FACT CHECK: Is God stupid?

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No he isn’t. Any garden variety theoretical physicist and mathematician will know that he isn’t, because there is a vast coherence in the universe that can be described consistently by science and mathematics. Every field of science is expected to reduce to this unified framework and scientists are working towards zeroing in on its elegant simplicity. So elegant is this universe that it can be said that a god need not be tending it hands-on for it to work. Like a well-engineered machine or structure, the universe is finely-tuned and low-maintenance. It does not have secrets, only truths waiting to be discovered by people who are smart enough and curious enough.

God, in fact, is so smart that he engineered the universe to work without his direct intervention — just like a fine Swiss watch could keep going and going long after its maker had sealed it. This wondrous mechanism is revealed to us mere mortals through science and mathematics. Science and mathematics are the windows into the mind of God himself.

This means only one thing. The Roman Catholic Church is not what links human beings to God. What the Catholic Church had done was turn God into the grotesque caricature that Filipinos worship today. Rather than create a framework of thinking that allows people to discover the Almighty systematically using modern thinking, the Catholic Church shoves a convoluted body of dogma down its faithful’s throats. This dogma is so convoluted that it requires an authoritarian and hierarchical organisation to “interpret” it. This “interpretation” is often peppered with illogical leaps and arbitrary pronouncements that are neither forward- nor backward-traceable and are not subject to logical evaluation. As such, such a scam is perfectly fit for the administration of people who cannot be bothered to think and would much prefer to believe and be told what to believe.

Science and math is an open field for anyone who bothers to study its rules and play by them to dabble in. No scientist or scientific theory nor mathematical theorem is exempt from challenge from anyone who can table an alternative theory or theorem and prove its validity using a generally-agreed method of proof and through peer-reviewed experimentation and observation. In science, anyone can prove anyone wrong or right. The rules that govern that access is open to all who bother to learn its ins and outs.

Religion, on the other hand, relies on top-down hierarchical rituals to determine how much or how little one can participate in its practice. We can see this in how the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines behaves. It makes pronouncements, assertions, conclusions about ideas and people without showing the process with which such judgements and conclusions are arrived at. In short, the CBCP’s men-in-robes don’t see themselves as accountable for the information they feed to Filipinos. They also lack a mechanism to correct their errors. This is why religious misinformation and prejudice persist for centuries before they are rectified. In religion, if you are not wearing certain robes or a pointy hat, walk around with a big stick on one hand and live in a huge palace, your opinion does not matter. A “God” created within such an environment cannot be a smart God. It’s an impossibility.

So the fact is, God is not stupid. Scientists have shown us that he isn’t. But the “God” fashioned by the Roman Catholic Church is. And, unfortunately for the rest of humanity, this latter “God” is the one Filipinos choose to worship.

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