MIDWAY : Closer to God

There was a funny bit in THT’s ‘Just in jest’ column a few weeks back. A man approaches God and says, “God, we have overpowered you. We can make living things out of dust.” The man gathers some dust and moulds it into a human shape. That is when God interrupts and asks him to bring his ‘own’ dust. This joke gives some insight into the mindset of those who believe someday humans can be gods.

We have made immense progress in fields like medicine and biotechnology. We can now determine everything from traits of the unborn to the life span of a senile person. We can hatch stem cells into full-grown plants or even design artificial human cells. These developments sound truly godly. Nevertheless, do these breakthroughs preclude the need of God as the sole creator?

In the New Testament, St. Paul says, “There are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’ — yet for us there is only one God, the Father...”. Men also get to be fathers. Does that mean among them is the “Father” referred to in the Bible? Similar is the case when we create paintings or new life forms in the laboratory. But that just makes us any other father, not the universal father. For that, one would have to create his own universe.

For the record, we have indeed created our own worlds, at least in virtual reality. Social networking now avails “Second Life”. This recent marvel of science has given people alter egos. They can vicariously live happy and successful lives. People create second selves not only due to their real-life frustrations but also as nothing in this world is truly ours. We may one day be able to make rainfall or remove genetic defects. Similarly, we can live in the la-la land of virtual reality where everything we ‘create’ is our own. Nonetheless, God, will always remain. We should be humble enough to appreciate the old mathematical axiom that “the part can never be greater than the whole”.

This is not a disparaging avowal for our ineptness but an appreciation of our position in the universe. God lies in creation and when we are creating, we are getting closer to God. This is, of course, not the same as overpowering God but it is the next best thing. The “human god” is just a dream and not all dreams come true.