Saturday, 9 January 2010
It seems to me, now, that the core theological question is -- assuming there is a God -- why He requires his creations to believe in him. This is, I suppose, an exercise in trying to think inside the mind of deity, which is a troublesome imaginative exercise; but doing so, and presuming He's happy with his other creations going about their lives without actively believing in him (which is to say: assuming that the whale's leaping up and splashing into the ocean, or the raven's flight, or the burrowing of termites is, from God's perspective, worship; and that the whale, raven and termite embody this worship without the least self-consciousness), it's hard to see what He gets from human belief in Him, and all its baggage: human reduction of Him to human proportions, human appropriation of Him to human projects and battles, human second-guessing and misrepresentation. But even to ask that latter question is, of course, to engage in human-style appropriation and misrepresentation. The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that a Deity who requires his human creations actively to believe in him is a lesser god; that the will to apprehend himself over again in the mirror of human ideas of him is a kind of weakness, that it implies a contingent and needy divinity.