Saturday, November 26, 2016
I Could Believe: God is a Gamer
1st Final Report (H2). Word count: 1305
I don’t believe in any of the Gods of Earth's man-made religions (as I call them), and the only way I could believe in a higher celestial being would be if I thought of it as a Gamer, as in a video gamer. What do I mean by that? Well, before I answer that I need to give a little background information on me...
I myself am a gamer and a very open, 'big-picture' kind of person. I was raised as a Christian, going to church every Sunday morning. My grandmother was, and still is, extremely religious, and is whom I spent most of my childhood time with. As I grew up I started playing Role Playing Games and Real Time Strategy games, and slowly started realizing the similarities between the games I played and the God that the Christians worshiped. As this realization sunk in, it boggled me, it bothered me that the things this God stood for and was able to do (and did quite often) I was also able to do in precise accuracy. It made no sense. At the same time, unrelated, I was realizing how worshiping the God of my grandmother, through prayer and faith, made no [positive] difference in my life. Well, honestly, it did: it made me hopeful to only have that hope stricken down soon after. So, in the end, it made no difference. Slowly I started loosing faith and eventually had none to give, for said God. To this day I'm not 100% sure if I am Agnostic or Atheist, but I am 100% sure that I don’t believe in any of the man-made Gods, the Gods in the man-made religions around the world that hide in books, tablets and bushes.
So, lets get this "Gamer" comparison going! (Ill be speaking about the Christian God here.)
Do you ever ask yourself what is God's plan? Or told yourself, "he has a plan for all of us and everything happens for a reason"? At one point or another, I asked myself that former questions and at other points I believed the later assertion.
God chooses who lives and who dies, no? Believers always say, and so does the Bible, that God has the final word on who lives and dies and that we are at his mercy. We humans "should give in to his glory and give our freedom to him, obey his rules and have faith in his plan," so say religious people. In [most] video games, we as the player choose which characters live and die, and when. In an RTS game like Shogun or Total War, you are given control over armies, cities and provinces. You choose whom you send out to the battlefield and, eventually, who dies depending on your choices until that moment. Those characters are at our mercy; they are our pets to do as we say. God and us players have complete control over our subordinates and we decide their fate. I have had family members loose loved ones, including infants... it is not easy to see someone go through that, and I know it is unbelievably even harder for them to go through it. Those that lost someone have asked themselves, "why God would do such a thing" or been told that God had a plan for them and there is a reason why it happened. The only way I see that being the case is if said God was a gamer, because as the player we are meant to make choices that not everyone will like and we are JUST playing a game with no consequences, otherwise, if I don’t see him as a gamer, I see him as a heartless dick, yes, a heartless dick. And, why would I want to believe in a dick? So, yea, I rather believe of him as a gamer because that is the only way his role makes sense! And the role of a gamer, is just that, a gamer: no underlying reason for our actions, we are just explorers and makers having fun. The choices God makes have no consequence on him so its easy for him to make the choices he does; the choices we gamers make on video games have no consequence on us, unless we are playing for money, but that doesn’t count since God isn't playing for money...... that we know of! *insert shocked sound*
God is the one that delivered the Great Flood and all the other catastrophes to Earth that wiped humans out, to some degree. Isn't that a reset? A "start over"? Those catastrophes were unleashed because God was unhappy with us, according to scripts and the Bible. In video games aren't we allowed the same power? The power to erase our save file and start a new one? Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter, we reset the world we created and start a new world, a new save file. In most of the games I play, I always seem to "mess" something up and I want to restart that world. I don’t want to keep going on a path that doesn’t match my plans just like God didn’t want Earth (the humans making the "wrong decisions") to keep going in the "wrong" path. Like I said earlier, we are makers and explorers; we are given the power to restart at any moment with a tabula rasa, blank slate. And not just the entire world we created, but each creature/character! Tabula rasa can be traced back to Western philosopher Aristotle when he used it in his treatise "De Anima," and Persian philosopher Avicenna who argued that the "...human intellect at birth resembled a tabula rasa, a pure potentiality that is actualized through education and comes to know..." Even the ancient Stoic school put their two cents in and described Tabula Rasa as, "the mind starts blank, but acquires knowledge as the outside world is impressed upon it." In games, when we erase/kill off a character, and we get to create another one, if we want, to replace the lost one. That new character has no knowledge of the previous ones nor their acts, just like a baby after being born, they are both blank slates. What is it that religious people say, "When one door closes, another opens, " and, "when one life ends, another begins." I have also known/heard religious people justify God's reasons/plan by pointing out that because person A died, person B was able to be saved, or that because a small child was stabbed, the doctors accidentally found a tumor or cancer not previously known, thus were able to treat said child and save their life. Well, that’s not far from what us gamers are able to make happen in games.
Now, you might be thinking, "is this guy comparing himself to God?!" And the answer is no and completely no. Like I said at the beginning of this topic, "I am an open and 'big picture' kind of person," and adding to that, I am someone who doesn’t discriminate against religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Most importantly, I don’t go around preaching my believes or trying to convince others that my way, or any other way, is the "right" one, and I expect the same from others. I am also not saying any religion or God isn't real. What I am saying is just my own personal believes and point of view on God: that if I was to believe in God, he would be a Gamer in my eyes. That is all.
If I have offended or upset anyone with my views it wasn't my intentions.