that God designed the process so that humans would eventually come to know him in the way ultimately described and fulfilled in the person of Christ. And to me personally, it doesn’t really matter if he had some kind of other relationship with Australipithecus afarensis because that doesn’t change the overall message of the Bible that he’s called me, a modern homo sapien, to bear his image and likeness and to follow Christ.

As far as men creating gods, that is an interesting topic that is worth considering. I have some thoughts that I at least found interesting as of the other day, but don’t have a lot of time to jot them down here right now.

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When you have time I would be delighted to hear some of those thoughts.

I agree it is an interesting post and the authors bio is uh…interesting? I am not to familiar with the archeological findings of early man apart from what I learned in highschool, if you have any suggestions as to what or whom I should look into for further detail regarding religion and early man I would appreciate any links you send my way.

It seems to be widely accepted that the God you can know isn’t God himself but only the best one can do with what one can build up in understanding. So it is at least true that men create the God they understand even if they don’t create that which has given rise to that understanding.

I don’t think this is all that atypical, even of our knowledge of our physical compatriots. We may claim we know those close to us, but our perceptions will not perfectly match the inner reality even for a long-time spouse, much less friends and acquaintances. So while I may imagine I know some things about any of you all, my mental constructions of you are really mostly just that.

Added edit:
I think some psychologists would insist that my knowledge of you is entirely my own construction. And yet even if my knowledge of you is 100% mental construct, it doesn’t follow that you don’t exist, or that my mental construction was not in anyway influenced and indeed substantially shaped by the real you that has interacted with me here.

Why would anyone be content with a limited mental construct that does not allow God to act into people’s lives when there is better than good evidence that he does, and in very cool ways. He is not just a concept, but real, not just an image of treasure, but valuable beyond measure, and knowable.
 

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
 
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

 
Matthew 13:44-46

True. Though of course it is much easier to reach consensual agreement on certain aspects of your physical appearance than it is with God.

I finally read past that last quote to some good quotes about how “I am the only way” might be understood. I’ll try to post something when we get back from our walk.

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Not just a human construct nor only imagination. Real people writing about real experience.


Joy & Strength

God is no different than anything else we perceive, that we create an image/understanding in our own mind. The solipsist notion does not follow that only the image/understanding in our mind exists, no matter what part of reality we are speaking of. We must also be careful of the equal irrationality of confusing (the) reality with our image/understanding – confining (the) reality only to what we personally perceive and understand.

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Perhaps God is more specifically no different than anyone else we perceive in that we have to infer much about who He is. But unlike everyone else we meet we cannot perceive where or even what kind He is. All we have are superlatives and terms of respect. How do you explain that? Surely no one really thinks God is person-like exactly the way we are persons. I wish I understood better just how educated and reflective Christians such as so many here are think about this. Maybe it doesn’t matter? I don’t know.

Not completely unlike but certainly more so, God is the person we perceive behind the totality of our experiences.

The superlatives are one of the ways we go beyond the limits of our personal experiences to build a better image/understanding. Ah the contradiction in that! Its like Bruce Lee’s finger in “Enter the Dragon” which he uses to point beyond what we know, and then he has smack his student, “don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”

Besides this mystical crap, I think there is a rational theological point here as well. It is one thing when our superlatives reach beyond and another thing when they nail down. So sure I believe God is omnipotent and omniscient and such but when that leads to list of things you claim God cannot do then I think you have gone too far with them.

Something like that is what I think explains the long standing prevalence of God belief.

I figure all the hyperbole basically serves to impress the central importance of what cannot be adequately grasped by our understanding. So the pointing finger is a good analogy.

We also have evidence that he is definitively behind particular experiences, and sets of them, so it is certainly safe to conclude the totality.

We can delight in him¹ and he can delight in us.² We can also grieve him (I should know).
 

Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.
1 John 5:3

He who is having my commands, and is keeping them, that one it is who is loving me, and he who is loving me shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 14:21 YLT

One of the ways he can manifest himself to us is by demonstrating his sovereignty over time and space with providential interventions into our lives, causing us to delight in him even more.

 


¹From Psalm 37:

Delight yourself in the LORD,
    and He will give you the desires of your heart.

If he is your desire, you get him! If he is not, then maybe you should desire better?
 
²From Psalm 147:

The Lord delights in those who fear him,
    who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Have I ever mentioned that it is like a Father-child relationship? :sunglasses:

It is interesting that we humans continue to grapple with this questions for thousands of years and a multiplex of generations to come. Can we not come to a conclusion to ease the next generation’s struggle with the Paramount Question of Life? DOES GOD EXIST? Pertinent questions follow: What is life(?), What is the purpose of life(?), How did I get here(?), How do I know my mission(?), How do I know when I am done(?), and Where do I go when I am finished? There must be a GOD which created me, which lives outside the universe He created. It is impossible for nothing to create something. Our human body structure suggests an Intelligent Being is the Designer. Could we agree such an unique body system is impossible through happenstance? Could a pile of mixed material organize itself? How the material get here? Did it make itself? If so, why it needs other resources to survive? If it made itself, it should be self-sufficient and self-sustainable! Thanks!

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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