The Plan of God with a Laissez-Faire Policy

What is the highest, but hardly imaginable power in the universe? Hint: “bb”. Some may have thought three letters, perhaps, “—“.

That “bb” has consequences with which we are still living, the expanding universe, and the potential for a bumper-cars ride to an end. It started eons ago. Around five billion years ago, it is said. [No, CORRECTION: I just heard that the latest figure is 13.81 billion years from the “Big Bang” to the present, 2013.] Now that is power beyond imagination. But greater force, to some, is, yes, GOD, the highest power anywhere and everywhere, from the beginning of time (as was the bb) to the present and even extending beyond, past the foreseeable future, when comes the b.c. (big crunch). From all that has been attributed to God, I would have to say, too, yes there is that unimaginable power, all-knowing and all-powerful omnipotent, all-seeing omniscient, and everywhere at once-omnipresent.

Some talk about their standing in His (Its) presence. Can you imagine having to speak to God? What could you possibly say? Your Earthbound habits of phatic communication: “Hello, God. How’s it going?” Out the window. What’s to say? What kind of conversation could anyone have with such a powerful presence? Alright, no conversation. Tell the most powerful doctor what ails you? Beyond medical. Ask for a miracle? Too late for that. “How am I doing?” A request for your judgment? your fate? No small talk. No big talk, the “big stuff” now moot. You haven’t got a prayer. Praying at this point is not appropriate. That’s Earth talk. Just let “Him”(?) do all the talking and shut up? God does not converse, does it? (God has no gender, except the Earth-attribution of “Father”, God anthropomorphised.)

The way that speaking to God is done here and now is a one-way road. Called “prayer”. You are on that one-way street and you are praying that there is no major traffic tangle up ahead as you think about getting to your work of engaging God in talk. How should you do this? It is no longer a one-way street, standing there in His presence, is it?

So. How would you talk to such a power that knows all, sees all, past and present, knows all you think about, anticipates every question before it is uttered, sees the beginning and end of your individual life as well as all those lives on an over-populated planet, and at the same time He is receiving messages (prayers in hundreds of languages) from all over the Globe, and probably from all over the universe, too, from every galaxy and all life forms there. We are not alone.

Think of all the individual supplications He must cope with. Sorry. You do not have that great expanse of an imagination. Nor do I. What is my asking for anything going to mean? In that vast welter of prayer? My needs of ego are so infinitesimal, immeasurably, incalculably minute.

I believe that one version of religion, the self proclaimed “universal” denomination, had to “create” the concept of “miracle” in order to demonstrate that God does “interject” His-Its-Her presence in human affairs, making God more real to the common folk. I believe that there is a religion’s need to have the “miraculous” in human affairs (Catholicism); it contributes to the “magic” and “wondrous awe” just like the great cathedrals that religions have constructed, to produce the majestic reverberations of the sounds of choirs and other instruments, including the human voice in preaching. It is theatre. I maintain my definition of “miracle” as things going according to plan. Really, there are miracles all around us, in construction and business empires. Science fiction has an abundance of them, that someday may become actualized. Science fiction is miraculous and read and viewed onscreen almost like a bible. Hollywood films have always tried to produce the miraculous.

Except for Mohandas K. Gandhi. Sheer charisma, divinely conferred power of a personal ethos of wisdom, virtue of moral character, and good will. A walking Bible, modeling the words inside it.

Hence, I may as well think of God as a laissez-faire ruler, “Let it be,” or, “Let them do as they will,” or, “Leave it alone”. A “hands off” policy of operation, coming down to “God helps those who help themselves.” The human who coined that phrase probably had the experience of that impossibility of tending to a task too large even for God. “This is a do-it-yourself universe, or what the hell is a brain for?” And God may have thought of it in just that way. (I know I am making attributions for God, but then the “men” in the white collars can be heard frequently putting words into God’s mouth, assuming that God-like view all the time. “God wouldn’t have wanted that!” That was said by a clergyman of the atrocity in that grade school. He wanted to be speaking the mind of God, didn’t he?) And if humans help themselves in all things, then there is no need for God’s help. Or, let them do it for themselves and let them call it the hand of God. God moves in mysterious ways. Many human beings have performed God-like miracles which are things just going according to plan, in my definition. (The miracle on the Hudson.)

I want to say, somewhere: We are not God’s automatons, wired and wound up and set down to perform as in an experiment, not to amuse and entertain! If there is such a higher power, it may be curious to see what one brain in a brain-driven (reason-driven) body can do, on its own, for better or worse. So far, so good? The science seems to be working, but the reasoning seems to be lagging. That’s to be expected because that goes beyond science’s technology, to depend on governability of fully socialized human beings who would stop the suffering of criminal (ungoverned) behavior.

I will venture some evidence in support of the truth of my belief in the “laissez-faire” God. Jesus was said to be God’s Earthly son, and that is widely believed in the Christian religion. Jesus himself apparently believed it, addressing God as his father. Yet, as he was undergoing that barbaric, final ordeal of the crucifixion——

An Aside about that “Barbaric Crucifixion”:

Someone has said, “It is inconceivable to adherents of Islam that God could tolerate such an obscenity as crucifixion.” [The Australian, 2004, in, Wickie.]

However, did not the monsters of 9-11-01, playing GOD, commit the obscenity of self-crucifixion, screaming “Glory to God!”, as they brought down the twin towers and actually crucifying a great number of human lives as death-sentence-victims pronounced guilty-without-a-trial in an obscene crucifixion of random humanity? TALK ABOUT AN OBSCENITY! TALK ABOUT CRUCIFIXION! That was one of the biggest for God to have to tolerate!

End Aside.

———that final ordeal of the crucifixion, the man Jesus, near death, had some doubts when he uttered the fourth word of his seven last words: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34) Those words came from a mortal suffering mortality at that extremely human, lonely moment of death, and, perhaps, even having an inkling of a possibility that it might be countermanded by one so mighty, a Father saving his Son. God’s sacrifice? Have there ever been human fathers who have sacrificed a son for the belief of the father’s? If ever there were grounds for the belief in a “laissez faire”, hands-off policy of an immortal deity in a Heaven, that crucial event in the history of organized religion certainly seems to be it. The son of that deity has pronounced it. Yet, the preachers, parsons, reverends, pastors, Popes speak as if the deity is very highly active in responding to people’s prayers and granting all sorts of remedies growing out of their faith and prayer. God is good. As if such a power could be “seduced” by all grades of attempts at flattery. Reason collides with unreason! If there is a God, reason in the human mind is the most vital element of proof that there is a God. There is the reason of science and the science of reason by which humanity will earn the gifts that a God would give. Sexual transgressions are one devil constituting one challenge to the ability to reason in some grand contest of passion and mind.

Reason takes many forms besides science. I will give you one superlative form of reason: Gustav Mahler’s symphonies.

With a religion of the hands-off, YOYO policy of the ultimate deity, what are we to do? What human beings do best: study to apply reason in order to start to earn a paradise here on Earth, and let the rest take care of whatever remains after that. Reason and goodness will result. Just now, there is great unreason to be conquered, because people can be fatally deficient in reasoning abilities, when emotion is allowed to override it.

Readers here who are believers must be struck dumb at my heresy, unorthodoxy, heterodoxy, believing that I am surely hell-bound for eternal damnation. A body could not burn forever in the fires so vividly described to horrify and scarify and bully an unbeliever into a coerced belief. Maybe it’s that other construction, the immortal, incorporeal soul, that is to be submitted to the devil’s tortures. There must be some more rational rationale, shouldn’t there, some more reasonable appeal for believing in such an all-powerful God as the one and only higher and universal power. Of course, I would like to see her again, and that’s a sure-fire gotcha. The alternative in reason is the most down-to-Earth and mortal truth and requires me to realize that she has gone away, forever, never, in any way, shape or form to be seen again. I have only her likeness in mind and memory, and love grieving, in my whole body. I continue to wear the ring. Death has not parted us. I tried to take off the ring. One day, only. It is not finished. For now.

It is either that, or just never think of talking things over with God. Just let His spirit wash over you, wordless, silent. But we do need the words, don’t we, to sort of “communize” the effect.

Now everytime I listen to the preachers, Sunday morning televised evangelists, I hear a lot that might be taken as self-serving.
There is the muted, but persistent appeal for $ that goes along with the pep-talk and “Let’s hear an Amen!” It is a living. Oh, they mean well. They are a force for goodness, I think. But I wonder a lot about what is going on in their minds. Do they feel a duty to be there and listen? Is there constructive criticism of any kind? How does their life outside weekdays jibe with their religious experience of a God?

I am not anti-Christian. No. Never. I am pro-reason. There is some un-reason in Christianity. But Christian charities are wonderful services by dedicated people, for much good in the world. I am only stressing the “pro-reason” of my views. When unreason and reason collide, I will trust reason, and stand against Christian unreason. I will interpret unreason as the opening of the Bible, with the story of “creation”, when it was written, and the state of knowledge of the universe at that time. What was written was poetry, by a poet, using the imaginative figures of speech that poets are acccustomed to use. They had to use poetry for explaining. There was no other way of knowing, but only through the efforts of poets. That chapter was not written as the report of a scientist, with all of the substantiating evidence. It was, however, written as a matter of fact, but we can only choose to see it as something to be believed. That is the reader’s choice. It is, however, “pronounced” and preached as fact. That is unreason. That is one example of many more to be determined.

And of the tree of knowlege of good and evil, thou shall not eat. If you do, you die. I think a great number should be now dead, except for an equally great number of ignoramuses. That surely must go against the grain I am made of. I am doomed!

John-1 (in the Bible) got it right. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The “word”, language, speech, articulated, a time of the oral tradition; obviously, I have not studied the Bible. I am taking it at face value. All words are part of our system of symbols, the word in symbolic interaction, you with me and me back at you, symbols which stand “for” things that mostly have a tangible substance and that can be freely manupulated without having the substance in hand or observable by the eye, or apprehended by any of our other senses. I think that John-1, implying to me without knowing it, says that the “WORD” created “GOD”. Both the “WORD” and “GOD” are symbolic “beings”. The word effectively brought God into existence. The nature of words makes God possible, and can make anything possible. You say words, but you do not touch what you say, oftentimes. I can say touch a “house”, but you will ask, “Which one?” “House” is a “tangibility” to be made tangible. Is “God” a tangibility? I do not think so. God exists only in belief. Not everyone has that belief. God is a word, a symbolic being, only. I am symbolically condemned by believers. “Sticks and stones…”

I continue, thus, my quest to evaluate my way of belief in a-theism, or a-gnosticism, the religious orientation of doubt; a denial of ultimate knowledge of the existence of God. Because I am old. And alone, mostly. She is gone. She was my goddess. I still worship at her shrine, many in my memory, several hanging on my walls. I lived for years with the miracle of her presence. But never gooey like I am getting here. I did not know this was coming.

If I am any kind of tell, then I represent myself as knowing all that one can know, without revelation, with only reason and some imagination, that a God might have a plan requiring the human being originating in a chain of evolution to fulfill a plan of a reasonable, imaginative self-help program of legal, moral, democratic, imaginative, technologically inventive progress and empathetic initiative toward the perfection of human society. For self- and social-control, and then for global society, the same.

Let that be my first approximation of a non-religious thesis for life at this moment. My patch-work quilt of philosophical comfort.

P.S. (3-25-13) There is no one religion. There are many religions, each one organized differently from the rest. Why so many? Each cannot be a universal religion, even though one lays claim to being “universal”; that word “catholic” means universal. Anything that is “universal” references something that is defined as being something that is true at all time and all places, literally everywhere in the universe for all time past, present, and future. Something such as “pi”, or “entropy”, or the laws of thermodynamics, which I barely understand, but respect as universals. (Please help me name all the “universals”, like ????.) So, for one religion to make such a claim and announce itself as such is astoundingly arrogant and imperious. And totally untrue. Protestantism, as well as many other formulated systems of belief called religions, gives it the lie, “not universal” (catholic). And history bears me out! That is my understanding. And I am allowed to have it. I say it without any rancor, and with tolerance. Just a brief corrective. From the outside. By an outsider.

As a child, I lived with mom and dad in a flat by an alley paved with red bricks laid by WPA (Works Projects Administration of the great depression) workers. Immediately across the alley was another world, a beautiful large white, two-storied home, and a large grassy back yard with swings and a teeter-totter surrounded by flower beds, and a one-car garage at the back of the lot. The family had four daughters and one very small boy at the end of the line. We, on the other hand, had a wooden fence lining the bricks and enclosing the dirt and cement walk of our very small yard. The houses were one block from the St. Joseph Hospital where I was born. The Catholic Church was next to the hospital. The girls were Catholics. We argued in taunting fashion with the girls about religion across the fences and the alley. One day, the argument became so disruptive that the father of the girls came bounding out of his house without his shirt on and chased me around the block in his two strap undershirt and past the Catholic church in a rage against me for what reason I never knew. That event means nothing in the context of this essay. But it does come to mind, somehow. But I know what you must be thinking here. “Perhaps”, I’d say.

JFD, the only writer of this blog, says this: I have read all of the comments written on what I had to say in my essay on God and religion. Your comments have actually given me new life to look forward to. I was feeling pretty low, about my age, the loss of that lovely woman, my wife, causing me to fall into a sense of hopelessness, and other “downers”. But those positive comments helped buoy up my spirit. If people have enjoyed my writing, I am encouraged to feel better about proceeding to the next project I have in mind. You all have really helped me get on with some plans I have for continuing my life. Thank you. That is one sort of “miracle” I can believe in, sort of granting me a new liveliness, for which you have been somewhat responsible.

224 CommentsLeave a comment

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