Pepe Rodríguez

Índice temático:

Afrontar la muerte
Crítica cristianismo
Invención de "Dios"
Tradiciones Navidad
Sexualidad del clero
Maltrato al menor
Periodismo investigación
Atentado terrorista 11-M
Apostatar (proceso)


Bases de datos
Guía telefónica


Novedades en el web


Introduction of God Was Born a Woman


© Pepe Rodríguez 

© Ediciones B., Barcelona, 2000.


Translation: Heather Hayes (E-mail:


A fascinating adventure: Tracing the origins of the creation of the concept of "God"

(Source: © Rodríguez, P.  (1999).  God nació mujer.  Barcelona: © Ediciones B., Introduction, pp.  7-27)

How and when did God show himself for the first time? Why did God appear through so many different personalities and beliefs? Can it be that a god who is the beginning and end of all things, creator of human beings, would have wanted want to remain hidden from us until only a few thousand years ago? Could it also be that that for hundreds of thousands of years, this god consciously wanted to deprive his creatures of the rules—touted as so fundamental today—and rituals necessary for our “eternal salvation”?

Some 30,000 years ago, God still did not exist.  Yet by then, we humans had long been facing our fate alone on a hostile planet, surviving and dying to the utter indifference of the universe.  Some 90,000 years earlier, some of us had begun to harbor the hope of a hypothetical survival after death.  But it seems that the existence of any god was unknown until approximately 30,000 years ago.  Whatever the case, this god’s image, function and characteristics were those of an all-powerful woman.  Today’s concept of a masculine god, creator and controller, did not begin to be formalized until the third millennium B.C., and did not take root decisively until the following millennium.

In his Summa contra gentiles, Saint Thomas Aquinas stated “God is far greater than mankind’s best efforts to know Him”.  Obviously profound, this phrase transmits desolation and emptiness.  Why not say, for example, that “reason is far greater” than the best efforts of men—especially of theologians—to know it? The universe itself is also very much beyond most people’s knowledge of it.  Even so, based on the idea that nothing is so distant that it cannot be investigated, science accumulates data that is lights years ahead of that amassed by the great Saint Thomas in all his wisdom.  Perhaps, then, God truly is beyond the grasp of our limited understanding.  But before we give up, we must at least reflect on whether there can or cannot be someone “up there”, or wherever it is that a divine being might dwell.  Though not an easy ball of wool to unravel, surely our reward lies in the trying.

We never shall be able to shake the power of the very idea of god’s existence. Although the concept of “God” appeared only recently in our culture’s evolutionary process, it has had undeniable affects on humankind.  We shall forever live in the shadow of the notion of a supreme being with the capacity to reign over all the elements of the material and immaterial universe.  A supreme being who—and this is most fundamental—is alive with a personality that wheels, deals, and dickers with us, bending its merciless will in ways that benefit human interests whenever a propitious occasion arises.

The concept of “God” has been so fundamental in our recent life on the planet that the mere presumption of its reality, as governed by religious institutions, has channeled and directed the formation of entire cultures.  It has radically changed both individual and collective guidelines for human relations, and led us to alter profoundly the ecological balance of all habitats conquered by Homo religiosus.  The mere evocation of God is enough for any humans to man their battle stations and to yield to emotionalism, completely dividing them into two sides or two irreconcilable life-views: believers and non-believers.  But both glorious heroic feats, as well as and the most heinous of massacres and execrable atrocities, have been carried out in the name of God, any god.  As it was, is, and evermore shall be.

The world we know was undoubtedly shaped by God.  But our fundamental dilemma is whether these works are attributable to a real god who acts through a conscious will, or to a conceptual god, made real only through the cultural phenomenon of being the mute object of our human needs and wants.

Religions busy themselves with the former, and, according to religion there is no room for discussion, nor need for evidence.  God exists because He exists, and everything—absolutely everything—is proof of that existence, including the very fact that we have the ability to doubt.  God is the beginning and the end of everything that can be known or imagined. Therefore there is not, nor can there ever be, anything without God.  In this all religions take an intrinsically warped position, since they invert the burden of proof—they do not irrefutably prove what they are affirming: the existence of God.  They attempt, implicitly and very explicitly, to place the burden of proof onto those who defend the inexistence of God or of any deity.  Thus, the very debate becomes absurd when analyzed logically and rationally: some believe (“they have faith”) while others do not (“they’re atheists”).

The latter type of god, on the other hand, is the god of history, archaeology, psychology, anthropology, and other scientific disciplines that attempt to cover and to comprehend the rainbow of human behavior that we have eventually come to know as “culture” or “civilization”.  There is infinite material proof of this conceptual god that allows us to analyze and to discuss him.  The formidable and growing pile of clues relating to this god tie him directly to the former god, the creator or controller of destinies, whose existence is merely presumed to be real.  But unlike that of the latter god, his existence can only be traced back to his debut amidst early mankind.

Given the early absence of God, however, perhaps He had at first limited Himself to being a deus otiosus (leisurely god), such as that described in the major indigenous African religions, where the Supreme Being lives separately from all human affairs.  The Akan, for example, believe that Nyame, the god of creation, fled the world because of the terrible noise made by women when they beat yams into a pulp.  If this were intended to justify his single-minded existence, very probably in today’s world, God would have been able to find thousands of more powerful and convincing reasons than those brandished by the Akan.  God’s remoteness could explain why the planet is coming apart at the seams while He remains insensitive to human supplication.  It isn’t that God doesn’t exist—he just isn’t around.  He just stuck to creating us and then abandoned us to our fate.  Who knows for sure? The concept of deus otiosus is profoundly intelligent, ingenious and realistic.

So: who and what is God like? Religions as formal institutions have published the nature of God and spoken His name for a few millennia now, but the forms and attributes of God are numerous and diverse, and the divine mandates that emanate from them are varied and contradictory. Frankly, the very idea of God eludes us.  Is God the bearded (and presumably good) old man depicted by the Catholic Church in its most classic iconography? Is God like the heroic Shiva of Hindu tradition, always seen in hieratic poses? Is God like El, creator of the Canaanites, represented as a high-ranking political official? Is God like Osiris, the hawk-headed Egyptian god? Is God like the Venus of Willendorf, the most famous of Paleolithic goddesses, with her disproportionately fleshy form? Is he the unrepresentable God of Jewish, Muslim, and many other traditions? Is he like Chaos, the basis for most ancient of Hellenic cosmogony and theogony? Or is God like the Big Bang of modern science? If each doctrina divina changes radically according to every epoch and culture, how can we know which is the true divine message? How can we know the reason that God mutates His own doctrine so frequently? Who stands behind the word of those who stand behind the word of God?

The dichotomy between the concept of “God” and religious structure, however reluctant the latter be to admit it, is evident.  Nothing prevents us from thinking that “God” is that which may have existed in the instant before atomic matter organized, giving rise to the universe.  So, this dichotomy is fundamentally necessary in order for us not to confuse a possible non-specific natural cause with a structure based on the exploitation of such a probability by transforming into dogma or acritical belief.  This acritical belief is the praxis of all religion.  The ability to distinguish what is supposedly causal (God) from what is clearly instrumental (religion) also prevents us from “taking the name of God in vain”, a vice essential to any religious system.  Therefore, there is no shortage of scientists—especially physicists, astrophysicists and cosmologists—who, on studying the origins of the cosmos, agree to leave an open door regarding the possibility of some “organizing force”.  They will, however, slam it in the face of any approaching theology.

Louis Pasteur, one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century, famously said “a little science leads one away from God, and a great deal of science leads one back to Him”.  But the simplicity (not simplemindedness), plasticity, beauty and enunciatory capacity of this phrase must not necessarily lead us to religious conclusions.  Perhaps, as British cosmologist Stephen Hawking (a major supporter of the Big Bang Theory together with Roger Penrose) says, "If we do discover a complete theory of the universe (one which encompasses the interrelatedness of all of the forces of Nature, the dream of every scientific proponent of the Great Unification Theory), it should, in time, be understood in broad principle by everyone, not just by a few scientists.  Then we—philosophers, scientists, and ordinary people—shall be able to take part in the discovery of why it is that we and the universe exist.  If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason: for then we could know the mind of God."

Scientific thought—characterized by methods for acquiring knowledge—opposes religious thought; even so this does not represent a contradiction for scientists with religious beliefs.  Yet the evidentiary strength of scientific thought leads some of today’s most notable monotheistic religions to approach science with the intention of draping the existence of God with their dogmas inasmuch as certain discoveries are concerned.

For example, there is the Catholic Church’s acceptance of the Big Bang Theory, a fact clearly highlighted by Stephen Hawking in his book A Brief History of Time.  Hawking points out that the Church has established “the Big Bang as dogma”, while he also reminds us—with elegant malice—of a statement made by Pope John Paul II at a cosmologists’ conference.  The Pope threatened to study the evolution of the universe post-Big Bang, without studying the Big Bang itself, since that was the moment of Creation, and, therefore, the work of God.  It was the object of theology, and not of science.  Given the Pope’s craftiness, it could also be said (to paraphrase Pasteur) that if much science takes us back to God, too much of it could drain the concept of him completely dry for us.  If the Big Bang does the job of God the Creator, then God loses all sense and function; that is to say that he ceases to exist scientifically. [i].

The Big Bang Theory (as supported by recent and monumentally important scientific discoveries) states that universe began when an enormously hot region that contained all of its mass expanded in a tremendous explosion, bringing its  temperature down.  Seconds later, it dropped again, this time to the point that it allowed for the formation of protons and neutrons.  Minutes later, it continued dropping until protons and neutrons combined to form atomic nuclei.

The Static Universe Theory, or the perfect cosmological principle of Herman Bondi, Thomas Gold and Fred Hoyle, purports that there really is a continuous creation of cosmic matter.  If this is shown to be true, it would mean that  we would see the universe as a complex, auto-regulating mechanism with the ability to organize itself ad infinitum.  This natural property would make it unnecessary to go running to a god in order to explain the origin of matter.

The Inflationary Universe theory proposed by Andrei Linde and Alan Guth holds that our own universe one of an immense set of universes.  This set, in turn, originated from a “mother universe” from which it tore away, swelling until it exploded in a Big bang.  According to this hypothesis, the process repeats itself in other universes as well as in our own, and may still be generating new universes.  One needs not explain this cosmological theory on the basis of some principle of divine organization, since it postulates a process that has neither beginning nor end.

Astrophysicist Igor Bogdanov made the cryptic but definitive statement, based on what is known as Planck’s Constant, that “we cannot know what happened before 10-43 seconds before the Big bang (a fantastically short moment), which contained what was to be the entire universe.  Everything existed in a sphere measuring 10-33 centimeters—thousands and thousands and thousands of millions of times smaller than the nucleus of an atom”.

Our own universe, which dates from some 15,000 million years ago, prompts us to ask one question out of sheer logic: did God exist 10-43 seconds before the Big bang? If he did, what was he and where has he been ever since?

Science does not know what happened in that almost inexistent space and time, but that does not at all justify gratuitous statements of those who defend the idea that the best proof of a creator’s existence is the fact that there are physical limitations to our knowledge.  An example of this thinking would be epistemologist Jean Guitton.

Obviously, a theological vision of the cosmos[ii] is infinitely less disquieting and more gratifying than the opposing view.  But within the framework of a “cosmic project”, if we see all natural laws directing the evolution of the universe as having been designed to make human life possible on this planet, we sin by thinking anthropocentrically, egocentrically, and unscientifically.

Current knowledge of biology proves without a doubt that hundreds of thousands of evolutionary projects have failed, leaving hundreds of thousands of species of all types to follow a path of non-feasibility that sooner or later takes them to extinction.  This process of natural selection is still not finished, and shall continue as long as a crumb of life remains on the planet.  Therefore, in a biological context, man is just another species that has survived (for the time being, anyway) in the evolution of earthly ecosystems.

There are hundreds of thousands of failed, ill-planned, living organisms, doomed from the start. So, should there actually be a “god the creator” or “god the controller”, it could only be either a god who lacks the ability and experience effectively to create living beings, or one who enjoys creating creatures who are doomed from the start, and setting them adrift to meet their fate.  Even in the best case scenario, we cannot avoid the conclusion that God also creates by means of the same mechanisms inherent in Nature and in human beings: trial and error. This, obviously, does not leave any living creature indebted to an advantaged or superior being.

Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) was right on the money when he wrote that finalism or teleogism is a “disastrous prejudice that stems from man’s natural ignorance, arising concurrently from a utilitarian attitude (...) towards the vain—although comforting—illusion that all is made to man’s measure.  To that is added today’s anthropomorphic mentality which, if one interprets everything from the standpoint of a craftsman’s model, impedes one’s knowledge of that which is an absolutely necessity. Thus, it leads one to the superstition of a free and personal God the Creator.”][iii]

French scholar, philosopher and encyclopaedist Denis Diderot (1713-1784) was renowned in his day for his brilliance as a polemicist.  A firm atheist with a Jesuit education, he was incarcerated for three months for having criticized theism in his work “Letter on the Blind” (1749).  During an encounter with mathematician Leonard Euler at the court of Queen Catalina II of Russia, Euler asked Diderot, “Sir, (A+B)N/N = X, therefore God exists.  What say you?”. Diderot was unable to provide an answer.

On the other hand, notable French physicist and mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749-1827), an important proponent of the theory of probabilities, would probably have responded to Euler’s tainted formula with the same aplomb he had shown Napoleon.  Upon being asked about the place occupied by God in his theory of a universe-machine with neither beginning nor end (Treatise on Celestial Mechanics, 1799-1815), he responded to the Emperor, “Sir, I have not yet had the need to put this hypothesis to the test.”

After centuries of philosophical debate on the existence or not of an ordering principle in the universe and of anthropocentric finalism, even today the matter remains open for discussion, and continues to be a subject for lively debate in many areas of science.  While some maintain that life as we know it is the product of an extremely long chain of hard-to-repeat but altogether real coincidences, others argue that only an intentional miracle could explain the coming together of the many conditions necessary in order to produce life.

The concept of “God” is so attractive that even the physicists Heinsenberg or Einstein, both of whom claimed to be agnostic, wrote “mystic” essays that touched upon the idea of “God”.  However, this god is completely unrelated to the anthropomorphic god postulated by religion.  In a letter to a friend in which he denied rumors of his supposed conversion to Catholicism, Albert Einstein wrote, “I know that some priests are getting a lot of use from my physics in favor of proving the existence of God.  Nothing can be done about it; let the devil take care of them.”

In any case, perhaps the limitations of all scientific models capable of explaining the formation of the universe can be seen in what is known as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem.  As postulated by logician Kurt Gödel (1906-1978), states that “within every formal system that contains the theory of numbers, there exist propositions that the system itself cannot ‘decide’.  That is to say that it can neither ‘prove’ nor ‘disprove’ them”.

The Incompleteness Theorem implies that no non-trivial set of mathematical propositions can derive proof of their consistency from the set itself.  Proof must come from an external proposition—something apparently impossible for mathematical and empirical methodology upon which current cosmology is based.  According to physicist Paul Davies (*), indemonstrable truths will always remain outside the scope of logical deduction.  That “does not mean that the universe is absurd or lacking in sense, rather, that our comprehension of its existence and properties falls beyond the usual categories of rational human thought.”.

Within the gap of formal uncertainty left by Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, hope still springs eternal that God exists, a hope that we humans shall undoubtedly continue to propitiate ad infinitum.  The lack of answers to some of the key questions related to our existence, coupled with the fear of our fate after death, is together more powerful than the probative strength of all scientific discoveries that contradict a theistic vision of the universe.

So, when one asks rational questions about everything related to God, it becomes evident that nothing can be known for sure: neither the nature nor the existence of God.  Of course we may always take refuge in the “sacred texts” of any religion.  Fulfilling the purpose for which they were written, they furnish us with absolute certainties by means of self-proving “evidence” while repudiating the logic of reason, since they were configured within the subjectivism of emotion.  But this is fruitful only to the seeker; only to those who need or already possess the mental dynamic called “faith”.  It is an attitude directly related to the psychological processes derived from magical thought, which we shall study in Chapters 2 and 3 of this book.

Undoubtedly, faith can move mountains, but it will never explain how they got there or what they are made of.  Faith in God, in his existence and accessibility, may have innumerable advantages for the human psyche, but it is absolutely useless if we are to know anything about a supreme being, and that is by far the main objective of the work comprising this book.

In 1912, the great sociologist Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) was so right when, in reference to the conflict between science and religion, he stated, “It is said that, in principle, science rejects religion.  Yet religion exists; it is a system of given facts; in a word, it is a reality.  How can science reject reality? Furthermore, insofar as religion is action, insofar as it is a human way of life, science cannot possibly take its place, for although religion expresses life, it does not create it.  Science may undoubtedly attempt to explain faith, but by this very fact, it makes assumptions.  Thus, there is conflict only inasmuch as the two original functions of religion. Only one of them tends increasingly to be free of religion itself: its speculative function.  Science does not criticize religion’s right to exist.  Rather, it questions its right to create a dogma regarding the nature of things, a special discretion that religion has awarded itself in relation to man and to the world.  In fact, religion does not even know itself.  It knows not what it is made of, nor to what needs it responds.  Religion itself is the object of science; thus it cannot possibly dictate its own laws regarding science! Also, since there is no such thing as a specific object of religious speculation outside the scope of the reality to which we apply scientific reflection, it is obvious that its future role cannot possibly equal its past role.”[iv]

If we agree, for example, that God —or the concept of god— is a diamond in the rough, we could say that what interests us fundamentally is to know as much as possible about the basic make-up of a diamond in the rough (pure, compressed carbon within a compact crystalline structure), the temperature and pressure that made its crystallization possible and, somewhat less so, any mineral impurities that gave it one color or another.  All else would be superfluous information.  While it is certain that a diamond in the rough does not appear to be beautiful, it is also obvious that a cut gemstone is not authentic from a geological standpoint.

Once a rough diamond has been exfoliated, hewn, cut, and polished, it takes on a diamantine brilliance.  Among other things, has a high degree of refraction and dispersion—distortion—while also being highly evocative.  Also, we owe one fundamental aspect of diamonds—their worth—to geological interaction.  We owe their secondary worth, fame and degree of preciousness, to the cutter and to the jeweler.  Thus, we shall endeavor in this book to journey within the psychosocial aspects of human geology, to avoiding as much as possible stopping to contemplate the thousands of distorting facets cuts by theologians.

Once we dismiss faith as a gateway to knowledge, many others are opened for us, but which fields of study should serve as a platform for our quest for knowledge? How should we set about our research? Which elements serve as a definitive basis for charting the assumed relationship between God and human beings? What proof is there upon which to build solid arguments? The journey is long and complex, and we all have widely varying starting points, since the most important thing is not the beginning (premise) but the end (conclusions).  This book reflects my personal adventure, starting from the moment I decided to search for some reasonable answers to the rainbow of suppositions that define our society (and which the vast majority of people accept at face value), and to try to arrive at some substance, coherence and sense regarding some of the important questions that we all so often ask ourselves.

We approach God, or the concept of god, only through being human, and by way of the human being.  If not, just try to reach any conclusion from a conversation about God between two chairs, two geraniums, or either one of them and their human owners.  Thus, it becomes essential to become deeply familiar with the many aspects of the biological, ecological, and social past of human beings and of the process that conformed the structure of their psyche and cultural expressions.  The first pieces of evidence—and therefore the first questions we must ask—take us back to the dawn of human evolution.  Within the process of hominization, when we first began to differ from primates, are hidden many keys to the discovery of noteworthy things about God.  And although we have found no proof as to how or why he created us, there is much evidence to show how and why we ended up creating him.

In the same way that a forensics team tries to determine a hidden identity by investigating the clues at the crime scene—a swatch of cloth, a shoeprint, a speck on the bathroom mirror, or a drop of dried blood, for example—I have had to follow a trail of thousands of bits of information, unearthed and elaborated by dozens of paleo-anthropologists, archaeologists, anthropologists, mythologists, historians, psychologists, etc.  Al of this information, in combination with additional data, has resulted in a coherent and reasonable image, not only of the hidden identity we are examining, but, more importantly, of the entire psychosocial context that defined it and gave it its attributes and personality.

As much as possible, I have laid out my research chronologically in order to transmit and analyze what we I see as determining factors, in order to reach a better understanding of how, when, and why the presence of God came to exist among humans.  Several synoptic charts have been designed to allow the reader to situate himself quickly and easily in the analyzed context, in order to facilitate a global vision of some of the key matters to be examined.  I have also included many footnotes, which at times are just equally as fundamental or far-reaching as the main text itself. In this way, I endeavor to offer the reader a broader vantage point and to provide a basis of knowledge, as well as to serve as a reference point regarding documentary sources essential to this work.

While writing this book, I have faithfully mapped the route of my search for coherent answers regarding the apparent relationship between mankind and God.  My journey, which had originally risen from simple curiosity, has engrossed and absorbed more with every passing day, and is ultimately riddled with hundreds of exhilarating surprises that ended up significantly changing my prior presuppositions about human beings and their past.  It made me change my thinking on many issues basic to our comprehension of today’s society and its complicated projection into the future.

Given the title, God was Born a Woman, some may feel perplexed or even defrauded when they embark upon reading this book, to find themselves before the story of our evolution from hominids, followed by an inevitably complex chapter on the formation of language and discursive or logical/verbal thought.  Readers would be correct in wondering if this book might be wrongly titled.  Is all this connected to God and to the sexual gender attributed to him? Absolutely.  Although the essential points that lead to our title will not be discussed until chapters 6, 7 and 10, all of them are truly important.  We shall comprehend how, when and why we ever arrived at the concept of “God”, and why we felt impelled to conceive of her as a woman during all those thousands of years before changing her gender and making her male is to be found entirely in the remaining chapters.

This book has no intention of being encyclopedic, philosophical or theological.  There remains much left to be said, as many things still remain unsaid on the subject in general.  From the small window to the past that opens within these pages, we shall probably see a parade of facts that cause us to speculate much more broadly than this book itself suggests.

Once we’ve hiked the rough track of human evolution, we can never see our fellow man in the same light.  If we take a good, long look at ourselves throughout the prodigious process that differentiated us from tree-dwelling apes and made us what we are today—full of fortitude and of miracles, yet brimming with dramatic fragility—human beings cease to be “creatures of God”.

If we analyze the development of articulate human language, we see the unimaginable force of our dominion over words and concepts in determining our thought processes, world vision, and culture.  Many of our preconceived ideas break down, and we are forced to see ourselves (and our most fundamental beliefs) as the product of a children’s game where reality and fantasy mix until a universal order materializes—a universal order from which it is very difficult to emerge.  When we realize that the substance and structure of stories invented in the imaginations of little children in order to explain their origins, or the origins and function of the world, are identical to the equivalent descriptions contained in so-called “sacred texts”, a precious door is opened to us, enabling us to better understand our human psyche and “religious” behavior.

As we watch the unfolding of prehistoric ideas of the symbolic universe, along with the signs, myths and rituals that continue to form the hub of religions even today, we come to passionate conclusions about the dynamics of our human search for emotional security.  We simply cannot dodge the broad archaeological proof: our belief in life after death took hold 60,000 years before man had engineered any concept of supreme beings or gods.

Readers may also be shocked to see that the masculine concept of “God”, which today has come to dominate all religions, is actually a relatively recent transformation of the first notion of a creator/controller deity who, as thousands of archaeological finds show, was, obviously, feminine! Who, if not the female of any species, is capable of creating, through fertility and birth, in order to give life? Who, if not a woman, cares for the young, and is charged with meeting their basic and immediate needs?

We shall see at the appropriate time that if primitive Homo sapiens based his conceptualizations on analogy, no human being ever could have thought to attribute the feminine qualities of generation, fertility and nurturing protection to a masculine entity.  For this reason, humanity prospered under the protection of a single Goddess—in all her different epiphanies— from ca30,000 B.C.  until ca3,000 B.C.  From there, the specific typology of a masculine God began to superimpose itself progressively and somewhat irregularly.  It would eventually take over the generative and protective qualities of the goddess, relegating her to a role of mother (even while virgin, in some cases!), wife, sister, and/or lover of the male God.

This masculine coup-d’état against the goddess was not a random, accidental, or innocuous event; to the contrary.  In the first place, there is enough archaeological and historical documentation to show how, starting from a common mythical and ritual basis, the personality, attributes and functions of the masculine God and gods changed with the economic and sociopolitical needs of each culture and moment in history.  In fact, we learn more about “God” by studying the socioeconomic implications of the first agricultural surplus and the invention of the plough than we do by concentrating on the theogonies, theology and rituals associated with each individual god.  This observation also applies to pagan gods (from the Latin paganus, or country dweller) as much as it does to their direct descendent and heir, the God of monotheistic religions, which are supposedly based on truths revealed.

Additionally, understanding God’s annihilation of the Goddess [v] also leads us to comprehend the historical dynamics of the complete subjugation of women by males.   Women and the Goddess gradually lost their autonomy, importance, and power, practically all at the same time.  They were the victims of a changing world in which men made a power-grab for the control of means of production, warfare, and culture.  Men became the sole custodians and guardians of private property, parenthood, and thought: in short, of the very right to life.

This patriarchal culture finished off the last vestiges of matrilineal societies [vi], who had worshipped the Goddess since the Upper Paleolithic period, and, logically, it redesigned myths and gods to suit itself.  It made God in its own image.  In analyzing the defeat of the prehistoric Goddess, we gain not only a novel approach for tackling the concept of “God”, rather we also comprehend— something equally important—the past history of womankind and the roots of the  position of inequality and inferiority to which she has been subjected even to the present.

By following the footprints of God, this book has made it possible to forge a solid and coherent image of human beings and their beliefs.  However, it is also hoped that what we define as the concept of “God” has become obvious through the reflection of its own myth, a mirror image with no apparent origin.

It is likely that the origin of the image lies within, and not without, the mirror itself.  Thus, no one has ever been able to see it, since no human being can be transformed into the particles of the silver salt that constitutes the reflective basis of any mirror without first ceasing to be human.  If God is within our particles, just as an image lies within the silver of the mirror, how can we discern him in the midst of the patchwork of our lives and our meanderings between opposite poles? In the midst of  the quasi-infinite flood of emotions, sensations, thoughts, and conceptualizations?

Human beings have structured their beliefs in a way that perhaps has much to do with the evocative passages described by British author Charles Dodgson (deacon and professor of pure mathematics, best known by his pseudonym Lewis Carroll) in his second work dedicated to the child Alice Liddell: the delicious and ingenious 1871 narrative, “Alice Through the Looking-Glass”:

“I can’t believe it”, says Alice.

“Can’t believe it?” the Queen repeats with a sad look on her face.  “Try again: take a deep breath, close your eyes, and believe.”
Alice laughs:

“It’s no good trying.  Only fools believe that impossible things can happen.”
“I think what you need is a little training,” answers the Queen.

Readers may draw their own conclusions from this passage, but the same question will inevitably remain: who has more practice in believing in the impossible: he who believes in the existence of God, or he who rejects it?

No text ever published since the invention of writing some 5,000 years ago has ever shown conclusive proof of the existence or non-existence of God, and this book is no exception. I have limited myself only to documenting how and why the concept of “God”, as proposed by religions, came to be born in the human mind. In it we shall explore together how it was shaped according to our own ignorance, fears, and hopes, and how it finally evolved, maintaining a direct relationship to the organizational requirements and social, economic, and  political control inherent in every culture and moment in history.

Only by giving credit where credit is due—to human beings—for all of their past and future works, may we reasonably attempt to look for God in whatever else remains.  Thus, perhaps he will always be infinite. Or perhaps not.


[i] Pope Karl Wojtyla was obsessed by the conflicting views between scientific thought and “faith”.  This moved him to spearhead a ferocious campaign against positivism, and against practically any reflection based on solid and objective data.  Many of his public documents attack “the excesses and dangers of the use of reason”.  In his Encyclical Letter Veritatis splendor (“The Splendor of the Truth”) he prohibits any critical theological reflection within the Church, in effect gagging the most lucid and brilliant Catholic thinkers of the century: those who remain closest to the very evangelical message while the official, dogmatic Church brutally and increasingly distances itself.  In another more recent Encyclical Letter, Fides et ratio (“Faith and Reason”), his attack on reason borders on the pathetic.  During his presentation of Fides et Ratio, Cardinal Ratzinger manifested that “the universality of Christianity stems from its intention to be the truth, and it disappears along with the disappearance of the conviction that faith is the truth.  But truth is valid for all, and Christianity is valid for all because it is the truth”.  Not only does such an authoritative statement lay a fragile foundation for the Catholic “truth”, which is based on subjective conviction—it postulates that, since it is subject to doubt, not only must it be declared to be universally valid, it must be declared to be the truth beyond the shadow of a doubt.  Ratzinger also added that the Christian faith must oppose all philosophies or theories that “exclude man’s aptitude for knowing the metaphysical truth of all things (positivism, materialism, scienticism, historicism, problematicism, relativism and nihilism)”.  In other words, Christianity must reject the approaches that are most fundamental to modern thought, and especially any that may question its particular “faith”-based cosmic vision.

[ii] Theological argument that pretends to prove the existence of God based on the concept of the “end” (télos in Greek) was strongly postulated by Saint Thomas Aquinas, who had got it from Averroes (and he, in turn, from the Greek philosophers Anaxagoras, Plato, Aristotle, etc.).  Thomas Aquinas states, upon proposing his “Fifth Way”, that the fact that things in nature, although lacking in intelligence, appear to have been ordered as if to fulfill a purpose, shows that there must exist an ordering intelligence, a supreme purpose.  Said supreme purpose is, precisely, God.  British philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), in his posthumously published work Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779), easily refutes the teleological argument, since it is based on anthropomorphic analogies (such as the argument that the ordination of materials in a house indicate the intelligence of an architect, as cosmic order indicates a divine intelligence) and because “the natural end” (completely the opposite of the perfect and the divine) could be the accidental product and unpredictability of the blind arrangement of essential elements.  Also, German philosopher Emmanuel Kant (1724-1804), in his Critique of Pure Reason (1781), rejects this argument, which he calls “physical-theological”.  Despite the enormous intellectual weight of the detractors of so-called finalism (among them Galileo, Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza, etc.), among its defenders are to be found characters the likes of Boyle, Newton or Leibniz.  In the field of biology, finalism was swept away, formally at least, by Darwinian evolutionism, although it continues to live on in modern thought fed by the concept of “divine providence” still postulated by the great monotheistic religions.

[iii] Cfr.  Appendix to Part I of Ethica more geometrico demonstrata (better known as Etica).

[iv] Durkheim, E.  (1992).  The Elemental Forms of Religious Life”.  Madrid: Akal, p.  400.

[v] An annihilation which, in any case, although real in the sense of the loss of control over social and symbolic power, is still very relative in relation to the unconscious collective of all cultures: today, as thousands of years ago, the divine figures most venerated and prized by the “plain folk” within so-called “popular religions” are feminine.  A clear example of this is at the very heart of Catholic culture, and may be seen in the great strength and implantation of the Marian fervor and of the Mariological movement.  In fact, as we shall see, some of the mythic functions that characterized the prehistoric Mother Goddess live on, albeit more subdued and controlled by the masculine, in the Virgin Mary.

[vi] The term “matrilineality” refers to a genealogical system (ascendants, descendants, inheritance) still in use in some primitive cultures today, common before the implantation of the patriarchy, whereby ancestral lineage is traced though the relationship between mother and son, and the relationship between the newborn and the mother’s brother is also privileged.

(*) p.  225, The Mind of God”, by Paul Davies.  Simon & Schuster, (1992)




Homepage Índice temas Links Autor Emaaps Libros Aviso Legal / Privacidad Si no puede acceder al e-mail del autor, permita "contenido activo" o "bloqueado" en su navegador. Es una maniobra segura para usted (la dirección de e-mail está en un script de java para evitar el spam).    

© Pepe Rodríguez. Todos los derechos reservados. Los textos e ilustraciones de este web están protegidos por copyrigth y su reproducción y distribución están prohibidos por la legislación vigente, salvo autorización por escrito de su autor.