Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Restraining Order against God?

An Israeli man has petitioned the court for a restraining order against God. The petitioner claimed that the reason for the restraining order was that, for the last three years, The Almighty has treated him poorly. In other words, it sounds like the man has had a run of bad luck that he can't blame on anyone else. Therefore, God must be persecuting him.

A protocol of the hearing noted that God did not turn up for the session, although it did not specify how the court determined the Omnipresent was not in fact there, as opposed to merely exercising the right to remain silent.

The petitioner, who was not named in the report, noted that he had tried to obtain the restraining order from police for the past three years but that police had merely sent a patrol car to his home on 10 occasions.

He argued that over a three-year period God, had exhibited a seriously negative attitude toward him, although details of just what divine mischief he had borne the brunt of were not mentioned in the report.

Presiding Judge Ahsan Canaan denied the request, which he said was ludicrous, asserting the applicant needed help not from the court but rather from other sources.

Given the theological assumptions of monotheistic religion, how such a restraining order might work would be anyone's guess. God is supposed to be everywhere, all at once, and a restraining order normally works on the assumption that it is possible for the individual named to not come within 100 yards or so of the petitioner. With God, that would be off the table.

Furthermore, what a restraining order basically means that if said individual does come within that 100 yards, they will be subject to arrest. How could police possibly arrest God? What would they do, put him in a special omnipotence-proof cell? Whether or not such a thing can even exist was a pressing subject of Medieval philosophical debate.

So yes, the idea is fundamentally silly, even if you accept all the tenets of monotheism as totally, literally true. Although I will say that if Job could have just taken out a restraining order, that book would be a whole lot shorter.

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1 comment:

Simon Tomasi said...

There may be a precedent for this. When Joseph was sold in to slavery by his brothers, the commentators stare that they swore an oath not to inform the father Jacob. They included God in their oath.

God chose to comply with the iath and not to reveal Joseph's fate to Jacob.

Jacob lost his prophetic awareness, hence was unable to divine the fate of his favourite son. Isaac also chose not to reveal the fate of his grandson either, as his prophetic insight remained.

When Joseph revealed himself to his brothers aa viceroy in Egypt, the brothers asked Serach their niece to inform Jacob that Joseph was still alive through the medium if music and song. This was to prevent Jacob from dying from shock at hearing the news.

Jacob's prophetic awareness returned, but was rescinded again when he tried to reveal the end if days on his deathbed.