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100 ?’s for God: Does God value potential or performance?

January 21, 2013

This is Question 60 from “100 Questions for God” series

This may seem like a dubious question in the context of all we’ve discussed so far. However, it deserves some attention because it might:

a)                 Provide some useful relativity for other discussions
b)                Give some perspective on what’s truly valuable to God

However you perceive the beginning of the universe, there seems to be a general consensus that it started with a spectacular volume of dead stuff[1]. Whether the building blocks were created by God or exploded onto the scene[2], our universe began without  a shred of life – lots of potential, not much else.

Essentially, this reinforces that each sub-atomic particle has the potential to participate in the existence of a living, conscious or transcendent being. Even more exciting, it can be recycled to do it again – not only is there potential, but cycles within the universe mean the opportunity is repeated in virtual perpetuity.

This omnipresent potential makes me believe God would have great affection for the capacity within each atom. However, given this power permeates the universe, I can also see God saying:

“Potential, smotential!”

If everything has the same underlying possibilities, it’s a bit like asking a billionaire whether they value a dollar – they might, but probably not as much as someone who only has one.

This analogy can be applied to humans, or other life forms. Every living entity in the universe has the capability of facilitating an important or useful evolutionary change. This underlying gift appears randomly and implicitly suggests diversity and abundance are key factors in ongoing success. Even with humanity’s newfound ability to manipulate the course of the transformation, we should probably maintain a healthy respect for the subtle power of evolution on Earth and elsewhere in the universe.

As individuals, we have a role to play in humanity’s evolutionary cycle and should respect the potential in ourselves and the other six billion or so contenders. However, any God worth their [AD1] salt would be committed to seeing us actively deliver on our potential and beyond.

Apathetic participants in life throw themselves at the mercy of the most basic rule of the universe – Survival of the Fittest (SOTF)[3]. Even with the cognitive advantage we have inherited, allowing the universe to act upon us without meaningful pushback relegates our contribution to existence alone.

In the context of a multi-billion year old cosmos, our existence can only be regarded as an evolutionary blip unless we continue to evolve:

a)                 Wisdom
b)                Integrity
c)                 Spirituality
d)                Humanity

Trying to justify these four focuses in the next two paragraphs would be a pointless exercise. However, whatever paths humanity decides to pursue, there is a fundamental question of whether we choose to do it together or simply apply our own version of SOTF. While our concepts of love, honesty, justice and integrity continue to evolve, they may also mark the beginnings of a society measuring itself through values not articulated clearly in nature.

Initial Opinion:

Evolution is crucial part of God’s process. In assessing our progress, it’s quite possible God would look at individuals and society using some of the values we hold dear. Achievement is valued over potential as it adds another layer to the existing baseline. However, in determining what achievement really means to God, we have to consider some of our measures of success may have no value whatsoever.


[1] Even Adam was supposedly made from dirt – Genesis 2:7

[2] Pun intended

[3] This does not mean all humans at the mercy of SOTF are apathetic


[AD1]Her?

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