Creator and Supreme Being: Is there a Difference?
By Rev. Peter Luckett
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Hello, all. I’m back and back with a new essay on my views of the supernatural. Enjoy this little piece and I hope everyone can draw at least ONE lesson from it.
Recently I’ve been reading about the philosophy of Deism, which is the belief in a supreme being while rejecting the concept of revealed religion. I already knew little about this philosophy, like who practiced it (Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin, Voltaire, etc.), and the fact that this Supreme Being does not interfere with human affairs, but creates and lets run naturally. Since I never really gave up my beliefs in at least some creative force from which the universe sprung (although my views have been a little more logic-based since when I was thirteen), I decided to look into it and see what I could draw from it. I expected to find some mention of a god of logic, more of a creative force than an actual “blind watchmaker” supreme being. And the talk of finding God in nature was also sensible, since that’s always been my personal little way of worship, or at least admiration of the creation around me. And yet in all that I read, every single Deist (Einstein and Spinoza excepted) still could not give up the belief in an actual being, or more accurately, a someone, that was God.
Then, a brand new concept hit me. For a long time I’ve tried to separate God from religion, especially Christianity, whose definition of God I trace in part to the origin of modern atheism. A simple task for an individual, but try presenting the idea to suburban central Mississippi, in which the first word that comes to mind in the people to whom you speak is “nondenominational.” That’s how deep Christianity is imbued into these people’s psyches. But back on topic, I was faced with a new task now: separating the concept of a Creator from that of a Supreme Being. Can a person be agnostic and believe in a Creator? Or would that make a person a Deist? Or would it form a new philosophical hybrid called Agnodeism? Let’s take a little look.
By the more accepted modern definition, a Supreme Being and a creator would be one and the same. There, we hit a bit of a snag. Yet one thing we do not consider is the actual difference inherent in the two. Whereas the Supreme Being concept has a set definition of a higher power or deity who is usually omniscient and personal (whether he/she/it is corporeal or not is also up to one’s personal beliefs) and, of course, creates. So it serves as sort of a celestial Orwellian Big Brother as well as serving in the role of Creator. But a creator by itself can be anything. One gentlemen of my acquaintance says that God, or in this case the creator, is the mathematical equation by which the universe operates. Makes sense, considering that mathematics is a part of just about everything (as we’ve heard incessantly as children), and the rhythm of the operation of nature, the universe, and ourselves at that has to require even the least bit of engineering. I’ve also speculated that the creator could be nothing more that a catalyst that set off creation and continues to set it off, creating and molding new things (when a sperm unites with an egg and that pairing grows into a human child, for an example. The Creator could be that which initiates the growth processes). Such a concept should be enough to satiate the Christian claim of “Well, if there’s no God, then who created the world and everything in it?”
After looking at making the break, let’s concentrate now on what a Creator is not. Number one, a Creator is not a God, in the usual sense, or even in the Deist sense. A Creator does not love you nor hate you, nor does it get on your case about straying from commandments written by megalomaniacs. A Creator is not living, but rather exists as a part of all things, sustaining life in them. Hence, I gather that the Creator is more like the biological clock by which we and the creatures around us (and probably the universe itself) live, function, and inevitably die.
To conclude, “God” and “Creator” can be two entirely different things, depending on how you look at them. Whereas we have little evidence of the existence of a God, per se, we can say with at least some assurance that some force or “key ingredient” in Creation sets off new birth and growth, and perhaps inevitably death.