An important question from someone with deep but quite reasoned out misgivings about ‘God’ and deities in general:
“Free will for humans means no interference from deities and life has no meaning without at least the appearance of free will if not actual free will, making any deity bound to a non-interference policy and reliant on fickle faith for worship – and what need does an omnipotent being have of worship, unless all creatures crave unconditional love? In which case, are dogs to humans as humans are to deities? But a dog’s love is limited in scope and by lifespan – although there is no upper limit to the quality of doggie love.
In which case, is god like the Star Trek Borg, adding each of our individual distinctiveness back into the hive whole with Death being merely the collecting mechanism?”
You are quite right to point out that such a God as the ‘God in hell’ that you describe before, only and boringly watching everything inexorably unfold, would be a total absurdity, and the deities you describe would be too. So obviously What is actually there is NOT that kind of God or deities, but a kind of divinity altogether different than what you describe, and operating in a different way too.
I’m so glad you mention the Borg of ‘Star Trek’ (in the series ‘The Next Generation’ at least, of which I am a complete fan, except only two or three dark episodes).
Yes, the Borg do start out on the principle of growth that you describe. But if you have looked at the entire TNG series (Warning to any reader: Spoilers ahead!!!), you will remember how they too will start finally to evolve towards individualization and personal free will, thanks precisely to their contact with the ‘Enterprise’ team around Captain Jean-Luc Picard, all embodying one way or the other the inner qualities developed by humans and at least some individuals of the other species in their further evolution after our times.
It is the genuine love and compassion spontaneously felt and expressed by Geordi for the captured lone surviving Borg (from a crashed small ship), a young fellow, that makes this Borg experience for the first time friendship, that is, love from someone else for himself as an individual person and the reciprocal feeling from himself. Then to have a name of his own, to be trusted and to have crucial choices to make by himself will help him wake up even more to what it means to have free will, and to love. This fundamental change in him will become contagious to his whole mother-ship when he returns to it.
In the last ‘Borg’ episode (more Spoilers ahead!…), the ‘Enterprise’ crew is faced with all those changed Borgs now needing a leader and having found one, alas, in the devious and cruel liar Lore, the only brother android Data has, but perverted by the additional capacity of emotion (including jealousy and ambition…) without the central propensity towards goodness and actual love that Data unwittingly does have. It is the friendship between the young Borg they had saved, and Geordi, which will in the end save them all, through the irresistible re-emergence of that temporarily zapped fundamental inner quality in Data, enabling him to finally resist his too clever brother’s confusing influence, and to turn him off once and for all, ending at last the constant deadly threat Lore had become not only to Data himself and his ‘Enterprise’ friends, but to the whole galactic area they were exploring.
And the individualized Borgs?… Realizing now the dangers of wrong leadership, they have chosen to trust and follow the most truly advanced of them all, the one already awakened to Love… They can henceforth continue to evolve on their own, from that healthy and promising new basis.
This entire story I find absolutely great and totally inspiring.
And in this ‘Star Trek: TNG’ in general, you will notice that there is no ‘God’ mentioned anywhere, except in the beliefs of some of the cultures they visit on other planets, who are still primitive enough to adore whatever more powerful and mysterious beings not living on their planet, that they imagine to be supreme deities.
What comes on the contrary quite strongly out of the whole series is the need for all beings to love, not some hypothetical external ‘God’, but themselves and each other, so as to learn to live and work together in spite of the differences between all of us. Even those few very advanced beings who may be seen as somehow adoring Something, adore simply this very Presence of Love that can be felt everywhere as the universal background and actual Reality of everything there is – including each of us: yes, each of us is in reality that Love, an individualized portion of It, at play with all the others.
If that all-encompassing, ‘divine’ Love that is the origin and source of the very same Love latent in ourselves, is indeed watching all of us grow more and more in our own capacity to love, it is not because It has any need of that Love for Itself, but because, like any truly loving parent, It finds its joy in witnessing the constantly changing and surprising steps in the growth of its innumerable offspring towards their own more and more divine fulfillment of mutual and playful Love in that Oneness.
We all learn and grow through our eternal Play together within that infinite All That Is of Love which contains all the nuances of Love – and even its opposite, the other extreme at the other end of the spectrum: the (almost) total absence of that Love – so that we can choose, each of us, with our unpredictable free will, what we want to experience and radiate moment after moment in our various Bubbles of specific Space-Time conditions, not only on Earth, but also here and there in all the Universes, the many Playgrounds provided for our growth…
This reply of mine has become quite long; ‘Star Trek: The New Generation’ has helped me to explain the central Truth of our existence in a way that I hope will make everything as wonderfully clear and simple to you as it really is.
I’m putting up this explanation now also on my blog as this new post, that it may help other people as well.