The idea of a Supreme Power who is the First Cause of all things, the Creator and Ruler of heaven and earth has always been part of human nature from the beginning. He was not represented by images and had no temple or priests in His service. He was too exalted for an inadequate human cult. Hence there had been a primitive monotheism before people had started to worship a number of deities. Generally He faded from the consciousness of his people who formed images of many deities, His assistants, thus began the paganism. The name given to this divine Supreme Creator and Sustainer in English is GOD. The belief of a Supreme deity who created the world and governs it, still remains among the primitive African tribes. The belief on God was followed by His worship in different cultures. The relation of a group of human beings to God or the gods or to whatever they consider sacred or, in some cases, merely supernatural is known as religion. The word ‘religion’ is derived form Latin ‘religio’ means ‘to bind’. Thus the religion is the way of binding the people together through common deity worship and rituals.
Bible describes God as:
“Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee,”(2 Samuel;7:22 )
“And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why you call me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Mathew;19:17).
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”(Moses, Deuteronomy;6:4; Jesus,Mark;12:29).
The religions differ in their set of principles or beliefs or the body of dogmas; the theological virtue as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God’s will.
Rudolf Otto (1869-1937), the German theologian, philosopher, and historian of religion, coined the term ‘numinous’ (supernatural, mystical or spiritual) to designate the nonrational element of religious experience—the awe, fascination, and blissful exultation inspired by the perception of the divine. He believed that religion provided an understanding of the world that was distinct from and beyond that of science. He said; “The most important part of religion can not be stated through words. This is (apparently) illogical part of religion. Stable part of religion is the ideological part which is very important. But we should not forget that there is more which can not be put in to words’. Each religion has its own set of beliefs generally shared by a community, and they express the communal culture and values through myth, doctrine, and rituals. Worship is probably the most basic element of religion, but moral conduct, right belief, and participation in religious institutions also constitute elements of the religious life. Religions attempt to answer basic questions intrinsic to the human mind like: existence of God, creation of universe and humanity, human sufferings, evil, death and its aftermath etc. The main outwardly focused Abrahamic religions e.g., Judaism (Hebrews), Christianity, and Islam attempt to satisfy human quest through the Revealed knowledge received by the prophets and messengers of God, while inwardly focused religions like Jainism, Buddhism make use of perception of the true nature of reality. While exploring the historic development in theosophical and scientific aspects about ‘The God’ and ‘The Creation’ specifically in the three religions linked to Abraham (who was neither Jew nor Christian, rather the one who had totally surrendered in obedience to the will of God). This original religion of Abraham was revived in its unique spirit of monotheism, fourteen hundred years ago in concordance with the light of reason; exclusive of mysterious doctrines to cast a shade of sentimental ignorance round the original truths rooted in the human intellect, representing the latest development of the religious faculties. Hence Islam emerges as true legacy of Abraham contrary to the common perception that it was a new religion founded by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The beliefs supporting the existence of God or against it, including the middle positions have resulted in an array of doctrines, the most prominent among them are; Theism, Monotheism, Theodicy, Deism, Agnosticism and Atheism. Theism, is the view that all observable phenomena are dependent on but distinct from one supreme being. The view usually entails the idea that God is beyond human comprehension, perfect and self-sustained, but also peculiarly involved in the world and its events. Theists seek support for their view in rational argument and appeals to experience. A central issue for theism is reconciling God, usually understood as omnipotent and perfect, with the existence of evil. Monotheism
; is the belief in the existence of one God. It is distinguished from polytheism
. Monotheism is characteristic of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which view God as the creator of the world, who oversees and intervenes in human events, and as a beneficent and holy being, the source of the highest good. Most other religions throughout the history have been polytheistic, believing in numerous gods dominated by a supreme god or by a small group of powerful gods. The monotheism that characterizes Judaism began in ancient Israel with the adoption of Yahweh as the single object of worship and the rejection of the gods of other tribes and nations without, initially, denying their existence. Islam is clear in confessing one, eternal, unbegotten, unequaled God, while Christianity holds that a single God is reflected in the three persons of the Holy Trinity
. The Theodicy is an argument for the justification of God, concerned with reconciling God’s goodness and justice with the observable facts of evil and suffering in the world. Most such arguments are a necessary component of theism. Under polytheism, the problem is solved by attributing evil to a conflict of wills between deities. The solution is less simple in monotheism, and it can take several forms. In some approaches, the perfect world created by God was spoiled by human disobedience or sin. In others, God withdrew after creating the world, which then fell into decay.
The Deism; is the belief in God based on reason rather than revelation or the teaching of any specific religion. A form of natural religion, Deism originated in England in the early 17th century as a rejection of orthodox Christianity. Deists asserted that reason could find evidence of God in nature and that God had created the world and then left it to operate under the natural laws he had devised. The philosopher Edward Herbert (1583–1648) developed this view in ‘On Truth’ (1624). By the late 18th century Deism was the dominant religious attitude among Europe’s educated classes; it was accepted by many upper-class Americans of the same era, including the first three U.S. presidents. According to the doctrine of Agnosticism; One cannot know the existence of anything beyond the phenomena of experience. It is popularly equated with religious skepticism, and especially with the rejection of traditional Christian beliefs under the impact of modern scientific thought. T.H. Huxley popularized philosophical agnosticism after coining the term agnostic (as opposed to Gnostic) in 1869, to designate one who repudiated traditional Judeo-Christian theism but was not a doctrinaire atheist. Agnosticism may mean no more than the suspension of judgment on ultimate questions because of insufficient evidence, or it may constitute a rejection of traditional Christian tenets. Finally, the Atheism is the critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or divine beings. Unlike agnosticism, which leaves the question of existence or non existence of God as open; the atheism positively denies the existence of God. It is rooted in an array of philosophical systems. Ancient Greek philosophers such as Democritus and Epicurus argued for it in the context of materialism. In the 18th century David Hume and Immanuel Kant, though not atheists, argued against traditional proofs for God’s existence, making belief a matter of faith alone. Atheists such as Ludwig Feuerbach held that God was a projection of human ideals and that recognizing this fiction made self-realization possible. Marxism exemplified modern materialism. Beginning with Friedrich Nietzsche, existentialist atheism proclaimed the death of God and the human freedom to determine value and meaning. Logical positivism holds that propositions concerning the existence or nonexistence of God are nonsensical or meaningless.