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INFLUENCE OF CONCEPT OF GOD ON LAW AND CONSTITUTION

The traits of primitive human being are still seen in present context. The concept of god and evil is the foundation of human knowledge.
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Is there a god?  Is the fundamental question in metaphysics? The concept of god is the creation of human imagination. The human civilization from very beginning has the concept of god. The Greek thinkers were free thinkers. They tried to explain things accordingly to natural causes like earth, water, fire and air. The god was associated with the natural substances.

The history of theology begins around 4000 to 5000 B.C. from Egyptian and Babylonian civilization. The religions of Egypt and Babylonia, like other ancient religions, were originally fertility cults. The earth was female, the sun male. The bull was usually regarded as an embodiment of male Fertility, and bull gods were common. In Babylon, Ishtar, the earth-goddess, was supreme among female divinities. Throughout western Asia, the Great Mother was worshipped under various names. When Greek colonists in Asia Minor found temples to her, they named her Artemis and took over the existing cult. This is the origin of “Diana of the Ephesians.” Christianity transformed her into the Virgin Mary, and it was a Council at Ephesus that legitimated the title “Mother of God “as applied to our Lady. Where a religion was bound up with the government of an empire, political motives did much to transform its primitive features. A god or goddess became associated with the State, and had to give, not only an abundant harvest, but victory in war. A rich priestly caste elaborated the ritual and the theology, and fitted together into pantheon the several divinities of the component parts of the empire. Through association with government, the gods also became associated with morality. Lawgivers received their codes from a god; thus a breach of the law became an impiety.

Most of the primitive religion developed various practices of religion on the basis of way of life. The way of life of those people were guided by agriculture. The winter solstice was a time when the sun had to be encouraged not to go on diminishing in strength; spring and harvest also called for appropriate ceremonies. These were often such as to generate a great collective excitement, in

Which individuals lost their sense of separateness and felt themselves at one with the whole tribe. All over, the world, at a certain stage of religious evolution, sacred animals and human beings were ceremonially killed and eaten. In different regions, this stage occurred at very different dates. Human sacrifice usually lasted longer than the sacrificial eating of human victims; in Greece it was not yet extinct at the beginning of historical times. Fertility rites without such cruel aspects were common throughout Greece; the Eleusinian mysteries, in particular, were essentially agricultural in their symbolism.

Arguments on existence of god 

God is associated with religion. Different religion has different god like Christian has Jesus Christ, Islam has Allah, and Hindu has Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Besides these gods of religion, there resides a group of person known as theist who does not believe in god. The existence of god has 3 major arguments. They are 

  1. Ontological argument
  2. Cosmological argument 
  3. Teleological argument

Ontological argument is also called a priori argument on existence of god. A priori means prior to our sense. The god exists prior to our sense. The proof of existence of god is the concept of god itself. While we are talking of god we are admitting the fact that there is god. God resides in our understanding. Anselm advocated for this argument. According to him god is perfect. The perfection comes from understanding. 

Cosmological argument is known as a posteriori argument. It is first cause argument. Nothing exist in vacuum, there should be first cause for everything. Knowledge of god comes from nature when our sensory organs encounter them.  According to cosmological argument, the universe is in motion, and the motion is not created in vacuum, some external force creates motion and that is god. God is regarded as unmoved mover which means god does not move but creates motion.

Teleological argument or Design Theory

The universe is complex. Only perfect being can design every aspect or functioning of universe. That perfect being is god according to design theory. Everything is designed in such a way that the mystery is only known to the designer. Our birth, our existence, our destination, the universe destination is predestined. Everything under this theory has a purpose to fulfill.

Religion is associated with god. The Vedas, Puranas and Smrities claim the existence of god in Hindu religion. According to Vedas Brahaman is only the supreme god. Puranas accept Trimurti(Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) as the manifestation of Lord Brahma. Hindu claim there are 33 Carore deities. They worship idol in most part of the globe.

According to the Islamic statement of witness, or Shahada, “There is no god but Allah”. Muslims believe he created the world in six days and sent prophets such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, and lastly Muhammad, who called people to worship only him, rejecting idolatry and polytheism. The word Islam, which means submission, was not at first the name of a religion founded by Muhammad. It referred, rather, to the original religion of all mankind – and even of the universe itself which, like us, was created to serve Allah.

Jesus is treated variously in Christianity. He is often regarded by the Christian as the “son of God”. They (Christians) believe that in Jesus, God’s word became flesh. On the other hand, according to Christianity, if God had not revealed Himself, religion would have been impossible. Man could not have possibility had any knowledge of God, if God had not made Himself known.5 Therefore, they believe that he [Jesus himself] as revelation of God and he himself as a son of God. However, in Islam God’s word became the book or mentioned in the (holy Qur’an), different in Christianity where God’s word became the flesh in the form of Jesus. Jesus was the only incarnation of God. Furthermore, God acted especially in the person of Jesus.7 That is way; he is regarded as the true image of God, and his representative, his messiah carrying his God’s true image to men. Sometimes also, in Christianity, Jesus is regarded as a God and sometimes as a man. He is in a sense taken as God-man, Man is God image.

Influence of religion or concept of god in law and constitution 

Muluki Criminal Code 2074 section 289 has banned on killing or harming cow and ox. As Nepal was only last Hindu State until 2063, its influence is still seen in laws and even in constitution. Cow is regarded as sacred animal by the followers of Hinduism. Cow is preferred as the transport of goddess laxmi in Hindu scripture. Millions of Hindus revere and worship cows. Hinduism is a religion that raises the status of Mother to the level of Goddess. Therefore, the cow is considered a sacred animal, as it provides us life sustaining milk. The cow is seen as a maternal figure, a care taker of her people. The cow is a symbol of the divine bounty of earth.

Lord Krishna, one of the most well known of the Hindu deities is often depicted playing his flute amongst cows and dancing Gopis (milkmaids). He grew up as a cow herder. Krishna also goes by the names Govinda and Gopala, which literally mean “friend and protector of cows.” It is considered highly auspicious for a true devotee to feed a cow, even before eating breakfast oneself.

Throughout the Vedic scriptures there are verses which emphasize that the cow must be protected and cared for. It is considered a sin to kill a cow and eat its meat. Even today in India, there are many states in which the slaughter of cows is illegal. That is why you can find cows roaming freely all over India, even along the busy streets of Delhi and Mumbai. 

Article 4 of the Constitution of Nepal has clear influence of religion as it mentions that Nepal is secular state. Secularism is a political philosophy that seeks to protect religious freedom while avoiding religious strife. The incorporation of the idea of secularism in constitution is the influence of religion or moreover god. 

The very title of Constitution of Pakistan has the title The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It clearly indicates the whole constitution is guided by Islamic religion. Pakistan has majority of people following Islam religion, so the influence is clear in constitution itself.

India as the nation of majority of Hindus and Muslim practices two different kinds of legal system. One is personal law and Islamic law.

There are various theories on the existence of god. These theories are only a mere speculation. They are only theory and have no any practical consequence. The things which do not exist cannot be proved or disproved. According to St. Anselm god exist only in imagination. God is understood as two different concepts. Naturalist regards god as the natural power. The sun, fire, moon, water, tree are regarded as god. In this regard god is a power which has existence. 

Another point of view is god as supernatural power. They define god as person who has many hands, two or more head, elephant headed, etc.  Such entity has existence in photos or art; no real existence can be proven. God is created in the image of man himself. If horse would have given the freedom to imagine god, the horse would have imagined god in its own image. 

Throughout the world the concept of god is deeply rooted. Even those who clam themselves as atheist they are directly or indirectly guided by religion or god. The god described in religious text are mere a human such as Ram, Krishna, Jesus Christ, Allah. They can be regarded as intellectual of their time. They were ahead from the normal human mind of their period of time. The existence of god is a metaphysical notion which is beyond physics. 

The influence of god in law and constitution is the outcome of the history of human civilization. The traits of primitive human being are still seen in present context. The concept of god and evil is the foundation of human knowledge. So   despite the world is moving to new technologies and inventions the primitive concept of god is still prevailing in our world as law, constitution, religion, culture and so on. 

Ravi Shankar Chaudhary, LLM Criminal Justice 
Kathmandu School of law

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