In a recent blog essay entitled God and War, two proposals were advanced to get God out of the war business. These proposals join six others in the book Abdication: God Steps Down for Good to form a program directed at this same goal. In the interest of complete information and full understanding, the eight are presented together here in the form they appear in the book.
Proposal 1. Disassociate God from violence and war. Make it clear that God does not participate or take sides in war and plays no part in rewarding or punishing winners and losers. Explain to the public that God is exclusively associated with love and peace.
Proposal 2. Depersonalize God. Remove God’s anthropoid form. Explain to the public that God has no contour, shape, stature, gender, age, race, ethnicity, or national identity and is without brain, mind, personality, intent, need, desire, instinct, drive, emotion, attitude, care, concern, consciousness, conscience, speech, locomotion, and action. Dismiss God—with thanks for whatever prior service He may have previously performed for us—from warrior, pacifist, counselor, healer, redeemer and any and all other human statuses and roles that might have been associated with Him in the past.
Proposal 3. Recant or reject the maledictions and negative caricatures of human beings recorded in the Bible and other sacred writings. Such rescission or rejection should allow humanity to retain basic goodness, positive potential, equality with other life forms, and the propensity to evolve to higher forms of consciousness and intelligence. Pay particular attention to the nullification of the story of man’s fall, basic sinfulness, and the need for redemption and salvation.
Proposal 4. Remove heaven and hell now and forever, and erase all other supernatural territories, locations, and destinations from the maps of human orientation and occupation. File such maps under ancient, imaginary travel destinations. Restrict use thereafter to journalistic and other literary pursuits in the worldly realm. These might include the use of heavenly images to describe gated communities, golf courses and tourist resorts, and hellish images to describe scenes of horror, poverty, and misery in rural and urban hovels.
Proposal 5. Rebrand death as a necessary and dependable natural event. Insist that death is an event within the cycle of life. Inform all concerned that death need not cause paralyzing terror and fear. Insist that death does not invite or include a second life after death and beyond nature. Explain that death is not a condition to overcome, comparable to a disease or illness. Nor is death a divine punishment for bad behavior. Death does not equate to evil nor does it require redemption.
Proposal 6. Affirm that nature and the physical world is the domain in which humans live and find meaning. Without impugning or lessening the imaginative arts and the humanities, which are of inestimable value to human life, avow science the form of knowing by which dependable knowledge is gathered, synthesized, applied, and utilized. If there is doubt, assert the value of science in building confidence and faith.
Proposal 7. Banish nuclear weaponry from the face of the earth and from the orbits and cargos of space traveling machines.
Proposal 8. Reinvent humanity on a more promising basis than the monotheistic religions have been able to put forth. Establish a foundation that respects our abilities and potentials as a species to address and solve the problems we’ve caused on earth and which is optimistic about the future of life on earth. (pp. 22-24)
This program is presented in the book with commentaries on each proposal, accompanied with light humor. It was written in a hopeful, if perhaps unrealistic spirit, in response to a design problem that reads:
to craft a jolting stop-and-think-about-it billboard sign to a world converging toward nuclear war due to a suicide bomber mentality based on a belief in the one true God and encouraged by the presumed existence of a paradisiacal afterlife. (p 22.)
Suicide bombers armed with nuclear weaponry—a terrifying example of the failure of the Abrahamic monotheisms in our time—is the specter on my mind. While I am unable to muster a great deal of hope for my program in the near future, there is at least a theory behind the scheme. As stated in the book, it reads:
• Humanity is denied God in every conceivable way save mother nature, and
• Religions withdraw their crushing indictments of human nature, and
• Supernatural realms pass into oblivion, and
• Nuclear weaponry is controlled, and
• Science is treasured as much for awe, joy, wonder and mystery, as for its technology and practical uses,
Then, humans will:
• Take responsibility for their thoughts, decisions and actions, and the moral consequences of same,
• Desist from easy war making,
• Sublimate their aggression into work, sports, situation comedies and other valued and productive activities, and
• Discover powerful forms of spirituality within nature to guide their lives.
This is not a “they will live happily evermore” kind of theory and scenario. It is rather a desperate, last gasp effort to free humanity from stupidly destroying life on earth under the illusion that God’s plan is being carried out. (p. 24)
This final paragraph hopefully ties the discussion back to the previous blog essays in the series re-capitulating ideas from Abdication: God Steps Down for Good (See essays listed under “Abdication” category in the menu.) I’ll move on next to the idea of “reinventing” humanity.
Will Callender, Jr.
© July 28, 2015
Author of Abdication: God Steps Down for Good