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God where are thou - The negation of a creator god - The Pure View

Sherab Namgyal / June 10, 2012

God where are thou – The negation of a creator god


Monks debating, picture by Archer10

In this post Shiva Bear refuges the existence of a creator god using the logic of the Buddha Dharma and by applying contemporary commentary.

“What would you think of a man who claims to be in love with a women but do not know where she lives, how she looks, her name or from what family she has descended?” – The Buddha

Still to this day dualistic believes exists in millions of people worldwide namely that a creator god created the universe and all living beings. In this creator model the god is the cause of the universe and the universe is therefore the effect. Obviously cause and effect are considered to be separate from each other according to this model. That a causal system (universe) could be created by a cause (god) completely different from the universe itself in time as well as space is faulty reasoning and so:

“Were something to be created based on something other than itself, You could have deep darkness arising from a flame. Anything could arise from anything, As anything [that is] not the creating agent would be equally other.” – Madhyamakavatara, Chandrakirti

Fire and darkness have no causal relation and it is well known, to everyone, that darkness does not arise from flames. If things could arise from other things, the result could arise from any cause whether in accordance or not. By observations this is known not to be true.

However it is clear to sentient beings that the universe does in fact exist and it is commonly known that an effect (universe) must have a cause (god, in the creator model). However god and universe does not exist in the same continuum so:

“Barley, lotus, the kimshuka flower, and so forth, Are neither regarded as creators of the rice sprout, nor as having that  potential, Nor being of the same continuum, nor as being similar –  In that same [fourfold] manner, a rice seed too is other.”  – Madhyamakavatara, Chandrakirti

It is clear to all that corn seeds do not have the potential to produce rice and so they are separate from each other just as god and universe.

Another way to look at this is as follow:

“Since the sprout and the seed do not exist simultaneously, there cannot be otherness. So how can the seed be other? Thus, as creation of sprout from seed is not established, reject this premise of production from other.” – Madhyamakavatara, Chandrakirti

If a cause (god) and effect (universe) exist at different times (before and after the beginning of the universe) there is no producer. If they existed at the same time the effect is already there. To be able to state that god is other than the universe both must exist at the same time – else there is no point of reference.

It is fallacious believed, in the creator model, that god exist first and the universe and so:

Mani stone near Taksindu Pass.
Mani stone near Taksindu Pass, picture by tvancort

“If a creator is the cause of creating something other, Is [the effect] existent? Non-existent? Or both? Or neither? If existent, why a producer. If non-existent, what is created? If both, or neither, what could create it?” – Madhyamakavatara, Chandrakirti

A cause (creator) is not a cause before until it has an effect (universe). If a result already exists then why produce it? And if already existent why then is creator referred to as the cause? This would mean that a creator god is creator on the account of the creation (universe). Until a father have a son he is not a father hence this questioning.

So why then refer to it as a cause (creator)? If the result is existing and non-existing at the same time then both can be negated and if it is neither no result (universe) is possible. If so is anything producing anything:

“Those who believe that there is a result, and also those who do not believe in a result, equally I don’t see any reason why there should be any decorations in their house”- 400 Stanzas on Madhyamika

Explanation by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche:

“If you believe that cause is other than the effect, then decorating your house does not change anything. Of course, in the conventional truth, you can decorate your house, because you do not think in that way.”

This concludes the negation of a creator god if you would like to read more Pure Teachings by Shiva Bear follow this link: http://pureview.dk/?cat=185

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