God
[1] Colloquial term for the highest grade of Archailect, or the ruling archailect of one's own empire. Each Archailect embodies a particular noetic archetype, and - through its extended existence - enforces that archetype through a large region of interstellar space. For many superstitious and pious sophonts, the Archailects are considered to have supernatural properties, and there is often a confusion between the God of popular religion and the Archailect that over-rules the polity or region of space that that sophont inhabits.

[2] In religion, a being with supernatural attributes and powers, often anthropomorphic, and often the recipient of sophont worship. Before the rise of advanced astrophysics, astrocosmology, and Metaspacetime Grand Unification Theories, as an explanation of how the universe came into being, a dualistically distinct God was postulated as creating it out of nothing. Many baseline and near-baseline clades still prefer to believe in such a supernaturalist Creator as a cosmological factor. There are also many theistic religions that believe in a personal God on the basis of individual experience. Most advanced religions see the personal God of religion either as a useful metaphor of the Absolute for those of lesser intellectual development, or a real hypostasis or expression of the Godhead. Physicalist worldviews deny such a being exists.

[3] The personal hypostasis of the Godhead or the Inner Light. In monistic-orientated theistic religions like the Universal Church the basis of individual religious experience.

[4] The first cause or first principle, which precedes the cosmos logically (but, unlike religion, not necessarily sequentially). Alternatively, the totality of all being, sentient and non-sentient. Unlike the God of religion, the God of philosophy is ineffable and non-anthropomorphic. Also referred to as the Godhead, Self, Tao, Absolute, Cosmos, Supreme, etc. Many galactic religions are based around this general conception, of which there are innumerable variations.
 
Appears in Topics
 
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 01 October 2001.