Monday, August 10, 2009

The Dilemma Of God's Intervention In Our Affairs

Can God actually intervene in a divine or “absolutely perfect” manner when it seems much of our perceived reality is akin to a zero-sum game? More often than not somebody wins and somebody loses so how can God really intervene in our affairs perfectly?

If it is believed God providentially circumstanced a highly coveted job to Zach, this means Sally and many others did not get the job. So of course from Zach's point of view, God's will is perfect. But why would or perhaps should Sally and the others feel any obligation to share this assessment of God?

If they do believe that not getting the job is God's perfect will, then it is my opinion this belief stems from their inability to accept that they “lost” to Zach. And if they “need” to believe there is a divine reason they did not get the job, perhaps because God has something better for them, then so be it. But the idea of assuming everything that happens is God's “absolutely perfect” will doesn't account for the fact that there is no consensus as to what is “absolutely perfect” anyway. Certainly those on the losing side of a war are not likely to see their annihilation as being “absolutely perfect”.

Maybe the only way for God to “give” us a fulfilled life is not to intervene at all. As such we can be our true selves limited only by our own devices. In this case there can be no “favoritism” toward those more beloved which would better explain the apparent arbitrariness of who is “lucky” in tragedies, for instance. But the moral dilemma in God recusing Himself from our affairs is that His character appears suspicious at best when He fails to intervene in the abuse and torture of children, for instance.

I think the only way a “perfect” God fits into the context of reality is if everything was always perfect. But alas, this is clearly not the case. It is also interesting to question how “fate” is meted out by God. It seems common to believe that when good outcomes befall the faithful, this wonderful “gift” from God stems from faith and righteousness. But when tragedy strikes these same faithful, it is reluctantly pointed out that even they are not immune to tragedy. What gives? This is a situation where the idea of a wonderful God is not even in principle falsifiable because there is always a divine reason for any outcome, however awful. How about just accepting what is and not trying to find God where He very likely isn't?

Another primary reason I do not think God intervenes in our affairs is that it would likely influence our behavior such that we are not our true selves. At this point, I feel inclined to ask that if God “made” me to be a certain way, why would I want to encumber myself with dogma that can only ever be an impediment to who He “made” me to be?

Now I am not saying dogma will necessarily influence or manipulate one to be who he is not, but if belief has no influence on a person's behavior, what purpose does it serve? The only purpose belief seems to serve is to encourage a specified behavior in those that would otherwise not behave accordingly.

For example, take Christian dogma. One who practices the moral beliefs of Christianity may in fact benefit society but from a “Godly” perspective, I don't see any “meaning” in belief just as a means to “encourage” somebody to behave in a specified manner. Especially when so much of the time it seems we fail to act according to our supposed beliefs anyway! So why believe?

Ultimately, the person who should be most admirable in God's eyes is the person who has a heart of gold all the while believing “nothing”. Clearly his behavior stems from “who he is” as opposed to being rooted in the belief that his obedience will garner reward while his disobedience will lead to judgment and punishment.

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