As I mentioned in my previous post regarding a “metapersonal God”, the fellow atheists who responded to my initial attempt to discuss this notion fervently believe that I am not an atheist. In fact, the one I had an extension discussion with on related topics told me to [p]lease stop calling [myself] an atheist because [I] clearly believe in a god, [my] blog says so.” Because I only mentally chanced across the notion of a metapersonal God once I realized how definitively I AM an atheist, and realized how powerful this concept has helped me channel my thoughts about my values AS an atheist, I am compelled to continue discussing the notion.
First, I will readily admit that one could interpret what I wrote in that post to mean that I believe in supernatural deity IF one assumes that my use of the word “God” implies that I deliver in a supernatural being. And I can understand why this is the case given the common usage of the word “God” in human discourse given the approximate number of times that “God” appears in Google’s records, either alone or with some commonly used qualifiers:
A) “God” — 1,980,000,000
B) “supernatural God” — 120,000
C) “metaphysical god” — 25,400
At the same, it is worth noting that until I offered up to Web community the term “metapersonal God” in my initial post on this topic, a Google search returned no hits if constrained to find this quoted term in its records. As proof of this, here is what Google returned when I performed this search while preparing a reply in my recent Huffpost Comment exchange with ‘Dan Jighter’:
D) “metapersonal god” — 1
This result, however, is not altogether surprising when one considers how infrequently “metapersonal” is used in human discourse, again, as suggested by a Google search of this term:
E) “metapersonal” — About 5,260
Alternately, the traditional qualifiers of “God” types mentioned above are used much more frequently in the general scope of human discourse, as suggested by their much higher hit counts using a Google search:
F) “metaphysical” — About 20,600,000
G) “supernatural” — About 141,000,000
In total, this data on word usage and the dismissive reaction that I received from the those few who responded to my initial entreaty on this topic suggests that I have considerable work ahead of me in fleshing out what I mean when I say that I believe in a metapersonal God. At the same time, because “metapersonal God” does not appear to commonly used in human discourse, exploring what such a term could potentially mean for people suggests that doing so could add to the global discussion of a notion that many people are motivated to consider:
H) “meaning of God” — About 601,000 results.
As for Dan’s impression that I am not an atheist, I probably could have told him that the theists with whom I have detailed my beliefs regarding the existence of God have identified me as an atheist. Given his comments in our recent discussion on this topic, I’m guessing, however, that Dan would have dismissively responded by claiming that (a) such believers in supernatural things are fooling themselves about my status as an atheist, (b) I did not explain my beliefs clearly enough, or (c) I am fooling myself about what I believe. If the last case is true, then I must be a complete fool to have recently joined the Bright’s Network.
With these thoughts in mind, I will close this post by repeating here what I shared with Dan and others thus far when discussing this topic: I believe in a metapersonal God but one that is not supernatural. While I understand this sentence appears to be definitionally inconsistent, it is my sincere belief that as I share more of thoughts on this topic others are more likely to appreciate the significance of the notion of a metapersonal God. And perhaps someday, more will share my beliefs regarding the value of also believing in one, even if they ARE atheists. But perhaps especially so.
Until we chat again, keep well in your journey.
The Tightwire Guy