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Say God created us. Was this fun for God? Does God keep watching us?

Why did God create us? God could have done more interesting things than create us.

What is God's motive in creating us? Does god have fun watching us, in the same way we enjoy movies, games, etc?

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    You're assuming that we are not God, which is big assumption. But yes, the image is often of Krishna playing with his retinue of young maidens and generally enjoying himself. But 'created' is a tricky word implying intention. Lao Tsu would say it all follows 'Tao being what it is'. Iow, 'God' had no choice in the matter and it;s all down to natural process and forces. Not what most scientists would call 'natural' but they would admit to being not yet clear as to what is natural and what is not. – PeterJ Aug 11 '17 at 11:48
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    Alternatively, there is no god. Or there was a god, but it was a demiurge which simple set the universe in motion and disappeared; that is, humans were not a direct creation, and may be unintentional or irrelevant. Or it may be that a god, being so vastly, categorically different from us, is ineffable, and its motives permanently inscrutable. Or you can subscribe to any given religion and accept their provided motives for god creating man. They all have them. And so on. The list of possibilities is boundless. – Dan Bron Aug 11 '17 at 12:11
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    Before we begin our research the list of possibilities is boundless, but as philosophers we shouldn't be happy to leave it there. – PeterJ Aug 11 '17 at 12:13
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    What is the point of the bounty if there already is an accepted answer? If it is unsatisfactory it shouldn't be accepted, and if it is satisfactory what more are you looking for? – Conifold Aug 15 '17 at 4:07
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    Looks like you're stuck in monotheism? – Rodrigo Aug 16 '17 at 1:52

13 Answers 13

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No.

Let's say you're right, and God really does benefit from the creation of humans.

  1. Definition: God is the greatest possible being.
  2. Uncontroversial assumption: absent very special circumstances, it is greater to be more happy than less.*
  3. Uncontroversial assumption: there was a time before humans.
  4. Hypothesis: God is happier when humans are around.
  5. Then by 3 and 4 God was less happy for a time.
  6. Then by 2 and 5 God was less great for a time.
  7. Then by 4 and 6 for a time God was not as great as God could have been.
  8. Definition: if something could have been then it is possible.
  9. Then by 7 and 8 for a time God was not the greatest possible being.
  10. Then by 1 and 9 for a time God was not God.

*See for instance Mill's discussion of happy pigs versus sad Socrates, or Yechiam Weiss's comment about tragic heroes. But I think it's fair to say that if it's possible to call God happy at all, then in the case of God there is no trade-off between greatness and happiness.

The statement "For a time God was not God" is of course false. It is greater to have always been great than to have become great. So God was always God, and always will be. One of the premises must have been wrong. The only doubtful premise is the hypothesis: God is happier when humans are around. Therefore God was not made happier by making humans.

The idea of God benefiting from humans and human existence was so abhorrent to the ancients that, in the "Euthyphro", Socrates uses it to draw Euthyphro into a contradiction. Neither of them can fathom that God could possibly benefit by human endeavours.

There's a much more interesting reason for this, too, outlined by Augustine. Alterations occur in time. Becoming happier is an alteration. But God does not exist in time, and therefore God cannot undergo alterations.

The takeaway from all this is that our intuition's of God's experience are probably false. God is not a person like you or me; God is something else entirely. For more, read on.

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    I mistakenly down-voted this; I edited it so I could rectify my mistake (I can't vote on it again until the post is edited); oh, and I fixed a point of grammar. – Mozibur Ullah Aug 14 '17 at 20:48
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    I just want to add to your rather nicely structured answer that nothing whatsoever necessarily implies there even is such a being as god, nor that the concept of "greatest possible being" is even coherent (many paradoxes arise immediately). On top of that a lot of people may also be happy with worshiping a "very great being", rather than some logically "greatest possible" one, see for example most polytheistic religions, which absolutely do ascribe failings and varying moods to gods, which inherently by your own argument also makes them less than the greatest possible. – TG2 Aug 16 '17 at 3:10
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    Ouch, why the downvote? Seriously, I'd really appreciate a comment telling me what I can do to improve my answer, or why it's wrong. – Canyon Aug 18 '17 at 16:08
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    I think your last sentence really helps with many of the questions on this site regarding God. I'm rather new here but from my limited experience questions seem to more often than not treat God as if he were just an omnipotent human. – abagh0703 Aug 16 '18 at 8:05
  • The last two paragraphs rectified your answer for me, but for you well-structured argument, I'd say that from a story-telling perspective, line 2 is not as uncontroversial as you may present. A tragic hero is often not happy in stories, yet he's still considered "great". But again, all of this becomes null once you focus on the last two paragraphs. – Yechiam Weiss Aug 17 '18 at 11:29
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From a Judeo-Christian perspective, several passages in the Bible, most notably the initial creation account in Genesis, suggest that God is an artist or an artisan, who takes pleasure in the sheer act of creation.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Genesis 1:31

Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Isaiah 64:8

He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.
Jeremiah 18:6

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
Job 38:4-7

You can also compare and contrast the Platonic/Neoplatonic concept of the demiurge, a semi-divine creator who makes the world as a work of art, in imitation of the Highest Good. There are certainly things in the world --the Mandelbrot Set, for example, or the coincidence in the apparent sizes of the sun and the moon --that seem extravagantly beautiful; to have aesthetic rather than functional or necessary motivation. From a religious humanist view, human beings, with all the paradoxical beauty of human nature, are arguably first among these aesthetic features of the universe.

Interestingly enough, Psalm 8 explicitly asks your very question, although without providing an answer, except perhaps implicitly.

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
Psalm 8

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Genesis doesn't discuss God's motivation for creation, only that he was 'glad'. It does discus God's reasoning for more mundane act's, such as the destruction is Sodom, or the salinification of Lot's wife. The question of God's inscrutability is fundamental to faith. On a personal note, that the books of the Bible were clearly written by different people who choose to tell us what God was or was not thinking... Was just the start of my journey to atheism. Let alone the divine reasoning behind the creation of ebola.

You could be accused of anthropomorphizing.. god isn't human he just looks it. Except that we are told that God has human likes and dislikes... It's all so confusing. Unless you have faith.. or opt for the most rational answer, which is that God doesn't exist, and therefore the question is irrelevant.

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That depends on what is meant by 'pleasure', by 'God' and by 'created'. There are a number of assumptions that can be made about God in answering these questions: the personhood of God as an observer, as separate from us, as requiring motivation or entertainment, as capable of choosing what to create, etc...

If God is understood to exist as a being within our time-dependent universe, then these questions appear to make sense but, as Canyon suggests, such a god would not be 'God' as understood in most common forms of theology.

If God is understood as a being outside our universe, then his notion of 'being' would be different to how we understand it: as dependent on the laws of our observable universe. Questions such as 'does God keep watching us?' can only be answered by firstly understanding the laws or parameters of the multiverse in which God exists, and secondly deriving some understanding of what it would be like both to 'be' in that outer universe and also interact with ours, assuming that were possible.

If God is understood as an absolute and non-dependent concept existing within, transcending and creating all possible multiverses and their contingent beings, however, then the notions of 'creating', 'watching' and 'enjoying' would probably take on quite different meanings. For this concept of God to experience, understand and interact with the diversity of even just our observable universe from every possible point of observation in time and space - including imagining possibilities in human minds that may or may not occur - would be something we can barely begin to imagine.

To then separate out a particular element (namely watching human beings) from such a broad experience of what would be an intricately interconnected system across infinite time and space, and determine its 'pleasure' or 'fun', seems trivial and quickly loses its significance within any limited attempt to ascertain such information.

I imagine we would only care so much about these questions because we are so focused on ourselves as a part of the 'human beings' in question. Who's to say that God did not do any of these other 'more interesting things' you speak of?

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You are assuming that fun is a factor that would play a role for a deity, which I myself would kind of agree with since in most religious books it is often indicated that we are the image of god or if not share some similarities. I would put some meaning into that claim since there is the feeling which we have called , feeling like god, or playing god. A name we give if we create something ourselves or feel especially powerful. From that we can derive 2 things , first that God is a creator , second that he is powerful and third that he transmits some properties of his own to his creations.

So suppose one of these properties was that of having fun which we humans share , then God himself should have some resembling property or at least a borderline property which may be derived from other properties. So since God’s property of being able to have fun is established the question shifts to what god may enjoy. Since the image property is established , saying all the things humans do would be too easy of an analogy ,so as factors I would also like to add :

1)being allpowerful ,

2)being able to create anything that a human can imagine and beyond ,

3)being everywhere

4)and finally having everlasting life.

So before adding these lastly added properties into consideration let’s consider what we as humanbeings would really enjoy if we created beings at our disposal. The first thing that comes into my mind is the scientific observation of bacteria or if not that other sentient beings , such as observed hatched miniscule beings as in the episode of the Simpsons if you have watched it(Season 8 Episode 1).

In that episode Lisa creates intelligent life by accident in a petri dish which goes through many phases of development from being underdeveloped cavemen to modern 21. century beings with developed ideals and technology in a matter of days.

Now to the root of the intriguing or "fun" part which makes the episode fun to watch. It is the not knowing, of how and where the development will go, or even if you may predict the outcome since it becomes later pretty clear after the first day in which it can be seen that the little beings in the dish invent fire, that the temporal development will be very similar to the historical human development we know, which ,in the next scene is revealed to be the case. Now to the reason of this parallel.

What the episode plays on the most is the curiosity , of the creator who created and the audience who observed it all which would be us. We can observe and we can create, we can even intervene (there is a scene where Bart crushes a whole continent by putting his finger in the dish) if we do wish to do so and to the part of being everlasting I would draw from the parallel that Lisa as a human being lives a way longer life than anything that the beings in the dish could even imagine. Altogether I would put Lisa , the creator, Bart the intervener and us the audience , the watcher in one basket , calling it God. To be more abstract I would like to add , that the personalities of those three roles may vary and be interchangeable so not to say God has similar personality traits. It is enough although to say that he does fill the roles of those three and that his wishes and interventions are not arbitrary.

Now also I am aware that living indefinitely is a completely different matter than that of living a very long life but since being immortal raises again the question of whether enjoyment can be felt at all and other tough questions , I chose to oversimplify that fact, so to skip that question in a discrete matter.

Now since enjoyment or fun can be felt by a deity, the reason of why god would have any fun in creating us is that God created something in which he does not have the information of everything that will occur. If he did , then there would be no sense in creating a scenario in which he saw all the lives of everyone being played out in front of his eyes. So to assume that God knew all the rules and every detail of the playground with all its laws and functionalities and outcomes but not how the little sentients are going to play is what would explain the previously added premises.

So the ultimate answer would be fascination for the unknown.

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Arguably, the orthodox Christian position would be that God created humans for entering into communion with Him through Christ - all things were created by the Word and for the Word, who is Christ, the Son of God...believing in this position also commits us to a view of God that He created us like a father, who takes pleasure in watching His children learn to communicate with Him, having all the relevant capacities which enable them to speak with Him and know what He is like.

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1. Question Restatement:

What pleasure does God get from the creation of humans?


2. The Plausibility of Pleasure:

Suppose that "God" is defined, (at least in part), as the creator of beings. Then analogously, if we created beings - we could be considered "gods".

And, if we find pleasure in our creation - then it stands to reason that our own creator would plausibly find pleasure too.

The question then becomes - why are we finding pleasure in creating beings?


3. Why we find pleasure in creat/ing/ed beings:

We are in fact creating "beings" - of some sort, certainly not as complex as ourselves - yet.

If we are examining "God", transcendent of this causal domain, of physicality, and time - then any "physical pleasure" we find could not be validly attributed to God too.

So, necessarily - the list would have to be limited - somewhat - to apply between a "Life Giving Spirit" towards "Mankind" - in the same ways we might find pleasure in the beings we are creating, (to establish plausibility).

Our greatest pleasures creating beings, are in those that are "like us" - at least seeming to take pleasure in the same experiences that we do, (literature, comics, movies, virtual reality, etc.).

  1. Partnership: Advocating for, helping, and Challenging each other; (Psalms 21:1, Isaiah 7:1; Matthew 1:23).
  2. Intimacy: In-to-me-see, revealing own heart and perceiving the heart of others; (Isaiah 66:2, etc.)
  3. Beauty: Art, Form, etc.; (Isaiah 61:3, etc.)

Obviously, I am speaking to some common Scriptural passages - to avoid the meritless claims of a mis-deific characterization, (like "God" as a "celestial-dictator", solipsistic, and self-fulfilling, etc.);

Obviously this argument only aspires to an abductive or inductive conclusion - through analogy, as it probably isn't valid to actually dogmatically represent a non-corporeal "God" dwelling in a transcendent domain of reality - which would be hard to relate to.

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Great question. Liking one thing as opposed to something else can be said to be a personality trait, i.e. something contingent. In that case, the question might devolve into can god have contingent properties, such as being green, or does the property of being perfect only describe a single possible entity. It doesn't seem to be the case that a green god is more perfect than a purple one, so the set of possible perfect beings is probably infinite. The gods in this set, G, would differ in properties irrelevant to perfection, let's say taste is one of them. Then, some of the gods in G probably like making stuff, and its one of those gods that happens to exist. This isn't so much an answer to the question, why would god enjoy making people, so much as a claim that such a god is possible, and at that point the question becomes why does anyone like anything.

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May be god does not watch or listen to us . We may be living higher clock world than god i.e 1000 years on our universe maybe a second for god.

God might be running a simple experiment on this universe . God does not care or it does not matter .

God might even have multiple experiment of universes . So it becomes even more difficult for god to even keep track for small changes in our life's.

Bad or Good whatever we do , does not matter at all . Nor our sadness or Happiness is counted by god .

All our life's are lead by ourselves , nobody has control over it and nobody cares about it.

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    This is deism. Great you have discovered it, – rus9384 Aug 16 '18 at 23:53
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God created us because before that, there was nothing else than God, In vedic scriptures the reason of creation is described in this way , स एकाकी न रमते द्वितीयमेच्छत । he doesn't play alone, he wishes for someone else, but according to advaita school of thought, there is nobody else, so he created the second person स आत्मानं द्वैधापातयत् पतिश्च पत्निश्चाभवत । he divided himself into two, and become man and wife. Even if God is All powerful , and Allmighty , He cannot enjoy his qualities without the presence of a separate being. i.e we cannot enjoy our own beauty without looking into a mirror. So to experience his own power, beauty, love, grace etc.. He needs somebody else, but there is nobody else than him , So he created us from himself.

  • "। s(h)e(it) doesn't play alone" if all god , then why we are here ? – Amruth A Aug 18 '17 at 4:13
  • It is not "I" it is full stop in devnagari script. We are here because he wants us to be here , we are not different from him as we are all made up of him , but we are not one with him because he has created a false wishful duality to enjoy his creation. It is called ऐच्छिक द्वैत – techvish81 Aug 18 '17 at 5:23
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It is a set of interesting questions. We all know that nobody can give the right answer to these questions. For this reason, we can only BELIEVE in God.

In order to give any answer about God, we make a number of assumptions and we use mostly our imagination (instead of logic) to approach an answer (The logic can take us from A to B. In order to go further in order to approach Z, we need to travel by using our imagination).

It is an illusion to believe that we can find the answer to your questions. And of course, before answering any question about God, we should begin by answering the most obvious question: What is God?

  • god is assumed to be creator of us . (and you can't ask the question" who created god ?") – Amruth A Aug 18 '17 at 9:42
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    You have already done 2 assumptions: God created universe and nobody has created God. In both cases you have used your imagination to make these assumptios. So, now even if we use logic (taking into account the two imaginated assumptions) to answer your questions, the answers will be correct, IF and ONLY IF the imaginated assumptios are true! – Giannos Antoniou Aug 18 '17 at 19:07
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Questions about 'God' and 'creation' most often creates confusion. This chain of questions is something like that.

See what Ramana Maharshi said:

"There is no dissolution or creation, no one in bondage, nor anyone pursuing spiritual practices. There is no one desiring liberation nor anyone liberated. This is the absolute truth."

Please note the last statement also. He would never say so without realizing it. If it is true, this discussion is worthless. So what we should do is to realize the Truth before asking too many questions based on one assumption. First try to verify whether the first assumption is true or not.

Why did God create us?

From the above words of Maharshi you can conclude that an external God didn't create us.

So...

What pleasure does God get from the creation of humans?

God could have done more interesting things than create us.

What is God's motive in creating us?

These statements also become invalid.

Does god have fun watching us, in the same way we enjoy movies, games, etc?

If he does so he must be so foolish and cruel. I am saying so because those who believe in an external God (as their creator), must accept the idea that he has also deposited a mind in us...in order to make them feel miseries. It is certainly cruel to those who believe in such a God. This leads them to think that a cruel God is not worshipable. And aversion towards somebody is not a good thing that helps to understand/realize that person. Here, if you have an aversion to God you will never try to realize Him. (At least) 'Keeping a quest to seek it' was the thing that helped many men to realize that omnipresent. So please don't blame it on God.

When the assumption is wrong it will take you to chaos.

See the link I quoted Maharshi's words: http://www.kheper.net/topics/Vedanta/Ramana_on_creation.html

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Given the scope of GOD relative to a single human, the pleasure is most likely akin to a human who cares for a houseplant.

But given many humans, the scope is more like curating an ecosystem towards divine destinies like, for example, a perfect civilization.

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