The inefficient God

You know, of all the bible stories, I like Noah’s Flood the best. I like it not only for its outrageous improbabilities but also because it demonstrates something, God’s utter lack of efficiency. Of course this is something that can be pointed out in nature as well (I, like all males, have nipples), but Noah’s story is a particularly good demonstration. In the story, God decides he’s had it with humanity so what does he do? He decides to flood the entire earth (basically using the sledgehammer approach). However, he then decides that remaking everything would be too much work and so he decides to save a copy of everything on Noah’s party boat – along with a boatload of miracles to make everything work. However, all this work was ultimately for naught since mankind continued to sin (including the holy Noah, who got blind stinking drunk and cursed his son for seeing him that way). So what did God achieve by flooding the entire earth? Nadda, zippo, zilch.

Now, I don’t mean to be critical of the people who wrote the story, since they didn’t really know much about the world (it’s only with our recent scientific knowledge that we’ve come to realize just how proposterous it is, requiring miracle after miracle on virtually every level). However, if God really does exist and really did want to wipe out humanity you’d think he’d be a little bit more efficient in achieving his ends. For example, God could have created a lethal virus or bacteria that would have killed every person on earth (like the bubonic plague, but a lot more lethal). As for Noah and his family, God could have given them a special mutation that would allow them to resist it (at the same time, he could have also introduced a gene that made mankind more compliant). This would spare all the animals and plants and would require very little effort on God’s part. Alternatively, God could have just wiped out everything and started over again, getting it right this time. Instead, God commits world-wide genocide with nothing to show for it at the end.

Of course that’s not the only instance of God’s failures. Even as a Christian, I found it interesting that the death of Jesus didn’t really change anything. Even under the most optimistic interpretations, Jesus’ death only allowed a way for human beings to reach God, it did not remove sin from the world nor made it so that mankind no longer sinned. According to Christian eschatology, the second coming of Jesus is when God will finally set things right but his previous track record leaves much to be desired (frankly, I’m not holding my breath).

I once joked that God is like Microsoft; no matter how many times they tried they could never fix the Windows 9x series* (FYI, they ultimately had to ditch the whole thing and go with Windows NT instead, which is now the basis for Windows XP, Vista, and 7). No matter how many times God tries he can never quite manage to fix the problem, requiring yet more intervention later. And yet this is the god that Christians (as well as Jews and Muslims) pray to to fix their problems!

Evangelical schools are all about promoting the omnipotence of God, but this means they have to constantly make excuses for God’s shortcomings. The thing is, if they were honest about themselves then they wouldn’t believe in the biblical god since it’s very obvious that this god is not only not all-powerful but that he is inefficient as hell. No one in their right mind would think such a god worthy or worship.

As I said many times before on many different occasion, even if such a god existed, I would not worship him.

* For those of you who are not computer geeks, “Windows 9x” is an umbrella term for the Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME operating systems. These systems were notorious for their “blue screen of death” (BSOD), a problem that Microsoft was never able to fix (BSODs finally went away when Microsoft switched to the Windows NT core, an entirely different system from 9x, and which first saw its debut with Windows XP).