Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Futility Of Opposing God

Here's the thing: God is omnipotent* - also omniscient, though I tend to think of that as a special case of omnipotence, rather than a distinct trait. What does that mean in practical terms?
  • God does not need an army.
  • God does not need you to stand up for him.
  • God does not need you to defend His reputation.
  • God can speak for Himself - He does not need you to tell me what He thinks.
  • God does not need women; or men, for that matter.
  • God does not need you to kill for Him. He's quite capable of smiting anyone He takes issue with - any time He wants.
  • God does not need money.
What does it mean to be an "enemy" of God, when God is immune to any possible harm? How can someone oppose His designs, when everything that exists is His design? I don't mean that in a fuzzy, feel-good, why-would-anyone-choose-to-do-that sort of way, either. I mean it as a serious technical question: if God is truly all-powerful, then those things are not possible. God can do anything He wants, without effort. That's what all-powerful means. And yet, so very many of His worshippers act as if God is all but helpless without them. And in the process, they make God look weak and ineffectual - or, worse, they secretly believe He's powerless, so they try to hide this by making Him look like a monster instead. So who, exactly, is a traitor against God? Have a little more faith, please. I don't think God exists, because I don't see any reason to think God exists. But if He does exist, then my failure to perceive Him makes no difference to Him at all. He's above all that, and if you're one of his followers, then you should at least try to be above it, too.
* In the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, at least... though I still think that the entire metaphysical structure underlying the Bible makes a lot more sense if you assume that God isn't actually omnipotent. I mean, why was he wandering around in the garden calling after Adam & Eve, otherwise?

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