Monday, August 28, 2006

Asking God questions ( a game, of sorts)

This is what happens when one reads other people's bloggs. Like Catholicae Testudines where people want to know the "spritual significance of a tarantula". Wow.

Everyone has questions to ask God - burning, terrible, sharp questions: death, pain, why.... We are desperate to know the answers.

What if we had the chance?

No, this is not one of those games, though it actually isn't such a bad premise for one! OK, I will set it up: (drum roll) Presenting....

The "Asking God questions" game!

Q: If you met God, what would you ask Him?

I had to start this because I read a hilarious version of some questions which GKC asks God... well, actually it's in a story, and the character asking the questions is an atheist, and the person he talks to is in an asylum... but it's really, really funny. And I already hogged up the Testudines comments box, so I decided I had better post this here:

(Turnbull, the atheist, is addressing the lunatic who says he is God, who had volunteered to be his second in a duel.

[Turnbull says,] "The fact is, I don't like having God for my second."
"Sir!" said that being in a state of great offense, "in my position I am not used to having my favours refused. Do you know who I am?"
The editor of The Atheist turned upon him like one who has lost all patience, and exploded: "Yes, you are God, aren't you?" he said, abruptly, "why do we have two sets of teeth?"
"Teeth?" spluttered the genteel lunatic; "teeth?"
"Yes," cried Turnbull, advancing on him swiftly and with animated gestures, "why does teething hurt? Why do growing pains hurt? Why are measles catching? Why does a rose have thorns ? Why do rhinoceroses have horns? Why is the horn on the top of the nose? Why haven't I a horn on the top of my nose, eh?" And he struck the bridge of his nose smartly with his forefinger to indicate the place of the omission and then wagged the finger menacingly at the Creator.
"I've often wanted to meet you," he resumed, sternly, after a pause, "to hold you accountable for all the idiocy and cruelty of this muddled and meaningless world of yours. You make a hundred seeds and only one bears fruit. You make a million worlds and only one seems inhabited. What do you mean by it, eh? What do you mean by it?"
The unhappy lunatic had fallen back before this quite novel form of attack, and lifted his burnt-out cigarette almost like one warding off a blow. Turnbull went on like a torrent.
"A man died yesterday in Ealing. You murdered him. A girl had the toothache in Croydon. You gave it her. Fifty sailors were drowned off Selsey Bill. You scuttled their ship. What have you got to say for yourself, eh?"
The representative of omnipotence looked as if he had left most of these things to his subordinates; he passed a hand over his wrinkling brow and said in a voice much saner than any he had yet used:
"Well, if you dislike my assistance, of course - perhaps the other gentleman - "
"The other gentleman," cried Turnbull, scornfully, "is a submissive and loyal and obedient gentleman. He likes the people who wear crowns, whether of diamonds or of stars. He believes in the divine right of kings, and it is appropriate enough that he should have the king for his second. But it is not appropriate to me that I should have God for my second. God is not good enough. I dislike and I deny the divine right of kings. But I dislike more and I deny more the divine right of divinity."

[GKC The Ball and the Cross]

If you have not read this fantastic book yet, go and get it and read it!

Oh yes. If you want, you can play the game too. Meanwhile, I have some other matters to address to God just now, so if you will excuse me....


At 28 August, 2006 23:46, Blogger Rick Lugari said...

I have but one question for God: How can I make a coin disappear and then reappear behind someone's ear?

Okay...make it two questions. What evil could man have possibly done to deserve mimes?

At 29 August, 2006 08:29, Blogger rhapsody said...

One question, (in many parts:) that I have is:

When the Bible uses the word 'wine'- does it really mean grape juice?

Did Jesus turn the water at the wedding into grape juice?

Did people back then get drunk on grape juice?

Correct me if I'm wrong- didn't Jesus say He was going to wait for The Banquet with us (I'm hoping I'm there!) at the end of time's existence to drink Heaven's finest wine...

or did He mean grape juice?

At 04 September, 2006 16:37, Blogger Kevin O'Brien said...

What GKC did in this dialogue between the atheist and the madman-who-is-God is beyond anything the near-atheist Mark Twain ever achieved on this same subject. It's funnier and more poignant, but deals just as solidly with the Problem of Evil.

The difference is Twain was meandering through the hell of disbelief, while Chesterton had come through it. Chesterton's trip through hell gave him the strength to write what he wrote.

This is why any attempt to adapt "The Man who was Thursday" has to grapple with a trip through hell.

At 05 September, 2006 11:22, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

Excellent point. Yes, "Thursday" is a complex topic, and needs more thought, and discussion (I think the "Chesterteens" are getting into this over on their blogg.) But I do hope we shall see some kind of stage production - and even more, a full-length screenplay... what a place to apply the most cunning of special effects!

But on your deeper point (no pun intended): Maybe the "Steve Miller Band" said "you've got to go through hell before you get to heaven" - but Dante wrote a whole book about that journey 700 years ago, and spent the best third of the book talking about what heaven is like (just in case anyone really wants to know!)

It's a good part of Catholic theology to have a hatred of sin, but exactly halfway through the book, the middle of the middle canto, Dante turns his back on things-to-be-hated, and starts looking upwards towards things-to-be-loved. Wow, talk about intricate structures!

At 06 September, 2006 19:01, Blogger Pasky said...

My one and only question would have to be:

What do we need this Pump for anyway?


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