Hypothetical God

Originally posted on 2013/10/11.

Full disclosure: I do not believe in anything supernatural. I don’t really even know what “supernatural” is. But what if there were a creator and controller of the cosmos, with qualities similar to those attributed to the biblical Elohim/Yahweh/God? What would change? What would the universe be like?

I expect it would be very different. Surely, miracles would happen, undeniably supernatural events that would seem to have a purpose. Not vague, mysterious happenings that can’t be verified, but observable things like amputees growing new legs, or an invisible wall suddenly popping up between people and an oncoming tsunami. Those miracles wouldn’t happen at the behest of charlatans, but in response to petitions by believers in the true god.

God Knows

I expect that this god would provide us with a guidebook that each person would miraculously see in his or her own language. Even illiterate people would understand its contents, and those contents would be clear and unmistakable, unlike any existing holy books.

I expect this god would care about us; therefore innocent children and babies would never come to harm from natural causes such as cancer or birth defects. Only human evil or error would hurt children, things for which we would be held accountable.

I expect that sincere, unselfish prayer would work, that answers would be forthcoming, in a form that could be easily understood. We wouldn’t need gurus or priests to interpret the mysterious signs of a possible divine intervention, or to explain why answers never seemed to come.

That would be nice. We would still be free to be lazy or selfish, to ignore the clear presence and guidance of this god, but if we did, we would truly be without excuse. I’m sure the universe would be different in many other ways, as well, but that’s what I can think of that would be relevant to us.

Why do you suppose the world is not like that?

What About Baab?

Well, maybe there is a supernatural god, but he’s just not very sociable. Maybe he doesn’t want a lot of followers. They are kind of a pain in the ass, you know. Truthfully, I don’t see much benefit from speculating on what supernatural entities may exist, since they don’t seem to do anything to make their presence known. I would rather talk about what a religion based on rationality would be like. Would it need to have a god, one that is not supernatural? If so, can we call it Baab? I like that name. Think about it, would you? I wouldn’t mind trying to put together some ideas on how such a “religion,” if that’s what you would call it, would work.

Title image is a screenshot from Devil May Cry.

 

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2 thoughts on “Hypothetical God

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  1. Posted by FreeFox on 2013/10/18, 10:04 am

    Wow, watch where you’re pointing a loaded gun, mate. I met Babd once, and she bloody fortold me a lot of grief and pain. Not funny. (Okay, it was pretty funny. We drank and sang together, she played the guitar. And I stole from her. Her sister Anann passed out.)
    I’m always astonished at how little people look at the real world when they pick their deities. You are right, the God that most Christians or Muslims claim to believe in seems to be sorely lacking in the real world. On the other hand, the often fickle, psychotic, jealous, impatient and sometimes gentle, loving, awesome chap that runs around much of the OT explains a lot.
    In my experience God is not a moralist, and not an engineer, but an artist. Maybe we take art and literature from life, but life certainly conforms to many of its principles: If you see tragedy, death, catastrophes, and unhappiness as drama (and let me say this, if my God exists, he’s either a woman or queer, or do you know many straight men capable of such drama?), as backdrop to little highlights of glory and beauty, it makes perfect sense. Not much mysterious about it really. Seriously, just imagine him grumpy, an open simple red wine and some cheese and grapes on the side table, wearing a stained smock, brows furrowed as he critically eyes his latest creation, and getting pissy at tourists (religious people) coming in and demanding to speak to the great man… way less unrealistic than the stern, wise and benign bearded patriarch…
    As for prayer, of course it doesn’t work. Not if you pray to God as if he was Santa. He’s bloody God, He already knows everything and can do everything. You really think He didn’t forsee whatever ails you and decided to go ahead with it anyway? He’s really going to change the course of the cosmos for you? (And I don’t mean that offensively to anyone who had real cause to beg… believe me, there were times I begged… and sulked and hated God for not answering. I just think it’s not only obvious but pretty understandable from His POV that He ignores such prayers.) No, I am pretty certain that the only way of prayer that works is prayer that gives thanks for what you got (whether you like it or not) and that humbly asks for instructions. Not thundering voice from burning bush instructions but the quiet one. (And no, God isn’t quiet because he’s especially gentle or timid, but simply because none of us really matter that much, certainly not enough for him – remember the red wine and keeping an eye on the overall picture – to actually speak up and enunciate clearly just for you. If you missed the message, well, tough luck, hombre. At least to me he always sounds bored and as if it really was a bother that he had to explain anything at all. And sure enough, often enough there’s nothing. Hey, He already gave us the world, fuck if He’s going to deliver an instruction manual, too…

    1. Originally posted on 2013/10/18.

      So your god is all-powerful, but not particularly benevolent. That makes a lot more sense than the god of pop Christianity. Somebody said that God seems to be 100% evil and 80% effective. I tend to be just a little more optimistic. Your version would make a better movie than Hollywood generally puts out. Too bad Cecil B. DeMille didn’t go that way with it.

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