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Prophets – Part II – The God Interface

March 9, 2009

In Part 1 of this post, I re-inforced my pattern-seeking human nature by finding patterns in the lives of a certain people of questionable character – people who have tried to assert their status as “divine messenger” since the dawn of civilization. In this post, I will try to rebut some of the claims I have heard from believers regarding God’s choice to communicate with humanity through His prophets (The list is not exhaustive but has only a few samples – quite like an appetizer if you may)

 

 

 

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Claim #1 “God uses his prophets to remind humans about God and teach us about afterlife”

Theists often claim that the natural world is so perfect that just observing the working of the natural world is enough to remind us of God (a entirely blind assumption, as has been shown through millions of examples, and which I tried to address briefly in one of my posts). But, when it comes to defending prophets, they instantly change their tune. They suddenly seem to realize that just appealing to the beauty of the natural world may not cure heathens like us, of the worst form of amnesia.  Instead, they find it more convenient and believable to assert that the omnipotent God, who allegedly created us, needed some sort of a dimwit to remind us of him. As if, late one night, while flipping through channels on his celestial television God suddenly realized –

“Darn it ! After all I have done for these idiots, sending horrible diseases and killing their children, this is what I get? Is this is how those genetically-modified chimps remember me? What sort of sick, ungrateful, scums of the earth are these humans?”

“Let me send some clinically certified loons from my celestial mental-asylum and bore them to death. That will teach those clowns a lesson. If nothing else, at least they will remember me for sending them. Tee..hee..hee !!”

 

Now God being the alleged creator, he could have easily programmed our brains in such a way that we would always be reminded of Him. He could have easily hardwired our brain to constantly send us reminders of his presence and messages about afterlife( quite like MS Outlook). Don’t you think that would have been a much easier and practical solution than sending a bunch of lunatics? Isn’t prevention always much better than a cure?

But Nah !! It seems that the omnipotent, omniscient kewl-dude doesn’t like to plan ahead. He being the paragon of perfection, doesn’t want to abuse his special powers unnecessarily to glimpse into the future and pre-empt our forgetfullness. He  just wants to take it as it comes. Or maybe, he just doesn’t want to do things the easy way. What’s the fun in creating something if there are no challenges afterwards, isn’t it?

 

 

Claim #2 “God uses his prophets because He fears that His message will get corrupted or won’t be understood by the common people”

or a similar argument

“God appoints a prophet because the message of an earlier Prophet had been forgotten by the people, or the teachings of the former prophets had been adulterated “

 

What?? Corrupted?? Adulterated ?? He is not using some advanced computer encryption algorithm to communicate his messages, is he ? God being all-powerful and all-knowing, if he really wanted us to know his message of divine love, why didn’t he just utter his message in a language and manner such that everyone could understand (after all we do have a hotline called ‘prayer’, which God seldom seems to pick up) ? Why come through a middle-man? It’s just bad business sense. Doesn’t he know that the middle-man always takes a cut, which affects the ultimate bottomline. I didn’t expect God to be so naive. Wouldn’t he have reaped much richer benefits and convinced humans better had he talked to us directly.

Also, what caused people to forget or adulterate God’s message the first time? What makes God so sure that this time his message will be remembered and maintained in its original form? 

And here is the greatest paradox. Believers claim that God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (everywhere, at all times) and omniscience (knows everything). So that means God is in everyone’s brain (omnipresent), and knows exactly what everyone thinks, conceives or remembers (omniscience) and can change any thought or memory (omnipotent) at will.  Yet, isn’t it curious that this ever-present, all-powerful and all-knowing God allows people to forget Him or his messages? As if He Himself forgets about his own existence and his own messages. That doesn’t sound like an omniscient being, does it? 

But, if he is really omniscient, he knows exactly what anyone is thinking at any given point of time and when His messages are getting “adulterated” by someone. So Why doesn’t this all-powerful God, who knows what we are thinking and can change anything, just change our thoughts? Why can’t He just make us remember his messages? Why can’t he just correct our thoughts so that His messages are not “adulterated”? Why appoint a prophet to do what He can do so easily ? Thats hardly what we can expect from an efficient, all-knowing God.

To this, many people might claim that God doesn’t choose to do so because he has given us free-will and allows us every freedom to choose how to think and what to remember. But that brings up the important question – if God is omniscient and omnipresent, how can we have free-will or at best how do we know we have free-will?

And, even if we ignore for a second the concept of free-will (which is nothing but a clever invention of believers to demonstrate God’s benevolence) why does God bother to send prophets to convince us against our will anyways?  Isn’t it trying to influence or tamper with our free-will? Doesn’t this excuse sound similar to -“I want to discipline my kids, but instead of doing it myself I will just ask the teacher to do it for me”

 

Claim #3 “God sends prophets because he wants to set a perfect example of the kind of person He wants us to be”

And what kind of exemplary person would that be? A despot who wants us to follow his commands and threatens us with death and destruction if we choose not to follow them? A charlatan who makes false claims about his non-existent powers ? A loser who doesn’t work for a living and lives off the charitable donations of others. Is that how God wants us to be? I wonder how much our lives would have been healthier and better had we taken their example. How much, science or technology or any human achievement would have progressed had we all taken the examples of our prophets. If all of us emulated our prophets, my guess is that we would still be living in caves, eating raw meat and drawing murals on the walls.

But an even more important question is – why would God need to send a perfect example? Does that mean God (who claims to have created humans) secretly admits that he goofed up somewhere and wants to correct his mistakes ? Why didn’t he just make everyone perfect to begin with. That would have saved a lot of His time trying to change the ways of humans and the trouble of training each generation of prophets to come and teach divine love. Pardon my ignorance, but it seems this God entity is not much of an efficient planner, is he? And, may I humbly suggest that he plan his next creation a little more carefully, so that they are not tortured by the presence of such bumbling nincompoops.  

 

 

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2009 2:39 am

    So if GOD is not sending his prophets down here, then why are we discussing them??? 😀

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 10, 2009 7:11 am

      @tarun

      That’s exactly why we are discussing it..to rebut claims by believers who claim that God send prophets to teach his divine message…

  2. Hindu Atheist permalink
    March 10, 2009 10:53 pm

    Keep them coming. Your posts are getting better and better … 🙂

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 11, 2009 10:03 am

      Thanks HA, will be waiting to see some posts on your blog soon 🙂

  3. March 12, 2009 5:19 am

    Continuing on my previous comment I have to say that one need not discard the an opinion just because it gets surrounded by corruption. Smartness lies in separating the rice from the paddy husks, instead of throwing the paddy and calling it useless.

    • nitwitnastik permalink*
      March 12, 2009 7:12 am

      @thoughtroom

      That was a very indian analogy. I haven’t heard it for a while. Thanks for reminding me. 🙂

      Nowhere in my post have I asserted that those teachings are wrong. But, I also don’t think the prophets actually came up with any of the novel messages or moral laws they claim to have come from god. They just hijacked the prevailing moral code and attributed it to higher powers to give them a stamp of higher authority. Religion as such is not a guide to morality, our internal moral compass is. A study of primitive humans and animal world may convince you that they have every bit of moral character as we do without having read any religious text.

  4. March 12, 2009 12:31 pm

    That is because I am one;)

    Inner moral compass is as much an abstract concept as god, beauty or truth. Morality is primarily an acquired concept and is not something one is borne with. Other wise I would not have to spend my time agonizing over questions my little one asks me which lie on the murky borders of right and wrong. I don’t know about primitive humans, but neither the animal nor the plant kingdoms suffer from the disease of morality. Their only compass is survival. At the most we can say we suffer the same imperfections that they suffer from, and that is because we come within the bounds of the animal kingdom (how much ever we wish to feel superior) Since morality is an acquired concept, that is governed by culture, time and religion, it is natural that not only what prophets preach but what is termed “inner compass is also merely a modification of a borrowed idea. What a prophet did was point out the transitory nature of morality, and what religion did was try and stop this transition. What I mean is that when morality got stagnant, it affected the common man, and out of desperation was born a prophet who realized the need to change with time and culture, and preached a modification of morality to suit the required time. But power on its part works only by controlling morality, hence it finds its way to establish religion and work from there.

  5. Gerald permalink
    June 27, 2010 11:30 am

    I’m a believer and would like to address the claims and your comments in this blog but I’d like to have your word that your not going to just flip out and discount everything I say. You don’t have to agree or change you view, I’d just like to explain somethings that I think you might be seeing the wrong way. Am I free to post back?

  6. April 9, 2013 7:42 pm

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that
    I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to
    your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

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