Tuesday, July 03, 2007
God does not need our help?
I know I have pontificated, no pun intended, on what I think is the ridiculous aspect of service to God. I know this sounds anti-God or anti-Christian but it really is not meant to be. It is just the logical conclusion to the acceptance of God as omnipotent. Simply put an omnipotent being does not need us to help it at all. Nor would an omnipotent being need to poke at us to do “the right thing”
Free will would seem to run counter to God’s omnipotent power. How could I write this if God did not want it written? Or how could Osama Bin Laden order the 911 attacks if God did not want it to happen. Or how could Michael Moore make Siko if God did not want him to make the movie. This sort of thinking really makes you dizzy. Either you end up thinking it is all part of Gods divine plan. Or it is the good god vs bad god scenario where God and Satan are vicariously beating up on each other using us. Sort of like the Russians the Americans used the Vietnamese. Both scenarios are pathetic for us.
I will take on the second scenario first since it is the easiest to poke a hole in. Either we live in a Universe that is made by one God or we live in a pantheistic universe with lots of gods, demi-gods, etc. From my standpoint there is no evidence of a pantheon of supernatural anything out there mucking about. Too much of life is ordered by physics, cause and effect, and all that. If supernatural forces were always playing around then the laws that govern, for instance electrical activity, would break down or simply stop working. This never happens. One could say that the supernatural forces work in such a way as to leave no physical traces of themselves. I would retort then that is the same as non-existence for us since the equations we have developed to explain physically reality must be able to predict the actions of these beings. So they would be more natural and not so super.
The first scenario is harder to put a hole in since it is so ingrained in our culture. God has this divine plan for all creation and everything is happening as it has been preplanned to happen. Like we live in a book. This makes us feel good when bad stuff happens. What can really be that bad if God wanted it to happen? Well this stinks, why bother worshipping or adoring a being that says it is part of his plan to have Jews undergo live dissection by Nazi doctors? Or children tortured to death by sadistic killers? I wouldn’t give that god the time of day let alone waste a breath of prayer to it.
Both these scenarios also seem to require us to help God out. Do stuff for him. Build his church, feed his sheep, defend his faith, fight for him, work for him, basically do all the things required of a servant. However there is a biiiiiiiiiiig problem with this. Human rulers need servants since they cannot do everything for themselves. They are not omnipotent. God, at least an all powerful one, certainly would not need us to work for him. The first scenario is slightly less silly since hour work would be the result of Gods plan working itself out. But if this is the case then you have no free will and all the acts you do are puppet maneuvers done by God for God. Become and atheist then, its all part of Gods plan!? The world could abandon the entire concept of God and it would all be part of Gods plan. Or perhaps we could all decide to worship Elmo or Barney.
This is not a silly little problem either. Scribes of old understood this quite well about our faith. Ecclesiastes is entirely about this problem. In the end the author basically says that all of the material world is vanity and the only thing you should do is keep the commandments, your duty is to honor God. Current scholarship questions the exact language of the end of Ecclesiastes. It seems the original text does not tell us that it is not our duty to follow God, but that it is we who are the commandment and that we are the manifestation of the respect of God.
I have felt the connection to God. That connection, when viewed, is obvious. Even though I have this connection to this being, I cannot fathom the totality of what that being is. Nor can I know what the full implications of this connection are. Somehow the light and fluffy stories of old, may not be too helpful when this being reveals more of itself to me. Or then again may God will be an old man with a crown. Either way I am on the ride and will have to accept whatever is the reality behind the enigma.