The only way in my mind to understand the concept of a monotheistic God is to view it through the lens of computer technology. Specifically video games. So I’m going to try this and if you find any holes, please reply.
For starters lets define the concepts of omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent and put them in the context of this argument.
Omnipotent = All powerful – Having control over everything in this universe
Omniscient = All knowing – Knowing everything in this universe
Omnipresent = Everywhere – In this universe
“In this universe” is the key phrase here. When any one of us play a simulation video game we too are all those things. Even more so if we are the creator of that game that can tweak it as we play it out.
Now imagine a God who is playing a simulation game. Something akin to The Sims for instance, but way more detailed.
The ability to play the game having already programmed its basic laws and tweaking it as they go. Adding expansion packs, levels and so on.
Would it be so difficult for this God to be everywhere? The ability to fly over everything and hone in on different things at different times. The ability to reverse or pause time to go back and see things that might have been missed without affecting the course of play.
Would it be so difficult for this God to know everything that is happening in the simulation? The ability to have key events pop up as alerts. The ability to know where characters are going or what they will aspire to do. The ability to let them make choices given a set of predefined options. The ability to know what choices those characters will make based on a variety of predisposed criteria/programming.
Would it be so difficult for this God to be all powerful in the simulation? The one who created the simulation, created all the options, created all the boundaries, created all the laws and created all the outcomes. The ability to reprogram and tweak the simulation at will.
Would it be so difficult for this God to play as a character (or many characters) in this simulaton themselves?
What about morality? If this God created the morality of this simulation and then did something against that morality, does it make the morality invalid or the God immoral? Is a programmer wrong if they change the code or hack something to work a certain way at a certain place even when it doesn’t jive with the rest of the code base they’ve already created? Is it wrong for this God to create the base morality and then play against it from time to time? From our perspective down here the answer is yes, from outside the simulation its probably not any more offensive then any one of us sending a lemming to their death. We don’t have to follow the morality we defined for the characters of the simulation. It’s not our morality, it’s theirs. Yet we assume that our morality is the only morality and that it must apply the same to the creator as it does to the created.
Admittedly, sometimes the universe seems to me like those out of bounds areas in video games. The ones that you will either never get to because nothing is programmed beyond them or you need to level up to access.
When God is often talked about it is said that we cannot know God or see God completely. Is this not like a character in a simulation being fully unable to see the programmer/player?
Of course like a simulation we play, how much does this God really care about each of the characters? Surely we would have no problem spiting the characters that backtalked to us or rewearding the ones that did as we bid. Likewise we could reward the bad characters or spite the good ones, just for fun.
What evidence does a character in a simulation have for the existence of a programmer/player from their perspective? None. Yet the programmer/player does exist.
What motivation does a programmer/player have to prove their existence to the characters in the simulation? Any one of use could tell our simulation characters that we exist outside of time and space and created everything. But why would we care to do that? What does it benefit our own ego to do that? When we want accepance we go to our peers or authority figures to gain it. We do not ask for acceptance from our creations. At best we USE our creations to gain acceptance from peers or authority figures.
The biggest question is, where did such a God come from? Since I’ve been playing guessing games throughout this whole post, I make no apologies about doing it here as well. Perhaps it doesn’t know. Remember that I already defined its omniscience to “this universe.” Perhaps trying to understand anything about its state of being is as difficult for us to understand as it would be for one of our own simulation characters to understand our state of being. It’s just beyond the ability of our imagination.
Like I said, to me, this is the only framing of this argument for a monotheistic God that works for my mind.
While this is just a thought, it begs the question, is it reality? Does it matter if it is or isn’t reality? Would we ever even know? Some could believe it if they want to believe it. But it seems to me that people only believe concepts like this when it benefits/rewards/scares them toward some motivation. The problem with this concept is that its such a perfect framing for a monotheistic God that it shows an unpredictable side to such a God that gains an individual human nothing of benefit, reward or fear to motivate such a belief. It’s an idea of how a monotheistic God might actually be, not how a monotheistic God might be of benefit/reward/fear to humans.