Sunday, September 21, 2014

If God Punished Humanity for the Tower of Babel, why not for Space Exploration?

Oh, He's punishing you for it.  And what He's doing is chilling.

But we'll get to that.  First let's discuss what you're doing wrong.  The Book of Genesis is clear on how humanity is supposed to view the cosmos: 

"Flammarion" by Anonymous - Camille Flammarion, L'Atmosphere: Météorologie Populaire (Paris, 1888), pp. 163. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
I, of course, cloaked this truth of Creation in the evidence that you now claim points to a spherical earth, heliocentric solar system, and Big Bang cosmology.  But you were supposed to reject all of that evidence.  You were supposed to accept what the Bible says about the cosmos because what the Bible says about the cosmos is in the Bible.

Obviously you went a different way.

And so here we are, with humanity growing more and more distant from the beliefs God prescribed for you as your scientists re-create the conditions of the Big Bang, achieve greater understanding of your place in the universe, and use space-based telescopes to peer further than ever before into the cosmos.

You're not limiting yourself to terrestrial efforts, either.  You have collaborated despite nationalism to build an orbital station, sent a probe past the heliosphere into interstellar space (maybe), and landed a laser-armed, nuclear-powered science tank on another planet.  Your spaceflight capabilities have advanced to the point that private entities are now able to accomplish feats of engineering once achievable only by governments.

Which brings us back to the Tower of Babel.  Genesis 11:1-9 teaches,
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 
And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 
And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. 
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 
And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 
And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 
So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 
Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

In short, a bunch of dudes got together and, because they had both the ability to collaborate effortlessly and a sufficient supply of slime, were able to begin building a tower that would have pierced Heaven but for the intervention of God.  Because as God said, when humans collaborate fully, nothing within their imaginations remains beyond their grasp.

Seriously.  You guys are figuring out how to propel spaceships with glorified microwave ovens.  You're working on a warp drive, for [blasphemy redacted]'s sake.  Let that sink in.  You are working on a warp drive.

Now, sure, the warp drive stuff is still all theoretical.  But do you think something being theoretical is going to stop you?  Look at your Rosetta spacecraft.  It was launched in 2004.  A week ago, the European Space Agency chose a landing site on comet 67P for the Rosetta's Philae lander.  Let that sink in.  Humans shot a rocket into space ten years ago, successfully maneuvered its payload into stable orbit around a comet this year, and are about to land on that comet another science tank.  And how did you do this?  By combining math, astronomy, physics, chemistry, engineering, and fire.  Holy [blasphemy redacted].

Anyway!  Back to Babel.  Humanity was about to pierce the veil of Heaven.  But if it had done that, the portion of the dark ocean held above the Earth by Heaven would have poured through, drowning everything on Earth.  And that kind of devastation is something only God is allowed to wreak, thank you very much.  Also, secondarily, humanity was proving itself capable of equaling the glory of God, which He really doesn't like.

For those two reasons, God (who, of course, loves you and wants only for you to succeed), robbed you of your ability to collaborate with one another for your shared benefit.  The veil of Heaven and God's majesty were thus preserved.

Except you found workarounds.  Fast forward 4,300 years -- since, of course, the Earth is only 6,000 years old -- and not only have you learned each others'  languages, you're now so capable as scientists and engineers that you can exceed the works of the Babel architects within not just a single language, but within a single nation.

So what was God to do?  Organized religious sects already keep you divided, obviously, but that's no longer sufficient.  Neither is the languages thing.  Even if He pulled that again, you'd just adapt again.  You'd keep expanding your reach to the stars, pierce the veil of Heaven, and drown the Earth.

So He decided to punish you by implementing a public works project second in scope only to Creation.  As humanity has peered and explored deeper into space, God has concomitantly expanded the veil of Heaven to exceed your reach.  That is His horrifying punishment for your continued, arrogant exploration of the cosmos.

Now, you may be saying, "that doesn't seem so bad."  Well, then.  You haven't thought through the implications.

Before they may receive their posthumous reward in Heaven, virtuous souls must first get there.  And as you know, God has made it so nothing in the universe travels faster than the speed of light -- including humans' immortal souls.

The veil of Heaven is now over 13 billion light-years away from the Earth.  Which means that when your faithful loved ones pass away, it takes at least 13 billion years for their souls to reach Heaven.  So your dear departed Grandma?  Yep, you guessed it.  She's presently hurtling through the blackness of space, incorporeal, immortal, and utterly alone, just as she will be for billions and billions of years to come.

Terrible, isn't it?  But necessary -- because God loves you.  He doesn't want you to drown.

...again, I mean.

Thank you for reading, mortals!  As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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