Feb
16

God in the Machine

I’m writing this post as a sort of challenge to myself to tell you who or what God is, if God indeed exists. I’ve had some discussions already with some trusted colleagues (my girlfriend and my friends) over the content within this post. While lifting weights, I talked with my friends about other people’s ideas about God, but I never really stated any conclusion myself. Therefore, my lifting friends suggested that I come out and say who God is once and for all. It will be a revolutionary opportunity, but I think I’m up to it…I had my protein shake this morning.

The idea came to me at work of all places (Note: before continuing to read, realize that these ideas are not likely original and can be found written more eloquently within other sources…but this is my take, so sit back, relax, and enjoy). I started work at a large company that deals with feed and seed products. I’m in the credit department; basically I deal with numbers and spreadsheets. I was sitting there one day recently, staring at the computer screen at a huge list of ‘data.’ This ‘data’ seemed ridiculously detailed. Just picture it like this: I’m a guy in a company working with a monthly report let’s say. This report contains (making this up) 10 million pieces of information. And this is just one report. Multiply that by 20 reports a month. Now, picture a guy or girl just like me sitting at a computer at all the companies of this size in the world…50,000 companies (random number again). For all you math junkies out there, you can go ahead and crunch that number, if you’re an idiot. Just kidding, but the point I’m trying to make is that all of this information only deals with monthly reports from companies of a certain magnitude. With all that there is on the internet and all the ‘equations’ in nature, our existence appears to be infinitely complex.

Does God know everything? Does God know the tens-digit on an invoice in a spreadsheet for January 1st, 2006 from customer ‘A’? Get what I’m saying? If God is omniscient, then God’s got one busy mind…or one completely still mind.

Enter the Matrix…the more complex or society gets, the more complicated God seems to be, at least on a superficial level. Last night, I pictured fur traders from the 1600s being transported to today and laughing at the silliness of our cubicles and our spreadsheets and the like. You want fur? Here, take some spices. Today, we need to send an invoice and track the transaction and blah blah blah. I do realize that this sort of thing is necessary to maintain our economic system, but hopefully you see what I find funny. God is dead? I don’t know, but our perception of God has changed throughout the ages. Now, with the advent of the information age, God for many has turned into a complex computer with an impersonal stance on us as human beings. This is obviously at odds with the God of a different era, one that is personal and takes offense at the stupid things we as people do. Thesis paper aside, who is this God character, or is God even a character? Many people create their own personal perception of God based on their own blend of scientific and religious beliefs. Even hardcore religious people find themselves arguing about God through a scientific mindframe to those unbelievers.

Here is where I tell you just who this God is…

God is nothingness…emptiness…the void, if you will. God is unchanging and yet changing all the time, depending on which door you choose. Even before complex machines like computers came along with their spreadsheets and ‘data,’ the world could be seen as infinitely complex. I don’t have to look at a bunch of numbers on a screen to realize we’re talking about some deep s’ here. The information age has helped define God to the masses in a certain way, but it is just another story. It’s not real, per se. The God in the Bible that sits in heaven is another story. The God of the Bible is a character that has a location and an essence. God punishes those who don’t believe in Him. When you die, you go to heaven or not. Some people think you go to Hell and others think you get stuck here on earth to suffer. Either way, this is a story that someone wants you to believe. It’s the same with a scientific worldview. Atoms, quarks, nymphomaniacs and the big bang. This is how the world works. God is dead. Science is the thing to believe. It’s just another darn story. Science can’t say anything past it’s own conventions. Sure it can point to certain truths, but the fundamental questions of life always remain a mystery. GOD IS THIS MYSTERY. Some of you may be saying, yeah right Russ, you just have a God-complex because you try to think of yourself as mysterious. Well, I say to that…I don’t know, what do you think?

Now, for those of you who haven’t already closed out of this page, I commend you. Here’s the good stuff. Here’s the real mystery. Are the Biblical stories and scientific beliefs all a bunch of hooey? Do people who believe things like these, weak and ignorant? (Notice I throw science in with religion in this situation, since religion is usually pointed out in this way). Who knows. There could be a heaven just like the Bible describes. We could be children of the big bang. How can you trust what I say? I may be part of the system, just trying to deceive you. Make up your own mind.

P.S. I said that God is nothingness. At the same time God is everything. From your point of view, although I can’t know this for certain due to my lack of perception, you cannot understand what ‘everything’ means and is. You use your currently limited mind and five senses to understand God. In this way, you cannot know God. God could appear to you, but you either would not know it or would not understand it. This appearance would only be one aspect of God though. You can never really ‘see’ all of the totality of God, you would just see perhaps and old man in a chair with gray hair surrounded by TVs or an old black woman baking cookies in her kitchen or a strong man holding a lightning rod or a king on the throne or a man in a robe with sandals or a white light. So how can you believe your eyes? If God presented “God” to you, would you know?

Who are you? You are God. How do I know that? Good question. Do I have conversations with God? Well, if you mean talking to my rambling mind, then yes. What is faith? Another good question. Is it the same as having a belief? That inquiry is for another time.

If you got offended by this post or if it made you think, then good. If you think I don’t know what I’m talking about, then great. I could tell you who God is until my head turns blue. But who am I to talk about God anyway? Do I think I’m special? How do I know who God is? Truth is, you can talk about God, but you’ll never truly know anything by just talking about it. That’s why it’s up to you to open the door and walk through.

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