What’s In It for God?

In my last post I stated “I was struck last night by the contrast between Christian belief and scientific belief. The Bible says over and over that if you have faith, if you trust in god, you will receive proof. If there is an overarching theme in the Bible, this is it.”

This basic fact of this need of god leads me to further questions. (“Enquiring minds want to know;” I read that somewhere.) The Bible has myriad stories involving interactions between Yahweh and ordinary people. In the vast majority of them, Yahweh demands faith or trust in his support from his people before he will lift a finger to help them. He even goes so far as to direct Abraham to perform a human sacrifice as a test of Abraham’s faith. There are countless other such stories.

The question is: what does this tell us about god? Basically it can only speak to a massive insecurity. God is all-powerful. If he wanted people to believe in him, he would only have to think it, ot wrinkle his nose, or whatever he does to trigger his magic, and it would be so. But what satisfaction would there be in that? Wouldn’t it be ever so much more pleasing to have his slaves choose to love and worship him?

However you look at this, God has some desires even he cannot fulfill and is looking for what he wants outside of himself.



Categories: god

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16 replies

  1. I love this question. In my OC thesis, He feeds on suffering as that is a stimulant which is both more potent (than love), and more reliable (than passages of joy).

  2. Steve,

    You mention that Bible keep saying ” if you have faith, if you trust in god, you will receive proof”.

    I can not found in Google the quotation in Bible, can you help me to indicate few verse applied?

    Is it an interpretation of Bible OR a verse from Bible OR made up theme?

    • As there was no reply,

      I assume that was concoction, fabrication, made-up conclusion from both side.

      • Not a good assumption. And I will not do your research for you because you can’t use something other than Google as a search engine. Try any number of the excellent online bibles.

      • 1) You mention in your writing “The Bible says over and over”. Which mean, it suppose easy to find because it common.
        2) You mention specifically “The Bible”. Which mean, the source is from the book itself.
        3) By index, the word “evidence” or “proof” or any other similar word occurs least than 10 times in Bible (NIV) or (ESV) or (KJV).
        4) If you writing mention “Christian”, “priest” or “pastor”, I will agree with you. “Christian”, “priest” or “pastor”is a human where I can not check the origin, unfortunately, Bible is the book, where everyone have an access to it.
        5) Of course, I also check other method to justify the sentence, but it not make sense in term of context, content.

        Before you write this writing, you do not double confirm it, right? Unfortunately, this time it just don’t exist.

        • So, you are saying that a comment on there being a large number of stories in the bible having a particular theme (in this case, faith comes before proof) is not valid. Fine. One of the things about scripture is you can read it anyway you want. Abraham, for instance, was he given proof of God’s promises before he was expected to “have faith” or was his faith to be shown first? It seems that god asked Abraham to do this and do that and, if he did, then something else will happen. His faith was tested over and over and the promises, well they came to fruition slowly if at all. So, read the story of Abraham in Genesis and tell me that faith was not demanded before proof was given. This is one of many stories in the bible that unfold the same way.

          Really, what would you expect from a book whose intention is to get people to express faith without proof. If people were not expected to to have faith without proof maybe it would have been different, but what kind of instruction book would the bible be if Israelite after Israelite demanded proof from god regarding his promises before they would be believe. In fact, the bible excoriates the Israelites for just this behavior. How would you like to wander in the desert for 40 years based upon vague promises? Then you are lead to the land you were promised, only to find it occupied by another people? Then the Israelites are excoriated again for lacking faith in god’s abilities to help them conquer the land. Of course, the bulk of the work was done by an amazing number of soldiers that came from who knows where. Again and again, faith is expect without proof–proofs always come later as a reward for faith.

          Are you seriously arguing that this basic structural aspect of both Judaism and Christianity is not the case?

          Amazing.

          On Fri, Oct 10, 2014 at 10:48 PM, Enquiries on Atheism wrote:

          >

          • Steve,

            You read back the sentences that you write: “It seems that god asked Abraham to do this and do that and, if he did, then something else will happen.”

            Few criteria that I would like to highlight:
            1) God tell Abraham to do this and that? Right?
            2) If God tell Abraham directly, that is already a proof to Abraham! (In this case, proof came before faith).
            3) What ever the consequence ahead, it just a matter of test. Are you think human are not being tested?

            For me, Abraham’s case is “direct order”, which not happen to any people.

            ***************
            Regarding Israelite and wandering 40 years. I not really keen to understand the history of their promised land, but for sake of argument.
            Those God promise a timeline? If not, then, that should be a good excuse.

            In the timeline, prior to their arrival to “promised land”, they have seen numerous proof from Moses. Therefore, a question of proof is being answered.

            • It is all excuses. If one hears voices in one’s head, one may just be schizophrenic. If no proof were necessary, why did god promise Abraham a son when his wife was 90 years old? Why did god promise Abraham that his descendants would rule mighty kingdoms? Why bribe if you can just order? If an all-powerful god talked to me in my head, how would I find the ability to disobey? Why was disobedience always a topic of conversation? Was god’s proof that weak?

              On Sat, Oct 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Enquiries on Atheism wrote:

              >

          • Based on Bible, in those time, human lives a very long life, up to 200 – 500 years old, therefore 40 years is nothing. Excuse or not. If Bible is a truth, it binded.
            (Why I defending Bible here… lol.. For the sake of argument)

            ******
            We are debating either Abraham schizophrenic or sane…
            How do you sure that he schizophrenic? Has you diagnose him? Or you based on “faith” to diagnosis him?
            I also do not sure how he receive the message. The Bible keep saying “Lord said”.
            Therefore it a matter of perspective.

            ******************
            why did god promise Abraham a son when his wife was 90 years old? Why did god promise Abraham that his descendants would rule mighty kingdoms?

            I thought He can do anything…. So now, he suppose to follow your order/ mind…..

            ****************

            how would I find the ability to disobey? Why was disobedience always a topic of conversation? Was god’s proof that weak?

            1) Did Satan also a follower and creation of God ? Yes.
            2) Did Satan receive a proof of God. Yes. He is himself a fallen angel. Some people say, Satan is the highest rank of angel.
            3) Did Satan disobey God? Yes.
            4) Did Satan make decision and choice? Yes…
            5) Did Satan knows the consequences? Yes, he aware…

            It a matter of choice…

            Those make God weak? I believe it not affect Him at all…

            • hifzan,

              I don’t know who you’re trying to kid, but you’re not fooling anyone with this “I don’t know why I am doing this because I don’t believe in god!” routine. “I thought He can do anything…. So now, he suppose to follow your order/ mind…..” “Those make God weak? I believe it not affect Him at all…”
              It’s as plain as can be that you are a religious apologist. You’d be better off not lying about who you are and just be honest about it. You believe in god. Good for you. Grow a set and just come out and say so. Stop pretending to be someone you aren’t. You aren’t fooling anyone.

              • I dont remember where I said ” I don’t believe in God”, may be you mistaken me for someone else.

                Did I said that? Or you just dreaming.

                May be we should greeting each other with some introduction, few member here already knew me.

                I am Hifzan, a Malaysian, a Muslim, works as consulting Mechanical Engineer, focus in ACMV, and fire protection system, pipings, electrical and other trade. Currently, waiting to sit for Chartered Engineer.

                Religiously, my religion is Islam, with School of Thought of Sunni. My view of Bible is I believe Bible is corrupt word due to translation, history, pass down and interpretation. Even I believe it was corrupt it not necessary all inside the Bible are wrong or to be thrown away. Therefore criticize of Bible are based on certain idea; certain idea I need to be agree/disagree, certain idea – I need to be neutral.

                The conversation above is based on my view of Bible. Therefore, I not fooling around, I just being neutral.

                Don’t tell me, you as senior mechanical engineer never been in position of neutral party? Unless you always being biased.

                • My mistake. You had told me earlier that you don’t believe that God was human and that you didn’t believe your syllogism god=jesus=human, you were just offering an argument. So it turns out that you do believe in god, just a different one than the one Steve was discussing.
                  I don’t think the bible is “corrupt”, I think the bible is so obviously a man-made fabrication full of tall tales and myths. It is irrational, illogical and contradictory. It can’t even get its own story straight. Co-incidentally, I also think the very same thing about the Qu’ran and every other “holy” book that’s ever existed. ALL religions are man-made nonsense that shouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone. My position is one of skepticism and doubt. I don’t criticize other religions and make exceptions for the one that I happen to believe in. That’s what you would call “always being biased”. And hypocritical and illogical…

  3. What’s in it for God? Being omniscient ol’ God knew the answers beforehand … so Abraham’s angst concerning his son Wossisphace must have been a mere bit of innocent amusement for Him (no TV in those days) (no commercials either …. aaaah, heavenly bliss!).

    So: what’s in it for God? Amusement—nothing more, nothing less. Even then He’d have to switch off some of His omnis or it wouldn’t work, but don’t fret—being omnipotent He can do anything.

  4. “Wouldn’t it be ever so much more pleasing to have his slaves choose to love and worship him?”

    Some choice~! Especially seeing that ol’ God knows what their ‘choice’ will be billions of years before it ever becomes an issue … meaning that they are predestined to make that ‘choice’ and have no alternative. Ergo, God’s omniscience shatters any illusion of ‘free will’.

    His slaves can’t choose to love and worship Him. Can’t be done …

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