Philosophical implications of Genetic 1:26 and the personality of the Judeo-Christian God.
While visiting a still in friend last week we had an interesting discussion on narcissism. He made a very interesting comment that got me thinking about the above. We were discussing the nature of celebrity and fame and he mentioned that he would find it very difficult to cope with constant adulation and praise. He said while he appreciates a kind word of thanks or acknowledgement of a job well done, as I'm sure we all do, he finds that gushing praise beyond that makes him very uncomfortable and his natural inclination is to try to deflect it or avoid it.
I found myself relating to what he was saying. Is this how other people feel? Is it only narcissists that enjoy constant praise and adulation? If so, what does this day about Gods personality given that he not only accepts constant adulation, but commands it? If we were truly created in His image, would he also not find it tiresome and disquieting? Wouldn't it make him uncomfortable? For me this is just one more thing that leads me to reject the Biblical idea of God. My guess, however, is that Christians would say that in God's case its not a problem because he is, well, God! He deserves constant praise and worship because ehe is the creator, so it would not be uncomfortable for him. It is only uncomfortable for us because as humans we recognise we do not deserve it.
That still doesn't make sense to me. I do not have children, but if I did I would not require their daily devotion got me for giving them life. Sure, I would expect a level of appreciation for me as the parent and provider and I would hope they love me. But I would expect this affection to be expressed spontaneously. I would not demand that they ritually praise me or give thanks to me every day, or every time I serve a meal. (like we are expected to do in prayer)
The only conclusion I can come to is God is the ultimate narcissist and/or that we were not created in His image. What are your thoughts? Especially interested to hear what what those who still claim to be Christian think?
We also wouldn't sit with arms folded as innocent people get raped, tortured, murdered, etc. We especially wouldn't do that if we had the ability to easily stop it.
If a stranger was walking down a city sidewalk buried in his phone texting and was about to walk full speed into an oncoming car, who of us would not instinctively stick our arm out to stop him?
Unfortunately, God would not.
We are not created in God's image. That is another Bible lie.
humans being imperfect would be narcissists if they made those claims but christians are looking at and contemplating perfection when they worship God. This also works for those who do not believe in god - thinking about the perfection of a rose, of love, of a landscape, of a starry night and those sorts of things - they inspire creativity and feelings of awe
the problem is that this inclination among humans can be manipulated to make them aspire to better qualities even if they can go no further as in the sermon on mount being taken too literally (Chappell 2014, p.185-207 chapter title Beauty and nobility in Ethics in Knowing what to do , Imagination, Virtue and Platonism in Ethics) or to gain benefits for themselves by keeping people in chains so that they can help themselves to their things (Karl Marx popularised this)
I disagree with you doubtfull1799
The idea that “He deserves constant praise and worship because he is the creator” is of human imagination, and such human thinking crept into the Bible writing because writers were inducting their own thinking (1Cor 7:10, 40).
However, God’s attitude must be discerned from the action and inaction of God. For example, He knows the existence of conflicted religions and their scriptures, also knows existence of order and disorder in the world—and HE does nothing to straighten it out. This shows He doesn’t want our praise. This has been hinted at in the famous comparison Jesus made God with sun in Mathew 5:44-48. Sun is a giver (of light and energy), it never receives anything from us. This is a repeat of what has already been declared in the Old Testament. (Psalm 84:11)
great points Venus.
doubtfull 1799 I think you are on to something in drawing attn to rituals. Some rituals were conducted for different reasons in the distant past than they are today. I'm being very very reductive here but still as this is a general discussion forum I remember reading how all other animals and living things tend to look down (except plants and birds I guess ) and those of our ancestors who made a ritual/habit of looking upwards into the far far distance, and habitually doing so, made a ritual of looking upwards and outerwards to give thanks as well. The neanderthals did not have this distance covering survivability nor did the big game that sustained them and they all died out (Finlayson 2010, The humans who went extinct).
Something happens automatically I think when people look upwards/outwards too and factor in distance to give thanks as they posture/gesture and this may be hardwired towards good feelings and good motives in humans.
Great reasoning Doubtful1799.
If we take the bible as it is claimed to be - Gods letter of communication to humans, then it CLEARLY shows that Jehovah / Yaweh / God not only enjoys, but DEMANDS constant worship!
In fact, as Revelation shows, the 24 Elders give him "praise day and night", and bow before him, singing "You are worthy to receive the praise etc..."
So, that DOES seem to indicate that God has either created, or allowed beings to exist for the main reason to give him praise constantly.
IF a human demanded constant praise, we would rightly question that one's mental state. We would indeed class him as a narcissist.
This is CLEARLY outlined in the Bible - God's own letter (as worshippers claim it to be)
It also has to be asked of believers, if a human STOPS giving God praise, what is the eventual predicted outcome for that human?
Is it not destruction? Yes, those who do not give God praise, will be destroyed by God right??
So, that implies that an insecure being, who constantly demands praise in a narcissistic manner, is also a bully who will kill all who fail to render him such praise?
Boils down to, "if you were God, would you be like the God of the Bible?"
IMO, the only people who could be perfectly comfortable saying "yes" to that question would be psychopaths.
In the past I too used to feel the way you do—why does God require/force us to praise Him? Then I understood such verses found in the Bible are of human origin. All the scriptures are like forest—you will find most of the things wild, yet you will also find stream of pure water, fragrant flowers, and succulent fruits in limited measure. If any verses are true they came by chance, not by inspiration. That means scriptures are of human origin (if it were of divine origin, God would naturally have ensured it contains no error) because they all contain errors also.
Why does God not use scriptures to guide us? Because
1) Scriptures can be manipulated—as has happened to all available scriptures.
2) Guidance is already available in the form of experience (yours and of others). Everything that happens has a lesson. For example, Good and bad people come into your life and leave some experience to you. Thus good people teach you how to behave whereas bad people teach you how not to behave. When something gives you happiness, it teaches you to repeat that action, and when something gives you sorrow, it teaches you not to repeat that action. Even tragedies teach us a great lesson. It is true that tragedies can destroy families; and life for some is never the same. Suffering happens to both good people and bad people. Jonah suffered; Jeremiah suffered; Jesus was crucified, Prophet Muhammed was an orphan. Within 150 years from now, everything in our life will perish because 100% of the current population will be dead by then which makes you realize that everything in life is temporary. Everything we have been given in life —family, wealth, health, respect — are all given to us in trust for a given time. Once that time is up, they are all gone, and that includes our own life. Thus tragedies teach us a great lesson: what you lost was really never yours. Suppose someone informed you at night when you are sleeping in your home that your factory is on fire, and you would say to yourself: “So what? I sold it yesterday.”If it had not been sold, news of fire would have made you jump and run in maximum stress, tension, shock, sorrow... etc. It means sense of mine is at the root of suffering. Everything what we think we own is really just given to us in trust for a certain period of our life. Sense of mine [which is a temporary truth] makes it hard to digest when you have lost someone/something. But those who are aware of the big picture that everything comes and goes after remaining for a while tragedies are not viewed as tragedies, but as lessons. All we really have is this moment to cherish and savor, everything else is uncertain.
That means our experiences (not God) should guide us. God has given us a planet home and made provisions in this home to enjoy life, and experiences to guide us [it is left to us to maintain it or to spoil it]. God does not require praise from us (Mathew 5:44-48)
Sorry Venus, but what you propose goes against the content of the bible itself and its claims to be God's channel of communication.
Also, Christian faiths maintain that the bible is the textbook of god.
So by ignoring the messages of the bible, and its description of God, then we are left to conclude that the bible is purely the fallible word of man?