God is not a human being. –– No need to bribe him.

By Jaseem Pasha, MD
Sunday, March 3, 2023

Abstract: This article critiques the common misinterpretation of divinity, urging a shift from treating God with human-like transactions towards recognizing God’s structured system of morality and ethics, deeply rooted in the Golden Rule. It underscores that across religions, this principle of the Golden Rule is central to engaging with the divine, advocating for humanity’s commitment to moral integrity, respect for human dignity, and environmental stewardship as part of God’s divine system requirements. By emphasizing the importance of critical thinking and God-consciousness, the article argues that divine assistance is contingent on adherence to these principles, with no shortcuts or exemptions. The article warns against the influence of societal “rogues” who routinely distract believers from these values. It advocates for vigilant, ethical living that aligns with the divine expectation of nurturing a just and compassionate world. This framework, presented as God’s algorithm, requires active participation and mindfulness of God’s system, reinforcing that respecting this divine order is essential for spiritual fulfillment and societal harmony.

For heaven’s sake, God is not a human being. So, do not try to bribe him.

Regardless of affiliation with any organized religion, attempts to negotiate with or manipulate Divine Will through human actions, rituals, or offerings have never worked.

Such attempts only prove the folly of projecting human behaviors and expectations onto the Divine, pointing to the believers’ utter failure to recognize the fundamental differences between God’s nature and human nature.

Probing into such self-serving pursuits challenges the naïve religious community to reflect on the nature of their religious practices and beliefs. Are they attempting to ‘bribe’ God with their actions, prayers, or offerings in hopes of favorable outcomes?

This inquiry can lead to exploring what true devotion and faith should entail—selfless love and reverence for the Divine rather than transactional or conditional practices.

In other words, believers seek divine favor through material or ritualistic offerings rather than moral integrity or spiritual growth. This practice can be avoided by sincerely embracing the well-acknowledged Golden Rule principle that every religion’s scripture consistently advocates. The Golden Rule says: “Do to others as you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”[1] This rule is the only pathway the Creator-God in every religion strongly recommends facilitating inner transformation over external rituals.

Regarding the same Golden Rule, the Quran and Hadith emphasize kindness, fairness, and justice towards all individuals, irrespective of their religious or cultural ties. For instance, the Quran says: “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both” (Quran 4:135). This verse underscores the importance of justice and fairness without making distinctions based on faith. Of course, many people believe in the Golden Rule but neglect to practice it.

The miniature minds of believers who are constantly hammered by their religious leaders promoting their tribal version of morality stay entangled with their religious rituals. They fail to identify the universal moral compass based on the Golden Rule, founded on the bedrock moral criterion of firmly adhering to respect for inherent human dignity without excluding anyone.

Understanding the non-human nature of God can inspire a form of spirituality grounded in ethical principles and compassion rather than in attempts to manipulate spiritual outcomes. The non-human nature emphasizes that God is beyond human comprehension, existing outside the limitations and conditions of human existence. This divine transcendence means God does not operate based on human logic, emotions, or motivations. He is not swayed by emotions or material offerings in how humans might be in their interpersonal transactions.

The believers must reexamine the nature and purpose of prayer and offerings regardless of their religious background. Instead of viewing them as means to ‘bribe’ God, they can be understood as expressions of gratitude, devotion, and a desire for spiritual connection. This shift in perspective can lead to a more profound, more authentic religious experience based on love and reverence rather than fear or desire for gain.

This approach will enrich the believers with a thought-provoking exploration of the implications of recognizing the Divine beyond human manipulation. It will encourage a move towards a more mature, ethical, and spiritually fulfilling relationship with the Divine, challenging us to reflect on our beliefs and practices.

  1. God has a system. Follow the system. He has a system that always reigns, with and without believers. God’s system has many magnificent features that impact humanity’s well-being individually and collectively when complied with or grave when violated.

“ — Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people to be ill, there is no repelling it. —” [Quran 13:11]

In this divine system, there is an order, a system, a regimen, and a guideline. Everyone must practice obedience within this system.

Furthermore, another verse complements this understanding, reinforcing that God has established a consistent and unchanging system within which divine laws operate. Surah Al-Anfal (8:53) states: “That is so because Allah would not change a favor which He had bestowed upon a people until they change what is within themselves. And indeed, Allah is Hearing, Knowing.” This verse echoes the sentiment that divine blessings and conditions are contingent upon human actions and intentions, highlighting God’s system’s consistency and human effort’s role in maintaining or changing one’s condition.

The Book of James[2] in the New Testament emphasizes that faith without works is dead, suggesting that belief must be accompanied by action to be meaningful and effect change.

The Bhagavad Gita discusses the concept of Karma Yoga, the path of action. One of its central teachings is that one should perform one’s duty without attachment to the results of actions.[3]

In Buddhism, karma plays a significant role, emphasizing that individuals are responsible for their actions and the conditions of their lives. The Dhammapada, a collection of sayings of the Buddha, teaches that the mind precedes all things, and conditions arise based on one’s thoughts and actions.[4]

Taoist philosophy teaches about the Way (Tao) and its spontaneous nature, indicating that changes in one’s life and the world result from harmony with the natural order.[5]

There are several manifestations of God’s system of operation that believers must be mindful of:

Feature #1: Universal Principles of Justice and Morality

God’s system seems to be designed with laws of nature that ensure the well-being and harmony of the universe and everything within it. This divine system is not limited to the physical laws governing the universe or the ecological balances of nature but also extends to the moral and ethical framework within which human beings are expected to interact.

This framework provides a moral compass for human behavior, outlining the consequences of actions based on how they align with these ethical principles. Just as ecological actions directly affect the planet’s health, moral actions have immediate and tangible effects on the well-being of individuals and communities.

While His system upholds the universal principle of respect for human dignity, which is inherent, innate, intrinsic, and inviolable that binds everyone together and excludes no one, it also challenges humanity to transcend differences and work towards a greater good that aligns with divine intentions for justice, peace, and harmony.

The Creator-God does not favor or reward any believer based on diversity. Any self-centered tribal approach creates double standards in conflict with the Golden Rule principle. God never contradicts his system.

Feature #2: Diversity Acknowledged and Valued

His system recognizes that while people come from various backgrounds, cultures, and belief systems, they are all subject to the same divine laws of justice and morality. They are all equal, and none are more superior than any other except in their piety.

The divine laws under His system transcend human-made distinctions and hierarchies.

Many show delusional thinking by displaying self-assumed superiority over others. Some believe that when they die, they will go straight to heaven because of their status of being the “chosen ones,” regardless of their transgressions.

These principles are inherent to the fabric of reality. This perspective challenges any notion of intrinsic superiority based on identity, instead promoting a vision of equality grounded in shared moral and ethical commitments.

Feature #3: Piety as a measure of virtue.

However, the divine system positions piety or righteousness as the only valid criterion for superiority that the system intrinsically introduces as a dynamic aspect of human-divine relations available to all diversities. This emphasis on piety democratizes spiritual and moral excellence, making it accessible to anyone, regardless of their social or cultural background, who sincerely seeks to align with divine principles.

Perhaps the most direct statement in Islamic scripture regarding the criterion for superiority in the eyes of God is found in Surah Al-Hujurat: “O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”[6]

In the Book of Galatians, Paul writes, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). This passage underscores the idea that in spiritual matters, and the eyes of God, earthly distinctions lose their significance, and the accurate measure of a person is their faith and righteousness.[7]

In discussing the varna system (often misunderstood as caste), Krishna explains that the divisions are based on qualities and actions (guna and karma) rather than birth.[8]

Sikhism strongly emphasizes equality among humans and rejects distinctions based on caste, creed, or gender.[9]

Feature #4: His system is immutable and does not change for anybody. No exceptions.

His system is not arbitrary but is designed with wisdom and foresight to maintain balance, harmony, and order. It applies universally, without exception or change, to any individual. Everyone is subject to the divine system and its laws. No one is favored or disadvantaged by divine law based on their identity, status, or background.

Complying with God’s system is akin to showing reverence for God because it acknowledges and respects the wisdom and authority behind these laws. Just as traffic rules are established to prevent chaos on the roads and ensure the safety of all users, the divine system is seen to guide behavior in a way that promotes the greater good.

His system fosters a sense of personal responsibility and ethical conduct. The divine system invites individuals to live with awareness, recognizing that their choices and actions contribute to the harmony or discord of the broader system. This approach to understanding God’s laws fosters spiritual growth and promotes a more ethical, responsible, and compassionate way of living.

Feature #5: God’s system has no shortcuts or loopholes.

It means no acts can exempt one from violating God’s system, reinforcing the idea of divine justice and accountability just as one cannot avoid the consequences of breaking traffic rules through excuses or justifications or even praying to God to be relieved of traffic fines.

This reasoning underscores the importance of living by these laws, not just out of fear of punishment but out of understanding their inherent value and the benefits they bring.

Feature #6: What goes around comes around.

The cause-and-effect principle resides in every human experience that is triggered around us. The divine system can be seen as a vast, interconnected network where every law, principle, and guideline contributes to the harmony and well-being of the universe. Just as disrupting one element of an ecosystem can have far-reaching consequences, disobeying a single aspect of God’s system can lead to imbalance and disharmony.

The ecological system operates on the principle of cause and effect, where every action has consequences. This principle is mirrored in the idea that following or not following God’s system results in corresponding outcomes. Just as ecological balance is maintained through the natural consequences of actions within the system, divine justice is often perceived as a natural outcome of one’s alignment or misalignment with God’s laws.

Feature #7: Loss of critical thinking & personal integrity

The gift of intelligence and the capacity for critical thinking set humans apart from other living organisms, enabling us to navigate complex moral landscapes and make choices that reflect our understanding of right and wrong.

When individuals or societies neglect critical thinking, they inadvertently set themselves on a path toward ignorance and misinformation; they risk undermining the very foundation of their human dignity and moral judgment.

The issue at hand is not just the absence of critical thinking but the presence of it without the guiding light of integrity and ethical values.

Critical thinking, devoid of ethical considerations, is weaponized for selfish ends, leading to exploitation and dehumanization. This abuse underscores the importance of coupling critical thinking with a strong moral compass, ensuring that our intellectual abilities are used for the betterment of humanity rather than its detriment.

II. Divine Assistance and Human Responsibility

The profound question is why God is not helping when people face the consequences of neglecting critical thinking and moral integrity. Many religious and philosophical traditions assert that divine help is always available but requires human receptivity and cooperation.

Divine gifts, including intelligence and the capacity for moral discernment, come with the responsibility to use wisely and ethically. When these gifts are squandered or misused, the resulting problems are not a reflection of divine abandonment but human failure to live up to their potential and responsibilities.

In short, the interplay of cause and effect in the context of critical thinking and moral integrity is a testament to the importance of these divine gifts in safeguarding human dignity and ensuring a just and humane society.

III. How society’s rogues defy the Divine system

Who are the rogues in society?

“Rogues” can be broadly interpreted to describe individuals or groups operating on the fringes of or outside societal norms, laws, and ethical standards. They often engage in behaviors or activities considered detrimental to the broader community’s welfare.

The rogues manifest a wide range of background diversities that include criminals and organized crime groups, corrupt officials and politicians, unethical businesspeople and corporations, demagogues and manipulative leaders, hackers and cybercriminals, militants, extremists, and most of the oligarchs. A large segment of these rogues has connections to higher-ups and involves every highest office in any government.

The impact of rogues on society can be profound and currently challenge the rule of law, compromise social trust, and endanger public safety and welfare.

What empowers the rogues?

Rogues in society have no real power that initially arises from within. They thrive by taking advantage of other people’s weaknesses. Their existence depends on parasitic dependence on other host-human beings who are primarily weak in the quality of their critical thinking. They derive power from existing social and economic inequalities. By exploiting these disparities, they can manipulate individuals and systems to their advantage, often preying on the vulnerabilities of the less fortunate or those disenfranchised by the mainstream societal structures.

The primary weakness of the host-human beings is the principal source of strength and power for the rogues who dominate society, even though they are always a tiny minority. Rogues are masters in exploiting the naïve majority’s weakness in critical thinking. If some host-human beings lack integrity, they become easy prey for bribes and facilitate more power to the rogue system.

The tactics used by these rogues are usually referred to as Machiavellianism, often cited as a strategic and frequently manipulative approach to power, where the ends justify the means, regardless of the moral implications. Individuals or groups with Machiavellian tendencies might possess sharp critical thinking skills but apply them without ethical considerations, focusing solely on consolidating and expanding their power. The effectiveness of such individuals or groups often relies not just on their cunning or strategic intelligence but also on exploiting vulnerabilities within societies—notably, the neglect of critical thinking and moral integrity among the broader population.

The masses’ neglect of critical thinking and lack of integrity create a fertile ground for Machiavellian forces to thrive.

When individuals fail to question, analyze, and reflect on their circumstances, decisions, and those who hold power, they become susceptible to manipulation and control. The loss of critical thinking skills and moral integrity leads to a society where the majority may unwittingly support or tolerate systems that work against their interests, allowing a small minority to usurp disproportionate wealth and resources.

The concentration of wealth and control of natural resources in the hands of a few is not a divinely ordained state but the result of historical processes, including exploitation, strategic maneuvering, and, at times, sheer opportunism. This concentration of power raises important questions about the ethical responsibilities of those who hold it and the systems that allow such disparities to persist and grow. It also calls into question the societal values that enable a small minority to dominate while the majority struggles.

Delusions of exceptionalism

When people accumulate too much power and wealth, it often goes to their heads and makes them feel invincible, have no empathy, and feel no remorse for causing suffering to others.

Some groups, under the garb of their religion or some political or tribal ideology, believe they are uniquely chosen by God or favored by the divine or their lineage, which can lead to complacency regarding universal moral principles and, in extreme cases, justify dehumanization, crimes against humanity, such as sectarian or racial violence, apartheid, genocide, or even invading other nations. When twisted into a license for superiority or exclusivity, this sense of exceptionalism can lead to some of the darkest chapters in human apathy, as witnessed worldwide.

Towards a More Equitable Society –– A Call to Action

Against the backdrop of worldwide human suffering, there is a lack of rule of law in domestic and international contexts. This dire global situation underscores the need for a collective awakening and action to address the imbalances and injustices that threaten the fabric of communal life.

By embedding respect for human dignity, critical thinking, and intellectual integrity into the fabric of society—from education and community life to governance, media, and business—we can build a critical mass in each community that values and upholds these principles.

This transformation hinges on personal sacrifices and a collective willingness to step out of comfort zones. It’s about fostering a critical mass of individuals across all diversities who embody the change they wish to see, thereby setting a precedent for their children, neighbors, and friends.

It’s not about coercing change in others but about being the change in oneself and striving to be perceived as an asset to society. In this endeavor, the number of people is not as crucial as the quality of their commitment and actions. Every significant movement starts with a small, dedicated group who dares to envision and work towards a better future.

To build such a society, we must first acknowledge the need to return to the basics of right and wrong, just and unjust, with respect for inviolable human dignity at the core of morality and ethics. This approach involves enhancing and developing critical thinking and intellectual integrity as fundamental criteria for civility. This change must start at the grassroots level, aiming to build a critical mass in each community that can catalyze broader societal transformation.

Education is the bedrock upon which critical thinking and moral values are nurtured. However, the responsibility extends beyond formal education into every aspect of community life. It requires creating environments where dialogue and diverse viewpoints are encouraged and celebrated.

Moreover, the transformation towards a more equitable society demands active engagement in civic life. Volunteerism and community service emerge as powerful tools for understanding and tackling these issues, allowing individuals to connect abstract principles with concrete actions.

While the number of individuals committed to this path might initially be small, their impact can be profound. In this context, quality outweighs quantity; a dedicated few can inspire a ripple effect, leading to broader societal changes.

There is always a beginning to such movements, often sparked by the actions of a single individual or a small group.

By becoming the change we wish to see, we contribute to the betterment of our immediate communities and set the stage for a more just and equitable global society.

[1]  Matthew 7:12

[2] (Book of James 2:14-26)

[3] Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Verse 47

[4] Buddhism – Dhammapada 1:1-2

[5] Tao Te Ching by Laozi

[6] Quran Al-Hujurat (49:13)

[7] Book of Galatians 3:28

[8] Bhagavad Gita 18:41-47

[9] Guru Granth Sahib, Page 611

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