How dumb is god?
Got God-questions 08
For an omniscient god, the Christian god-god-god sure was quite ignorant about a lot of things. In this article, we’ll mention 5 of the things Jesus didn’t know about, could have been a lot smarter about or how he just didn’t make any sense.
5. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
This simple principle seemed completely wasted on Jesus, who showed off his alleged greatness by feeding a vast number of followers. It all started when one evening his apostles asked Jesus to send his groupies home so they could go buy food to feed themselves. Evidently, the god-god-god would not have it, as he was just about to flex his miracle muscles
All four gospels recount how Jesus fed 5,000 men and an unknown number of women and children with 5 loaves of bread and two fish. Two of the gospel accounts describe a similar event shortly after, where Jesus performed a lesser miracle, feeding 4,000 men and an unknown number of women and children with 7 loaves of bread and an unknown number of fish. For some reason, two gospels deem this second miracle unworthy of mention. Maybe they didn’t believe this second miracle happened? Or did they simply exclude it because they considered that a mere repetition of the same miracle didn’t add anything to the unlimited power of their god?
Whether performed once or twice, the gospel miracle is a re-write of the miracle performed by Elisha in 2 Kings 4. Assuming the Jesus character and his miracles were real, couldn’t there have been better ways to have those people still their hunger? Like allowing them to go to the local seven-eleven and buy whatever they needed, instead of keeping them dependent on whatever you deem necessary? Evidently, few would have still wanted to go spend their own money if they could get free food for the mere price of switching to a new god version. But for those who didn't have the means, surely god could have come up with much more lasting ways to support the hungry. He could have given them fishing nets, or fishing boats (even humans are able to create these things). He could have conjured bags of money so his followers could have gone and buy farmland to feed their families for years to come. Or he could have snapped his fingers and amend his creation in a way that humans would no longer be dependent on food at all, eliminating one of humankind's most long-standing problem. Admittedly, there would be less need of god-god-god if he did, so the cunning Jesus stuck to the 'treat them mean, keep them keen' strategy, just as his soon to emerge church would practice for centuries to come. Or maybe the gospel writers just tried to mimic the Roman emperors here, who gave out free food to the Roman plebeians during festivals or feast days. Fore mentioned emperors fed a lot more people at once by the way, so impressed with Jesus? Not really. The citizens of Rome would agree, and they'd argue that the miracles performed by their lord and god were of a totally different magnitude.
Two of these would have fed quite a few people indeed, although it would have reduced the noteworthiness of the miracle. And yes, the whale shark in the photo is a fish, not a whale.
4. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them
Once upon a long, long time ago, in Exodus 30, god ordered his ass kissers to wash their hands and feet before kissing his ass. For all the murder and rape god ordered throughout his puberty, this rule actually was a good one, albeit for the wrong reasons. Being imposed in a desert area, it simply made a lot of sense to wash your hands before handling food. Because the Levites noticed that it caused them to chew a lot less sand when eating, they expanded this rule to meals in general aside from the food offerings in the tent of god. Another positive about this rule is that it’s simply nice to feel clean.
Some 14 centuries later this rule had become a long held tradition, so god being god thought it was high time to heavily criticize the custom he started in his updated divine words of Matthew 15. In comes the question whether god knew about viruses and bacteria but wanted more people to suffer unnecessarily from easily avoidable diseases, or simply didn’t know about them. Both would be possible if it were not for god’s alleged omniscience and the fact that god is the creator of all living things including germs.
But why order priests to wash their hands before getting his ass kissed? Was god afraid to get infected by the bacteria and viruses carried by those filthy humans? Then why criticize them for washing their hands and feet? Either way, humans discovered god’s little buggers. Ever since, surgeons started washing their hands before operating and even clean their scalpels before use. More and more people increasingly implemented personal hygiene as a way to reduce the risk of getting sick. As infuriating as it undoubtedly is to god, even the most fundamental Christians go as far as brushing their teeth regularly. They will all burn in hell for their remorseless sinful practice. Meanwhile, god tries to counter the reduced suffering by regularly creating new viruses or by forcing some to mutate. To his despair and infinite wrath however, humans just keep coming up with things like antibiotics or vaccines. How dare they outsmart god?!
3. Out of the frying pan, into the fire: a fishy story
The author of the gospel according to Matthew tries to fit his fantasy story into as many prophecies as possible to give it more authority. In doing so, he infuses his narrative and its characters - god included - with so much stupidity that the nativity story deserves an entire article on its own. God remains a dumb, fumbling orchestrator throughout the gospels though. In the immediate aftermath of Jesus’ birth this is confirmed, when Joseph is ordered to take Mary and his not-his son back to Palestine.
Herod the Great was not only one of the most astute kings Judea had ever had, he was also ruthless when it came to ensure his position for as long as possible. So when Jesus was born and hailed as a legitimate crown candidate by some unknown supporters, he did not hesitate to kill all male infants in the vicinity of Jesus’ birthplace, sticking closely to the original meaning of the term overkill. This evidently never happened, but let’s allow the plot of the fantasy novel to develop for now. Jesus knew this was going to happen, so instead of taking the appropriate measures to avoid that dozens of Jewish infants had to be sacrificed to save Jesus, he sent an angel to his step-daddy, telling him to escape to Egypt with his cheating wife and child of another, while leaving the soon to be first “Christian martyrs” [this appropriation by Christian tradition is another absurdity] to their fate set by the inconsiderate and selfish god. Luke knows nothing about these minor details and has Jesus circumcised according to tradition on the eighth day after his birth right under the nose of Herod Archelaus or the first Roman prefect of Judaea, Coponius, who had absolutely no problem leaving a royal contender for the throne free to stir up trouble. Both authors agree however that having god grow up in Judea for the next 28 years might be tempting fate just a tad too much, so they both have Joseph move his family to Galilee. But what do you know? Galilee was ruled by …a Herodian!
Evidently god had nothing to fear from this son of Herod, as the latter knew he still would have a role to play in the passion story of the adult Jesus. So he decided to let Jesus grow up to adulthood and have him tried for sedition only when trouble had already been stirred up. Makes perfect sense from a ruler’s point of view…
2. Tiny seeds of ignorance, major fail.
According to the Buy-Bull, god-god-god is the creator of seed and fruit bearing trees like date palms and fig trees. Admittedly, he forgot to create the sun, upon which those plants are dependent for their photosynthesis, but by the second creation story in Genesis, the error was soon rectified and forgotten by most Buy-Bull swallowers. God apparently forgot what he created how as well. In the gospel according to Mark chapter 4, the all-knowing god killed two stones with one bird as he explains the nature of his kingdom:
“It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
So far, humanity has identified about 390,000 plant species and you cannot really blame the omniscient god for not remembering them all. It had been quite a while after all since he created them (4 days in divine terms). No wonder god made a booboo when he called the mustard seed the smallest of all seeds on earth. So let's increase god's knowledge about his creation and let him know that there are many plant seeds smaller than the mustard seed. Incidentally, the latter is also more than 20 times larger than the average orchid seed.
Simultaneously, Jesus killed the second stone by stating that the mustard seed grows into the tallest of all garden plants. The average mustard tree reaches a height of 6 meters (ca. 20 feet) although in perfect circumstances it can grow up to 9 meters (30 feet). That’s not very impressive compared to jackfruit trees that reach an average height of 15-20 meters (ca. 65 feet) or coconut palms that have no trouble reaching 30 meters (ca. 100 feet). Before any Buy-Bull swallower tries to play word games: yes, both fore mentioned fruit bearing trees are kept as garden plants. If god would only have cured his own myopia he might have noticed that some of the date palms growing in his own neighborhood often outgrow the mustard tree as well. Was Jesus a Christian? Technically he obviously wasn’t, but he sure would have argued in true Christian manner that it’s not the truth that matters, only the message.
Christians may stick their heads in the sand about it as much as they want, but in two consecutive verses (Mark 4:31-32), their omniscient god was factually wrong about two things.
1. Does god answer god’s prayers?
Drawing closer to his death as a human, god became increasingly incoherent and nonsensical. Seconds prior to his arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, god asks himself:
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.”
Realizing how utterly stupid he must have sounded to himself and to his other self, he immediately corrects himself:
“Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Evidently, this only adds to the confusion, as in Christianese this comes down to:
“Yet not as I will, but as I will.”
You’d think god would have known better than to question himself about the plan he had in store for himself. But in full knowledge of the fact that he would not answer his prayer to relieve himself of the suffering he was determined to go through, Jesus forgot his words from a few seconds earlier and prays a second time:
“My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
Jesus man! What's with the doubt and questions?
True to the ancient literary tradition of most authors before him, Matthew then has Jesus praying the same things a third time. As if god didn't already refuse to listen to himself the first two times! In ‘The witness is excused’ we already observed how these prayers of Jesus could not have been witnessed by anyone, so it’s a god’s mystery how they could have ended up in the gospel to begin with. Maybe the Holy Spirit inspired the author of the gospel to make sure that everyone knew how dumb god really is?
God told his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” But it seems that the first one to be proven wrong about this was god himself, as he clearly had no intention of answering his own prayer to change his divine plan. Not only did god lie to every human being beginning with Adam and Eve, he lied to himself and fell for it with open eyes.
Realizing his rapidly deteriorating intellect was no match for those stupid humans, Jesus remained mostly silent during Matthew’s entire ridiculous trial story, but the author would not let his character go out without a bang of clinical insanity when he has him cry out:
“My self, my self, why have I forsaken me?” If there is any truth to the Christian god-god-god, then Jesus' dying words are utterly nonsensical. Why would god ask his god if he has forsaken him, knowing that this had to happen for god to become the god of the Christians instead of his favorite people the Jews? Clearly the Jews under protection of god were no match for the pagan Romans so god had to do what people half as smart as god would do. If you can't beat them, join them.
It turned out to be the only real smart move god ever made.
Is this god cunning? Yes. Is this god intelligent? Arguably. Is this god all-knowing? Definitely not.
Patricia Forrester, 14 February 2022
Whale shark photo retrieved from: Clare Simm, “Galapagos Whale Shark Project Update”, 23 February 2021, Galapagos Conservation Trust, https://galapagosconservation.org.uk/galapagos-whale-shark-project-update/
Small seeds comparison, retrieved from: W.P. Armstrong, “The world’s smallest fruit”, Wayne’s Word, photo taken in 2003, https://www2.palomar.edu/users/warmstrong/plfeb96.htm