August 20, 2007

God the Hypocrite

I typed this post up once this weekend but then the computer I was using did something weird with a pop-up blocker and refreshed the page without saving and I lost the whole thing right at the end. I only hope that I can remember all the eloquent wit and insight from that original draft. If you find this post lacking in those respects, please write to Bill Gates about that browser of his.

I was thinking of this quotation by Epicurus that I read over on The Binary Circumstance:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

- Epicurus 341BC - 270 BC

Emphasis added.

I recall that some say that God's unwillingness to stop evil (And it is a lack of will because in spite of his love, his will be done and that which is not done must not be his will.) is because he wants to test us. It is unclear to me why the self-esteem of an omnipotent being rests so heavily on the opinion of mere mortals, but that's what I've been told.

Also according to the rumors I've heard around the sacred font, the golden rule, the standard of moral virtue, is that one should do to others as we would have other do unto us. This is particularly tricky because I'm told that people are mean, greedy, selfish, prideful, small monsters who want nothing but for their own pleasure.

I concede that my own moral standard is guided by that which leads to my own happiness and well-being and I do take particular pride in the fact that at work I have a reputation for charging customers more than everyone else would charge, although I do object to the tone used to describe me by those collared people use to say it. For the sake of this discussion, we'll just accept their accusation as true.

So, since we're just yucky critters, we would prefer it if others destroyed themselves serving our whims, wants, and fevered wishes. Following the golden rule, then, we would have to destroy ourselves helping others. I should think that there's a direct relationship between how much you want others to serve you that you would have to serve others. To their credit, most of the Christians I know don't do this, which, assuming they're perfectly faithful to the rule, means that they don't actually want other people to go quite so far to make them happy. Mother Theresa must have been a horrid person since judging by her actions she must have wanted people to do every wicked thing on her behalf.

The zombie-worshipers really liked Mother Theresa. If I understand them correctly, you're like a super-duper good person if you're really, really demanding of your fellow humans in your heart, but you prostrate yourself before the dregs of humanity in your devotion to God. That's why so many nuns and priests like to talk to criminals and savages. In fact, Jesus tended to associate with prostitutes, extortionists, and thieves and he wound up being tortured and executed as some sort of sacrifice to us.

I'm not so sure Jesus' execution should count as a sacrifice for several reasons.

First, he didn't really string himself up on the cross, he had some other people do it for him. The rule is that YOU do unto others as you would have them do unto you, not you have THEM do unto you and you would do if you were to have them do unto you.

Second, it is alleged that he rose from the dead (which kind of means that he was a zombie although I admit to having no corroborating evidence that he was in search of brains to eat) which is really an option only open to God or those he's imbued with magical powers. If you can just come back alive after dead it's really not all that much of a sacrifice to die. I mean, really, you could probably work out a way to die 30 days in a year and still hold down a regular job. I'm sure an employer would be OK with that if you explain that you're saving souls. (As your boss, I'd feel a deep curiosity about what you're going to do with the souls you save, but I don't know if I'd ask because I don't like to pry into people's personal business.)

Third, let's assume that Jesus dies for good, he could just impregnate another virgin and come back as a baby all over again. Again, I find the fact that God can just become human without even the usual fuss associated with making babies a reason to think that

Sidebar: Why doesn't anyone ever talk about the fact that Mary was unfaithful to Joseph when she schtupped with the Holy Spirit? And why doesn't anyone call Jesus a bastard since he was conceived out of wedlock. (The rules of bastardization are hazy to me. Can you just be married to anyone or do you have to be married to the father of the child to make a bastard?)

It's like how Jesus pulled money out of the mouth of a fish to pay his taxes. If you can just pull money out of a fish, why would you get a job? Money isn't worth very much if you can just take it out of any old passing fish.

And I don't know of the last time that god lavished me with gifts, burnt offerings, praise, thanks, and a deep fear of what I might do to him next. But that's how he treats me.

This is the beef that I'm bringing up in this post: it's like God is exempt from the standard of moral good. He doesn't treat others the way he thinks he should be treated and given his desire to stop people from masturbating, getting rich, eating really good food, cutting their hair or not cutting their hair as the case may be, wearing make-up, praying in public, eating bugs (I'm sticking up for you, Bear Grylls! Call me!) and a whole lot of other things that people think are fun, he should be doing an omni-amount of things for us.

I also don't think heaven is a good enough reward for doing unto God as we would have him do unto us. I mean, he's omnipotent. He can do better and he can do it now.

But he doesn't because he's testing us? I'm afraid that won't do.

We all agree that "good" isn't something the God makes up because that would make "good" a whim, a matter of divine opinion. God has to actually be good in order for us to describe him as good.

I propose that we stop letting God get away with this hypocrisy. I'm not going to talk to him until he sets these wrongs right. It's only just.

At the very least, I think we should send all the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses to his door so that he can find his way back to the path of righteousness. And if that doesn't work, we should send the Scientologists to give him a stress test. And if that doesn't work, I think we should send the muslims to show him a little tough loves. No one likes an infidel.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at August 20, 2007 11:58 AM | TrackBack

You know, I've wondered, if Jesus was fully human and fully god, where did the male half of his chromosomes come from? Clearly not Joseph? And if that's the case, then he can't be the son of David, which means, he couldn't be the chosen messiah from the house of David, the descendant of the king. So, Jesus couldn't be god if he was fully human.

But if he was fully human and fully god, did he shit the food he ate? Did he have normal human digestive processes? Did he fertilize this Earth, literally?? Hmmm...

Another question I have is for God the creator: Why create anything at all in the first place?? Was God lonely? Was he needy for love and praise? Was he bored?? Why all this creation at all?? And why all this drama of hell and heaven and the big mess of free will??

Basically, the fact that we exist and that existence exists proves that God cannot exist.

Posted by: Ergo at August 20, 2007 03:54 PM

God, being God and all, is necessarily predisposed to extreme silliness. If he behaved rationally, then people might realize that he isn't really all that special and stop paying attention. He has to do crazy things, like fabricate Y chromosomes from nothing, magically impregnate young women, create and control zombies, accept three truncated days of torment in Hell as sufficient punishment for all the past and future sins of all humanity, and otherwise act on arbitrary whims if he wants people to pay attention to him. If God behaved rationally, the conversation might have gone a bit like this:

Bush (burning): Crackle, crackle, pop crackle.
Moses: And I'm wandering about in this desert for why?
Moses walks away.
Bush (continuing to burn): Snap, pop.

The fact that he made up an arbitrary ethical guideline like the "Golden Rule," and then fails himself to live up to it, is just part and parcel of his grand scheme to avoid, at all costs, appearing rational, i.e. predictable, i.e. ultimately innocuous and irrelevant as a deity.

Oh and you asked about the rules of bastardization. Formally, a bastard is a child fathered by a man with a woman who is not his wife. A man may father a bastard whether he is married or not, or whether the mother is married or not. Consequently, it was the father who created the bastard baby, and the bastard was the father's bastard son, not the mother's. Originally, only sons were considered bastards, because daughters really didn't matter, what with agnatic primogeniture and all. So if, as in this case, the wife cuckolds her husband and brings back a baby, she has brought another man's bastard baby into the home. It is entertaining to imagine a vast world religion being born out of a story Mary made up to conceal the fact that she cuckolded Joseph. Perhaps with some rippling, exotic, mysterious and heretofore unidentified yet thoroughly corporeal lover.

Concluding this vein of "more than you probably care to know," I'll point out that "bastard" comes from old French, where a bast was a type of saddle. (-ard being a pejorative diminutive. E.g. petard - "little wind" or "fart" - and canard - "duck" and "little hoax.") Saddles were used for sleeping on while traveling, and the phrase fils de bast arose to describe a son conceived atop such sleeping arrangements. Sounds rather uncomfortable, but wealthy male travelers in the 13th Century perhaps were more accustomed to entertaining ladies of the evening atop equestrian tack.


Posted by: Qwertz at August 21, 2007 01:50 AM

If I didn't know better, I would be tempted to believe that you're actually Mister Bookworm. And since he's not allowed to go anywhere, neither are you.

Thanks for the awesome comment, Qwertz!

Posted by: Flibbert at August 21, 2007 09:16 AM
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