Thought Experiment – What if God appeared

Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Fun, Thoughts | 19 comments

My brother, an atheist like me, posed to me this humorous thought experiment, and I thought it was worth playing the game and posting it here:

God – the bearded white guy who looks a lot like me (he wears more robes than I do) – turns up on Earth, having decided to prove his omnipotence once and for all.

He turns up everywhere you go, in all your recent photos, and in all the morning shows. He agrees to meet Mr Obama, and he is recorded by numerous news cameras as having said that he disapproves of Ms Gillard’s living in sin. (God declines to visit Alan Jones due to allegations of repressed homosexuality.) When your Grandma says “grace” at the Xmas dinner table, and she finishes with “Thank the Lord”, God appears and says “No worries, love”.

God goes through MRIs, Xrays and CAT scans, as well as standing on a set of scales. All systems indicate that he is THE REAL GOD.

You are a critical thinker, and now God has well and truly been proven to exist – he’s eating your Doritos as we speak! Do you continue to deny the possibility of God, or do you resign yourself to the FACT that he exists and start giving Him the praise that He deserves?

Interesting! Okay first we have to establish a few things:

1. This God is Abrahamic God.

2. It would seem from this description that the bible is the true world of God.

3. This God really wants praise.

I guess, if he really could prove himself to be God, then I would not be able to say any longer that “no God exists”. But here’s the problem: How could we determine the true identity of a God anyhow? What test could there possibly be to truly determine that this guy, beard and all, is the one true God, straight from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and not just a member of a sufficiently advanced race of interstellar alien? We haven’t set up a series of experiments designed to test for “God-ness” so the experiments would have to be pretty special indeed.

In order for me to be truly satisfied that there is a God, let alone that this Charlton Hestonesque character is that said God, he’d need to be able to convince me that he was the creator of the universe, and I think the only thing he could do would be to do just that: create the universe, in front of my eyes. It would be like the universe’s most amazing magic act! Then again, I would remain skeptical as to the authenticity of this creation, and besides I would probably be destroyed, ripped apart atom by atom, as the new universe emerged.

I guess, assuming there were an experiment that was flawlessly designed to detect God-ness, and if he passed, then I would see no reason not to admit he exists. However, if the God you describe is the God of the bible, as described in the bible, I wouldn’t worship him either, but instead might want to sit down with him and tell him where he’s gone/going wrong with the world.

I guess the real question is, does God like Doritos?

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19 Comments

  1. If this Doritos eating God is the Abrahamic God than he has some explaining to do. Me? I’d try to avoid the guy as much as possible (I hear he is somewhat… irratic).

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  2. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating.

    If the Abrahamic God of the Old and New Testaments were proven to exist I would:
    1) admit I was wrong.
    2) find a way to kill him.

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    • That’s gold! I nearly choked on my morning coffee when I read it.

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    • I like to phrase it as a mash-up of Nietzsche and Voltaire:

      “If god were not dead, it would be necessary to kill him.”

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  3. i’d be hiding my doritos….. oh hang on.. he’d know where they are right..?

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  4. Oh. My. Ceiling. Cat. That’s brilliant! One problem, though; Being an argumentative fellow, I’d have to question his taste in snack foods, which could get ugly…The whole divine wrath thingy and all that.

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  5. I am danish,and I know for sure,that god would never dare to show up here in Denmark.

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  6. Just because “God” is somehow proven, it doesn’t mean that “He” is the way the “Bible” says “He” is. Maybe “God” would say, “Ya, I’m that guy who created the universe but those people who run around and pound everybody over the head with that book have it all wrong. They took a bunch of 4000 year old stories and twisted them all around and came up with some identity “I” am not. They got the love part right but one day I got bored and decided to blow things up and the big bang was kind of neat so I let it go and when you folks came along, I decided to let you figure it out for yourselves. Some of it you got right and some of it you screwed up. Tell you what. Keep working on the science thing and some peace and loving each other and maybe I’ll come back in another 2000 years and see if you’re any closer to what I had in mind.”

    Actually I kind of liked George Burn’s concept of “God” in “Oh God”. “Tell you what. You talk and I’ll just listen.”

    jon

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  7. Anyone who likes Dorrito’s has horrible taste and is therefore fallible and not the Abrahamic God.

    Alright, but even if he were God; I could accept that he exists if there was sufficient proof… but that wouldn’t necessarily imply that I would have to follow him and his idiotic ways. I still can decide not to believe in his ideals because to me they are wrong… Even if the repercussions are horrible.

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  8. I’d have to check the expiration date on my medication first.

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  9. Begging pardon, but it seems to me as if the commentary both in and after the article (except Janneke and Steve) is missing a fairly important point – even if it was established beyond a shadow of a doubt, why does it automatically follow that any kind of praise is deserved?

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    • Quite right too, I think the author of the experiment was being facetious when he wrote that.

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  10. Well, if, in fact god were real, proven so, and then the events described in the bible were true as well, wouldn’t he have an awful lot of murders to account for, both on god’s part, and those carried out in god’s name? Given that we were able to account for the godliness of this being in this thought experiment I might also grant that we would have the capacity to develop a means of imprisonment for gods. So, rather than submitting to god’s law, we ought to make him submit to ours. It’s only fair play.

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  11. In the old testament, genocide and collective punishment on the orders of Yahweh or by him directly were quite common. Today genocide and collective punishment are war crimes. I take the modern view thus would prefer to burn in hell rather than to offer such a being praise.

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  12. I would try to behave towards him as I would any other terrorist or torturer. Unfortunately I’d be at an even greater disadvantage than I would be before a natural earthly counterpart because this unnatural being is supposed to be able to read thoughts. The saving grace may be that this guy is as powerless as recent history attests. Provided he didn’t have any followers nearby that he could direct to harm me I might end up safe.

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    • There is an experiment suggested by Carl Sagan in Contact. He could change the value of pi as proof of his omnipotence. Maybe even turn it into a rational number.

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  13. I think every response has missed the point of the thought experiment. The idea behind it was that the god of the [Christian] Bible was proven to exist. The fact that there would be no way to prove such a thing is not relevant to the question. It’s a hypothetical question that asks what would you do if suddenly you knew for a fact that the god of the Bible was real.
    That means no doubt in your mind.
    And that is exactly the case for most Christians. In their minds, they know that god is real. And we know how they behave because of that belief.
    So you and I would probably behave the same.

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  14. What if Budda came out and did this? Would that disprove god’s existence?

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  15. The obvious test would be for him to create a stone so heavy that he himself could not lift it.

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  1. Could A God Prove Its Existence? | Martin S Pribble - [...] is a revisit to an article I did a while back, a though experiment entitled Thought Experiment – What if …

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