Human consciousness was always going to require a god

Did mankind create God or did God create mankind? This is life’s conundrum


For as long as we humans have been able to measure time itself, we have grappled with the question of whether there is a god. But when did our species first become aware of the concept of God? The answer is “intelligenesis”. That’s what I call the birth of computing intelligence in us humans. It occurred a quarter of a million years ago when we evolved into Homo sapiens.

Up to then, like the rest of the animal world, we were able to do little more than think of our next meal or mate. But now we were able to think and reason for ourselves. We acquired both consciousness and conscience.

Spirit or soul
Consciousness, the ability to be able to think outside of ourselves and beyond our surroundings, is what caused us to consider we may have a spirit or soul.

Conscience was the result of being able to differentiate between good and bad deeds.

From then on, we also became very aware of the forces of nature – the sun warming us, and the moon controlling the tides.

These forces of nature were all-powerful so we made them our gods. However their behaviour was as random as the acts of nature themselves. Because these gods were unreliable and unpredictable we soon tired of them.

We then longed for a more significant being – a one, true god. Monotheism, the belief there is but one god, a concept first promoted in Judaism, took hold only about 3,000 years ago. We now wanted a god that understood the human condition.

So did God create us humans in his, her or its own image and likeness? Pardon my “heresy” but let’s consider that, as our intelligence developed, it was we humans who created a god in our own human image and likeness.

By the time Jesus Christ started preaching, we humans were not only ready, primed and conditioned for, but were actually craving a god we could relate to. He claimed he was the son of God but he was also flesh and blood like us. Better still, he promised what we craved most – immortality.

Now, 20 years short of the 2,000th anniversary of Jesus Christ claiming he was immortal by his “resurrection”, immortality is within the grasp of human capability. Since 1996, we have been able to clone sheep. We will, no doubt, soon clone humans, once we come to terms with the ethics around such an act.

While we all accept that with advances in medical science we may be very close to conquering death, we cannot be so certain good will finally conquer evil any time soon.

But should that come to pass, will we not have “peace on Earth as it is in Heaven” and live, having conquered death, in a “God-like” form? Would the prophecies of the Koran, the Rig Veda, the Bible etc thus not have been fulfilled?

Amazingly, our species is going to end up at a destination that was mapped out for us, thousands of years ago, in the scriptures of the world’s major faiths. Christians and Muslims called it Heaven, Buddhists called it Nirvana and Hindus named it Moksha. You have got to ask yourself is this all one hell of a coincidence or one heavenly divine plan. So did God create us or did we create God? It actually may not matter because a consequence of having computing intelligence is that we would seek a god.

When our species acquired computing intelligence was that an act of God or an act of nature? A divine intervention or a freak of genetics? That is for each of us to decide.

Put it another way: are we humans here as mere accidental tourists or mission purists? Is our mission, through generations, called reincarnations in some faiths, to see good conquer evil?

In all the vast known universe, we humans are the only life form with this level of intelligence. We are the only beings uniquely equipped with a computing brain able to consider the question of whether there is a god.

Lifetime conundrum
Did you create that god or did that god create you? Now that conundrum may take your whole lifetime to answer.

Happy Easter or happy whatever event your culture or creed celebrates at the spring equinox when, for a quarter of a million years now, we humans the world over become so conscious of life resurrecting itself.

Gavin Duffy is a communications trainer, businessman and investor on the RTÉ programme Dragons’ Den

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