Monday Morning Millennial Star Question #4

From Clifford A. Pickover’s The Paradox of God and the Science of Omniscience:

On a cool autumn night, you are gazing up at the sky when a being suddenly appears and asks, “What can I do to make you believe that I am God?” What is your answer?

Tip: Christopher Bradford. If you have a question you’d like to pose some Monday morning, email me at matt@m*.

21 thoughts on “Monday Morning Millennial Star Question #4

  1. Feeling my way here, on a topic more suited to philosophers than to the average member.

    Leaving metaphysics behind (go make me a rock you can’t lift!), here’s what I think the average, doctrinally trained Mormon should say: “Make me feel joy.”

    I think that’s a decent test, as it should return no false positives, and no false negatives. (of course, this assumes that the being could be Jesus, the Father, or the Holy Ghost, and still fit the definition of ‘God.’) Sure, an angel might be able to make me feel real joy, but only if he’s an angel of light, and no angel of light would claim to be God. And I don’t believe there’s any other being who could do it (besides through everyday actions or familiarity, like my wife and kids do).

  2. As a convert, I can tell you that for many, many people there is nothing God could do to make them believe in God. They are simply not ready emotionally for any kind of test. To put it simply, they don’t care enough yet. They need an Earth-shattering event, a waking up, before they’re going to be ready. Life is generally very good and easy for many people today, and they don’t have much of a “need” for God, or at least they think they don’t. In my case, I needed a traumatic event to make me question the way I was living my life. And then God woke me up by making me fell joy, just as Ryan mentions. It worked for me.

  3. I’m sure this is an object lesson, and I’m totally missing the point, but wouldn’t we already KNOW it was God? It seems to me that if you met God, you’d know he was God, especially if you were spiritually “in tune”. Anyway, interesting question. An alternative answer would be to ask the being for perfect knowledge of how the world was created and how everything works. I’d love for the Theory of Everything to be revealed that God does not play dice (with snaps for Einstein’s heroic efforts to figure it all out).

  4. God does not play dice? Shucks, so much for my justification for gambling…..

    On a more serious note, if a being did appear to me and ask, “What can I do to make you believe that I am God?” I’d probably automatically assume that it was not God. I can’t imagine he would ever ask how he could prove himself to me. This being’s proof would be in the asking: if it asked something like that, I’d say no dice, no chance, no way; if it asked, “What can you do to prove that you believe I am God?” — or another question more in line with him knowing what he is, and asking for proof of my own faith — I’d believe it was Him.

  5. My initial thought was to ask the being to make me a god like him. I would imagine that the plan of salvation and progression would somehow be laid out and if I’m worthy and attain such, I could imagine that the being setting me on the correct path was at the least a messenger from that being or the Being himself.

    My other thoughts are that God would not need to prove Himself to me, being no respector of persons. Thinking back to Moses, do I feel transfigured to have beheld God with mine own mortal eyes? Lastly, what does God need with a starship?

  6. Charles, I think your first response is really good. Less so with your third. :)

  7. At the risk of sounding annoying – I’d just like to point out that the quote “God does not play dice” was Einstein’s denunciation of quantum mechanics, which essentially says that you can’t predict anything with absolute 100% certainty. A Theory of Everything would reconcile Einstein’s theories with quantum mechanics – which has nothing to do with gambling in the literal sense (i.e., slot machines and the like).

    But I agree with Arwyn, if the “God” asks you what you need to believe in him, it’s probably not God (maybe a renegade member of the Three Nephites?).

  8. I like how Moses handled a similar situation:
    (Moses 1)
    12 And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, son of man, worship me.

    13 And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee?

    14 For behold, I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man. Is it not so, surely?

    15 Blessed be the name of my God, for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me, or else where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me? And I can judge between thee and God; for God said unto me: Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve.

    16 Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not; for God said unto me: Thou art after the similitude of mine Only Begotten.

    17 And he also gave me commandments when he called unto me out of the burning bush, saying: Call upon God in the name of mine Only Begotten, and worship me.

    18 And again Moses said: I will not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of him: for his glory has been upon me, wherefore I can judge between him and thee. Depart hence, Satan.

  9. I would be helped by some variation of Gideon’s wet grass/dry fleece, dry grass/wet fleece test plus the revelation of detailed things that only I know a la Section 6.

  10. Tess’s post #9 leads me to wonder whether there is any scriptural precedent for God asking a non-rhetorical question. Anyone?

  11. Not sounding annoying at all, Tess. I’m not familiar with quantum mechanics or Einstein’s denunciation thereof — thanks for explaining that.

    I confess, though, that my first thought when I see the words “God does not play dice” is something along these lines.

    My second thought, as I expressed it, was that it makes sense for him not to play dice because if he did, the prophet couldn’t tell us not to gamble.

    I’ll leave quantum mechanics to the people who understand it. ;)

  12. I would ask him to give me forgiveness, a soft heart and charity. That eliminates any possible imposters, and guarantees me salvation as long as I don’t lose them.

  13. Don’t we have a fairly detailed sequence of symbolic questions and answers through which we achieve a mutual recognition with God?

  14. Eric: One might know them, but that doesn’t render them valid. They are intrinsically intertwined with the covenants that go with them, and one must be accompanied by the other. For example, in Genesis 9, God designates the rainbow as the token of the covenant he has made with Noah not to send a flood again. Were God to break that covenant (or never have made it), what validity would the rainbow have as a sign (Heb. ‘ot) of that covenant?

  15. Re: #8,

    Why the Goldbach conjecture? I’d ask for a proof of the Riemann Hypothesis or Poincaré Conjecture so that I could at least make some money off of it.

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