Saturday, July 30, 2011

Humans Judging God's Performance

I'm not quite sure what to make of the poll reported in this KSL article that attempts to assess the respondents' opinions of God's performance. The Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling reports that 52% of respondents approve, 9% disapprove, and 40% aren't sure.

I haven't looked into the sampling methods, so I'm not sure exactly how PPP derived its results. But it seems to me that the entire premise of the question denotes a profound misunderstanding of the nature of God.

Let me qualify that. I'm speaking mainly of monotheism. I have too little experience with polytheism to address the nature of the human-divine relationship under that philosophy. But since the vast majority of Americans adhere to some form of monotheism, it seems safe to assume that most of the poll's respondents do so as well.

Most monotheistic philosophies portray Deity as omniscient and omnipotent. In other words, God comprehends all that can be known in the universe and is simultaneously all powerful.

Given this, how is it that humans — who by nature are severely limited in their grasp of knowledge and ability to control themselves, let alone the universe — can even assume that it is appropriate to judge God?

Most monotheistic philosophies teach that our mortal lives are but a tiny fragment of our eternal existence. Let's bring this down to a more understandable level. If all you knew about a movie director was 15 seconds of one of the films he directed, how appropriate would it be to judge him and the entire body of his life's work?

The question is not whether we approve of God's performance; it is whether we accept God. Having accepted God, the question becomes whether God approves of us — whether we are striving to adhere to the commandments he gives us because of his love for us, with our everlasting joy being the object.

Every poll has some kind of agenda behind it. It's not clear to me what PPP's agenda is with this particular poll. Maybe they're just goading people. But it seems clear that many of the respondents are confused about the basic nature of their relationship to God.

1 comment:

RJR said...

Perhaps an even more pertinent question is what God thinks of our performance !

RJR Daydreamer