God is a Supreme Being who created and sustains existence of universe eternally. Different religions and belief systems have ascribed God with different attributes and names, but what is consistent is the attribute of creation. Although lesser gods exist, God is the one who formed everything in the universe and has become the source of life and human needs.
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Through many generations, people have been praying to God so that they could get assurance of their future and obtain daily needs such as peace, food, and vigorous health among others. Since God has many attributes, believers have identified these attributes as gods.
For instance, diverse regions believe that there is a god of peace, a god of health, god the savior, and god of life amongst others names that define God and his abilities. Hence, this essay seeks to define God according to perceptions of Muslims, Christians, Atheists and Rastafarians.
Definition of God
According to Muslims, Allah is a Supreme Being who rules the universe and is the source of everything. Muslims believes that Allah is the creator and sustainer of life in the universe and thus deserves worship as a form of sacrifice that human beings could offer.
According to Quran, Allah is the only God in the universe who has matchless powers, mercy and compassion. Allah externally exists for he has neither origin of birth nor destiny of death.
Since Allah reigns in the universe, Muslims believe that he communicates to his people through his prophets, and Muhammad is a prominent prophet whose messages streamed from Allah. Magnificent attribute of Allah is holiness for Muslims believe that he will come in the future to reward the holy people and punish sinners.
Christians believe in Yahweh, who is a God of patriarchs like Moses, Jacob, Abraham and Isaac amongst others. Christians hold that Yahweh is eternal God who is the creator and sustainer of life in the universe. Given that Yahweh is the source of life and provider of other human needs, Christians worship him so that they may have peace, abundance of life and protection from evil forces that dominate the world.
Christians believe that Yahweh exists as trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which functions together as one. God the father is the creator and sustainer of the universe, God the Son is the savior of humanity, while God the Holy Spirit is a spirit that guides humanity in the universe. The three attributes of Yahweh have formed the basis of Christian teachings that regard Jesus as having equal divine powers as Yahweh, since he is the son.
Atheists believe that God does not exist in the universe. According to atheists, in the beginning there was no deity to create the universe for universe originated from spontaneous actions of nature, which incidentally created the universe. They believe that the existence of the universe is due to mere chance of physical forces that acted on one another and created universe together with all forms of life.
Thus, atheists have ambivalent views regarding diverse gods that different religions worship. Since atheists do not believe in the existence of any form of a deity, they do not worship any specified god. They believe that nature is the source of everything and is under control of physical forces that no one regulates.
Atheists are particularly skeptical of existence of deities for they want empirical evidence that supports the existence of gods and cause of evil. Atheists argue that since gods are neither willing nor able to prevent the occurrence of evil, then they do not deserve to be gods. To atheists, gods must empirically prevent evil for them to exist.
Rastafarians believe that Jah is the creator and sustainer of life and everything that is in the universe. They believe that, Jah is an omnipotent and omniscience God consistent with Christian teachings, but they believe that Emperor Haile Selassie was a black god sent to emancipate the black people from slavery. Rastafarians hold that Jah exists in trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and that Jah is a form of spirit that lives among humanity.
They believe Jah incarnated into the earth as Jesus Christ in the first time and then incarnated in the second time as Emperor Haile Selassie. Emperor Haile Selassie is an incarnate God who became king of Ethiopia and defended Africans from external enemies that sought to enslave them. Therefore, Emperor Haile is Jah who came to emancipate black people from slavery, and is a dominant god of the Jamaicans.
Different cultures and religions perceive God differently depending on their beliefs. Although God has different names, he has common attributes across all cultures and religions. The common attributes are creator, provider, savior and sustainer of life in the universe.
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Muslims call him Allah, Christians ascribe him as Yahweh, and Rastafarians attribute him as Jah, while atheists dispute the existence of any deity in the universe. Differing names of God have not significantly altered the meaning of worship among many religions for diverse gods deserve certain form of worship. Thus, attributes of God and forms of worship are common among religions and cultures.