God Ain't Dead...
That's right. God ain't dead. Elsewhere in this website you'll notice I'm a devout atheist. So how can I say God isn't dead?
I can say it because God has never existed, therefore He could not have ceased to exist. God ain't dead because He was never alive.
An examination of ordinary, everyday belief in God will help us better understand the "God Ain't Dead" supposition.
Anyone who believes in God automatically believes in non-God as well. Doesn't worship non-God, but acknowledges it.
God and non-God are the only possible categories for the God-believer. This is the first common fallacy, and it's almost universal.
Instead of saying "I believe in a higher power," which is what nearly all God-believers say, even if they emphasize their higher power is not the traditional Bible deity, people should realize that there is no higher power. That they are the higher power. You are the higher power. Tag you're it.
No other plane of existence exists beyond the plane on which we exist. Only one existence exists. Although we are individuals, we are part of it.
It takes a little thinking outside the box to understand this, but it makes total sense.
Theists - those who believe in gods, or God, or Goddess, also acknowledge the existence of Nature. But here is the second common fallacy, and the major of the two. They view Nature as a tool or creation of God.
Instead, Nature is the totality of reality. It is existence. It's God or Nature, not God and Nature. Only one or the other can exist. We know Nature exists. We can see it all around us, we can feel it. A God would have no need of Nature, and Nature has no need for God.
Nature is the entirety of being. Not just the "ground of being" which theologian Paul Tillich discussed. Not just the elan vital of Henri Bergson. But the non-life forces and objects as well, such as rocks and wood.
Nature was not created. It has always existed, as the Buddhists and Hindus rightly say. It goes through an infinite cycle of change and recycling. Of course, this planet has not always existed, and neither has our sun or any other individual celestial body, but the universe, which is synonymous with Nature and at the same time its habitat, as a whole has always been here.
Nature is everything. It is everywhere. But to be everywhere it must be everything.
Nature is self-sustaining. It sustains itself, and the individualized entities within it, such as human beings, with its forces, which are necessarily consistent. At least they're consistent in our region of the universe. Who knows? - maybe in some other parts of the cosmos gravity does not exist and other forces prevail instead. In our area of the universe, in our average galaxy of millions of galaxies, we can count on gravity to always work, we can count on the laws of mathematics and the laws of physics to be unchanging. If we lived in a place where the laws of physics changed from day to day, work would be impossible. Science would be chaotic. Business would be haphazard.
The consistency of natural laws, including the four "forces" of Nature: the gravitational force, the electromagnetic force, the weak nuclear force, and the strong nuclear force, indicates intelligence in Nature. Instead of the conscious thinking intelligence of the hypothetical God, however, Nature has a non-conscious intelligence. We assume God must have a mind, because we do, and we expect Him or It to think and use design to perpetuate his creation the universe.
Again, thinking outside the box helps. Intelligence outside of a brain is hard to grasp for most people, and I don't understand it myself, but since Nature is not a person, non-conscious intelligence must be the answer. Who says intelligence must be the outcome of a thought process or the mechanism behind one? Why not a non-conscious, non-deliberate intelligence which unifies and guides everything?
Even the evolutionist who believes in randomness as the impetus behind the emergence of intelligent life must admit that intelligence still comes from Nature, even if it arises by pure chance.
Here's an analogy to non-conscious Nature "guiding" the universe. Our human bodies have a heartbeat and other autonomic functions. Conscious thought does not direct or instruct these. They seem to have a mind of their own. We can't order or command our heart to beat or our hair to grow. They do so automatically, whether we understand or control their processes or not. The non-conscious, non-thinking intelligence that pervades Nature - yea, that is Nature, does the "commanding." No thought tells a perennial flower how and when to die in the autumn then re-bloom in the spring, but it does it every year.
God is not a person. You can use "God" and "Nature" as interchangeable terms. It matters not. It's been said more than once that theism is an attempt to personalize, or personify Nature. I carry this a little further by saying it's an attempt to give Nature a name (since we humans have names). And a little further still by adding it's an attempt to make Nature human so we can relate to it (by casting God in our image).If you want to use the word "God" to describe what's "behind" all this, fine. "God" is just a word. So is "Nature." But the key is that "the universe has no boss" (Alan Watts). There is not a separate person who created all this and who is external to it. That's the key. Everything is one. If a personal Creator existed, it would be separate from its creation. Viewing Nature as the sum of reality removes the breach and simplifies everything.
People can posit God all day long, but this only complicates matters. Existence is already mysterious enough, but suggesting a God who existed then created Nature to accompany Him just makes things unnecessarily complex. God would have no motive to create Nature or other beings, and no room for them.
A God would necessarily be infinite, and therefore the only being in the universe. God would be Everything. Nothing could exist outside God, just as nothing can exist outside Nature. God would have no reason and no room for anything besides Him. Why would a God sit around for an infinite amount of time then suddenly say "Gee, I think I'll create a universe"? Preposterous. If God existed, nothing else would exist. We would not exist. But we do exist, and the very fact I'm writing this and you're reading it solidifies the non-existence of God.
If God existed, He/She/It would be everywhere. (See "Conversation With Larry" in Those Cracked Christians). It's impossible to have a realm of something and a realm away from it where nothing exists. Nothingness is impossible. Even "empty" space is not empty.
Just as the Hebrews consolidated their pantheon of gods into one God with a capital G when they made the transition from polytheism to monotheism, the atheist consolidates a little further. The Hebrews, before the publishing of the Pentateuch and the Old Testament which so rabidly emphasize one God and only one God, believed in a god for each force of Nature, in the way the Greeks and pagans did. They subsequently converted to the idea of one God for all phenomena. The atheist consolidates the fallacy of God and Nature , with God as the boss and Nature as his tool, into one existence and guiding force, thereby removing God from the equation and forsaking duality. The unification of duality would make no sense. Everything starts out as one - unified, from the "beginning." As the old saying goes from the mouth of the atheist: "I simply believe in one less God than you do."
Within the framework of metaphysics which addresses existence, dualism is impossible. Only one reality, one existence exists. That reality can be called Nature. It can be called God. But it is non-personal. It's natural for us to believe it's personal because we are persons. This is another common fallacy, however. If a rock could think, it would probably think the universe was one huge rock. To think a Creator of the cosmos is a supreme, ultimate person could be called egocentric, but it's not really egocentric, but a natural presumption.
For the sake of argument, if God created the universe, He either created everything from out of Himself or He created everything out of nothing. If the former mechanism used, God is no longer inifinite because He extracted from and thereby reduced His own corpus. If the latter, He created from a realm separate from Himself. Both these conclusions are impossibilities.
The inimitable Robert Ingersoll expressed his own thoughts on the impossibility of creation by an entity:
"We are told that the universe was designed and created, and that it is absurd to suppose that matter has existed from eternity, but that it is perfectly self-evident that a god has.
"If a god created the universe, then, there must have been a time when he commenced to create. Back of that time there must have been an eternity, during which there had existed nothing - except this supposed god. According to this theory, this god spent an eternity, so to speak, in an infinite vacuum, and in perfect idleness."
"Admitting that a god did create the universe, the question then arises, of what did he create it? It certainly was not made of nothing. Nothing, considered in the light of a raw material, is a most decided failure. It follows then, that the god must have made the universe out of himself, he being the only existence. The universe is material, and if it was made of god, the god must have been material. With this very thought in his mind, Anaximander of Miletus said: 'Creation is the decomposition of the infinite.'"
Most theists say God is a spirit life-form, despite what the Bible says about God occupying a throne (and rarely standing up and getting down from it to walk around).
But God cannot be a spirit, because if spirit He would not be infinite, in the properties of spatiality or infiniteness. He could possibly take up all non-physical space, but to be infinite He would have to reside in the physical, solid domain as well. The idea of God as a spirit may have been invented partially because it's impossible to disprove God's existence because God cannot be seen. Or because He simply can't be seen like trees and dogs can, so the acceptance of his status of spirit may have been deemed logical, or not really thought about much.
The existence of God is the most impossible of all impossibles.
A God with a capital G would necessarily, and "automatically" be an infinite being. A being less than infinite would be not God, but a lesser being.
A God cannot exist unless only It exists. Since many things and beings exist which are not-God, we're talking about an enormous degree of impossibility here. Moreover, the very fact we're thinking about it makes God impossible.
Just as the universe is uncreated and eternal, and has always been "here" and will always be "here," I opine that life is the same way.
I once read that Thomas Edison, in the theosophical stage of his life, said that life in one form or another has always existed. I believe this must be true. Life is one of the originals, one of the things that has always existed. Energy and light would be two others. So "Let there be light" would be fallacious. Since light is a necessity for certain life forms, it surely has always existed. Like the universe, which philosopher Ayn Rand called "the Primary," light is a primary, a prerequisite, an eternal.
Intelligence must be another primary, another fundamental "force." The reservoir of intelligence within the human brain includes the ability to imagine. Imagination is one of the most precious gifts of Nature. However, since we are people we imagine God to be a larger, better type of people, and since we have fathers, we imagine him to be a father. Both these phenomena of cogency suggest that God is a creation of the mind.
Can you think about God? Do you ever think about God? If you can have thoughts about God, you've proven that God is a construct of the brain. The God idea is a mental thing. God is concept, not reality. God is subjective, not objective. God comes from inside and moves outside, not the other way around. In other words, as I've stressed elsewhere, religion which incorporates God-worship is merely psychology, nothing else.
It's all in your head, as the old saying goes...
How can people believe in God if He isn't real? It's easy. God is a creation of the mind. Of course people are going to believe in something that originates in their own minds.
God ain't dead. He was never alive.
The Limits Of Knowledge: A Necessary Consideration In The Debate On The Existence Of God
God can be explained away in many ways. One of the easiest methods is achieved by recognizing the limits of knowledge.
You are a finite point. So am I. Each person has a finite amount of knowledge - call it a bit of knowledge. Added up, these bits of knowledge comprise a cumulative knowledge. The totality of knowledge is not infinite, however, because each individual knower has only finite capabilities to know and therefore finite knowledge. Infinite knowledge, of not only the Big Picture but the Whole Picture, would exist only if an infinite Knower existed.
Similarly, the dispersal of knowledge shows that no omniscient Knower exists, in Heaven or anywhere else. If all knowledge was rolled up into one neat little ball, with its bits of information easily accessed by those who wanted to know more, the concentration of knowledge into one unit would make the universe a less esoteric and fascinating place. Knowledge is not condensed into a zip file, to be unzipped by a device on a hard drive. Knowledge is not a naked singularity (see black holes/astrophysics/Einstein). But, and this is a big but, if all knowledge indeed existed in one infinite mind - the mind of the Knower, which most people would label "God," a paradox would ensue. Infinite knowledge residing in one Mind would not be infinite knowledge because of spatiality concerns. Infinite knowledge could not exist in a finite space, even if that space was the incorporeal, infinite mind of God instead of a conventional brain. Likewise, the mind of God would be infinite itself, leaving no room for external knowledge to be acquired.
If you stood 8-foot-10 and were two-and-a-half feet wide and you were occupying a room eight feet, 11 inches in height and two feet eight inches wide, only you could fit within it. Other comparably sized beings with physical dimensionality could not coexist with you in the room and could not occupy it until you had left. If they were minute, as in ants, a billion ants could fit into the room with you but they would still be finite in number even if they eventually filled up all the cubic centimeters in the room. Consider the room is the universe and the 8-foot-10 being is God. As an infinite being, He now takes up the entire space, which we will consider infinite for the purposes of analogy. The infinite being would occupy the entirety of the infinite space, whether It was a physical solid or the more accepted notion of spirit being, as in air filling a vacuum. See my God and Nature essay in this section for the impossibility of both God and us existing.
The limited capability of a finite mind, such as a human mind, precludes existence of an infinite Knower. Even if the cumulative knowledge of all finite knowers on this planet and all other planets were summed it would not come close to being infinite knowledge. Overlap of knowledge - call it common knowledge, also precludes it. For instance, everyone has knowledge of air, people and thought. If everyone instead had a unique, separate arena of knowledge (i.e., one human knowing only about rocks and another knowing only about sunflowers and so on and so on ad infinitum), the cumulative knowledge would undoubtedly be greater. But it would still not be infinite, if for no other reason then simply due to the impossibility of having enough cogent knowers inhabiting observation posts throughout the cosmos. Infinite knowledge is also precluded by the absence of clairvoyance. If people - Earth humans and otherwise, could read minds, though, a more impressive cumulative knowledge would prevail.
Knowledge is acquired primarily through observation, and in this sense knowledge is strictly empirical. Noone can observe the entirety of the universe, however. At many, probably most, locales in the universe, no sentient being is around to observe or measure or catalogue. Only an infinite being could catalogue every nebula, every asteroid, every planet of the universe, and every rock and ice crystal and organic entity. And only an infinite knowing could acquire such knowledge without using direct observation to do so.
An enormous amount of knowers would be needed to observe and learn about every hill and valley on every world. We on this planet have knowledge that other planets exist, but we don't have the specifics of the inhabitants of those other worlds, what their precise atmospheric element and gas mixes are, etc.. We can know but not really know until we observe. We can approximate the depth of the icy waters of Pluto but not know exactly how deep those waters are at each varying depth until we measure each wave of water down to the nearest nanoangstrom and trigonometrically approximate the depth of every spot at which the underwater terrain changes. A person can know Chicago exists without ever having been there, but will never know the minute details of every brick and ivy leaf at Wrigley Field until measuring and observing those bricks and leaves, and constant observation would be necessary since weather changes the patterns of bricks, albeit very very slowly, and since ivy leaves are constantly changing due to organic growth.
Observation is not the only method of learning. We also learn with our senses. Our senses also bring us experiential knowledge, for instance, how a biscuit with gravy tastes and how a honeysuckle smells. Through the acquisition of sensory knowledge via touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing we learn the properties of a plant but still not its botanical classification, its history, or the percentage of nutrients it draws from the soil. Walking by a row of honeysuckle bushes and inhaling the sweet aroma exuded by their nectar does not make us privy to the complex process of photosynthesis going on within the plant at that very moment. Strolling along on the dark sidewalk after sunset we may smell the lovely smell of the nectar but that doesn't tell us how long each leaf of the bush is, or anything about its structure, or how many leaves are on the bush or how old it is. We merely know the aroma, that it smells pleasant, but nothing else. We acquire by knowledge, we know, an exoteric characteristic of the plant but not its specifics. Specifics can be acquired through observation and measurement only.
In the same way, the availability of knowing God through sensory input is impossible. God cannot be "known" through sense data, but only through thought. Thought isn't exactly a sense. It's more an outward process than an inward one. I can't experience God with the sense of taste or smell or feel or hearing. When I can shake his hand and lick his ear, then I'll believe. Until then, I can only think about Him. And thinking about Him, or Her, or It, whatever the case would be, does not facilitate Its existence. In fact, the fact we can access "God" only in our thoughts makes a strong case that It does not exist at all. I'm surprised "the argument from thought" has never arisen in the debate between theism and atheism, like the argument from evil or the argument from design. The closest thing I've heard is the argument that God is a word...
Infinite knowledge of intangibles, such as concepts, political systems, and individual philosophies on life and existence, would also be unattainable by a group of knowers who each has a bit of knowledge. The only way an infinite Knower could exist would be for it to have a priori knowledge of everything - the physical and the non-physical. Much of this knowledge would be known aforehand in linear time, as in knowing what would happen throughout future history, as posited in the predestinarian God of several traditional branches of Christianity. Knowing the future would necessarily involve planning the future, although many God-believers draw the line there, stressing that God simply knows what will happen (as if He could be surprised) but does not blueprint it. However, the phrase "the unfolding of history" suggests not only foreknowledge, but architecture, and a blueprint - as if history were rolled up in a scroll then unfurled.
An infinite Knower with a priori knowledge would also have experiential knowledge, gained in increments as things happen in the way, they happen, whether or not they'd been "planned" ahead of time, and would experience the events at the moment they happened , even if It was not surprised by their arising.
Infinite knowledge does not exist. An infinite Knower or infinite mind does not exist. If it did, no finite knowers would exist. The infinite Mind would know everything and not share knowledge with anything else even if it wanted to. That "anything else" would include us. This is analogous to the situation in which God could not and would not want to share spatiality or existence with Nature, since only one Existence can eixst. See the God or Nature essay in this section for why only God or Nature can exist, but not both.
The salient point to remember is that infinite knowledge is not necessary for existence. We know we don't know everything about the universe, but we also know we don't need to. A planet with 10 billion inhabitants just like us may be orbiting Aldebaran right now but because we don't know this experientially doesn't preclude it from being true. On the other hand, our thinking about it does not make it true either.
A tornado would still destroy trees and buildings if not even one human existed on this planet. Knowledge is not a prerequisite for existence. The non-conscious, non-thinking intelligence which guides Nature, which is Nature, since duality does not exist, continues to guide. Earthquakes, hurricanes, monsoons, and forest fires would continue to happen whether we inhabited this planet or not. But if they did not affect humans they certainly wouldn't be called catastrophes. They would still affect animals but animals would not deem them catastrophic when they reduced their populations, but would instead "know" they were just an integral part of the cycle of Nature.
While we're on this scenario, we should realize that much knowledge is embodied in interpretation. This is so because another aspect of Nature is its relativity. We consider dollar bills important because of their utility, but a crow picking a dead dried sun-baked crusty earthworm off a dollar bill therein ripping the dollar bill to shreds wouldn't care for a second that other beings use the dollar bill for survival. It wouldn't care and wouldn't know that, because it would not have infinite experiential knowledge like a hypothetical infinite Knower would possess.
The infinite universe continues to be, and to evolve and recycle, and it knows about itself in a non-conscious way. This variety of knowledge and knowing differs radically from the Judeo-Christian idea of knowledge and knowing, in which one person - the Creator, knows everything about his creation, which is separate from Him. And that's crucial. Western religions see the Creator as being external to the created, although they sometimes vaguely say that somehow God is in all his creation. Eastern religions, on the other hand, correctly realize that everything is one.
Digging The Deep Mysteries With Tools Of Noun And Verb: How Language Delimits God And Nature
In attempting to comprehend the enigma of existence, language is a mental implement we automatically employ. Philosophers and theologians have used mathematics and geometry to describe God and space, but they have used language much more frequently. Language is the easiest way we can communicate our perceptions.
Translated into language, "Reality" and "God" are nouns.
Focusing on grammatical labels is easy, because it is superficial. Delving more deeply into the implications of categories of words, however, is enlightening. It illuminates all that is incurred by the actions taken upon nouns. Nouns are nothing without verbs to give them life.
In the arena of debate between theism and atheism, linguistic analysis aids determination of whether the concept of "God" is valid within the certainty designated "reality". Contrasting the traditional, somewhat dormant imagery of Heaven and God floating on stationary, serene clouds, with a real world in which we see and experience activity, change, and energy transfer at a frenetic level, and as the obvious default, is easy mentally. It is also a good starting point in transcending grammar while emphasizing its own meanings and applications.
Specifically, we should keep in mind that "noun" implies mere designation of a name or title of a specific object. "Verb", on the other hand, is indicative of action. A key factor which makes verbs superior to nouns is their universality. A noun is singular - a separate name for a separate thing. A verb has the ability to act on more than one noun at once, and often does so. The activity qualities of verbs are the essence of life. Adam would never have become an active man without his Creator infusing the breath of life into him. And without the nominal: God, using the power of verb to extract a rib from the new Adam and build a woman with it, the human race as related by the book of Genesis would never have come about.
Extracted from the Judeo-Christian paradigm, God (Yahweh) is a static entity who became verb for a short time, then reverted to a noun state. The perpetual noun state of God, post-Creation, casts serious doubt on God's existence within Reality, and places that perceived existence into the compartments of the human imagination.
We can say God is a product of consciousness, because, as far as we know, only humans believe in God. We could presume that dogs and ferns believe in God - in canine or fern imagery, of course, but we have no reason to do so. Humans have produced God because they have imaginations.
Description of God is more difficult than merely positing that He exists. Constructing a model of God is essential, but not a chore at which the average layman Goddist or even professional theologian excels. As a tool for building such a model, language is finite. But, since words are the flipside of our thoughts, it has an invaluable utility.
Accommodating the way we produce God with our brains' imaginative components, we use linguistic parameters to describe "Him". A separation into the familiar categories of Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How are instructive at this juncture.
The skeptical mind requires supporters of God's existence to explain not only "Who" and "What" regarding God, but the crucial "Why" and "How". Explicating why God created and how He did so are critical for swaying the dubious, whereas "Where" may be the thorniest area of all for the theistic mind. Where does God exist, and if everywhere, how does the cosmos coexist with him? The nebulosity called pantheism fails miserably in efforts at explaining the whereness of a singular Deity.
For the skeptical mind, describing God often leads to describing Him out of existence. Using parts of language and grammar as our tools of description, we can confidently, and ontologically, explain why God cannot exist.
The Judeo-Christian Creator created at some point in time. How long the Creation took is a secondary concern, since we view Creation as a singular activity, and assign to it a singular timeframe (the accuracy or inaccuracy of mystical thousand-year-long days notwithstanding). A significant implication of this momentous act (purveyed by the Book of Genesis) is a corresponding state of rest for eternity-past before that creation. Those who argue that God cannot exist in linear time to experience a state of rest before and after creating can be quickly dismissed, because, although we can somewhat think of timelessness as a lack of measurement and structure, we are faced with thinking of time only in linear terms. The way we are wired, we are essentially forced to think linearly. Just as are mathematics and language, linear time is a necessary tool for our limited minds.
While the focal points of "why", "how", and "where" may tie a brain in knots, elucidation of God's actuality focusing on "when" may be the trickiest of all. For instance, how can God have no initial when - no coming into existence - of his own, but facilitate when-ness (which implies change) in a definable moment or timespan of creation or damnation?
Following Assumption 1 - that God was in a state of rest then created, we linguistically assign "noun" to the nature of God. When He created, God became verb.
By its linguistic nature, verb is an expression of action and activity. Noun implies static properties, while Verb is dynamic. We must be careful when we consider the ontology of God using linguistics, since the word "being" is the heart of ontology, and since "being" is a tricky variation of a verb. Simply adding "i-n-g" to a word such as "be" to transform it into a gerund noun does not change its static property, however.
Assuming God is, He "be"s. At some point, He changed the state of "be"ing all alone in the realm of Existence when He created the Universe to accompany Him. It is tempting at this point in our analysis to consider how intractable such a scenario is, in a sort of correlative scan of the howness of Creation, of God either creating Everything from Nothing, or from Himself.
The concept of a noun suddenly becoming a verb then regressing to foundational Noun after creating other, separate nouns, and verbs to animate them, is nonsensical. Such a paradigm of Creation is too farcical to accept.
A secondary problem with suggesting that God sat in space (if even mere space co-existed with Him) during an eternal state of rest then at once, beginning in a precise moment of linear time, created other lifeforms and habitats, is the quandary of what prompted Him to do so, and "why" He did so at a given moment. What was so special about the moment of Creation? Why was it chosen above other moments? These questions are crucial for all who propose a divine spasm after aeons of idleness.
The monotheistic characterization of God as a full-time noun/part-time verb conflicts mightily with the older, Eastern idea of Nature as the totality of Reality (as in Chinese philosophy), or of "God" as a name given Nature for the sake of assigning it personhood. As Verb, Nature is always busy and never stops, apart from its continuous fluxes and regular cycles of rest (day and night, heartbeat and space-between-heartbeat, awakeness and sleep). Though Nature "turns itself off" for awhile, it always turns back on, just as a perennial plant lies dormant in a garden for several cold months, appearing to have lost the promise of beautiful flowerhood, then reliably blooms once more when the ground is warm in the springtime. Nature's perpetual fluctuations are indicative of its eternalness. Fluctuations of a supposed rational Deity with a mind, however, with Noun its default state and Verb the occasional fruit of sporadic, irrational behavior, are not as belief-worthy.
As noun with verb qualities which offer us consistency and regularity, Nature has more to offer than the irregular and capricious biblical God. Consequently, naturalism and monism have more to offer than theism and its inexplicable (and after many millennia, still unexplained) duality.
In Genesis, we read that God created for six days then opted for a day of rest. This makes no sense for more than one reason - the most embarrassing implication being that God never resumed creating so is still in His day of rest. This makes it not a day of rest, but a Day of Retirement.
The Judeo-Christian God's status of passivity is a detractor which makes believing in "Him" less attractive and adds appeal to believing in Nature - and only Nature - in a monistic mode. Believing in the Tao, for example, which is always active and providing leadership of the universe in a non-hierarchical way, is preferable to positing a Big Boss who lords it over lesser beings to run the universe he created before deciding to relax forever. Anarchic, decentralized "governing" of the universe is more moral, and more logical, than the capitalistic vision of the Universe being run from a throne by the Big CEO In The Sky. As always, Chinese and Oriental philosophy win more points than Western monotheism and its insistence on hierarchy and division of labour.
Moreover, the conception of Nature as having always existed is a saner way of looking at Reality. Buddhists, Hindus and Taoists share the idea of Nature being uncreated and uncreatable (as the foundational mechanism and the entirety of Existence, or "the ground of being", which we ironically pull from a theologian: Paul Tillich).
The elan vital suggested by theologian/philosopher Henri Bergson lends even more value to the importance of Nature or God being Verb. If elan vital is perceived as the creative force, it is indeed of Verb value, although designated a noun ("elan" is of course a noun, but within "elan vital" is applied as an adjective describing "vital"). Noun - by its nature latent and passive - is mere being, not "force", as is the elan vital - which could be called "the life force".
Thomas Edison's suggestion that life has always existed in one form or other is a valuable proposition. It intimates the eternal activity - the everlasting verbness - of Nature. It demarcates the idea of being from the idea of doing. It suggests that Nature is always alive, and that, like the Tao, it maintains and sustains itself. ("The universe has no boss" - philosopher Alan Watts).
Unlike God: Being, Nature is Doing. We would expect more from an almighty power such as the Christian God, in that being requires no skill compared with the art of doing, at which Nature is eminently talented.
A biblical positing of a post-Creation, post-Verbness day of rest for a one-time creator who quickly resigned and never resumed creating may be what inspired Deists to believe in a "God Is Dead" supposition which diverges from the standard, sometimes nihilistic proffering of the same oft-spoken phrase. God created then mysteriously dissolved or disintegrated, winding down like a wound-up clock, the Deists say. The model of a God who undergoes spasms of activity throughout His duration of existence (as in the Bible's purveying of Creation/Destruction/intermittent miracles/messianic incarnation/fits of wrath and fury/ultimate Judgment in the Book of Revelation) has critical shortcomings and should be quickly discarded. The concept of an eternal State of Rest after humans are finally assigned to Heaven or Hell is equally ludicrous, and disposable.
Nature, in contrast, is the Creator which keeps creating. Nature never calls it quits. This is a much more comforting mindset. The alternate/nickname "Mother Nature" is Noun, like "God", but "Mother" implies mothering, which implies birth, which implies creation and nurturing. More significantly, it implies the female principle, which is sadly and curiously missing from the Judeo-Christian creation myth (except as a secondary element, and not a member of the tripartite, all-male Godhead or a player in its original creative act).
"God" is of course a proper name, and semantically pure Noun. God as a textual image is Noun, excepting sporadic and cathartic episodes as Verb. Not implied by the name of God, these purgative, often emotional episodes - which reflected the insecure disposition of the desert wanderers who created Him in their image - are drawn from the Bible and applied to the status of God. This is a necessary process. As language is the direct offspring of human thought, literary depictions of God are needed tools of linguistically presenting a chosen deity. Purveying God through the very human art of the narrative is essential for acceptance or rejection of the God idea, since semiotics alone does not satisfy our description of deities and creators.
Nature is Verb - the "action word" as we were taught in grammar school. For this reason, we should proceed away from the illogical dualism of paradigms like pantheism and into the realization that Nature is everything, the universe being a function of Nature and also the habitat for all that Nature has created.
Analyzing Existence and Reality with components of language still falls short of fully expressing or experiencing the essence of Nature, but language is our most accessible, and still best, tool, and we must use language to choose between God and Nature, since accepting both leads to insoluble contradictions.