John over at MindOnFire asks what we would do if we were God's successor. Here was my answer:
Assuming that “God” is a being that has control over what humans do, how we perceive things and what happens to us, this is what I’d do:
Nothing. There is nothing that I could do that would, without a shadow of a doubt, make the human race “better”. According to the Bible, Jesus came to us before. Did it make things “better” in the long run? If God saves some people, smites others, then fixes things, will it really make a difference? I would be in 24/7 micromanagement hell, and it still wouldn’t guarantee to fix things. Plus, who’s to say that my idea of what is “fixed” would be good for us as a race? Maybe, God knows that in order for any species to get through to the next plane of existence, certain things have to happen - like hitting bottom before being able to make a huge leap in self-discovery. So, no, I wouldn’t do anything.
Now, if I were a God that actually wasn’t a God, but just another being in the universe that wanted to help humans along because I was far more advanced, and I’m feeling a little sorry for the whole human race, this is what I’d do:
Put a satellite or two around the planet. Satellites that are clearly alien, but are seemingly benign.
The reason is this: If we discovered once and for all that we aren’t the only beings in the universe, it would change religion significantly, and make us less earth-centric. Secondly, if there was an “other” out there that was just as smart (well, smarter) than us, then we’d have to come together to figure out what to do. We would no longer have the luxury of fighting amongst ourselves. Part of what makes the human race so concerned about each other and religion and all that *today*, is that the only real threat to our own existence is ourselves.
If we were faced with the distinct possibility that there might be another threat, or at least, that our existence relied heavily on our dealing with an entirely different species who worked on a completely different level than us, we would be forced to change - one way or another.
Although, that tactic, I just realized, might create an upsurge in Scientology. :)
Basically, humans create their own reality. A God who has any understanding of human nature would see that whatever he brings to our world, we’ll turn it into what we want it to be. If Jesus returned and made himself as plain as day, he’d probably be arrested or killed, not followed. And if he was followed, we’d twist his words once again and do what we would anyway. We don’t want to change, except when we are ready for it.
So, if I were God, I wouldn’t change the world. I’d use the power to take a little tour of the universe and see what other critters are up to out there. Oh, and I’d take a peek into the quantum world and get those pesky answers concerning the time-space continuum.