The Thirteen Suggestions (for gods)

1. If you know everything and can do anything, your ways shouldn’t need to be mysterious, your word shouldn’t need interpreting and everyone should be subject to the exact same rules and regulations. You should be able to clearly and unambiguously communicate in a way that prevents schisms, reformations, jihads, fatwas, crusades, inquisitions, witch hunts, feuding over “promised lands”, televangelists, Fred Nile and “Gott Mit Uns” being printed on Nazi belt-buckles (“God is with us”? Seriously? You know they were the badguys … right?).

2. If you exist outside of time and space, it would literally mean nothing to you to wait until your creation develops an instantaneous global communication network before seeding your word among them. Spreading a message you ostensibly wish the whole planet to hear in a time where “information technology” means “handwritten scrolls in a basket on a donkey’s back” would be unfair to most of the planet’s population for most of history. However, due to the current global telecommunication system being extremely prone to massive amounts of utter bollocks being instantly transmitted, believed uncritically and then disseminated (see: Andrew Bolt), it is recommended that you try writing something like “Be excellent to each other” every fifty years, in every known language, in huge letters in the sky above every inhabited landmass, using Kool Fruits (which then of course gently float down to be consumed).

3. If you love everyone and can do anything, there is no reason at all for you to create a place of infinite torment or permit one to exist, even for the Australian Christian Lobby. Instantaneous rehabilitation (or permanent existence-cessation) of a grievous sinner/epically bigoted douchebag should not be beyond either your power or your desire.

4. If you inflict disasters on innocent people as punishment for the crimes of their neighbours or leaders, you should try and improve your aim. Cyclones and tsunami are spectacular, no doubt, but they’re a little indiscriminate and most of your finite, flawed beings will tend to mark them down as random acts of nature. For a clear message, try dropping a giant anvil on top of whatever’s displeasing you, whether it’s a pornography studio or Cory Bernardi.

5. If you present as a perfect and flawless entity you should not have desires of any kind, much less a desire to be worshipped. Desire is the expression of an unmet need and the mark of an imperfect being (talk to Siddartha, he’ll happily tell you).

6. If you expect people to eat you and drink your blood (symbolically or otherwise), expect other people to think that’s hella creepy.

7. If you concern yourself with how your adult and consenting creations manage their genitals whilst in private, you shouldn’t have made genitals so much fun.

8. If you do not concern yourself with how your employees manage their genitals when around other peoples’ children, you should sign up for a remedial (preferably secular) ethics course.

9. If you tell your creations not only to not have sex before they get married, then tell them they can’t use contraception (even in places where STDs are fatal and epidemic) because sex is only to make babies, then tell them they can’t terminate pregnancies (even if the mother and/or baby will die), all on pain of eternal damnation, you should not be surprised if people happily flaunt your rules and treat you either as a laughing stock or source of great evil. Similarly, you should also not be surprised if many people take you very seriously indeed, leading to uncountable unwanted/neglected/abandoned/stolen/enslaved/murdered children, dangerous black-market abortions and, well, fatal STD epidemics.

10. If it is a primary concern for you that male babies have some of their penis skin cut or bitten off before you’ll love them, or that female babies have their clitoris and labia removed with a razor blade – what in the everliving fuck is wrong with you?

11. If you wish your creations to stand apart from the animal kingdom, try something a little more creative than just making them slightly smarter than the other animals – and maybe tweak their DNA a bit more so they stand out. Many humans are confused that they share 98% of their DNA with chimps and 50% with bananas but are also expected to try and meet the standards of an omnipotent immortal being who knows everything, in whose image they are also apparently made (would you worship half a banana – or even care what it thought?).

12. If you start off with a perfect creation and a perfect magical garden and staff it with two perfectly innocent creatures with no knowledge of anything (but who nonetheless have complimentary genitalia), do employ your omniscience to realise that it can, quite literally, only go downhill from there. You might want to consider installing a fence (with serpent-proofing, of course) around anything you don’t think they should eat – actually, don’t call their attention to anything like that in the first place. Um, even more actually, don’t even create anything like that, at all, ever. You know everything, so you know how that’ll turn out. Presumably.

13. Finally, don’t blame atheists for concluding you’re most probably non-existent when you apparently don’t do anything (except appear in toast or help people win Grammy Awards) and the only thing anyone has to go on are a bunch of conflicting rule-books written by geographically and culturally isolated societies, leading to several thousand years of bitter schisms, occasional genocides and awful, awful rock music.

H. sapiens


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