Is God Objective?


Believers of all faiths and religions tend to believe that God is essential, that is that He must have an essence, that He is an Object of some sort — at least an Object of their belief: “Something” they believe in, a superior Persona (Person?) to whom they submit themselves and direct their prayers, Someone they can talk to and ask for help and intervention, so on and so forth.

They tend to believe that He has a set of conceptually definitive boundaries, beyond which he is not He that they believe and worship. He is like a house or a map that has been theologically built or drawn so that they may know that it is their house or their territory and not someone else’s. These boundaries are exclusive to them, others’ being considered as being foreign and/or false. Therefore, just like most anyone who would not likely feel at home in someone else’s house or territory, most believers of a particular God would not “feel at home” with a different God, a God that belongs to someone else. Entering an unknown house or territory (of which they have no map) could indeed be a “threatening” experience that could make one feel insecure or lost: Is this territory safe? Can I take refuge here? Can I arrive in the right destination if the territory in which I am in is not the one that my map describes?

That is how objective God is in the souls of the believers.

But is God really objective?

It is my opinion that God is not and can never be objective. Even within the same theological boundaries, God is experienced differently by different persons. We may believe in and worship the same God, but the way we experience Him is but the same. Our backgrounds (personality traits, knowledge, personal situations, upbringing and cultural contexts, for example) will make us see our shared God in different “colors and shades” — a color is after all just a shade of hue among other hues that is conveniently named because we don’t have enough vocabulary to name all possible hues of One White Light refracted through our the prism of our subjective realities. God, in this case, is and will always be subjective — His existence being always subjected to our own ways of perceiving.

God is also subjective because, like what I have previously written, He is essentially unknown — He is mukhalafatuhu lil hawadis (similar to nothing and comparable to nothing). Our knowledge of Him is, therefore, a set of subjective knowledge that reflects our subjective conditions and experiences (backgrounds). Our God is an individual’s God relevant only to the individual who is perceiving and experiencing it even when a group of individuals claim that they submit themselves and worship the same God; even when they claim that the share the same map or house. The house or the map may be the same, but the way we read, experience, and interpret it will always be subjected to our subjective conditions.

God is, therefore, subjective.

Wallahu a’lam bishawab.

Thank you for reading. I'd love to hear from you.

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