What do people mean by the term ‘God’ anyway?

The following is a collection of contributions from members of the Ex-Christian Science collective about religious choices after Christian Science.

I find it curious that there is an assumption that God is something you can opt in and out of. What do people mean by the term God anyway? It is a very short word used to symbolise something that is incomprehensible to any of us. As far as I can see, nothing should exist at all logically. There shouldn’t even be a space for nothing to exist in in the first place. The fact that not only do things exist but things within those things are able to be consciously aware of them is inexplicable.

What we do know is that life is short and everything is transient. Yet people seem to create God as some way to pin themselves to permanence. We don’t much like the earth, whose signal characteristic is impermanence, so we create an idea of heaven where only people like us go and nothing ever changes. It sounds a bit unlikely to me, based on what it’s like ‘down here’. What if this is what existence is like, and our purpose, in the unlikely event we have a purpose, is to learn how to live in it?

– Anonymous


After leaving Christian Science, I briefly explored some New Age ideas and philosophies, but I always came back to the same conclusion that it logically made no sense to me. I credit Christian Science with one good thing: I think I have a decent ‘BS detector’ because of it. I look for evidence to support claims, and/or I follow a path that makes logical sense to me.

I do not believe in ‘God’ at all. ‘God’ as presented in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic way makes no logical sense to me. I see plenty of evidence that there is no ‘God’, and no evidence that there is. I do believe there is a conscious ‘energy’ that we’re a part of–it makes logical sense to me, although I have no proof of it. An atheist friend of mine said once, on the subject of death and thoughts on ‘afterlife’, that she felt that consciousness is a form of energy, and the first law of thermodynamics does state that energy can’t be created or destroyed (there goes the Creation myth), it can only be transformed. So, she said that in some way or some form, our consciousness continues, and that science has not yet discovered how. I guess I largely consider myself agnostic, however I follow many aspects of Native American spiritual practice, and I also practice yoga regularly. Prayer has been replaced by meditation, and meditation is a practice that does wonders for my mental health. Meditation is simply the calming of the mind, and for me is akin to ‘defragging the hard drive (of my mind)’–it brings me mental clarity.

– Jeremy