Friday, March 30, 2007

The God Simulator

While not giving nearly enough options to create a convincing experience of being a divine being, this God Simulator (via rubber hose) addresses the problem of theodicy far more incisively than any non-interactive medium can. By putting you in the role of God, you can really get a feel for the moral content of God's choices.

WARNING: SPOILER (but I suppose if you're omniscient you already know what I'm about to write!)

Should you be so cruel as to emulate the path that Christian orthodoxy claims God actually took, I agree wholeheartedly with the simulator's judgement of your behavior:

It is next to impossible for an omnipotent God to completely screw things up, but You did. Your actions are matched in absurdity only by the actions of the Christian God Yahweh. You may continue to enjoy the pleasures and happiness of Heaven, while the ignorant humans burn in the Hell You created for them, or You may make everything right again at any time.

As sovereign Lord of the Universe, you can do what you wish. Just remember: as omnipotent caretaker of eternity, you are solely responsible for the suffering and evil which any of your creation suffer. Any God who doesn’t fix the problems he allowed to occur is a deadbeat. Either God does not exist, or he is not worthy of our worship.

OK, I admit this sort of satire of Christianity is cheap and really too easy. It's the sort of thing I would have delighted terrorizing people with in 9th grade. Most religious people don't have such a flat-footed view of God's actions. But it's good every once in a while to remind ourselves of the absurdity of Christian doctrine, lest we be tempted to go soft on them.


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