My previous post, “Spackle God“, was in preparation for this post. There I rhetorically wondered out-loud how science-friendly Christians were able to keep their “God” intact while their “Spackle god” shrinks. In that post I showed how a simple model did not seem to explain the phenomena. Above is the expanded model I was hinting at. It is the model I use to explain not only the persistence of “God” in science-friendly believers but also the nature of “God”. I call this model “The Modular God”.
Theistic believers of all faiths use some word like “God” to capture these helpful functions or purposes in their lives. The Spackle god is just one of the modules. And as this improved model shows, there are many more purposes served by the concept of “God” for the believer than just the Spackle god. In fact, it is all these other god modules that are ready to take up the slack when their Spackle god shrinks. For as the Spackle god shrinks, these Christians re-interpret new parts of their Bible metaphorically in order to accommodate scientific findings. But additionally, to avoid shrinkage of “God”, their other god modules are strengthened or arranged differently to allow for the absence of the Spackle god. So that though their Spackle god is weaker, their Tribal god or their Morality god (for instance) may be strengthened or repositioned to bear the weight of the gray octagon as it tries to collapse in the absence of the Spackle god’s previous support. In each believer the sizes and specific functions of the compensating modular gods vary depending on how the believer uses the concept of “God” in their lives.
To keep this post short, I will end by briefly describing each of the modular functions inside the believers term “God”:
- Wishing god: offers hope for answered prayers: requests for health, prosperity, safety, happiness and more
- Morality god: offers guidelines/rules of behavior, deters immoral behavior, motivates virtues, offers reasons for morality
- Tribal god: offers identity, group unity to cooperate and compete, patriotism, denomination unity, meaning, stories, specialness, common enemies
- Afterlife god: offers comfort for dead loved ones and a measure of security from the fear of their own death
- Companion god: offers someone to talk to, acceptance, forgiveness, support and relief from loneliness
- Spackle god: offers supernatural explanations for the unknown gaps of their knowledge
- How to Make a Christian: How the normal mind is transformed into a religious mind
- The Tribal Mind: The mind module regulating how we treat others
- Many-Selves, No-Self : Readers may recognize that the above model uses the modular theory of mind
- Your Inner Theist: Even Atheists can have a Theist side. An example of the complexity of the modular mind.
- Religion: A syndrome definition. This model uses similar ideas.
Possible future posts using this model:
- How religious people de-convert
- Why de-converted atheists have diverse viewpoints
- How atheists can also have a religious flavor