by Bil Aulenbach

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Who is NoOneUpThere?

who-is-nooneupthereI named the theistic god NoOneUpThere because the term clearly describes my feelings. If I just call it the theistic god, then some folks are going to say, “He’s just another one of those atheists.” But I’m not! I believe in a force so vast that I can’t describe it in my limited human language. I use the word “Creation” to describe what I can’t totally comprehend.

But back to NoOneUpThere—it’s not my idea. Remember Nicolaus Copernicus, the sixteenth-century Polish monk? He was a Christian. He loved God and Jesus, but from his monastery he came to the conclusion that the earth is not the center of a three-tier universe, between heaven and hell. He realized the earth went around the sun, not the sun around the earth. The sun became more important than the earth, and the theistic god lost his prominence. But the monks kept Nicolaus and his discovery a household secret.

After Copernicus came a series of scientists whose discoveries began to undermine the idea of NoOneUpThere. Johannes Kepler, a sixteenth-century mathematician and astronomer, found Copernicus’s works and discovered that the motion of the sun was elliptical and not circular. This finding came to the attention of Galileo, a seventeenth-century mathematician and astrologer, who built a telescope and proved that the sun didn’t go around the earth. This did not please the church, which needed its theistic god and wanted to reward Galileo by burning him at the stake. Galileo recanted his findings and stayed silent, but his findings didn’t. It took the Roman Catholic Church a long time, until 1991, to say that Galileo was right.

Then came Sir Isaac Newton, a brilliant seventeenth-century physicist and mathematician, who introduced us to the laws of nature and strongly suggested that the world was created with mathematical precision and that gravity plays a major role in this creation. Without ever saying so, Newton rendered the theistic god unemployed because that god was no longer in charge of pulling strings to make the world work.

In the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin discovered that evolution was the answer to creation and thus that god had nothing to do with how humanity has evolved. In the wink of an eye, original sin was no more, and the made-up Christ story was just that. But the story of Jesus is still relevant.

In the twentieth century Sigmund Freud suggested the theistic god, in reality a parental authority figure, needed to go out of business and that we needed to make people grow up and be responsible for themselves. What a great idea! I’ll tell you a secret: this idea is much more powerful than NoOneUpThere.

What do you think about rejecting the idea of NoOneUpThere and embracing the idea of Creation instead? Let me know in the comments section.


The image in this post is in the public domain courtesy of Guillaume Preat.