But I'm getting ahead of myself.
So this all-powerful dude—let's call him 'god'—is just sitting around on his fat, lazy ass for an eternity, and all of a sudden he gets bored. Do I blame him? No. I mean, he spends his time in an immaterial void, for Christ sake. It's impossible for a human being even to imagine pure nothingness in order to empathize with god here. The closest thing we have is C-SPAN. So I am completely on board with god wanting to create some diversions for himself rather than whiling away a non-temporal, non-spatial nothingness with no conceivable prospect of anything happening. Ever. I mean give the guy some Adam Sandler DVDs. Angry Birds. Anything. If it's one thing I can relate to, it's boredom. I work in accounting, after all. I live in Indiana. I've seen Avatar.
Now, before you object (like the yardstick-wielding little prig you are), I know that these descriptions of the Christian god are at least somewhat metaphorical. A god, owing to his much ballyhooed perfection, would not experience a lack or deficiency. Boredom is a self-insufficiency that only imperfect beings (i.e., chumps like us) can relate to. And yet—if god existed as a real and true god—that is to say, as a perfect wholeness and an irreducible beingness—then why the hell would he ever want or need to create a bunch of human beings (essentially glorified action figures) to toy with in the first place?
Don't quote me on this—but I think the doctrinaire response is that god wanted share his divine love with a bunch of peons like us because he's all generous like that. But it sounds like scraps from the table to me. If he were so generous (as well as omnipotent), then why didn't he make us into gods too—peers that he could chew the fat with around the water cooler? What specifically did he get out of our inherently degraded state of suffering, misery, and pathetic dependency? I for one think he just wanted to lord it over us—if you'll pardon the pun. He wanted to be Mr. Big Shot, but in order to be Mr. Big Shot, there have to be a whole lot of Mr. Little Shots to toddle along beside god's titanic shin and mewl for the charity of his attentions.
You know how it's often said that humans were created in god's image? The internal consistency of this creation story is right-on, if you ask me, because we're all just as shitty and passive-aggressive as god must be. For instance, you know how there are times when your significant other plays games with you—tests you to see if you'll make the right choice—and punishes you with an unexplained frostiness because you've failed? Like maybe she gets her hair didded and waits to see if you notice and compliment her accordingly, with the implicit understanding that if you don't, you will be punished. Maybe the punishment won't even be a conscious one, but her disappointment will inevitably be sublimated into a prickliness. And you'll ask, 'What's the matter?' And she'll say, 'Nothing.' But it's the infamous 'nothing' that definitely means something—and if you don't figure it out pretty damn quick, then you've failed a second test. (There are also opposite sex examples of this phenomenon, of course. I'm just as mercurial and punitive as any of my significant others.)
Isn't this just like god? Hasn't he established persnickety rules (explicit and implicit) for our behavior? And if we don't act appropriately—if we don't pass all the tests—he'll turn away from us in bed and sulk all night. 'What's the matter, god?' 'Oh, nothing,' he'll pout. But it's the dirty-bomb kind of nothing that damns you to eternal unhappiness in the afterlife. He's not just going to break up with you; he's going to make your life a living hell. (Have you seen the Julia Roberts movie Sleeping with the Enemy? Well, it's kind of like that.)
Now, I've seen some assholes in my day, but god really goes for the gold in the Olympics of Vindictive Passive-Aggression. And there's no restraining order that'll keep him from breaking into your house at night and smothering you in your sleep because you didn't love him quite the way he wanted to be loved. You know what we call people like god? Sociopaths, that's what.
So the main reason I don't believe in god is that he doesn't exist. Clearly. But if that reason would somehow fail to do the trick one day, I could fall back on the fact that god is a total dick. I would refuse to believe in him just because I know it would get him all hot under the collar. You know how the best response to an online troll is no response? Well, that troll is god. Ignore the S.O.B. and he'll go away.
As Nietzsche said: "God is dead."ReplyDelete
I took time out of my strangling-hookers schedule to read this. Just thought you should know.ReplyDelete
Amendment: 'God is dead and an asshole.'ReplyDelete
And, M, you should strangle hookers just to annoy god.
How can an entity that does not exist be an asshole?ReplyDelete
I just find it interesting that the supreme being that humans created to console them in their existential angst is such a mega-creep. I would imagine my supreme being more like Oprah. Nurturing, attentive, giving away cars...ReplyDelete
On the other hand, the humans that created "the supreme being" were likely charlatans, using religion as a means to exert dominion and control over the less fortunate, the less intelligent, etc.ReplyDelete
I agree with this comment. A few people figured out how to bring the masses under control and keep them in line. Power...Delete
I don't know. That's how I imagine religion starting. I think it was just an attempt by people to explain a world they didn't understand and to interact with it in a way that was more personal than mere fate. (The Greek gods, for example.) Religion's utility only became apparent later.Delete
I meant: That's NOT how I imagine religion starting.Delete
I strangle hookers to annoy god and my parents.ReplyDelete
S/he can't truly be blamed for being a mega-creep...it's got to be annoying to listen to those 'bims all the time. I think anyone would go a little batshit crazy.
avatar really was the pits.ReplyDelete
I fell asleep during it. In the theater, with the 3-D glasses on my face.Delete
Another weird thing about (the mainstream Christian understanding of) God is that he gave us all these biological drives which must be sated, as well as an ego which needs to be fed, and desire (=greed) and HARDWIRED those things into our being, and then sets all the rules for behavior in such a way that demands the individual ignore these instincts/drives/built-in features of our nature. Every other creature on the Earth is considered innocent and pleasing to God if it follows the internal drives God built into it, but if Man does the same, he's a vile, evil creature, fit only for eternal damnation.ReplyDelete
That's a great point, V. It's more strong evidence of god's sadism: 'I will make you desire what I forbid you to have.' Someone needs to kick this guy in the balls really hard.Delete