Since my prior post on the subject of a metapersonal God, I have come to realize more fully what believing in one, as an atheist, means to me. And it is this:
While I put no faith in supernatural things, I do put faith in the natural process of how my perception of what I am compelled to do is positively influenced by those things that I learn when I vigorously question, however uncomfortable that may cause me to feel, the authority of the ideas I hold dear. With that perspective, I have come to recognize the value in referring to ALL that (a) is distinct from the authority of the ideas I hold dear and (b) helps me in the natural process I mention above as my metapersonal, and non-supernatural, God.
With that said, I am sure that because the most common definition of this word currently implies belief in a supernatural (or pre-natural) god, i.e. a deity, many of my fellow atheists, as well as many theists, are likely to bristle at the notion of using the word “God” in the manner I describe above. While this interpretation may currently be the most statistically likely meaning among English-speaking people, the definitions of even extremely important words in any human language are static over time if no meaningful alternatives gain acceptance among those who think in and express themselves using that language.
Because the alternative meaning I am proposing here for the word God has so much meaning for me, I am compelled to share that interpretation with my fellow human beings in that hope that they can also personally benefit from doing likewise. And perhaps if enough of my fellow human beings come to value believing as I do about using the word “God” as I describe here, the generally accepted definition of “God” will be expanded to include the interpretation I offer up here.
So, why do I say that I, as an atheist, believe in a metapersonal (capital G) God? Because I have realized the personal benefit of deifying that which I have described above, which I will paraphrase here in the form of written prayer to that God:
Dear God, to whom I look for guidance so that my emotional heart is opened to accepting an authority beyond that which I may hold dear in my all too often human moments of weakness, anger, hubris, frustration or despair — or any such self-destructive ways of being, I am ever so grateful that I have come to accept your presence in my life.
For those of you who approached this conversation with a skeptical eye towards to the merit of believing in a metapersonal God, let me now ask: Does what I’ve shared here make any sense to you? If so, I am so very glad, because perhaps that means that we can develop a common ground for better understanding each other. But if it does not, I will readily accept that our experiences have not yet brought us the point where such a common ground can exist.
In any event, it is my sincere hope that you will continue exploring the notion of a metapersonal God regardless of how little or much weight you may place on my particular choice of words. And it is my prediction here that in an earnest exploration of these ideas, many of my fellow human beings will discover for themselves that they already believe in a metapersonal God, even if they are currently reluctant to use the word “God” as this particular atheist now so readily embraces.
And with those thoughts in mind, I would like to close this post with another prayer:
God, I also thank those who have helped me to come to know how valuable believing in You has become to me, regardless of whatever small way they may have done so, and even if it was not their intent.
Again, be well until we chat next!
The Tightwire Guy