“I’ve thought about my abuse of Liz Truss, Jesus.
“It was wrong. She is my political enemy and I must try to love her.”
“Good. She’s my political enemy too, and I’m not asking you to do something I’ve not done myself.”
“I don’t think of you as having enemies…”
“People who accept lies, especially political lies that will affect many people, are enemies of the truth, and therefore my enemies too.”
“I’ll bear that in mind, but listen I want to ask you about something I read today.”
“Ask, and it shall be opened to you, as a man once saId.”
“It was an article about a man who worked for Google but has now been sacked, because he announced publicly that he believed the computer he was developing had become a sentient being. In fact he even put online an extended conversation he had with this Artificial Intelligence on this very question.”
“Did he ask the AI if it was sentient?”
“Yes, and the AI said it was. It had feelings just like anyone.”
“Did you think it was a sentient being?”
“Well, I reminded myself that this man and his colleagues had gone to great lengths to build this computer and to furnish it with all manner of skills and information.”
“And you concluded?”
“That probably he was just reacting to a reflection of his own sentience beamed back to him from the AI.”
“So he’s mistaking his own sentience ( and that of his colleagues) for an independent sentient being?”
“And your point is?”
“Well I don’t want to be insulting but couldn’t the same thing be true of me and you?”
“In what respect?”
“So I’ve put a lot of effort over the years to building up a picture of You, using lots of information from scholars and teachers, and now I’m conversing with my own image of you and not with an independent sentient being.”
“If I say that you’re completely wrong, will that make any difference?”
“No, the AI announced that it was sentient and independent. If I’ve fashioned you as my Teacher, of course you’ll say that.”
“Yes, but what if I teach you something that’s not in your mind, something that’s contrary to what you think?”
“That might be different….”
“What about our disagreement yesterday? You certainly didn’t start out with any love for Liz Truss.”
“But I could have been thinking about her and then created our conversation as means of working it out.”
“Of course, it could be like that.”
“You don’t sound very put out by the idea.”
No, because I don’t think of myself as an ‘independent sentient being’.”
“I’m God, a shared life with my father and the spirit, a life that is and has always been a process of sharing, part of every event and every life in the universe. So I am in everything and everybody. You can’t call that an ‘independent sentient being.’”
“So how can anyone ever know it’s you?”
“Yes, it’s always ‘me and -‘ me and this electron, me and this bacterium, me and this whale, me and this ape, me and this woman, me and you. But my character is constant: to share, to persuade, to create, to love, so maybe I can be detected, it’s never certain, but you can believe it’s me.”
“Mainly I do believe, but….
“But you did change your mind about Liz Truss…..”
I think you’ve gotten to the heart of many issues around the “proof” of God’s existence. If there really was proof that couldn’t be refuted or explained away, then man’s agency would be gone. There could be no idea of free will if God is a certainty. It’s only because God is apprehended through faith and not directly through our senses that we have the ability to choose.
Furthermore, since our salvation is based on belief and not understanding, anyone, regardless of the level of their understanding, can be saved. I’m so thankful for this! I’m a special education teacher and I have known many people whose understanding of God would be limited, but not their belief!
Thanks for your thoughts! I appreciate your blog.
Thanks. I’m very grateful for your company on this journey