Do you think God is a "He" or "She"?

India
April 24, 2008 11:59pm CST
Well? What do you think? Is God a male or female? If male, why? Why isn't he a female? If female, why? Or do you think he/she is both? In Christianity, we have God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--all male. That makes religion terribly male dominated, don't you think so? Of course, there is Mother Mary, but she doesn't stand on equal terms with God the Father, though the church calls her Mother of God!! And not all Christian denominations believe in her, anyway. In Hinduism, on the other hand, the only other religion I know of, we have a nice assortment of Gods and Goddesses. I don't know much about Islam, but I am led to understand that they have only one God, again definitely a HE!! So Mylotters, what do have to say about the gender of God?
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7 responses
@RazPenny (26)
• United States
26 Apr 08
Thanks for the welcome. Though, I find it interesting how many refer to the divine as a he when me and a few friends of mine (and we are talking about Christians and Jews) who use she instead.
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@owlwings (39259)
• Cambridge, England
23 Sep 08
'He' or 'she' ... it doesn't matter (as you have intimated elsewhere, RazPenny). If your perception is more of a loving, caring, fecund female than of a procreative and organising male, it is not important. He/She/It/They encompasses all of that and more. What is vital is that we attempt to relate to this being, our Creator, in whatever way is most meaningful and conducive to love as possible.
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@RazPenny (26)
• United States
30 Apr 08
No, Shaddai did not create man first. Originally, he created "ha=adam" which means the human. It is not until Chava, or Eve as most know her, is formed from Adam that he is ever called "ha-essh" the man. Considering the original account in the first chapter says he created "them" male and female and the use of ha-adam....he created a unisex human and then realized that he needed company and then made Chava the female and transformed Adam into a man.
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• India
30 Apr 08
Hi, I can't make out which version of creation this is? Is it the Jewish version? Cheers
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• United States
2 May 08
Genesis 1:27-28 The problem is the English translations translate Adam as man, which is not very accurate. Adam, when not used as the name, means humanity or humankind or just plain human. It all depends on the context of which it was used. Eesh is the word of man or male, which conversely does get used for husband and eeshah (woman or female) for wife in some cases. Adam, pronounced Ahdahm, is not used to mean male and refers to humans. Which is a good thing to note when looking through the creation account since until Chava is formed from his rib, he is referred to as ha-adam, ha is the prefix for 'the', and then as ha-eesh and her as ha-eeshah. It is likely that Adam might not have even been male before Chava is formed...which really makes you think about being created in Shaddai's image.
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• India
2 May 08
Thanks, RazPenny, this is really informative. So, Shaddai means "God" in Hebrew? I did not know that. Neither did I know all the things you had explained. We were definitely taught in Sunday school that Adam was 100 percent male and that Eve was originally his rib. This makes God 100 percent male, and not a Neuter with both feminine and masculine qualities. That makes the religion that preaches such a thing typically male centric, something that I don't like. Thanks again for all this information. :)
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@owlwings (39259)
• Cambridge, England
23 Sep 08
The answer has to be 'neither'! If you accept that there is only one 'God' ... that is a single intelligence that is the Creator of all (and therefore IS everything that is created, because how could created matter have a separate existence from the creator?), then that Creator cannot be separate 'male' and 'female' since it is Unity and all matter. On the other hand, because Creation seems to involve opposites and sexuality (male/female and other kinds), it must also include it. We are humans and consider ourselves more aware than other animals (though, who knows ... it may be just that our invention of a fairly complicated communication system has led us to think that) and so we suppose ourselves to be more aware of 'God' than our fellow creatures. How can we be so sure? Do we really know what goes on in a cat's or a dog's mind that we can say that they don't worship their creator every bit as much as we (at our most aware) do ours? What if our animal brothers know instinctively, without the intervention of scripture and endless wrangling, what, because of our invention of language, we can only see dimly? What if we are the poor benighted brethren, hampered by something we call 'intelligence' who are trying to make something as simpke as 'oneness' into a complex system of personality which is like unto yet greater than ourselves? What is simpler that that 'God' IS?
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@owlwings (39259)
• Cambridge, England
23 Sep 08
Corr.: "What is simpler than that 'God' IS?"
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• India
24 Sep 08
I couldn't agree with you more! I have always felt that animals are far more superior to human beings. They haven't made a mess of the world as we have. And I always felt that they knew more about God, instinctively, than we do. And that's why they are so peaceful and so good. Have you ever seen a cat meditating or sitting on the wall and observing nature? I somehow feel that this is how they communicate with the divine. Cheers and thanks for your lovely response.
@RazPenny (26)
• United States
25 Apr 08
Gender? What use is gender when you are the only of your kind? While I can understand the polytheists and the like who have multiple deities...the idea of there only being one deity who consists of any deity always seemed rather strange. Within our own world gender has only one purpose and that is for reproduction. Within species which reproduce asexually there is no gender. Unless a deity would have the need to reproduce, having a gender seems pointless and wasteful. Though most try and point to the idea that the divine is both genders because he/she has the qualities of both genders. To be honest, considering that depending on culture and religious/philosophical views, those qualities seem arbitrarily defined and as such I cannot see how there are any qualities which are inherently male or female. Though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...and I think gender when concerning the divine is also in the eye of the beholder. Even though I, and a few others I know, view our deities as genderless...we generally refer to the divine with he or she.
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• India
25 Apr 08
Great response! Thanks for your opinion. Most people personally refer to God as he or she. I wanted to know if they had ever thought about it. For example, even if I don't really believe that God has a gender, I refer to God as He. I think it is a force of habit, nothing more! Cheers and happy mylotting. I notice you are new to Mylot. Warm welcome and wish you a happy time here.
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@owlwings (39259)
• Cambridge, England
23 Sep 08
Most people, I believe, think of the Deity (if they consider it as a single personage) as male. There is really no logical reason for this except that human society currently tends to think of males as being the 'providers' and 'activators' whereas females tend to be (traditionally) 'receptive' and 'pacifiers'. Society's current perception is notoriously behind the times, of course, and always has been. Religious thinking, however, especially in the writings of mystics and ascetics, has often been ahead of the time and has frequently questioned the conventional perception of God as 'male and human-like'. It is a common (and entirely natural) thing to envisage 'God' as in some way super-human and to distribute attributes between many 'gods' or 'saints'. I don't see any harm in this, provided that the individual concerned is humbly engaged on a real journey of the discovery of reality.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
28 Apr 08
If your basis is the Bible, Jesus calls God,"Father". In Christianity, we consider God also as our Father. But as we know it, the word FAther cannot be taken literally. "Father" means in a broader sense, like being a family provider, etc. As we remember also in the Bible, that God created man first, and only created a woman from a part of a man's flesh. Does this mean that God is a man, too? I think that God has a masculine side and a feminine side. We can't say which is more dominant. I also believe that God has no gender whatsoever. If one day it will be discovered the gender of God, it won't matter to me.
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• United States
26 Apr 08
well they do call it our father in heaven not our mother in heaven so i guess i believe he is a man.
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@misshoney (973)
• Philippines
25 Apr 08
i don't think God has a gender.
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