Monday Morning Greetings 2023 #36 – Can God Be Blue?

September 4th, 2023

Due to facilitating the Bhakti Immersion in Colombia this week,I was unable to finish a Monday Morning Greeting. I am republishing this one in honor of Janmastami.


Can God Be Blue?

July 31, 2017


That’s simple. God can be anything He wants. If there were any other reason that God was blue, then He wouldn’t be God, because if a reason or cause external to one’s own will dictates one’s nature, then one would not be fully independent, which is one of the basic criteria for being Supreme. So, the only reason why God is blue, if He is indeed blue, is because it is part of His intrinsic nature. So, the real questions in relation to the nature of God’s color should first be whether there is a God, is He a person, and whether that person is Krishna?


Limitations of this article


This is a very deep subject. Libraries of books have been written about the nature of God. How can I possibly do justice to such a vast subject in such a short article? I think what is possible here is to give a solid outline supporting the reasonableness that there is God, who is a person, and whose name is Krishna.


Criteria for ascertaining whether God exists


The main criteria by which atheists have argued against the existence of God, especially in the twentieth century, and which greatly informs their reasoning to this day, is called the verification principle—a premise that states that no one should believe a proposition unless it can be proved to them rationally by logic or empirically by sense perception.


At first glance, this seems reasonable, but in reality this principle falls far short of how we actually reason about things in the world. There are many things that people reasonably accept as true that can’t be verified by such criteria (including, ironically, the verification principle itself). Even what we call proven scientific facts, such as the existence of protons or neutrons, are not personally verifiable by us, but are accepted on faith in the experts whom we trust on such matters.


Atheists themselves cannot abide by the verification principle when arguing against the existence of God, and certainly not when professing a theory for the cause of this world. So when you get down specifically to establishing the existence of God on the rational platform, the argument comes down to which theory of the world makes the best sense of it, not to absolute verification.


Arguments for the existence of God


It seems that the proposition that there is a God makes better sense of the world than the theory that everything happened randomly by chance. For example, if one wakes up in the winter and sees a snowman, by the evidence at hand it seems to make far more sense that a person made it than that snow randomly blowing around caused it, even though there may not be a way to absolutely verify it. In a similar way, the evidence of the complex and continued regularity of the world points far more to a transcendent creator than a haphazard coalescing of molecules by chance, by the simple fact that even if one of the constant variables at basis of creation swayed by one in a million, the world as we know it would not exist.


There are many other powerful and reasonable arguments for the existence of God. Here are a few of my favorites:


The only beings that have intrinsic moral values are subjects, beings who can undergo experience and who have values, concerns, and other mental states. If you deny that there is subjecthood at the foundations of the universe, you also deny that moral obligation is a fundamental feature of reality. In other words, if you believe human rights are a reality, it makes much more sense that God exists than that He doesn’t. If everything is just a product of matter coalescing by chance, it is ultimately inconsistent to believe in transcendent moral values, even such values as aversion to child abuse or racial genocide.


Lastly, it is more reasonable to believe that something comes from something than that something comes from nothing. This same simple logic is also presented succinctly in one of the prominent verses of the Chāndogya Upaniṣad:


“How can what is existent be born from what is non-existent? On the contrary, in the beginning this world was simply what is existent—one only without a second.” (Patrick Olivelle’s translation—Chapter 6, Book 2.)


I could go on and on, also discussing the reasons against God’s existence, but it is certainly reasonable and even compelling that God does exist.


Is God a person?


Srila Prabhupada addressed this point effectively and tersely: “God does not have the defect of impersonality.”


The brilliant answer by the respected Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga to the question of whether God is person also sufficiently satisfies this inquiry. His response: “God is not less than a person.”


Ascribing form and personality to God doesn’t limit Him. Denying that He has attributes, including personality, does. It is certainly reasonable that if there is a God that He is not less than us, and thus also a person.


Is that person Krishna?


If God is a person, then the highest manifestation of that personhood, as with all personhood, is not majesty and power, but an all-loving personality. Srila Prabhupada uses a simple analogy to demonstrate this principle in relation to the Divine. Just as when a high-court judge checks his intimate self to appropriately reciprocate with those approaching him reverentially, but sheds his grandeur to reveal his full or intimate self at home, similarly the fullest manifestation of God is when He is home in Vrindavan as a cowherd, where the complete sweetness of personality can blossom as a child, friend, or lover unfettered by the demands of reverence, not when God displays His full power as the creator, Narayana. Therefore Sri Rupa Gosvami, at the beginning of the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, his seminal book on Krishna bhakti, introduces Krishna as akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrti, the fullest embodiment of the sweetness of all relationships.


Position covers personality, and thus it is reasonable that if God is a person, His fullest expression of being would not be shackled by a display of position and opulence.


Again the scope of these short Monday Morning Greetings limit a thorough exposition of this subject, but I coined a phrase that I think sums up the reasonability of God’s fullest personal manifestation being sweet and modest like Krishna:


“Krishna is God with His guard down.” Sounds reasonable to me.


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