People who are old enough to remember the pop music scene in the seventies may remember a pathetic song called “That’s the Way God Planned It” by Billy Preston. This guy managed to befriend The Beatles and starred in Get Back. When I heard this song about God’s plans I did wonder if God had planned the hundred million lives lost in wars and revolutions during the twentieth century, or the tens of thousands of kids who died every day from malnutrition, unsafe drinking water, malaria and other abominations. It has taken me decades to answer this question, and I have found that I now fully agree with Billy Preston’s silly song – this is the way God planned it.
First of all a few words about God. I’m not talking here about the big man (or woman) in the sky. I am talking about necessary existence. If you believe that the world manifests according to cause and effect then by default you believe that things manifest necessarily – nothing is accidental and sentient creatures do not have free will. To have free will would imply uncaused effects – but I don’t want to take a detour into this particular topic. If we can see the universe as a natural unfolding, conforming with various laws, then we are pretty near the idea of God as a force of necessary manifestation. Even God does not have free will, but is free to manifest according to it’s own nature.
So it is fairly easy to see that the universe unfolds according to the laws of its own nature, and that everything we see and experience could not have been any other way. So the hundred million people lost in wars, and the millions of kids who die horrible deaths, are exactly the way God planned it – although let’s not anthropomorphize God here. The universe, Nature, God, or whatever word you want to use, is not emotional in nature, or at least does not possess human emotions and sensibilities. So the miserable deaths of children in poverty is just water off a duck’s back as far as God is concerned.
But I want to get to one of my favorite topics, and possibly piss a whole load of people off. I do get tired of hearing the whining about rhinoceros becoming extinct, or insect species dying by the bucket full, or massive islands of plastic floating around in the oceans. This is the way God planned it. Human beings desire power, dominance and continued survival in exactly the same way other creatures do. This driver combined with a rational mind has produced a monster – Homo Sapiens, a clever monkey with no common sense. But this is the way God planned it – a clever but stupid monkey that has the potential to destroy most of the life on this planet. There is absolutely no point protesting and worrying – although the protesting and worrying is the way God planned it too.
Ultimately things will turn out just the way God planned it, despite the fact that humanity as a whole will have no awareness of the necessity of reality – things can never be other than they are.
There is nothing special about this lump of rock we live on, other than the fact it is our home. The universe however really couldn’t give a toss about this little blue jewel (where billions of creatures eat each other to survive). A stray asteroid, a powerful and stupid species such as Homo Sapiens, an unexpected supernova, all have the power to bring the party (nightmare) to an end. There is nothing aberrant in the behavior of the human race. It is a destroyer species, and some things in Nature are part of the creative processes and some things part of destructive processes. It seems humanity belongs to the latter – and that is fine. No need to complain or criticize or rail against the inevitable.
Of course it might be the case that the human race is a stepping stone to other things, and possibly to forms of intelligence that organic life could not produce. I’m thinking specifically of artificial intelligence. And then again that might be nothing more than a pile of baloney. Either way things will turn out the way God planned it.
If you want to see how silly things got in the 70s then watch Billy Preston sing That’s the Way God Planned It.