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God got it wrong

By Peter Bowden - posted Wednesday, 29 September 2021

The essence of this think piece is simple, God created mankind, according to the Bible, but he got it so terribly wrong. For a start, he created an aggressive monster. Ever since the beginning of recorded history we have been killing each other. Historians tell us that there have been very few years in which we have all lived peacefully with one another. Even as you read this article a half dozen wars are taking place in various places around the world. In the last world war we killed 70–85 million people.

That monster he created was also thick headed. Barbara Tuchman in a brilliant essay "The March of Folly "identifies periods in history where our leaders have pursued policies against their own and their country's interest. She wrote "mankind, it seems makes a poorer performance of government than it does of any other human activity." In other words, we have not learned how to govern ourselves.

There are multiple examples of that stupidity, Tuchman lists several. The major ones of which were the failure of the Renaissance popes to address factors that led to the Protestant Reformation in the early sixteenth century, England's policies under King George III which resulted in the loss of the American colonies, and the mishandling of the conflict in Vietnam. Her analysis of Vietnam was based on the US support for continued French colonial control of Indochina, as opposed to independence for the region.


We could add, since she wrote, of the mishandling of the war in Afghanistan as another example of the stupidity of governments.

John Adams, second president of the United States (1797 to 1801) had anticipated her: "Government is at a stand, little better practiced that three or four thousand years ago." he told us in the Federalist Papers.

This writer believes, however, that the field in which God got it most wrong was in the design of us – the bodies that we carry around each day There are many aspects that can be criticised, one of which is old age. Research by the bucketful tells us that old people suffer from depression. The reason is undoubtedly the difficulties of old age. This writer has a friend whose mother is totally immobile, who must be helped in all her bodily functions. It would be a horrible way in which to spend your last few years. Most oldies fare better, but nearly all suffer from some impairment. God did not fully think through the optimum way for us to depart this world. There are many alternates other than to decay through bodily failure. You can have much enjoyable fun imaging the possible alternatives.

The particular issue with which this writer has long questioned, however, is sleep. We sleep each night about a third of the day. In a lifetime of 75 or so years, that means we sleep for 25 years, What a waste! If we could have worked for those 25 years, how much more time we would have had to work through methods to avoid the stupidities that the human race has created.

Genesis tells us that "God created mankind in his own image". As an all knowing and all-powerful individual, he obviously did not create us in his own image. So all that tells us is that Genesis got it wrong. Then if Genesis got this wrong, maybe it also is wrong when it told us God created mankind. Maybe even much of the Old Testament is wrong. Perhaps we did evolve from chimpanzees, so we should blame them for our own natural inbuilt pugnacious stupidity, rather than God.

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About the Author

Peter Bowden is an author, researcher and ethicist. He was formerly Coordinator of the MBA Program at Monash University and Professor of Administrative Studies at Manchester University. He is currently a member of the Australian Business Ethics Network , working on business, institutional, and personal ethics.

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