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Closer To Truth: God Almighty


There is an ongoing PBS TV series (also several books and also a website) called “Closer To Truth”. It is hosted by neuroscientist Robert Lawrence Kuhn. He’s featured in one-on-one interviews and panel discussions with the cream of the cream of today’s cosmologists, physicists, philosophers, theologians, psychologists, etc. on all of the Big Questions surrounding a trilogy of broad topics – Cosmos; Consciousness; Meaning. The trilogy collectively dealt with reality, space and time, mind and consciousness, aliens, theology and on and on and on. Here are a few of my comments on the general topics that cover the concept of an Almighty God.


What is God?


Supernatural deities, including a deity commonly known as God, are figments of the human imagination. Deities were invented because they fill various needs that humans have. One need is to explain the unexplainable. If we (translated – our ancient ancestors) can’t explain something, like say lightning and thunder, well with a snap-of-the-fingers we have presto, a supernatural sky god who has a bad temper and hurls around thunderbolts. It works, at least until some better explanation comes along. A second need is to provide you with some sort of meaning and purpose because you are too damn lazy to figure out your own meaning and purpose. A third need is to get our needs fulfilled if we can’t seemingly fulfil them via our own abilities. And so we ask a magic deity for three wishes, more or less. A fisherman asks for good fishing; a childless couple wishes and prays for a child; someone else requires universal peace on Earth. There’s nothing different in principle between an adult praying to a supernatural deity and a child posting a letter to Santa Claus at the North Pole. The universal however is the need for an afterlife. Though we don’t want to die, tough! The next best option is an afterlife. But observations of death strongly suggest that when death happens, nothing else happens. The body doesn’t go anywhere; the body doesn’t come back to life. So, there is a lot to be gained by postulating a deity that via supernatural powers can give you what you cannot give yourself, not only life after death but an eternal life everlasting. So, what is God? God is just a Santa Claus for grown-ups. God is your science, until the real science comes along.


What is God Like?


What is God like? Do you mean the God who says “thou shall not kill” yet who is the biggest mass murderer in human history if the Old Testament is to be believed. If the Old Testament is really God’s word, then God, the serial killer, puts Hitler to shame. Hitler, Stalin (and related) are rank amateurs in the mass murder department compared to God. Talk about a do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do entity! God in fact should be tried in the International Court of Justice for crimes against humanity. Is this the God you mean when you want to know what God is like? Well now you know. The Almighty Two-Face!


Does God have Traits 1?


Does God have traits? Yes, bad ones, like mass murder. God is hardly a role model when it comes to the double standard when He says one shouldn’t commit murder while at the same time having Himself just slaughtered all of Ancient Egypt’s first born not to mention drowning Pharaoh’s army. God also has a super-ego. In fact God is really and totally up Himself when demanding that us mere mortals should have and should put no other gods before Him. God also has a lot of trouble curbing His temper. We often hear about ‘the wrath of God’. God likes to inflict punishment on those who can’t really defend themselves. God versus human is not held on an even playing field, much like the human hunter who shoots the animal that can’t shoot back. So, murder; double standards; ego; temper; relishing in the suffering of others. God indeed created man in His image since men do what God does; but equally man created God in the human image, a God who does what humans do.


Does God have Traits 2?


I’ve been reminded that yet another of God’s traits is that He lies. The proof of that pudding is in the Book of Genesis. God tells Adam and Eve that if that have a snack on that forbidden fruit they will surely die. They do and they don’t. They do eat the forbidden fruit and they don’t die. Instead, God gives them the heave-ho and their marching orders and makes them toil and sweat a little. That’s hardly an imminent death sentence. So I gotta wonder whether some of God’s other promises are akin to those sorts of promises you get from wannabe politicians close to election time. Promises that are meant to be broken after you are suckered in and vote for them. So what about God’s rainbow promise? Is that going to turn out to be yet another falsehood?


Big Pictures of God


One of the big pictures about the nature of God has been often summed up in the interviews on “Closer to Truth”. I’ve seen many a Christian theologian state that your God is an all-loving god; a friendly god; a compassionate god; a merciful god; a just god, and so on. God is warm and fuzzy. How they can say that with a straight face is quite beyond me. What planet do they live on? Have these theologians ever read the Old Testament? If they have read and studied the Old Testament then they are ignoring it as being of no consequence in telling us about the real nature of God. So God is a loving god and a merciful god? Tell that fairy tale to the ancient Egyptians of Exodus fame just to cite one example of a non-loving and a non-merciful god. What a joke these Christian theologians are. What a joke to believe in a compassionate warm and fuzzy deity when all the Biblical Old Testament evidence is totally contrary to that very concept.


Is God Perfect?


What does it mean to be perfect? Well in our world there are usually textbook standards that define what perfection is or what you need to achieve to be considered perfect, as in pitching a perfect baseball game, or achieving 100% on an examination, or in being crowned Miss America, or experiencing the perfect storm. What does it really mean to be supernaturally perfect? Since it is impossible to ever be absolutely supernaturally perfect since there is no sort of agreed textbook standard on what absolute supernatural perfection is and no such agreed textbook standard probably ever will exist, we really don’t know what one would have to measure up to in order to achieve absolute supernatural perfection. Perhaps achieving supernatural perfection probably means just being the best at what you supernaturally do. Unfortunately, legend has it that there is only one such supernatural entity, so by default that one entity has to be crowned the most perfect, just like if there were only one contestant in the Miss America beauty pageant that one person would have to win by default. Now things would be interesting if there were more than one supernatural entity and then one could compare or rank them and their relative degrees of perfection. One could pit Zeus or Odin or Quetzalcoatl against God. Perhaps Zeus is more perfect than God and Odin but less perfect than Quetzalcoatl with respect to this or that trait, but when all traits are summed up – just like a beauty pageant isn’t just awarded on the grounds of just beauty – one of the quartet would emerge as the most perfect of the supernatural deities.


Is God All Knowing?


No, God, assuming there is such an entity, is not all-knowing assuming you put stock in God’s word, the Bible. In fact you need go no further than the first couple chapters of Genesis in the Old Testament to read that God asks questions of Adam, Eve and Cain. Why does God need to ask questions if He is all-knowing? Perhaps God asks questions for the exact same reasons that we ask questions. We ask questions to learn something that we don’t know; ditto God. In any event, wouldn’t it be a horrible existence to know in exacting detail every damn little bit and piece about the future? If you knew every detail of what would happen second by second for the rest of your life, right down to how and when you would kick the bucket, would there be any point to getting out of bed in the morning? In a similar vein, what would be the point of God doing a creation if He was all-knowing and thus knew in advance exactly how everything would turn out. It would seem pointless.


Does God Know the Future?


Does God know the future? What would be the point of doing anything if you already knew in exacting detail what the outcome would be? Of course you would have to do it since you already knew you would do it. Talk about being a robot! If God knew the future in advance, would there be any point in telling Adam and Eve to behave and not snack on that piece of fruit? God would already have known that Adam and Eve would snack on that fruit no matter what He told them, so what’s the point in telling them? Why create vast hoards of humanity when you already knew you were going to drown nearly every damn last one of them? Translate that concept into your own life. If you knew, down to the last dot of the “I” and cross of the “T” exactly what every future second of your existence would be like, exactly what would happen by you and to you with every tick of every second you had yet to live, wouldn’t that be boring? Would there be any point in getting out of bed at all, other than of course you already would have been aware that you would stay in bed since there would have been no point in getting out of bed and going through all those motions you already knew you would do. If you knew the future in exacting detail, there could be no such a concept as free will, and that would apply to God too. Most people don’t want to know in intimate detail what tomorrow will bring or exactly when and how they will die. There’s pleasure in living a somewhat uncertain life and not always knowing what lies over the crest of the next hill.


Perhaps Even God Doesn’t Know the Future?


If God doesn’t know the future, then it makes a joke of the phrase an ‘all-knowing God’. If God created the laws, principles and relationships of physics, those cause-and-effect relationships, relationships that require the cosmos to be a clockwork cosmos, then God of necessity must know what He has set in train and the outcome. If He doesn’t, then something is screwy somewhere. If on the other hand there is no supernatural God, then the whole question becomes moot.


Is God All Powerful?


Some things are indeed impossible for God. I’d like to see Him make a spherical cube, or a cubical sphere! Can God travel faster than the speed of light? Seriously, if God is all powerful, why didn’t He just snap His fingers and condense all of those six days of creation into one nanosecond? Why drag things out? If God is so all powerful, why did He need to rest of the seventh day? Of course given God’s personality and behavior, the statement that power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely seems to apply to God, and imply that God indeed has absolute power.


Can God do Everything?


If logic has any meaning at all, then God, assuming a supernatural God exists of course, has His hands tied behind His back when it comes to trying to violate anything Mr. Spock would hold near and dear. I mean not even God can draw more than one straight line between two points of a flat piece of paper. Not even God can calculate a definite value to Pi. Not even God can get around the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. God can call a dog a cat, or a cat a dog, but that doesn’t make it so. God couldn’t even make Adam and Eve toe the line!


Can God Change?


If I recall Biblical tales accurately, there are several instances where God either changed, or nearly changed His mind. I recall that Adam and Eve were sentenced to die if they snacked on some forbidden fruit. Instead, God changed His mind and didn’t impose the death penalty rather evicting them off the garden premises. Then I seem to recall that God hemmed and hawed being rather undecided about zapping Sodom and Gomorrah before making up His mind. So, it would seem that God, assuming a God of course, can change, or think about changing, the colour of His spots just like a human can, which makes logical sense if humans were made in the image of God.


Evolution and God?


For those who have a conflict between biological evolution, survival of the fittest, natural selection, and related Darwinian concepts, vis-a-vis answers in Genesis, all I can say is that the data for Darwinian evolution, the evidence for natural selection, has been placed on the table in the public arena for all to see and digest and come to conclusions about. The same cannot be applied to Genesis. You cannot examine the data and evidence as presented in Genesis. The evidence for Genesis is not available up on the table, in the public arena, for scrutiny. So, are you going to trust data on the table that you can examine; are you going to trust those whose hands are out in front for all to see, or are you going to trust in Genesis which provides no data or evidence that you can cross-examine; where God’s hands (as the author of Genesis) are hidden behind His back for nobody to see? When and if God comes front and centre and provides His evidence and data the way biological evolutionists do, well then, and only then, will there be a bona-fide debate on the two contrasting points of view. Till then, up front honesty resides and only resides with the evolutionists.


Did God Make Animals Suffer in Evolution 1?


Leaving God aside for the moment, I get upset when I see an animal suffer at the hands of another animal, be it a fly in a spider’s web or a lion that chases down and kills an antelope, or the mouse that’s consumed by the snake, but then I have to reflect and say that if the spider doesn’t catch the fly the spider suffers by starvation; ditto the lion and the snake. The saving grace for me is that the killing is of necessity and not just for the sake of killing. Which brings me back to God and animal suffering. God, assuming a God of course, apparently has a bone to pick with human beings. At least that’s God’s story and He’s sticking to it. God does not have a bone to pick with animals. Regardless, 99.99% (add a few more 9’s here) of animals were slaughtered by God in Noah’s flood event. A lot of animals suffered at the hands of God in those ten Egyptian plagues. Speaking of the Exodus, a lot of Pharaoh’s horses must have been drowned after the parting of the Red (or Reed) Sea. God apparently relishes animal sacrifices unto Him. God should not only face judgement for crimes against humanity, but also for animal abuse and cruelty. One other point, if God created all life, then God created all those microbes and bacteria and viruses that cause lethal diseases that kill animals and that make their animal victims suffer greatly prior to death. The bacteria, and related microbes don’t really benefit because once their host is dead, they die too. Microbes can inhabit environments, even living environments without causing disease. Humans play host to billions of microbes that cause us no harm and might even be essential to our well-being. So death by disease (as apart from old age or serving as a food source) really is an unnecessary facet of God’s creation. The one personal example I can cite is the beak-and-feather disease in cockatoos which is absolutely hideous and once seen, never forgotten. If God exists, that’s God’s doing, and God’s doing for no apparent reason. God, it would seem, likes to make animals suffer – cancer is another common example – even though animals are supposedly 100% innocent of any wrongdoing in God’s eyes.


Did God Make Animals Suffer in Evolution 2?


As an afterthought, an all-powerful God could have designed all animals to be plant eaters and ensure that there always was an adequate vegetative food supply for them so they wouldn’t suffer via starvation, then as well ensuring their reproductive prowess would only result in a near one-to-one replacement rate to maintain the carrying capacity of the environment to sustain the population, thus again ensuring no starvation came to pass due to population growth. God could have done all of this, but as we should all realise by now God’s not very good at thinking things through when it comes to the intelligent design portfolio He assumes responsibility for.


How does God Relate to the World?


Let me address that part that asks “does God ever make special interventions into the world, otherwise known as ‘miracles’?” IMHO, miracles are God’s correction fluid or white-out or liquid paper. It’s often said that prevention is better than cure, so if God, our all-knowing, all-powerful, God, abided by that philosophy, then He would act to prevent something rather than allowing that something to happen then having to cure it at a later date via a miracle. For example, a common miracle is often considered to having survived an ‘Act of God’. If God hadn’t of initiated that ‘Act of God’ in the first place there would have been no need for the miracle. Might it not have been better for God to have prevented that car crash rather than have the victim survive via a miracle? Then there are all those miraculous medical miracles. Rather than God curing someone’s inoperable cancer, wouldn’t it have been better for God to have prevented the emergence of the cancer in the first place? Speaking of medical miracles, is’t it amazing that some miracles never seem to come to pass, like how about all of those thalidomide babies never having their stumps regenerate into fully functional limbs – ditto for amputees. By the way, unless I’m mistaken, no supernatural miracle has ever been documented, written up and published as a peer-reviewed article in a scientific journal. Probability theory notes that the improbable (although not the impossible) can happen. When something that can happen, but happen only extremely rarely, actually happens, the very improbability of it lends itself to those most intimately concerned to loosely throw around the word “miracle”. If real supernatural miracles happen, it’s not a mark for God’s compassion and rationality but His irrationality.


Does God Intervene in Human Affairs?


There have been no reliable reports of God strutting His stuff here on Earth since those Old Testament reports, and I’m not very sure how reliable they are. Since God hasn’t apparently shown His face here in over 2000 years, one needs to ask what is God so afraid of that He’s not willing or able to pop into existence in the skies over Manhattan, for example, and chuck around a thunderbolt or two just to let us know He’s still around, willing and able to kick some irreligious butt. Okay, I know some extreme religious fundamentalists like to point out that every tornado, every hurricane, every earthquake, volcanic eruption, tsunami, every thunderstorm and lightning strike is God intervening in human affairs and showing His wrath and extreme displeasure with His creation. Problem One: why hide behind Mother Nature’s skirts? Why not just zap the first born like He did in Ancient Egypt? Problem Two: If there were something unnatural about these Acts of God then they would have a lot more credibility. I mean God, being God and all, could cause a hurricane to form over Midwestern Canada. God could cause a wave of tornadoes in Alaska in January. God could send down a blizzard to engulf Miami in August. God could cause a massive earthquake where no earthquake has ever been reported before, or God could cause a volcano to erupt in down-town Boston. No, Acts of God seem to follow the natural meteorological and geological parameters set down by Mother Nature, year in, and year out. God is not original. God does not think and act outside of the box. It’s also amusing to note how those spared victims of Acts of God thank God for sparing them from the disaster He sent in the first place. You’d think that instead of giving thanks, the victims who were spared would give God the Big Finger for having sent an Act of God their way and ruining their day.


Then there is the power of positive prayer. Every Easter and every Christmas the Pope and other world religious leaders publicly pray to God to give us world peace, and of course every year nothing of the sort happens. Now I ask, if the Pope can’t achieve positive results and get God to intervene in human affairs and send us peace on earth with a universal good will towards men (and women), what hope is there for the rest of the great unwashed?


In conclusion, perhaps God doesn’t intervene in human affairs because God has left the building. He’s picked up His bat and ball and gone home to diner. He’s 100% fed up and just has concluded we’re a basket case and He can put His time and energy to better use. Or, perhaps God doesn’t intervene in human affairs because God doesn’t in fact exist.


Is God Outside of Time?


IMHO, the phrase “existing outside of time” is meaningless waffle. Time is the concept or the way we come to terms with change. If nothing ever changed it would be meaningless to talk about time. No time means no change, no change means no time, so existing outside of time means you exist in a changeless void of nothingness. If you have a something, you have change, even if only at the quantum level. If you have nothingness, you have no change. But if you exist inside of nothingness, then you also are a nothingness. You can not change. You are not composed of matter and energy. If you have no matter and energy to throw around, you can’t do squat. God apparently can do squat so God must be composed of matter and energy which means God changes (even if at the quantum level) which translates into God existing inside of time.


Is God Temporal or Timeless?


If God exists, and that’s one heck of a big if, then God must of necessity exist in time, or exist in a realm of change which after all is what time is or time measures. God certainly participates in and often initiates change in Biblical texts. It’s very hard to argue that if God struts His stuff in Biblical texts and interacts with various mortals that God isn’t inside and part of what we call time. God does this, then God does that, then God does the next thing, all in sequence; all in a row, like those six ‘days’ of creation. Time is God’s way of preventing everything happening or changing at once, including happenings that God plays a direct role in. The concept of timeless is meaningless. It’s a waffle-word that has no meaning. There can be no change in a timeless ‘void’, a ‘void’ of time. No change amounts to no time or a state of timelessness. No change means there is no matter or energy present. That means a timeless God is composed of absolute nothingness. A timeless God can not initiate change, or create something, since change or creation means that God has to do something and that something must involve matter and energy; God must be composed of matter and energy. Matter and energy exists in a constant swirl of change (quantum physics anyone?) and the only exception to that would be if matter and energy were frozen at a temperature of absolute zero, which is a theoretical impossibility since it would violate the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.


Can Science Deal with God?


It would appear that science has dealt with both the concept of God as well as the data about God as provided for in religious texts rather well. The question is, can God deal with science? It would appear that God, or the need for God has retreated before the advancement of science and scientific scrutiny about God’s bona-fides. Perhaps it is time for God to fight back and show His face and go one-on-one with the scientific community instead of letting mortal others, His true believers, fight His battles for Him. What is God afraid of? Of course perhaps God can’t fight back, any more than Superman can zap me with his infra-red vision. It’s takes actual existence to pick a fight with actual existence. Perhaps the true nature of God is exhibited by His ever ongoing great silence.


What Can Science Say about God?


There’s probably little point in science addressing any and all of the various theoretical abstractions of what supernatural deities, including a god, is on about. However, the Bible provides actual non-theoretical, non-abstract, data about one specific supernatural deity, God. God is described thus; God does this and that; God is a thing; God operates in time and in space; God is responsible for lots of creations and events which fall into the arena of science. At the very least God can be identified with the realm of logic, cosmology, physics, biology, geology and meteorology. So, in that sense, God is fair game for scientific scrutiny. Based on all of that, what science has to say about the scientific, the logical, and the physical God who struted His stuff here on Earth in time and in space isn’t very flattering.


Does Consciousness Lead to God?


It is difficult to decide that issue about consciousness alone or awareness in isolation leading to belief or non-belief in a supernatural deity because humans are subjected to all sorts of other influences on the subject like books and parents and teachers and how the general culture you are immersed in has slanted the issue. America is a religious country and has in general a low tolerance for atheists; Muslim dominated countries even more so, while Europeans tend to be way more tolerant. So, to decide the issue, one needs to take another closely related species that has consciousness and observe if that species exhibits any sorts of behaviour that would be suggestive that they have belief in a god and a spirit world on their mind. That sort of observation might be relevant regardless whether or not God is responsible for consciousness since clearly even if He is, that relationship hasn’t translated or eventuated or taken hold as a universal belief in that God in all and sundry. I certainly haven’t observed any sort of behaviour in my many cats over the years that would be suggestive that they have the concept of a deity or a spirit world or an afterlife on the brain, and I would argue that they on the other hand do exhibit consciousness. Perhaps some behavioural scientists who work with primates either in the laboratory and/or in the wild might be able to shed some light on this.


Did God Create From Nothing?


The very idea that you can generate something out of nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing so not even quantum fluctuations are present and accounted for in absolutely nothing, is absurd. And that concept is absurd regardless whether or not the generating is done by Mother Nature in a Big Bang event, or by a supernatural deity “in the beginning”. There is no such thing as a free lunch. No one, not even God IMHO can violate the conservation laws. In fact for God to do so would be illogical since presumably God created those very conservation laws in the first place. Creation involves creating a something from a previous something. That’s my bottom line.


Is God the Cause of a Fine-Tuned Universe?


God is not the cause of our fine-tuned Universe because IMHO God or any other supernatural deity does not exist, but I do have a variation on the theme which would explain the fine-tuning. That variation is to replace an immortal and infallible supernatural deity with a fallible flesh-and-blood mortal software and computer programmer. Translated, we are virtual beings in a Simulated (Virtual Reality) Universe. Now, if you are going to design a software program(s), that programming will have to be fine-tuned in order to achieve your objective. If you design a medical simulation for medical students to practice their skills on, you had better the bits and pieces right such that the medical students see the simulation as being fine-tuned to perfectly reflect medical reality and thus enable them to practice their skills with confidence. You don’t design the medical simulation and place the heart inside the head and have dingo kidneys programmed instead of human ones, etc. People who design our video games fine-tune the software or the program so that the entire gaming scenario is self-consistent not only for the player but also for the virtual characters. So, if some computer nerd designed our Simulated (Virtual Reality) Universe, he’d be daft not to have fine-tuned it to create a consistent self-contained Simulated (Virtual Reality) Universe. But, being fallible, he made a few oops, and those oops translate into many of the anomalies, perhaps also ‘miracles’ we observe in our virtual reality. What anomalies? Well they are too numerous to mention but they tend to fall into the “It can’t be therefore it isn’t” versus the “I know what I saw” camp.


Did God Create Multiple Universes?


What’s the point of creating multiple universes instead of just creating one large universe that would be equal in size, and in intelligences that inhabit that one cosmos, to a bunch of universes? Maybe it’s a case of doing it just for the sake of doing it, but that doesn’t seem to be a rational reason for an infallible supernatural deity. In any event, to a deity, is there anything different in principle to creating many universes relative to one universe since to that deity all universes would be connected, a unified whole, even if only in the mind of the creator deity. The total cosmos would still be equal to the sum of its parts. The total of a glass of water is equal to the sum of all the individual water molecules. Once you have created one water molecule, well you can conclude that you’ve been there, done that, so why create more and more and more.


Does Evil Disprove God 1?


Evil does not disprove God because God Himself is evil as any reading of the Old Testament will more than adequately demonstrate. Satan is one of the good guys compared to God. Name the most evil thing Satan ever did in the Bible. Do the same for God. There’s just no comparison. Compared to Satan, God is absolute evil. Just read about all those atrocities in the Bible directly caused by God (something about 40 days and nights of rain comes to mind here) or which happens with His blessing, including slavery and the bashing of children’s heads against rocks. So perhaps it is not surprising that God doesn’t give a stuff about humans doing evil things to humans, and then too, aren’t all those evil events of nature often referred to as “Acts of God”!


Does Evil Disprove God 2?


When it comes to the relationship between evil existing and God’s existence, the other most logical and obvious reason why God doesn’t lower the boom on all us nasty evil doers before-the-fact; why He doesn’t step in and prevent evil before we do any evil, is that there is no actual God in reality to do so. It’s difficult to do anything if you don’t exist. God is, IMHO, a figment of the human imagination – God was created in man’s image – and as such God has all the reality of a Superman or a Sherlock Holmes or The Shadow and thus is quite unable to prevent real crimes of human or ‘evils’ of natural origin.


Alternative Concepts of God 1?


There’s one other very obvious alternative concept to God, especially God as creator. That concept is to replace supernatural deities or a deity (like God) with very technologically advanced extraterrestrials who came to town, to this Third Rock from the Sun many millennia ago. The question has been asked, was God an astronaut, an ancient astronaut? The primary evidence rests with mythology. Across the board, ancient human cultures and societies tell of their creation by sky gods or celestial beings or even star people. That includes the Bible. These sky gods give gifts to mankind, like fire and agriculture and weaving, etc. Now of course to primitive humans, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, or the supernatural (credit goes to Arthur C. Clarke for that insight). There’s a lot of advanced technology on display in the Bible, or at least that could be an interpretation, like what zapped Sodom and Gomorrah . Also common in mythologies (including the Bible) is that the gods eventually go away, promising to return. Mythologies are full of references to aerial vehicles and otherworldly creatures and you’ll find those in the Bible too like those Wheels of Ezekiel. All up, a solid case can be made that is suggestive that deities, including God, aren’t supernatural at all, just technologically advanced, extraterrestrials that reside somewhere up there. Even Jesus is on record as having said that he wasn’t of or from this world.


Alternative Concepts of God 2?


There’s one very obvious alternative concept to God, especially God as creator. And that is to replace an infallible immortal God with a mortal and fallible flesh-and-blood computer or software programmer, perhaps someone we could call a Supreme Programmer, a nerd who likes to create simulated universes and video games. The essential difference between a God and a Supreme Programmer is that the latter makes mistakes and overlooks things. I mean creating a self-consistent simulated universe can’t be easy. And so we find that our universe does contain anomalies, or oops, variations on the theme of ‘it can’t be therefore it isn’t’ versus ‘I know what I saw’. The physics of our cosmos isn’t always self-consistent which explains the failure to come up with a theory of everything. A real infallible God wouldn’t stuff things up but with respect to our universe, our IMHO Simulated (Virtual Reality) Universe, there’s many a something that’s really screwy somewhere!


Novel Visions of the Divine?


I guess that by definition anything or anyone that via a form of intelligent design creates life, the Universe and everything is divine. Well, there is a novel form of the divine. The form it takes is that of a mortal, fallible, flesh-and-blood computer software programmer who has created via a form of intelligent design, albeit an often fallible design, a Simulated (Virtual Reality) Universe, a video game if you will. We are virtual beings who have been created within this simulated landscape. Is that novel enough for you?


Why Believe in God?


One reason for believing in a deity or in deities is to ‘explain’ facets of your environment that you can’t explain any other way. So it is no surprise that our less knowledgeable ancestors invented supernatural concepts to explain the natural because no natural explanation was available to them. Examples include thunder and lightning, the rainbow, comets, eclipses, shooting ‘stars’, supernovae, the aurorae, and associated. We don’t like unsolvable mysteries, so we solve them any way we can.


The other reason for believing in a deity or deities is the universal one of “what’s in it for me”? There seems little point of investing lots of time and energy and effort into believing unless there is some sort of promised reward for believing or punishment for not believing. That’s not quite the only reason. You might invent and pray to a fertility goddess if you wish to fall pregnant. If you want success in the hunt you pray to whatever god provides abundant game. Ditto for a good harvest. Believe in and pray to a weather god that he doesn’t bring his wrath down upon you via tornadoes or a hurricane which can really ruin your day and rain on your parade. What military man (or woman) doesn’t pray that their god keeps them safe in their foxhole while smiting the enemy. You might believe in a merciful deity to keep you free of cancer that runs in your family. Never underestimate self-interest.


Source by John Prytz

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