The following is perhaps the most interesting part of the critically acclaimed ‘Hail, Caesar!‘ It is an argument over the nature of God, as believed by some faiths. (You can catch the humourously depicted debate at https://youtube.com/watch?v=KJEiDRi4Itc) What follows between are hopefully even more interesting philosophically neutral comments.
Catholic Clergyman: It’s not simply that Christ is God, God Christ.
Rabbi: You can say that again. The Nazarene was not God.
Comments: Who decides who is God, or a representative of God, if he even exists? First, there must be universally agreed criteria of what makes God so. God is usually thought as a perfect, omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient creator of all. (These three omnis are called ‘OOO’ for short.) But the fact that there are many imperfections in the universe, giving rise to much neglected in suffering proves such an all-powerful, all-kind and all-knowing creator does not exist at all.
Eastern Orthodox Clergyman: He was not, not God.
Rabbi: He was a man.
Protestant Clergyman: Half God.
Comments: Such conflicts exist because there are different characteristics attributed to godliness versus humanness. Can anyone be half perfect and half imperfect at the same time? Is that with perfection not already that completely perfect, and that with imperfection still imperfect?
Eddie Mannix: Rabbi, all of us have a little bit of God in us, don’t we?
Comments: Again, this would depend on how we define God. If in terms of OOO, he does not exist anywhere, not even in us, as there is suffering of some kind everywhere we see in this world and in us. The potential to become spiritually perfect should not be confused with already being spiritually perfect.
Catholic Clergyman: Well, it’s the foundation of our belief that Christ is most properly referred to as the son of God. It’s the son of God who takes the sins of the world upon himself, so that the rest of God’s children, we imperfect beings, through faith may enter the kingdom of heaven.
Comments: If there is a perfect creator of all in the first place, there would not be a single sin (or the potential to sin) in this world, what more the need to take the many imperfections of sins away to enter a so-called perfect place. Also, the nature of all places created by a perfect creator should have been equally perfect in the first place, including this world. As this is not so, again, this means such a creator does not exist.
Eddie Mannix: So, God is split?
Catholic Clergyman: Yes and no.
Eastern Orthodox Clergyman: There is unity in division.
Protestant Clergyman: And division in unity.
Comments: As above… ‘Can anyone be half perfect and half imperfect? Is that with perfection not already that completely perfect, and that with imperfection still imperfect?’ A perfect God would create all perfectly, with no need to divide (split) or unite anyone or anything for any purpose at all.
Eddie Mannix: Not sure I follow, Padre.
Rabbi: Young man, you don’t follow for a very simple reason; these men are screwballs. God has children [i.e. sons and daughters]? What, and a dog? A collie, maybe? God doesn’t have children. He’s a bachelor. And very angry.
Catholic Clergyman: No, no, he used to be angry.
Rabbi: What, he got over it?
Comments: If there is an already perfect and thus complete God, there would be no need to create anything or anyone, including his children, dogs and all. Again, if he is complete, would the concept of being a bachelor make any sense? Yet again, if he is already a perfect creator, why would he be angry at anyone, since everyone is supposed to be created by him perfectly? If he used to be angry but is now not angry, does it mean he became ‘more perfect’? How is this possible if he was already perfect in the first place, unless he was not, or simply does not exist?
Protestant Clergyman: You worship the god of another age!
Catholic Clergyman: Who has no love!
Rabbi: Not true! He likes Jews.
Protestant Clergyman: God loves everyone.
Catholic Clergyman: God is love!
Comments: How can a supposedly timeless God change his characteristics, to become less or more godly? If God is all along perfect and all-loving, why is he believed by some to favour versus detest some intensely, enough to send them to so-called eternal heaven versus eternal hell?
Eastern Orthodox Clergyman: God is who he is.
Rabbi: This is special. Who isn’t who he is?
Comments: Merely labelling one with an arbitrary name does not define one at all. We are who we are now, but we are potentially who we can become too.
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