I think your question on the surface seems like a logical contradiction. “God” by definition would have to be supernatural.
But if you’re really asking could there be a non-supernatural “creator,” for the universe…well there is still a contradiction there. How can there be “higher beings” without a universe?
As far as religious views of imperfect gods, check out Greek mythology. They all have human weaknesses (as does the Biblical Yahweh, for that matter) but that’s probably not what you meant.
Computer program…hmmm…“Cogito ergo sum” would seem to rule that out.
To reference another thread, I think you need to stick with Occam’s razor. if the big bang, evolution et al are rational and sensible explanations for our existence, then I think that conjecturing psychic aliens is an unnecessary multiplication of variables.
Check out Hindu and Buddhist mythology for tales/concepts of non-omnipotent gods (and, at least in the case of Buddhist mythology, mortal gods). I’m not sure what the Hindu creation myth is, but IIRC the Buddhists don’t believe in a creator.
The Gnostics believed in an imperfect (and arrogant) creator-god known as the Demiurge (the God of the Old Testament) who created the world, but this creator-god was in turn born from another imperfect supernatural being who was in turn created by a (likely omnipotent) God who takes no part in worldly affairs, so eventually the recursion ends with a perfect being.
Take a look at John Shelby Spong’s A New Christianity for a New World for a view that seems to espouse what you’re talking about, owlofcreamcheese.
Perhaps the dichotomy we’re looking at here is that between the immanence of God, His supposed omnipresence in all things, His nature as the basis and underlying essence of all things created, vis-à-vis his transcendence, His “otherness” from the everyday things of the world and clear differentiation from transitory, secular things.
Both concepts are quite Scriptural and traditional, and exist in a tension each with the other.
—“God” by definition would have to be supernatural.—
God exists. He creates more stuff. It now exists. Why does classifying God as “supernatural” clarify anything about what SORT of nature he has, distinct from the natural? I’m not sure I the basis for a real differentiation from transitory, secular things: rather a platonic extrapolation FROM those things to an ideal.
One real problem is that we seem to have an idea that there are “natural laws” and if God can break them, then God is outside of the “natural laws” the way a soveriegn is above the laws of the land. But this, again, is an extrapolated metaphor from human experience, and thinking of “natural laws” as if they were official edicts commanding certain behavior from atoms may well be completely off (it certainly seems like a misconception, considering how we come to recognize “natural laws” is simply by experience of various regularities). At basis, we really have no idea why what is is the way it is, or even if that’s a good question (it may simply be the only is that is, and that’s that).
I consider myself a Deist and believe in the type of god you describe - one which is indistinguisable from the universe itself.
Which, in both my opinion and my experience, puts me a lot closer to atheists than to other theists. I do seem to share some theology with some Wiccans and Druids (but not all), some Buddhists (but not all) and a few Christians that really just go to church to make their family happy.
But I grew up Catholic and can’t quite banish myself from some belief. Besides, I find it a handy place to hang both hope and gratitude.