Monday, April 19, 2010

Playing God 2

My problem is not with God per se, rather it is with peoples' ideas of Him which cater to their seemingly arbitrary whims. For instance, many believe humanity should use its knowledge and expertise to intervene in debilitating DNA coding errors and other less threatening genetic imperfections. As such, much work is being done to control and hopefully even eliminate diseases, birth defects and numerous other undesirable attributes once and for all. What a great coup for humanity! But for God?

If one supposes DNA errors to be “oversights of God”, then our attempts to repair them seem to assume He does not want these “imperfections". So perhaps many things are NOT the way God would like them to be*? But does this not seem to imply He lacks omnipotence? Otherwise, why would DNA coding errors and other genetic imperfections ever happen?

On the other hand, to deny His being anything less than omnipotent would imply He does have complete authority. In which case, perhaps things are just as they are because He wants them just as they are? To lend further credence to this notion, why is it often said by the faithful that our gravest adversities “glorify God”? In this sense, might our intervention be taking due glory away from Him? How dare us!

Even if it is supposed God wants us to intervene in nature's “imperfections”, this is problematic. For how do we distinguish between that which is sufficiently imperfect enough to elicit our intervention and that which is not. In other words, what is 1)an imperfect enough circumstance such that God would bless our attempt to change it as opposed to 2)an insufficiently imperfect enough circumstance that we must therefore humbly accept?

For instance, I'm pretty much going bald but am probably one of the few that accept and, dare I say, like it. But what about others who are tormented by this same fate? Is this imperfection worthy enough to challenge God's authority or something we must humbly accept? I guess it depends on whom you ask.

What about those who suffer from gluten intolerance? It seems to overshadow hair loss as an imperfection but does this necessarily qualify it as being worthy enough an imperfection to usurp God's authority? Once again, it seems to depend on whom you ask. Maybe God doesn't care what we do? Or maybe He doesn't care so long as we have “good” justification for our intervention?

But how would we determine what “good” justification is? That seems pretty straightforward. Simply appeal to our own arbitrary whims. What then becomes of God's authority on the matter?

*Using the assumption that God does not necessarily want things just as they are, why is it so often assumed or at least implied that every fetus is God's desire and will**? If we assume God does NOT want babies being born with cystic fibrosis even though nature allows for it, why should we anymore assume God DOES want every fetus to be born just because nature allows for it? In other words, if one uses the argument that a fetus is God's will just because “it happened”, it should be no less argued that cystic fibrosis is God's will just because “it happened”. In this case, perhaps we should abandon our attempts to "repair" these types of tragic ailments? Might cystic fibrosis and other crippling maladies be God's unalterable will? My deepest condolences to those faced with these life-shortening diseases. In any case, this perfectly illustrates the apparent arbitrariness of how people “see” God in the way they approach difficult issues like this. But alas, I do not “see” God in circumstances such as these because the "answers" simply cater to the arbitrary whims of people. These issues are very troubling to me. The difficulties of these kinds of decisions seem much more manageable when one eliminates God. In this way, one can take refuge in his or her conscience in resolving issues like this as opposed to seeking God's seemingly nebulous counsel on such matters which ultimately degenerates into nothing but arbitrary whims! This of course implies my own suspicion that GOD, and perhaps more specifically the mere idea of God, is simply a proxy for each individual's EGO. In this way, seeking God is simply appealing to your own conscience. However, the danger in believing it is "God" as opposed to one's conscience that is behind these types of difficult decisions is it systematically inflates one's sense of right(eous)ness. For instance, if my conscience "tells" me something, I will be very forthright that it is merely MY CONSCIENCE/OPINION and as such I will AMIABLY disagree with dissenters! How will one spoon-fed the "truth" straight from the Horse's mouth likely respond? With absolute conviction, "I am hereby incontrovertibly right because my decision comes not from MY woeful, fallible conscience BUT FROM GOD HIMSELF! How then can one reasonably question this? 

**IF it is assumed ALL fetuses are God's "Supreme Plan", then it would seem perfectly fair, perhaps even OBLIGATORY, to implicate God in rapes whereby impregnation occurs. IF, on the other hand, this notion is rejected, why is it so many out there seem to be such staunch advocates of protecting EVERY fetus like they were all of them part of God's "Supreme Plan"?

I know this subject will likely incite anger and hostility but this is not my purpose. My purpose is to demonstrate how these kinds of issues are so seldom dealt with anything resembling that of rational thought because they all too often become hijacked by EMOTION. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but I only wish to expose the utterly absurd implications many of these "emotionally-based" conclusions lead to. Henceforth, I only ask that we think more before making audacious moral claims that oftentimes sow nothing but anger and resentment in those that do not see eye to eye with us.

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