“God — Pettiness, Fear & Punishment”
By Kelvin Chin
Life After Life Expert
Let’s assume God exists. Let’s also assume — as believers believe — that He (She or It) is smarter than we are (or as some believe, omniscient) and is all loving.
[For the rest of this blog, I will use the lower case and masculine form, to make the essay easier to read, but you may assume that it includes He, She, or It.]
So if he is smarter than we are, then we should begin by removing all petty behavior, that people have attributed to him, from his behavior.
By “petty” I mean the type of thinking that is based on narrow thinking.
But you don’t have to think of it as “petty.” Think of it as “inconsistent with the type of thinking that a supreme being would have.”
So, for example, a supreme being would not want to tell people what to do all the time. That would be petty behavior. It would essentially be like saying, “God enjoys being a slaveowner” (i.e., controlling people, making them do things they don’t want to do, ordering them around, etc.).
Telling people what to do and controlling their behavior would also be a very boring job. And we must assume that he’s smarter than picking a job like that, if in fact he’s omniscient. After all, most human beings would not pick a job like that because of all the drawbacks associated with it, so why would an “omniscient being” pick that job? We must assume that he’s at least as smart as most human beings, right?
Nor do I think God bets on sports teams...or favors or influences the outcomes of games. So, all those prayers and thanks to “the Lord” for winning the game, are falling on deaf ears — it simply is not behavior consistent with an entity who is “all knowing” (or at least is smarter than we are) and “all loving.” I mean “picking sides”...really? C’mon man. Now, if you’re asking your dead grandfather for help, that would make sense to me — dead relatives and friends can definitely be partial!
What about fear? Is that the type of emotion an “all loving” God would want to spread within and among his people?
I don’t think so.
Instead, I think he would want us to live our own lives, make our own choices based on Free Will and enjoy our lives as fully as possible without fear because fear limits our level of happiness.
Ask yourself — why would a parent want his or her children to be miserable and live in fear?
Fear contracts us, it limits us, it drains our energy. All of that is inconsistent with what promotes happiness. So if we assume that God is all loving, we must assume that he would want us to be happy. And therefore he would not be an entity that spreads fear or would want to have fear created in us.
And so anyone who says that “fear is important” is not speaking from God’s standpoint — but instead from the human standpoint of desiring to control other human beings.
All of that is already known by human beings, i.e., the effect of fear on behavior.
So again, if one assumes that God is omniscient, then he must at least be smarter than all of those humans who already know the effect of fear. It is well researched, and one must assume that God already knows about that research — otherwise he would not be ‘omniscient’ and, moreover, would not be an entity anyone would want to believe in.
Does that make sense?
Then the practical question becomes: How can we live a happier life free from fear, which is what he would like us to do? I talk about that in detail in my lectures and blogs on the 'power of virtue' — “virtue” in the ancient Greek sense.
The same thinking about God applies to the issue of punishment.
It does not make sense that God would be a being who punishes, knowing that it would create more misery in the person, which would in turn lead to more and more miserable people in the world. (See my blog on “Transcending Cruelty.”)
And God would also not use punishment as a method to change behavior.
All the behavioral research indicates that punishment does not change behavior, so why would an all-loving God punish people? Assuming he’s omniscient, he would know at least as much as human beings know about punishment. And it is well-known that punishment does not change behavior.
In fact, recently I was in Los Angeles at a breakfast meeting, and the Los Angeles County district attorney spoke about punishment not working in the criminal justice system — that 64% (2 out of 3) of everyone who is jailed, once released, goes back to jail within 6 months and one third of them are back in jail within 3 weeks. And similar statistics exist nationwide.
If you choose to believe in God, you should sleep deeply knowing that God loves you, will not punish you, wants you to make your own decisions about your life, supports you in all decisions that you make, and is not judging whether you do right or wrong.
Live your life freer from fear — with more energy and enjoyment.
Kelvin H. Chin is a Meditation Teacher, Life After Life Expert, and Author of “Overcoming the Fear of Death.” He learned to meditate at age 19, and has been teaching Turning Within Meditation and coaching others in their self-growth for 40 years. He helps people understand their life challenges through their individual belief systems, and helps them find their own solutions. His past life memories reach back many centuries, and he accesses those memories in his teaching and his coaching in the same way all coaches draw on their own available experiences for perspective and effective analogies. He can be reached at www.TurningWithin.org.