November, 1977

God is a myth. Let's face the truth: all pictures of a being, spirit, or force pervading the universe and directing all life, whether anthropomorphic or not are just as mythical as the many gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome. The fact that many persons including myself, have had "mystical experiences of the infinite or of the Light or anything else does not impart one shred of credibility to any of these images.

Let's start with Jehovah. Who believes in a "Lord God" who treated one small group as his Chosen People, and commanded them to kill thousands of other men and women and conquer their lands? Jehovah revealed his feet of clay and mythical nature when Assyria overran North Israel and Babylon conquered Judah; even the restoration under Cyrus the Persian, who was hailed as Jehovah's Messiah, only lasted a few decades and soon the Jews were under more complete domination than ever.

Let's take God the Father as pictured by the Catholic Church and Christianity. This picture is actually a polytheistic one since it contains a God, a Son of God some mysterious third entity called the "Holy Ghost" and (although not yet deified) the Mother of God, who was taken up bodily into heaven in 1953 by the Pope; and then there is also the ever-increasing pantheon of saints. This myth claims that Jesus, the only Son of God, was condemned to a cruel death by a God-Father who would only accept that death in order to pardon humankind. What human father would demand such a thing? What a preposterous lie to teach that humans were so depraved that only the death of a perfect being -- God's own son -- could save them! What a further lie to teach that the only way to regain God's love was tq believe that Jesus was the only Son of God! The Christian myth falls under its own weight; who can show me that this benighted story is morally superior or even equal to any ancient myth? While the prophetic teachings of the Old Testament depict one God who is the Father of all humankind, Christianity has been responsible for some of the greatest horrors in history in the name of that God.

Finally, let's take the view that "God" is a spirit of some kind, or a force or law of being or behavior trying to stay as far away as we can from any anthropomorphic projections about "will" or "thought" or "intention" or "desire" in such a force or law. It may indeed be true that there are "moral laws" governing behavior, and the word "God" could indeed be used to refer to such laws, but it is hard to discern them. It may indeed be that "love conquers all" or that "What you sow, that you will reap" but there are hundreds thousands, millions of exceptions to these laws; many of those who practiced love and non-violence suffered and died for that practice, and people often reap both good and ill regardless of what they sow. (This is not to argue against such behavior, merely to assert that the desirability of such behavior proves nothing about the existence of moral law.) And even if such laws were absolute, and could be counted on in the ways that laws of physics can be counted on, the word "God" would be inappropriate because it inescapably connotes anthropomorphic properties; if we mean "moral law" we should say moral law, and if we mean "karmic law" we should say karmic law. But to pretend that a "God" exists because of observations regarding "karmic law" which appear to be generally true is to invest that supposed law with some measure of personality and humanness, of will and intention, of control of events.

Let's talk now about "mystical experiences". There can be no doubt that many people have had unusual experiences called "experiences of God", often described as a vision or a voice or intense light. But we also have dreams and often our dreams seem real; how can anyone distinguish between a purported "experience of God" and a dream or a hallucination? The fact that one may feel "high" or elated or even fulfilled is no basis for distinguishing one from another. So mystical experiences can not, can never prove the-existence of anything other than mystical experiences, no matter how much "oneness" or "light" is experienced.

(originally published under the name of John Fitz)