2024-03-05

One can dream

It is nice to dream, and daydream even. Is it a "daydream" when lying in bed, not actually asleep, but just coming up with daft ideas to ponder while you fall asleep? You all do that right? Anyway, I am sure many have done exactly the same in thinking of crazy things for the hell of it, like "what if I could fly?", "what if I could teleport?", and perhaps even "what if I was a god?".

The "what if I was a god?" one is entertaining to ponder, like, I suddenly find I can do anything, (maybe I crack the back door in the simulation) - do I keep quiet and do things in small ways for fun, or what. Of course the obvious thing to do, (well, apart from just fix the climate, just fix poverty, etc), but especially with the state of world, is to smite the hell out of of some of the political figures and world leaders that are being dicks in my humble opinion. Zap them with lightning, Thor style, or make them disappear, or if you want to be subtle, just make them ill. One idea in such a daydream, was send them to hell for 1000 years and then bring them back with no time passed. Proper smiting stuff. One can dream!

But when exploring the idea you quickly realise smiting, and punishment don't make sense. If they are being dicks, just change them, use your omnipotence to just make them "nice". Problem solved.

Indeed, the whole concept of punishment, and hence also reward, and even rules, and tests, all make no sense for an omnipotent god. Would such ideas even occur to a god? They sort of make sense to a parent trying to adjust the behaviour of a child, but only because parent can't simple change the behaviour of the child directly. A god has no reason to consider the concept of punishment or reward.

If a god wants to make its beings, for whatever game it is playing, it can make them "play nice" in the first place. Or the second place, if first time it realises its beings turn out to be dicks, but obviously a god would have known that was going to happen, so let's stick to "in the first place".

This is not really a "free will" thing, either. Maybe a god wants its beings to have free well to see how things go, fair enough, it is adding a roll of the dice to the game. But free will is always limited. I have free will - I can do any spontaneous shit I like, even if silly or stupid, but my free will can never make me poke a red hot poker in my eye. My free will has limits. So if a god wants some simple "play nice" rules, like the whole "not killing other people" one, which seems sane, then just make its beings have a natural aversion to the whole idea of killing people, just like the "poker in the eye" thing. Then they can still have lots of free will but within some sensible constraints. No need to even tell them the rules, or write them down, and certainly no need to punish them or reward them in any way.

It makes you wonder why gods in many religious texts include concepts of punishment, reward, tests, and rules, when an omnipotent deity would not even have to consider such concepts in the first place.

I'm not the first to ponder this by any means, I am sure. This will have some famous person's name on it, from 1000 years ago, won't it?

2 comments:

  1. Yep. Theodicy is a whole field of theology, as rife with unconvincing argument from total lack of evidence as most such fields are. (They usually start by assuming their conclusion, that *of course* we must assume a) the existence of a creator b) that said creator is fundamentally good, um, *why* exactly? Oh right because of the "researcher"'s religion. Literally preaching to the converted...)

    I found https://unsongbook.com/ to contain a fairly, uh, *interesting* possible answer to this (caveat: it really *doesn't* take place in our universe, so the answer is almost certainly wrong).

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  2. The supposed motivation of God in creating mankind was never something that made sense to me. If he created mankind just to be worshipped, that would seem extraordinarily egotistical and probably unsatisfying — how much does it actually mean if you are "loved" by something that you yourself specifically created just to love you? If he wanted companionship, wouldn't he want something closer to his own level rather than the equivalent of an insect or a microbe?

    It seems far more likely that if God did create the world, he did so out of curiosity or as some kind of science experiment, to see what would happen, in the same way that a human might run a simulation or create a terrarium. But in that case that would make God at best morally neutral or indifferent, rather than all-loving and good (which are qualities we are told he must necessarily have).

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