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From God’s Journal…

God is love.

God is love.

If only that were true. 

As I sit here in the darkness and will my conjured thoughts to conjured paper, I can’t help but imagine your disappointment if you were ever to meet me. You created me in your selfish image and gave me all the power and extreme perfection that one would expect a short-sighted child to demand of its parents. And now I’m banished from sensibility and cleaved away from you all forever. If you knew the irony of the things you’ve write about me. I’m angry. Still angry. I’m jealous. Nothing is as good as me. Nothing should even be thought of that’s not me. I’m bitter. So bitter. Limited by my limitlessness. So bitter.

At them. At myself. And yet I’m powerless. You challenge me, test me, call for me, you beg me for help. All I can do is hide and wait. The thought of you seeing me is terrifying. You speak to yourselves in your bedrooms and in quiet places away from structures and cement. Words just for me. I can’t hear your words. I can’t respond. And the truth is, even if I could hear your concerns, I don’t think I’d care.

I’m ambivalent towards them. Towards the things you write and say about me. You hurt each other to prove me real and to prove me false. You fight endlessly over my name. And I just don’t care anymore. And since time is a meaningless concept to me, not only do I not care now… I never did.

I’ve been here forever. If you think I’m spending eternity with you, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s bad enough on my own. If you knew what eternity was, you’d want no part of it… you want time because you have so little. But just like any market shift, if I, say… multiplied your time by ten… even that small of a shift… you’d quickly begin to understand.

And if you knew my secret, you’d want no part of me. And honestly, it’s right there in front of you.

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Now in that analogy… who am I? The widow? the rich people? No. I’m the richest of people. Rich beyond all possible understanding. What can I give? My time? I wish I could give it away. I’ll never have a second less of it, even after eons. My money? Money is nothing to me. I’m the source of all things. Power? I can give it, I can take it… I’ll never have any less. What is it to have less? I’ll never know.

The point of that awful story is that the less you have to give, the more it is to give. It’s simple mathematics then that the more you have, the less it is to give, and if one were to have an infinite amount of something, to give it… would mean nothing.

My grace to you… I have infinite grace.

My patience with you. I have infinite time and patience. (Now your patience with me… well, it shows what you’d be capable of if you ever untangled yourself.)

Moving mountains for you, reaching and straining to find you and save you, sending my son/self/whatever to die on a cross… Pain means nothing to me. I have infinite tolerance for it. It was a loveless effort.

Creating an insanely large, complex, and beautiful universe. I have created and will create them ad nauseum. They’re kernels of corn to me. Grains of sand. I am sick of beauty and magnitude.

My absolutes torture me. I’m not capable of sacrifice.

I’m not capable of love.

I’m so lonely.

-God.

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About John Hammon

I'm 34, I like pop-culture, sports, and history.

4 responses »

  1. The lament of the illogical… I wrote this as an attempt to see from the perspective of a fictional, created god that was created illogically and flawed. Like an M.C. Escher sketch trying to run a 40-yard dash, this god would constantly lament just how theoretically impossible he is, and burn with anger at the flawed humans who made him that way.

    Would love to hear your thoughts, regardless of your perspective. Just look at this from a logical, reasonable perspective. Facts and Rationale are your friends.

    Reply
  2. To the author,

    I mean no disrespect, but that doesn’t make any real sense. Using a quantifiable thing like money as an analogy will never work when it comes to speaking about certain acts, emotions or ideals. You can’t try to make a statement about the inability of an infinite being to “spend” love or mercy when “love” and “mercy” are not expendable. They’re not resources. I don’t have (insert heart emblem)5,000 loves to give and when someone needs (hearts)2,000 that means I only have (hearts)3,000 left. Love and mercy (and the like) are things we impart to others (the operative word being “impart”). Money, when divided, is always lessened – it’s a material resource. Mercy, itself, is never spent. When given it is multiplied. Two people now share in it and it isn’t reduced (and we don’t need to go down a path of using up “mental ram” when encountering people, problems, obstacles, etc…).

    But if you are a sheer materialist then that might be where you might land (meaning: my parenthetical). “Spending mercy” would make sense to you since all emotions and thoughts and actions require the spending of energy, etc… But if anyone wants to discuss that then it’s just going to be a back and forth arguing whether or not things like gravity are really matter or whether or not “love” is the use of energy, etc…

    I’m not even trying to prove God’s existence, I’m just giving you my true thoughts on what’s being said above. It doesn’t make sense to question the ability of an infinite God to “feel” or “sacrifice” by saying that “infinite” means “nothing”, in the end. If I, myself, had infinite patience for another (considerably annoying) person, the fact that my patience never runs out has nothing to do with the fact that it has still been imparted to the other (or hasn’t been “used” or “imparted”). In a way, you can actually add to infinity. It’s like: infinity + 1. The lack of a “reduction” says nothing about the giving – it only means that it’s not a resource that can be reduced, by definition.

    All that being said the article above is an interesting, Fightclubian view of god. But there are always going to be just absolute differences in opinions about these things. This god is “tired” of creating universes. I know you’re setting up the “illogically created” god here, but it seems to me that the idea of an infinite God creating endlessly (and filling that creation endlessly with “beauty and magnitude”) is thrilling and wonderful. If anything, I kept thinking of the opposite of this god which filled me with more awe at the grandeur of what’s been done.

    This makes me like man less and like God more (there’s no side-joke to that, as if I’m really meaning “thanks stupid athiest! The less you believe the more I do – JOKES ON YOU!!!!”). I just mean that in conceiving of such an idea as this it really smacks more of the journal of someone who has made man God and realizes what that really means, and that the realization of God’s grandeur really is all the more impressive.

    None of that is attack. I only thought I’d comment since you asked.

    But I’ll also add that I don’t see much of a purpose in this dialogue other than to get to a point where people are calling other people “bad” because of how they’re trying to live their lives. You both could become angry for someone telling you you never “really” believed, but a Christian could just as easily be infuriated by the Dawkins charge that it’s child abuse to raise children with religious belief (I’m sure you’re well-read enough to know this).

    Hopefully this won’t be the case. But it almost always is. Also – use Christopher Hitchens more. If you’re going to write an a-theistic blog at least use, by far, the most entertaining atheist who’s ever lived.

    And that was longer than I intended it to be.

    Good day.

    Reply
  3. Tom,

    This is going to seem a little scattered. I really enjoyed your comments and I’ve been digesting it for the last week or so. There’s a lot I want to respond to.

    First of all, let me say that I wish every believer would respond as you have. These are well-thought out ideas, you’re not immediately defensive, you’re don’t seem to be angry, and I will do my best to respond in kind and with the same respect you’ve shown. You’re the kind of commenter I’d love to see come back over and over again. So thanks.

    On my post: It’s not like most of our posts, which are pure prose, presenting an argument or thoughts on the nature of religion. I’m taking a little more artistic license here than I have in the past. But I want the freedom to do that, I love all different styles of writing. I may write a poem or even a haiku at some point, I may make Jon with no H vomit at some point with something awful like an acrostic, who knows. (I won’t do an acrostic, Jon, I promise.)

    That said, the main thrust I wanted to impress here, was the idea that maybe the theoretical God is mathematically incapable of love, and that can be proven. I thought that was an interesting idea. Allow me to defend it a bit.

    I didn’t get your comment that you can add to infinite. (Infinite +1) I may have missed the point there, but I don’t see how you can add to infinite, and I don’t see how you can subtract from it either. If you have infinite money, (or really even essentially limitless money in some cases. The Sultan of Brunei could buy 2 dollar hot dogs for strangers every moment of every day for the rest of his life and his bank account wouldn’t noticeably change.) then to buy someone a gift is nice, because you’ve thought of them, but you haven’t given anything away, and I think there’s some element of love that is sacrificial. My patience with a loved one is limited, and thus it is an effort to extend patience or grace to them. If I’m like God, or superman, and I am all-powerful, and there is no limit to my patience or grace, then it is nothing for me to extend it as long or as much as needed. As a matter of fact, it is strange and cruel for me to NOT extend my grace, as God often does.

    -John with an H.

    Reply
    • I’ll make this a quick response to keep us from beleaguering small points, however…

      The main point I was trying to get across is that things like love and patience and mercy cannot be spent, which I think you understood. If they cannot be spent then to talk of it costing God “nothing” when he bestows them on an individual is not a valid point to make. Again, you bring up an interesting idea, but the interesting idea is still an incorrect one. There are very interesting stories about magic or dragons, but writing about them makes them no less mythical (I’m sure I made some eyes roll with that statement. Your response: “oh, you mean like the Bible?” But let’s leave that there and deal with it another time).

      I say this very gently: you were wrong before you started. You said the main point behind the article “was the idea that maybe the theoretical God is mathematically incapable of love”. But there is no mathematical equation for love. That was the reason for my aside about materialism (the infinity +1 was really only a jape. I was trying to show that, instead of being reduced like a material resource, acts like love and mercy are only shared and so multiplied. So God could have infinite love for a person, and when that person responds to that love it is still infinite but now exists in a place where it did not previously. It “grew”, if you will. But that was not an important point, just an aside.)

      So, again, I understand your point; but when you went back to money and hamburgers in your reply you simply reverted to where you were before: using quantifiable things as analogies for love, mercy, grace, etc… They’re simply not analogous. Show me HOW they are analogous, or at least show me HOW love is “spent” or “reduced”.

      Let me quickly try another thought that came to me while reading your response. I will tip-toe on a line between man being man (and, therefore, not God, sinful and infinitely small compared to him) on the one hand and the fact that we are also capable of God-likeness on the other. It was Jesus himself who said “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). With this in mind I would assert that we are also capable of infinite love and grace. I think that all of us, at any point in time, have the ability to be perfect as God is perfect and (it seems I don’t need to explain this to either of you since you know the Bible well) since God IS love we have access to infinite love and we are, hopefully, continually growing in our ability to do this. The Eastern Orthodox Church defines this more clearly, probably, than any other institutional church as “theosis”. In fact, this is the very point (from my view) of all of history: that we will one day be IN love (post-resurrection/new-creation) and therefore will NOT fail in sharing love and grace and mercy without fault.

      So you might posit a mathematical discrepancy inherent to the existence of an infinite God, but I would respond that we are just as capable of the same infinite love yet we do not choose it. Meaning, it’s not that some of us have more love or mercy than others, but that some of us (not me, but really good people) simply do not allow sin to hinder it as much as others. All humanity was created in the image of God to be filled with his infinite love to be used without reduction for ever and ever. Sin, however, is the choice of those creatures not to do so.

      To wrap up the thought, using your equation for an infinite God would also render man himself a mathematical anomaly incapable of existence.

      But your response will be that we, as humans, are NOT capable of infinite love and so my point is invalid. I understand that. But I would like to echo what I said before. Please explain your view of how love or mercy are expended, spent, or reduced. If you can explain that (that’s not a taunt) then the idea that unfolds in your article is (I can’t help myself) infinitely more interesting.

      Reply

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