By, or just explaining Life, the Universe and Everything with “God done it” is just substituting one mystery by appealing to an even bigger mystery. Just saying “God done it” has no actual explanatory power. On the other hand, explaining Life, the Universe and Everything as a computer software program, a ‘God’ Program as it were, can account for any and all anomalies. With software all things are possible – even explaining God.
According to one theist of my online acquaintance, if God knows every possible outcome and what He will do in each case, then there are no surprises… since a being who knows the entire flowchart doesn’t need to think or contemplate.
That raised an interesting scenario for me.
“If God knows every possible outcome and what He will do in each case… ”
The phrase “what He will do” requires His actual thought, contemplation and decision-making. Otherwise one is just suggesting that God is a pre-programmed robot who will automatically respond and do A if B and C if not-B and so on and so on. Every possibility is in God’s ‘brain’ not because God deduced all possibilities through thought and contemplation and reason and deduction but because of this pre-programmed chip which is pre-programmed with all possible scenarios and all reactions to each and every possibility thus eliminating any requirement for thinking and deliberation and contemplation and decision-making. In other words, God is akin to that computer that finally defeated the human chess champion because the computer knew – in the same way my theist friend says God knows – every possible move the human could make and what to do to counter those moves. The computer had the chess flowchart mapped out. God is a computer! That’s really exactly what this theist was saying, or rather suggesting. The evidence…
“… since a being who knows the entire flowchart doesn’t need to think or contemplate” seems to verify my premise. The words of a theist verifies my premise!
If God knows every possible scenario – the outline of the master flowchart that incorporates all possible flowcharts – then there is no free will involved, just determinism. A computer software program is deterministic; there is no free will involved.
Let’s take a closer look!
God – assuming there actually is a God of course – may or may not know the absolute future, but one could argue that God must know the future because He set the absolutely deterministic laws, principles and relationships inherent in and of the physical sciences. Causality is absolute. If X today, then Y tomorrow. However, there’s one nasty can of worms, a loose cannon, in that deterministic scenario – free will.
It has been claimed that God knows the absolute future other than what those nasty free-willed humans (and many animals) can and will do. However, God does know every possible scenario that all of those free-willed humans (and animals) can or will do. God knows all of the free-willed human (and animal) flowcharts and thus can cater before-the-fact to deal with whatever scenario eventuates. That struck me as equivalent as the computer program that defeated the human chess champion. That computer software program knew the entire flowchart of every possible move the human chess champion could make and thus how to counteract each and every possible human move. So, God is akin to a computer, or better yet a computer software program.
At first I thought that equating God with a computer was brilliant but I was wrong about equating God with a computer. God isn’t the computer. God is just the actual computer software program that runs the virtual reality ‘game’ that we call Life, the Universe and Everything. Let’s just call this the ‘God’ Program, the computer software program that can deal with all of those free will possibilities or scenarios. In a computer / video game, the computer software program ‘knows’ the entire possible game flowchart and has to cater for all possible scenarios generated by the free-willed human player(s). But note that there’s nothing supernatural about a computer software program and thus if God is akin to a computer software program then there’s nothing supernatural about God.
So the question is not how is God the creator but rather how was God the created? Here’s a scenario. It’s the year 2525 and highly technologically advanced beings (probably human) have created the most advanced and sophisticated computer software program yet achieved, which they call ‘God’ (or maybe the “God’ Program) and this ‘God’ Program creates and controls a virtual reality landscape called Life, the Universe and Everything. We, including you and I, are just ‘existing’ as part of what we perceive as our really real 2017 reality but actual we ‘exist’ in that ‘God’ generated virtual 2017 reality landscape – 2017 being part of the ‘God’-generated simulation. That virtual reality landscape called Life, the Universe and Everything works. Again, there’s nothing supernatural about it.
But a computer software program – the ‘God’ Program – requires a creator. Humans are that creator, therefore ‘God’ was created in our image so to speak.
So the question is, a variation on a previous theme, who or what actually wrote the computer software program, the ‘God’ Program? But whatever who or what programmed the ‘God’ Program, that programmer(s) yet again doesn’t have to be supernatural even if the programmer(s) are so highly technologically advanced that they might appear to be magical or supernatural – Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law.
Dropping down one level, we’re not supernatural yet we program our video / computer games through our creative abilities and perhaps those video / computer game characters we have created might view us as supernatural, and of course they would be incorrect. One might see a parallel here with some of our current religions.
It is often claimed that God ‘exists’ in a timeless and changeless state which is absolute rubbish IMHO since the very act of original though requires a temporal existence and a temporal existence requires change.
But, a computer software program – the ‘God’ Program – isn’t of course timeless and it isn’t changeless and it doesn’t exist in a timeless or changeless state of existence. Yet it doesn’t think, decide, ponder, deliberate or whatever other synonyms you care to use.
Backing up again one level, here’s a practical application of the ‘God’ Program. Now if you are willing to accept based on one book’s texts, that hundreds of people claimed they saw a supernatural Jesus (before, during and after) even though there is no independent verification of any of this that you yourself could make by yourself and for yourself regarding those supernatural claims, and yet you are (probably) not willing to accept the (usually way more recent) testimony of millions of people over thousands of years who have witnessed other (it can’t be therefore it isn’t vs. I know what I saw) anomalies – ghosts, dragons, fairies, aliens, Bigfoot, etc. – then that’s a double standard. One is no more credible than the other. But both can be assimilated into the ‘God’ Program (or in more common parlance, the Simulation Hypothesis) without any problem.
Here’s another variation on that scenario or theme. If we are virtual beings ‘existing’ in a computer software program – the ‘God’ Program – that has generated our simulated landscape called Life, the Universe and Everything then there is no reason why all mythological beings, from dragons to Horus; from leprechauns to Odin; from fairies to Apollo, couldn’t have also ‘existed’ albeit virtually. What software can bring into existence, software can terminate. That equally applies to all of the alleged events and characters in the Bible, including the supernatural beings – angels, demons, as well as the Trinity itself. Further, it easily accounts for any and all supernatural events or miracles related in Biblical texts, like the Sun and the Moon standing still in the sky; the creation of a woman from a male rib; Jonah in the ‘whale’ living to tell the tale; or the various accounts of what amounts to pure alchemy. With computer software programs, all things are virtually possible.