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The Folly of Pretending to Know the Mind of God

October 25, 2013

“She believed that God liked people in sailboats much better than He liked people in motorboats. She could not bear to look at a worm. When she saw a worm, she screamed.
She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he can see what God is Doing” – Kurt Vonnegut, “Cat’s Cradle”

J+M what god wants
Source: Jesus and Mo

If one can convince people that God wants what you want, how dare they oppose God’s will? What is interesting is how often it works as a rhetorical technique. If God is ineffable, humans cannot fully know the mind of God, and therefore all statements of the form “God wants X” or “God likes/dislikes X” are meaningless.

Believing in a God with unknowable preferences takes away much of the certainty of many religious beliefs. God hates people who stay up late and loves people who get up early? How do you know? Why are you claiming to know?

Why would God create people who had tendencies to act against his wishes. When a computer programmer creates a program that does the opposite of their intention, we mere humans call them a crappy programmer. Sure, one can claim humans have free will, but what of the rest of the creation? If God hates gays, why create gay animals? There have been many things throughout history which God has “hated”, which are nobody’s fault but His.

Further reading:
Study suggests people project their beliefs onto God.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    October 26, 2013 2:21 pm

    “Why would God create people who had tendencies to act against his wishes. When a computer programmer creates a program that does the opposite of their intention, we mere humans call them a crappy programmer.

    Well, if you want to use that analogy, then He programmed an open-world, sandbox game with free-will NPCs. After the game is over, everything He likes gets saved, and everything else gets deleted.

  2. September 15, 2017 10:19 pm

    What God likes/dislikes are actually hidden in the Word of God. We shouldn’t make a haste conclusion, but we also shouldn’t ignore what’s there. But perhaps your point was to make sure we as creation should be careful to claim to know what God’s will is. And I can agree with that. But this, I know for sure: For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:40)

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