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MAN CREATED GOD - Let’s reinvent it yet again - as Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and Buddha did


This book investigates where God came from and how it was changed from its original meaning to suit new social environments or into a tool of power. It describes why God is neither omniscient nor omnipotent in answering prayers or creating the universe and therefore can neither do good nor bad, as this can only be done by man.  

God was created by man to engender tribal coherence, and has been reinvented many times. This book shows the reasons why Moses, Jesus, Muhammad and Buddha did it.  

This book looks at the future; it brings together sociological philosophy with spirituality, commerce and government in a way that lets people as individuals, as business people, or as citizens instil a global ethic into the life-world, and lead from the bottom up. 

It empowers individuals to find a new meaning of God to supplement or replace old gods and relies on the individual for its existence and influence. 

This book points towards a political and social structure that can ultimately achieve pluralism with true consensus and world peace.

In Store Price: $28.00 
Online Price:   $27.00

ISBN: 978-1-921406-61-4
Format: A5 Paperback
Number of pages: 308
Genre: Non Fiction/Religion

 

Author: Klaus Veltjens
Imprint: Poseidon
Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published:  2008
Language: English

About the Author  

The author was born in Germany and is now an Australian citizen. He saw at first hand the collapse of social values at the end of WW II, and spent his life to find answers that will empower people to rebuild the strength and influence of a human life-world that has been disconnected from the system of production and bureaucracy, in order to make a World Gemeinschaft possible.

 

Acknowledgements

I have used many references to other authors, and included them in the Bibliography where possible. Where I used more than just a few citations from their writings, such as for Jürgen Habermas and Friedrich Hegel, I have corresponded with their publishers (Suhrkamp Verlag) in an attempt to obtain their permission.

I wrote to Hans Küng with the request to read my draft as I had quoted him in certain parts of the book, and although he did not agree with my ideas, he wished me success.

An important contribution came to me from Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, as he provided a link with the Sudanese preacher, Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, and because both of them have given me the hope that Islam can, with time, more generally allow the separation of state and religion.

I found that the encouragement I received, from almost everyone with whom I spoke about the book and its intention, gave me hope that it will become accepted in the wider public and fill a need.

Preface

Since my late teens, I had thoughts about the inadequacy of religion in a modern world. They were primarily about the question of proving the existence of God. Not that this is an unusual quest, as this desire has been pursued by many for thousands of years. I followed this through by reading the attempts of others to find this proof, and concluded that none had been able to prove or disprove God’s existence other than by calling on belief. I did not consider this to be satisfactory, but felt the need to have my own personal moral code, independent if necessary of any god.

Over the years I found that part of the problem is the Creation. The more I followed through with this idea, the more I found it necessary to separate God the creator from the god that is there for moral conduct. Although at first I started with the concept of two gods, one for creation and the other for morals, I abandoned that idea very soon, as it could not be sustained.

I found that in medieval times, moral behaviour was controlled by what I term the ‘village consciencexe "social normativity:village conscience"‘, where everyone in a small town would know what every other person did, and the community would then ‘enforce’ that code by shaming or even severely punishing a recalcitrant. With growing populations, emancipation and instant communication, each individual became increasingly anonymous, which meant that moral behaviour then became reliant on each person’s own responsibility to act within a moral code whether in public or alone.

The traditional interpretation of metaphysics appeared more and more flawed, as, especially in religious thought, it insisted and relied on the presumption of certain values and lacked the self-criticism of its statements in spite of Socratesxe "Socrates:self-criticism" and others before Aristotle who had taught it. Modern philosophy, simply referred to by philosophers in Germany as ‘die Moderne’, by contrast allowed the thinking to stay within nature, history and science without the need to dwell on unprovable beings that were, in my eyes, an irrelevant distraction from what was needed.

It also became clear to me that this code should embrace more than just interaction with other people and include animals and the environment we and they live in, even if only to support the survival of our own species, to make us responsible citizens of all that is around us.

To identify the moral code this ‘god’ was to represent, I had wanted to be able to do it without repeating the negativity of the Ten Commandments. This was in many ways resolved by the brilliant ‘Towards a Global Ethic: An initial Declaration’ drafted by Dr xe "Hans Küng:parliament of the world’s religions"Hans Küngxe "Hans Küng:global ethic" for the Parliament of the World’s Religions. I felt that he had tested its acceptability among people from many cultures and religious traditions, and that I could not improve on the core of that document, so I decided to adopt it as an ethical statement fulfilling the basic spiritual aspects for my moral code in the life-world.

Spirituality should be part of even the down-to-earth god I envisaged. While that spirituality should not go so far as to involve any outside agency, it nevertheless should be a conscious yet abstract product of the mind and soul of the individual, the only place where any god can exist. There also needed to be a clear pathway to take the mental and sociological mindset towards a moral accomplishment into the here and now of the community through actions based on that ethic.

Hence, I looked at three main streams of activity in the life-world, of which spirituality is but one. The other two are commerce and government, which are very similar to the three ‘cultures of commitment’ referred to by Margaret Mead in her studies, except that she used ‘religion’ for the first culture, where I prefer ‘spirituality’ to avoid being restricted to adherents rather than to make the inclusion of non-believers possible.

In this regard, I was inspired by a number of modern thinkers in different fields of work, including modern philosophy, sociology and commerce, which fit well into my theory for empowering human individuals to communicate in resonance with each other and act together within a global ethic to achieve and be responsible for moral outcomes. In particular the German philosopher and sociologist Jürgen Habermas, and the American philosopher John Rawlsxe "John Rawls:vis-à-vis Habermas", who, while admiring each other’s projects, have some disagreements; none of which interfere with their conclusions or with mine. In religious, particular Islamic, aspects I have been inspired by the Sudanese lawyer and philosopher Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, and his groundbreaking thoughts in finding a solution for Islam in a secular state.

The pathway towards successful outcomes will finally have to be channelled from human individuals into wider regional communities and the world, which then requires exploration of organisational systems and constitutions and their development that can suit such an ambitious endeavour. While this book does not intend to make any definitive proposals in this regard, it can ask a few pertinent questions and make appropriate comments and even recommendations that are relevant to the idea of a reinvented meaning of God. Sociological and political philosophy have occupied my mind, and to bring my thoughts to a wider community, they will have to be developed towards the common good by the community itself. Communicative action with a discipline of discourse ethics, I suggest, will allow this to eventuate.

The next step was to name this god of morals, as it now was no longer a transcendental being with imagined superhuman powers that created the world and answered prayers. This process was not easy, as the word ‘god’ represents a concept that was and still is recognisable for the purpose of identifying a moral code, even though this traditional god has now lost its creative powers. There was also the important consideration that the new god is not intended as a replacement of any traditional god, but more like an extension of it to allow believers to step beyond their religion and act in the secular world with a special spirituality that can be applied to their life-world. So it was hard to replace this word with another. Hence the idea of ‘reinventing’ the meaning of God rather than God itself. After all, God had been reinvented a few times in the past, but this time it is not a replacement but a modification and a supplement.

As Dr Hans Küng referred to his moral code as ‘global ethic’, and as this is an important part of the normativity of the new meaning of God, I decided to go in that direction. In Küng’s own language of German, it is normal to combine various words into one. His global ethic is called ‘xe "Hans Küng:Weltethos"Weltethos’ – ‘worldethic’. However, to emphasise my concept that this new entity is in the mind of each individual rather than in heaven or wherever gods have traditionally been, I decided to use a term that is actually a reference to what is already within each individual, the soul. So ‘worldsoul’ is, I think, the most suitable name for the new ‘god’, as it identifies the spiritual strength of the individual and points towards its impact on the wider world.

In some ways, this book may be confronting to people who were raised in traditional belief systems, but that is not the intention. This book is intended to put a modern and perhaps even scientific analysis towards understanding what, in those traditions, could allow them to fit better into the modern world. The effect of this may be and is intended to be conciliatory, so that people of different religions and cultures can work together in the world for the ‘common mores’.

Overall, I see this essay as a summary or outline of my thoughts that aims to inspire rather than to attempt setting detailed goals, as they should still be further explored to achieve communicative rationality.

 

 

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