Friday, June 18, 2010

Your Powers Are Weak, Old Man

One of the classic arguments against divine worship is theodicy, or divine justice. Epicurus is famous for formulating the dilemma:

1. Evil exists
2. God is incapable of preventing evil OR God does not wish to prevent evil
3. God either cannot or will not prevent evil

Many would say a God who does not prevent evil is not worthy of praise. Others would say God is capable but chooses not to for some mystical reason we cannot know. This is not a logical argument, only a plea for ignorant acceptance of faith.

The fact is, Christian theology makes it quite clear God should be able to have a place free of evil. In fact, Christians call that place heaven, and they believe everyone who is good is destined to go there. This leaves one wondering: what of this life, here and now?

This world, according to the Bible, is a place of vast amounts of magic. “Miracles,” or “signs” are magical events meant to dazzle people into belief. There is one magical act in the New Testament that stands out to me as the most obvious limitation on God’s powers: the crucifixion.

What is the crucifixion all about? It is a magical sacrifice. Jesus, the exalted and pure lamb of God, is sacrificed by mankind in absolution for the sins of all humanity. That is the explicit description as taken from the Bible, and this is the core belief of Christianity. It is the basis for salvation ideology.

But what does this say about God? Why does God need to perform magic? Why can’t God simply speak and make it so, as during the creation of the universe? It seems to me that the Christian God is little more than a demon, playing by larger rules outside of His control.

This is not an unusual idea, especially for pagans and Gnostics. The non-monotheistic faiths all describe deceptive spirits, from dualism to the vast plethora of deities presented in the various pantheons of polytheists. Gnostics and other dualistic faiths often attribute the creation of the universe not to the power that represents good, but instead claim matter is a product of evil.

I used to ponder whether the Christian deity was good or evil, and I have finally settled on Him being little more than a social construct, but I feel this is optimistic because Yahweh is probably a deceitful liar who must stoop to settling for the praise of mortals while leading them on a campaign to forget those who outrank Him.

If you’re going to worship something, take a look around and decide whether the creator is truly the one worthy of praise. Better yet, ask yourself: what part of any of this even seems designed? If we are living in the product of divine handicraft, I should hope God spends some time studying His mistakes before trying this again.

5 comments:

  1. Honestly, most of the Bible makes a lot more sense if you assume that God is neither all-powerful or all-knowing. Everything from wandering in the Garden calling out to Adam and Eve, up to the need to have Jesus died on the cross in order to correct the problems caused by eating the fruit, seems to indicate this. God might be all-powerful in the sense of "more powerful than any other god", but the attribution of true omniscience and omnipotence causes a lot more theological trouble than it solves.

    "If we are living in the product of divine handicraft, I should hope God spends some time studying His mistakes before trying this again."

    I think we're still in Beta testing.

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  2. This is Earth Vista...

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  3. ah, he is king of kings and lord of lords. Just the most powerful, but not the all powerful. That does fit much better particularly in the OT.

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  4. Ahhhh now I understand why you wrote "Heaven" on Thesauros' blog.
    Good thing you posted that by the way Ginx, I had not read you in a while... you wrote some interesting and amusing things.
    Cheers!

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  5. The whole idea of God creating Original Sin so that he can impregnate a virgin with himself so that he can be born as a human and then get crucified to erase the Original Sin that he created makes a lot of sense (If you are drunk off your ass, that is.)

    That's like punishing your dogs (Adam and Eve) for eating out of the garbage (the forbidden fruit), and then letting your dogs eat you (the crucifixion) so that they can be forgiven for eating the garbage through your sacrifice (salvation).

    Any questions?

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