Worthy of worship?

wrath of godJen from BlagHag.com posed a really good question today on her blog:

If you knew God was real, would you actually worship him?

It’s an interesting question, though not exactly a fair one. A fair question would be, “Is there anything that could convince you (a) (G)od was real?” I could unequivocally answer that with a “yes, of course.” I’m a skeptic, not a bull-headed cynic. But as for worship this deity? Oh so many equivocations!

The real question is: What version of God are we talking about? Are we talking about Morgan Freeman God from Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty? Because that version of God seems almost worship-able. Though, ironically, that version of God seems like someone who doesn’t really need people to worship him, and would most certainly not send people to eternal torment for the crime of not worshiping him.

The more someone does not demand and require you to love and adore them on threat of pain and punishment, the more worthy they are of being loved and adored.

But if the question must be limited to the Biblical god, the question becomes nearly impossible to answer because the Biblical god itself is impossible. The El/Elohim/Adonai/Yahweh character is so fractured and schizophrenic as to be self-contradictory. He’s presented as being omniscient, and also having human-like limitations of knowledge and upcoming events. Omnipotent, and also woefully impotent. Any incontrovertible proof of the Biblical god’s existence would necessarily have to show God to be only one version of the many that is contained in the Bible.

But, in general and predominately, the god depicted in the Christian Bible is a vile, bloodthirsty, capricious, psychopathic, cruel, deceptive thug. He’s no more worthy of worship than a tyrannical dictator would be. Or a stalking psycho, who demands your love else he’ll kill you, is worthy of love. This is a character that delights in psalms that praise bashing infant skulls against rocks, that subjugates women as property and condones slavery, that commits genocide and orders others to commit genocide for entirely immoral reasons, that lies and deceives.

If God, in any version that adheres in any significant way to the Biblical god, were proven without doubt to exist, I would not worship this evil creature. It wouldn’t be worthy of it any more than Stalin, Kim Jong Il, Pol Pot, or a psycho stalker would be worthy of worship.

And the fact that this Biblical god would, presumedly, have the power and ability to smite me doesn’t make the tyrant worthy. Having created me and having the power to kill me does not inherently make a creature worthy of love and adoration if their ethics and behavior is schizoid and their love is dependent upon threats of torture. They’re worthy of fear and loathing.

If this god was not omniscient, as some Biblical passages (and pure logic) suggests, then, like a subject under Stalin’s USSR or the East German Stasi, I might pretend worship in order to save my skin. Although, I’d like to think I’d have the integrity to refuse. If he is omniscient, well, he’d know I’d think he was an evil thug, wouldn’t he, and there’d be no sense in pretending.

Fortunately, the Biblical god is simply impossible. At least, any creature that contains even half of the qualities as described by the Bible. Might a deist god, an uninvolved and non-personal creator god, exist? Maybe. But the universe looks and acts exactly as it would if this god did only set things in motion and was nothing like the god of scripture. In which case, it wouldn’t seem that kind of god cares about worship anyway.