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Library: The Game

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Author: dione
Date:Oct 28 2010

Yesterday, my 10 year old daughter asked me a simple question: "Is there a
God?" Yes, one of the questions you just must answer to your offspring
someday, just like "does Santa Claus exist" or "where to babies come from". As
most of us know, the answer to this question is not that simple, so I had to
make a decision on whether to tell her what I believe, or to tell her what the
society expects us to believe, or perhaps something in between.

Obviously, I couldn't tell her what I truly think - that the world is just a
huge gameboard. A gameboard built for the entertainment of Gods. And Gods, all
of them, are motivated by just one thing: power. You might be fooled at first
into thinking that it's love or duty or altruism, but trust me, when the shit
hits the stable door, as sure as it'll stink up the entire building, it always
comes down to power. Who has it, and who doesn't. And that's what defines the
winner.

Most of the time, the game is relatively even. But every now and then the
power shifts, one of the gods makes a brilliant move. And what happens then?
Another God makes a move against the leading member, or perhaps some of the
other Gods unite in bringing down the leader and thus even up the power
department. But one thing is for sure: When the power shifts, something
changes also in our lives - something we most likely find in the evening news
headlines.

These brilliant game moves are the higher force that influence the life on
Earth. Sometimes a God may choose a vessel through which it implements its
game plan. These vessels are people who have their names written down in the
history books. One obvious group are the well-known war leaders, such as
Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Napoleon. It's hard to believe, that one
human being could rise up to be so much superior to others without another
force contributing to its progress. And as we all know, the force within these
leaders often ends up driving them mad.

Killing people and conquering lands is not, however, the only way to get a few
steps ahead on the gameboard. Another popular move is to influence the game by
creating new ideologies that shift the power on the board towards their
creator. These moves manifest themselves in influentual philosophers popping
up every now and then. Liberalism, socialism, and anarchism are only some of
the ideologies that have had an effect on the molding of modern society,
created by philosophers such as Kant, Marx and Rousseau.

And then, there is always the possibility of using religion. Wars have been
fought for land, for wealth and for family, but still most of the wars have
had at least a tinge of religion mixed in as well. For man, religion covers
the need to believe in something greater, whilst for the gods, it's an
excellent instrument to create fanatism. Religious fanatics are the perfect
tools for gaining power, since in the name of religion practically everything
is allowed. And by creating vessels such as Jesus, profet Mohammed or
Siddhartha Gautama the Gods can create alternative paths for their power
struggle.

As the game of the Gods progresses, the power shifts from one God to another
before someone wins, or the board ends up in a stalemate. However, the Gods
are not very patient when reaching stalemate, so instead of flogging a dead
horse, they decide the game winner more or less by throwing dice. Thus, what
happens on the gameboard is completely defined by luck - which in turn leads
to  unpredicted incidents in the real world, such as the destruction of Rome,
the French Revolution, or the World Wars. In the Gods' power struggle, we are
only a drop in the bucket.

Thus, the answer to my daughter's question, in all simplicity, would be "yes,
God does exist". However, the pure and undisputable belief in God often leads
to a certain weakness of mind - why does one need to make decisions if there
is a God who makes them for you? So, I decided not to explain my own, rather
cynical view, but neither would I follow the belief of the main stream -
instead I'd try to find a way somewhere in between.

Since God's existance is by no means an unquestionable fact, the conception of
God is essentially built on belief. Belief, on the other hand, is an essential
part of everyday life - belief in the prevailing society, belief in other
people, and most importantly belief in yourself. This brings us to the
ultimate conflict: If you believe in God, can you believe in yourself? Are the
decisions you make only products of God's will, or can you make contradictive
decisions? Do we have a chance to contribute to the moves done on the
gameboard?

I believe we do, and this is what I want my daughter to believe in as well.
Even as a pawn on the God's gameboard, you always have a choice, you can
always change the odds. Some choices are more ingrained than others, but they
are never irrefutable. So whether you believe in God or not is irrelevant, the
trick is to believe in yourself and in the decision you make. It is up to you
to choose, which pawn you play.


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