running-back

Do gods reason?

This speculative piece assumes that our omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God did not merely create pets, but children, and intends to raise his children up to be just like Him, so long as His children do not reject His efforts on our behalf.

An argument goes, since gods are omniscient, there is nothing left for them to figure out. Reason is redundant since they already know everything, they only need recall it. Even recalling it is unnecessary since all would be continually before them. I think the capacity to reason essentially defines us. If we stop reasoning, we cease to exist as the type of being that would make me think that our being is truly eternal. If you say to a rather intelligent dog, “you will live forever, but you will do so as a cat,” I believe the dog is justified in thinking his days are numbered. But I think we can have our cake and eat it too.

Consider what we do when we find ourselves with a moment of free time, free of the cares and concerns of work, etc. Typically we devise another problem to solve. Maybe its engaging in a discussion on the nature of God. Maybe its to play a video game or a sport. We’re not happy unless we are overcoming yet another challenge. It is more than what we do, it is what we are.

Consider what a sport is. It is an artificial contest, either with another or others or even with ourselves, to achieve a goal within a set of rules which place restrictions on our ability to achieve the goal. That last point is my main one. If the only objective was to get the ball over the goal line it is easy to accomplish. I could do it against an all star team of professionals. I’d just drive the ball down the field in my car. But that’s no fun. The fun is in the challenge of restricting the ways you can accomplish the objective and still accomplishing it. The fun is in the challenge of voluntarily limiting your capacity.

I’ll skip right to my conclusion. I think that, as gods, we can and do employ 100% of the necessary power, knowledge and concern to the task of raising another generation of gods. And that we do it repeatedly, perhaps even multiple generations at once. However, with at least virtually all power and knowledge, surely we would have the ability to be simultaneously engaged in other pursuits. Unlike mortals, as gods we can multitask. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can devote 100% of the necessary attention to the prayers, concerns and activities of each one of billions of spirit children and still be able to devote 100% of the necessary attention to spending time with our own generation of gods – our eternal families, friends, etc.

And what would we do with our fellow gods? I suspect we would do the godlike equivalent of writing poetry. Consider what a poem is. It is the means of communicating more than dictionary defined meaning but also emotions by placing artificial restrictions on the way you assemble words. It is similar to a game. Watching ballet is like watching poetry in motion. Watching a running back elude tackle after tackle as he desperately hurls himself toward the goal line is also like poetry in motion. Watching a poor but determined individual lift himself out of the gutter to become a successful businessman is laden with the same emotional impact despite the challenges overcome being somewhat less artificial.

The poetry, the beauty, is in overcoming the challenge. Are gods no longer capable of beauty because there are no challenges left? Or do they, like we, invent challenges by artificially restricting their abilities in order to create such challenges? Even when nothing needs to be overcome, does the need to create beauty go away? If the need, does the desire? The appreciation?

How often we watch someone perform some amazing feat and exclaim, “Wow, I would love to be able to do that.” As gods, I suspect we will. We will create the challenge by place restrictions on that part of our consciousness which we devote to meeting the challenge. The beauty, the satisfaction, of using our rational capacity to overcome challenges will be how we, as gods, retain our essential natures.

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