God Does Not Play Dice

I don’t think I’m starting a wave of protest or rioting when I say that Albert Einstein was a genius.

But I’m not talking about E = mc2, or relativity, or the countless thought experiments concocted in that crackpot brain of his. No doubt those were important contributions to science and the world at large, but enough with the same old accolades already. How many different ways are there to ride the same dick?

No, the genius I’m referring to is something other: an Einstein quotation that’s never been given its due credit. It’s been publicized, recited, used for argument often in the last 75 years, but never has it been lauded as especially genius from the genius, because no one has ever perceived the words as I recently have.

And the quotation goes like this: “God does not play dice with the universe.”

At the time of utterance, the statement probably came off as “oh, that’s nice,” just another bite-sized Einstein axiom about the universe and the laws governing it. Nothing special, right? You read it just now and, if I’m not being too presumptuous, there was nothing in the line that inspired awe from or moved you to tears. That’s because axioms, though dulcet to the ear, rarely possess the strength necessary to shatter those higher, more fortified emotional walls.

But look again. “God does not play dice.” Is it really an axiom? I say not. I propose that it’s less universal statement of truth and more prediction, a very specific and testable scientific hypothesis.

Yes, that’s right. Einstein was, for lack of a better term, “doing science” when he said the Almighty One does not play dice with the cosmos. 75 years later and we’ve learned that he was right; that, per usual, he’s been right all along. By scrupulous observation and painstaking trial and error, science has evidenced the remarkable fact that God does not play dice.

What’s even more extraordinary is that cosmologists have ascertained the two games that He does play. The first is Telephone, known as such in the US, but more popularly named “Chinese Whispers” in other parts of the world. (Scientists are now debating, based on the game’s latter and more original name, whether or not God is of Chinese descent. Should the claim hold up, this will be a colossal blow to the Americans, who’ve put complete and total faith into the Almighty One, having issued “In God We Trust” on every dollar bill extant for the last 200-plus years. Perhaps China’s unremitting rise paired with the US’s ever-spiraling fall is telling enough as to which team God is really pulling for.) The second is the universally renowned Game of Silence, also known as the Quiet Game.

We’ll first discuss God’s playing Telephone. Assuming that most people understand how the game is played, I won’t outline the rules and preconditions here. But just in case, below is an amusing video clip demonstrating the game in action:

What scientists have done is reveal the players in the first game of Telephone ever played in the universe’s 6,000-year history. I present to you an excerpt from their findings below:

From Conclusions Drawn from the Theory of Games Played by God the Father – Part I: “This Is God Speaking…”:

In the beginning there was God. God was God and therefore all-powerful and He could get things very easily, like when one shops at a Costco. But even so, God was unhappy. Omniscient as He was, somehow it slipped past His mind that the more perfect the cosmos, the lesser its problems, and the bored-er the Creator. It was a quandary riddled with paradox, and for the first time in all of eternity, God didn’t know what to do.

Fortunately, His ignorance and indecision in the matter endured only a short while before epiphany struck. “Oh me!” God said aloud. “I know how to rectify this boredom! I shall…”

And on the eighth day God made problems.

The problem with making problems, however, was that, though omnipotent beyond all revelation, God was still powerless to fix the mess He had so impulsively created of sheer desperation.

How could that be? Well, the answer had a name, and it was “Free Will.”

God had met Free Will on a constellation corner at nighttime three days prior. She was turning tricks for one star a pop, and God was… well, this is a story meant to be consumed by the general public, so the official alibi is that God was passing through the neighborhood in search of a hardware store.

Free will recognized the Alpha and Omega instantly and stopped Him in His tracks.

“You’re God.”

“I am,” God replied. “And you are?”

“Till 9:00 p.m. my name is Stacy. After that you can call me Free Will.”

“Nice to meet you, Free Will. Listen, I’m looking for a hardware store around here.”

“Whatchu need to go to a hardware store for, babe?”

“I’m in need of a hammer.”

“So you can nail things?”

“Yes,” said God, “so I can nail things.”

Free will blushed. “I bet you like to nail things, Dadd—I mean, Heavenly Father.”

“So do you know of a hardware store around here or not?”

“Course I do,” said Free Will. “But I got an extra hammer right here if you want it. Save you the trouble of going to the hardware store.”

“Oh, that’s excellent,” said God. “You’ll let me borrow the hammer?”

“Anything for you, Mr. Omnipotent. But I should warn you, it’s only good for nailing”—the following words in a low, hissy whisper—”certain things.”

God gulped.

Afterward they went on to negotiate a fair price: in exchange for the borrowed hammer to nail whatever “certain things” the temptress was referring to, God was to let Free Will dictate the entire fate of the cosmos for the rest of eternity.

Needless to say, God must’ve really wanted that hammer.

That is why, after inventing problems teeming in abundance just to keep busy, the Almighty One could only watch as said problems ran rampant and exacerbated in skyrocketing numbers. As any person of ambition can imagine, not only did the Creator grow bored with all the watching; but restlessness for something—ANYTHING—to do, began to permeate His whole being.

And so God had yet another idea, one that would afford Him all the requisite entertainment He’d been searching for without violating the terms of His agreement with Free Will. He was going to invent a game. Games, He thought, always cure divine entities of their boredom. Why did I not think of this before?

And so on the ninth day, God made Telephone (or Chinese Whispers).

The initial statement to be transmitted was not so much a statement as it was a story, one so lengthy it would turn out to span over a thousand pages in print. Nevertheless, the Almighty One recited His narrative perfectly, exactly as He had envisioned it in His mind, to a man on planet earth that history books remember as Noah, but whose actual name was Dave.

God instructed Dave to perform the very reasonable task of memorizing, then relaying to someone else, His story in its entirety, which took 40 consecutive days and nights to narrate to completion. (It is not widely known that God was a spitter when He spoke. Well, His speaking incessantly for 40 straight days was cause for plenty of beatific saliva, which poured tumultuously from the heavens and was the real reason for the Great Flood. This also helps to explain the insurmountable drought that’s plagued the Sahara since the beginning of time—God doesn’t talk to niggers.)

40 days later and Dave, with only two animals of every kind in his camp, elected to retell God’s story to a giraffe named Robert De Niro (not to be confused with the human actor born in the 20th century, who has yet to meet posterity). As can probably be guessed, much of the original account was lost in the transmitting of the tale, mostly because giraffes are animals and therefore incapable of comprehending things.

Nevertheless, the game of Telephone kept on unabated. Robert relayed the story to Moses; who told the burning bush; who told Job; who told His best friend Doug the Caananite; who told his wife/cousin Sherry-Loo, who, big mouth that she was, told the whole Parents of Jerusalem Middle School Knitting Team; and on and on and on. Eventually, bearing the message was a woman named Myla, who sold those knives capable of cutting through sand to pharaohs on forty-deuce. When at last the time came, she chose an ordinary carpenter named Louis as the recipient to God’s diluted-many-times-over tale. It’s this last dissemination transaction that is of special importance. Why?

Here’s a hint: who else do you know that was a famous carpenter?

Yes, that’s right. Had Jesus of Nazareth never taken an acute interest in the cutting, shaping, and installing of natural woods, Louis would most likely have passed the tale from God the Heavenly Father to someone else, and you might be kneeling bedside right now begging for your mom’s cancer to be cured by Steve or Larry Christ.

But it was Jesus whom Louis chose as the game’s next tether, and here we are 2,000 years later expelling “Jesus fucking Christ!” to the heavens every time we miss an open lay up.

Perhaps this is the most groundbreaking result of our findings in the lab: that Jesus was not who or what he’s been touted to be for the thousands of years since his “crucifixion.” And that’s really the risk one runs in propagating sensitive information to just anyone without duly screening first. The evidence suggests that Jesus fits this “just anyone” description to the tee; that, contrary to popular belief, he was not the son of God, but rather an institutionalized lunatic with a knack for escaping psychiatric hospitals, and who suffered from being self-important, extremely hard of hearing, and not Jewish but jewy.

That he mistook the majority of the tale as being one about him now makes complete sense, given the man’s ample symptoms and diagnoses. As a consequent, this is really where God’s initial message gets hodgepodged. Within no time, Jesus was proclaiming himself to be the son of God, the Messiah, the way and the truth and the life. He assured the world around him that he was acting on strict orders from God the Father, “figuratively for you, literally for me.” He started amassing followers to whom he passed on his extraordinarily perverted version of other corrupted versions of God’s initial tale. Such misinformation would, in time, shape the basis for the Bible’s New Testament as we know it today.

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The authors go on to say that Jesus might not have really died by crucifixion, but rather in childbirth. (For those that are hard of inferring, the implication is that Jesus may or may not have been born with a set of knockers. Whether they were nice and supple or all haggy-like is a matter of debate, and at present it’s really anyone’s guess.) That’s about as much as they know and/or are willing to divulge to the public sphere regarding Telephone.

As for the Game of Silence, scientists are in complete agreement that God did, in fact, partake in its creation, that He commenced playing the game some 2,000 years ago, and that’s He’s been playing ever since.

So here’s another but much shorter excerpt from Conclusions Drawn from the Theory of Games Played by God the Father – Part II: “This Is God NOT Speaking…”:

And then one day, the Alpha and Omega just altogether stopped saying things.

Why the drastic change? What prompted the most notorious chatterbox in all of recorded history to achieve something that even the great Charlie Chaplin would only dream of aspiring toward?

Until recently, science was at a loss. We didn’t know and we were confused. Still, that didn’t stop us from positing a multitude of hypotheses to explain the shift in God’s behavior, albeit without much success. Some of of our guesses proved to be just downright silly, like the one put forth by Ryan Hodinger, former Physics Department Head at CIT. (Which means that yes, there are such things as stupid questions, and yes, uttering them aloud can have dire consequences on one’s career and, subsequently, quality of life.) Hodinger proposed that the reason God stopped speaking was because of the expanding universe, which is flying away from us so fast that scientists are beginning to think its legs are Jamaican. For the former Physics Head, God was an inextricable part of this expanding universe—a prisoner of sorts—so when the universe gained distance from us (as it is prone to do), so did God. Thus, it wasn’t that He had stopped speaking; it was that the distance between us and Him had become too great to discern any of His speech.

Editor’s note: Hodinger, you stupid cunt. How’s life teaching remedial math at a Juco, you fucking asshole?

We know now that the answer is much simpler; that God loves playing games more than was previously thought, particularly the world-renowned Game of Silence. One needn’t do more than picture himself for a nanosecond walking in the Creator’s shoes to marvel at just how phenomenal His achievements regarding games prove. Imagine! 2,000-plus years engaging in the same round of the Quiet Game! We mortals can only dream of lasting a whole meal without uttering one of our trademark dumb and useless comments, much less multiple millenia.

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So there you have it. Thanks to Einstein’s genius, we’ve done it. Unearthed what had been, up to the point of discovery, one of the most troubling and vexing riddles of the universe. God has two games of preference: Telephone and the Quiet Game, and He’s an unrivaled master at both.

Which leaves me with nothing else to say except the following: the next time someone alludes to “God doesn’t play dice” in conversation, I trust that you now know how to respond.

Tune into next week’s episode of Cosmos, titled “O Father, Where Art Thou?” in which Neil Tyson Degrasse will do as I did here, but better and more elaborately, speculating on when God will break His silence, and more controversially, whether He already did in the 2003 film Bruce Almighty.

“There’s No Such Thing as a Christian Child”

An oldie from January 2013, but wanted to repost this for my newer readers. As always, comments are not just welcomed, but encouraged.

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I’m reading Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion right now, an excellent book for atheists, agnostics and nonreligious folk alike. In it Dawkins says something very poignant, something that speaks to our disillusioned minds about how we ever got to be religious in the first place:

“Just as feminists wince when they hear ‘he’ rather than ‘he or she’, or ‘man’ rather than ‘human’, I want everybody to flinch whenever we hear a phrase such as ‘Catholic child’ or ‘Muslim child’. Speak of a ‘child of Catholic parents’ if you like; but if you hear anybody speak of a ‘Catholic child’, stop them and politely point out that children are too young to know where they stand on such issues, just as they are too young to know where they stand on economics or politics.

Such a crucial distinction this is that Dawkins reiterates the point in plainer, don’t-fuck-with-me English:

“That is not a Muslim child, but a child of Muslim parents. That child is too young to know whether it is a Muslim or not. There is no such thing as a Muslim child. There is no such thing as a Christian child.

If only I had had The God Delusion, instead of a much much much different book, bed-side with me at eight years old. Turns out I’m one of the billions they got wrong, who they labeled “Christian child” over and over and over again in my impressionable youth. Stumbling across the above passage the other day, I thought to myself, “Wow. What a sad state of affairs, and how lucky I am to have really seen-seen the booby trap, to renounce that shit and get the hell out of those white robes (figurative and, most unfortunately for me, literal).” I officially became an apostate (a person who abandons his/her religious faith) when I was 16. Only seven years have passed, but in thinking back I’m amazed at how completely disjointed my religious past life feels from present day. Do you ever feel that way about certain things in your own life? Like someone else was steering the brain back then; who or what exactly you have no idea–but you search now and the one-time conductor is nowhere to be found; s/he’s prolly been left for dead in a ditch somewhere, and survives only as an occasional, incidental memory of what used to be. Such is 100 percent my case, and if you’d allow me, I’d like to take the stroll to show you just exactly what used to be.

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When I was a one-year-old little crying Asian shit, my parents separated. We were in Queens, NY, and moms decided a move back to Lansing, MI, where my Lola and Lolo lived, would be an auspicious change of scenery. So we said goodbye and that was that. We moved into my Lola and Lolo’s house, and for the next four-plus years the old folks had a tremendous hand in raising me.

As old-school, traditional Filipinos who still to this day believe staunchly in things like courtship, they were paragon Roman Catholics. They raised their nine kids this way, and predictably the lot of them continue practicing their hand-me-down faith today. Just as predictably, they began imparting to their newest tenant the same ways of Jesus Christ immediately. I was a tiny infant, kicking it in my tiny basket, going to church on Sundays; I was two years old bowing my head, locking my hands together, closing my eyes before dinner, saying, “Amen”; I was three years old, clutching my Lola’s rosary at her bed, repeating the prayer coming from that immutably gentle, tender, make-you-want-to-melt-it’s-that-delicate voice: “Bless my mommy. Bless my daddy. Bless my Lola and my Lolo, etc. etc.” What it meant to “bless” these people I had no idea, but there I was in my footie pajamas, parroting my grandma in her bed until I could do the routine all by myself.

Things continued this way till 1995, when my Lolo and Lolo decided the Michigan cold was too much for their arthritic frames; they moved to California, and moms and I said goodbye to them in heartbreaking fashion. Soon after my mom got a job at the-then Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue, WA. (Sometime between 1989 and 1995 I was baptized.) We too packed up and migrated west to a beautiful suburb just east of Seattle that was to be my home for the next 12 years: Kirkland, WA. (425, holla at me!)

We settled into our Forbes Creek apartment nicely; not even two full weeks later and moms found us a new church to attend: Holy Spirit Lutheran, at the bottom of 124th and 100th. I was in 1st grade, only five years old at the time. I remember sitting with the congregation, eyes taking in the overwhelming altar before me, when Pastor Mike called attention to make a special announcement: “I’d like to welcome the newest members to the Holy Spirit Lutheran family. Marita, Steven, if you’ll please stand up… Let’s give them a warm round of applause!”

And from that day forward, I was no longer a Roman Catholic child, but a Lutheran/Christian child.

(Quick side note: amazing how life works. Moms had just moved to a state in which she knew one other person only (my uncle); church was a way to bridge the social gap, lest loneliness or depression infect and spread. So from this reasonable, understandable social desire came our joint faith that was to mold me and my beliefs for the next 10 years. From that circumstancial desire I would proudly identify myself as a “Christian child.”)

This is when I really started to become religious in my religiosity. Sunday school every week, no exceptions. 15 or so innocent kids and me learning about God, Jesus, Moses, Noah, Adam, Eve, trying our best to get the answers right and please our teacher. I learned the “Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name” prayer, which I can still recite as well as any Nas or Jay song. Soon after it wasn’t enough to go to church just one measley time a week. In 2nd grade I started going to LOGOS every Wednesday to learn more about the bible and the ways of our savior. Then I started going to adult mass. At seven years old I even attempted to read the bible cover to cover. I never actually finished, or even got close; but the attempt itself should speak volumes of my commitment to my faith. God was now an inextricable main character in my life.

One day in 3rd grade, I was sitting in Mr. Stauffer’s class when a classmate told me he didn’t believe in God. VRRRPPPP. PAUSE. SAY WHAT NOW?

“What do you mean you don’t believe in God?”

“I just don’t.”

“But how? Why?”

“I dunno.”

“Jesus was crucified so that we could all go to heaven! Don’t you want to go to heaven?”

“I don’t think heaven is real.”

*Head explodes from shock.*

After school I went home and prayed like the pope for that poor bastard. Lola would’ve been so proud to see me with eyes closed, mumbling fervently for my 3rd grade atheist classmate to one day see the light. This should go without saying, but it was becoming clear (not to me, of course) that Holy Spirit Lutheran was working wonders–miracles, dare I say–on my indoctrination.

The years passed. I was becoming a Nazi Christian. In 7th grade I went to multiple bible camps. In 8th grade I became an acolyte for the church, which means I got to wear the white robes, light the altar candles and sit with the other pastors during service, like a sort of locally pious VIP. Then came communion: I was now at the age where I could participate in the post-sermon ritual of receiving the holy bread and apple juice (no wine for kids) meant to symbolize the body and blood of my main man J-Cry.

But always and inexorably the dawn precedes the night. 9th grade came around and two things happened, unforseeable and totally fortuitous: first, I actually started to grow bored of church. All my accrued years spent worshipping God had finally taken their toll; I would be slouched in my congregational seat on Sunday morning, trying covertly as possible to get some shuteye while the choir belted out tunes of our Lord’s awesomeness. What’s more, I was at the age where moms no longer cared if I slept over at friends’ houses every Friday and Saturday; I was up till 4 or 5 in the morning, recording hit songs for my first solo album with back-up singer Shane and sound engineer David–no doubt having to wake up at 9 that same morning for church seemed like Guantanamo-esque torture. Consequently, my attendance started to falter. I was attending mass once every two, three weeks now. I dropped out of the Confirmation program less than a month into registering. (Funny thing is, they won’t let you “fail” church. Although I didn’t complete the program, they still let me “graduate” and honored me as “confirmed” a few months later.) I guess the one thing the indoctrinators hadn’t anticipated, or couldn’t combat, was a teenager’s budding weekend social life, which no doubt took precedence over God and eternal salvation.

This was the first domino to be sent tumbling. The second was my formal introduction to underground hip-hop in 10th grade, namely Immortal Technique. (Hi, haters.) Up till then, my musical influence stretched only as far as MTV raps had flown; and judging by the fact that their seemingly ubiquitous mantra was “smoke weed, fuck bitches,” I’m gonna say they hadn’t flown very far. So to listen to this independent artist named Immortal Technique, who was rapping without censor about topics I’d never really understood–communism, classism, racism, political agendas of mainstream media–was, as trite as this may sound, to be born again. His passion, his conviction, his commitment to positive change in the world incited my own; that same year, of my own accord, I sought out and read The Communist Manifesto and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. This was to be my inception into the intellectual universe, promulgated by free-thinking non-conformists who time and time again gave the finger to appeasement for appeasement’s sake.

For the first time in my life, I decided very consciously that conforming to norms wasn’t cool. And the ultimate norm that had, up till then, possessed my life? Christianity. Immortal Technique made me see that capitalism, colonization of the West and Christianity are inextricably linked. He deconstructed the inanity of Jesus’s being born in the Middle East and being depicted as white (I’ll destroy your religion, you stupid bitch//You faker than blue-eyed crackers nailed to a crucifix.). How stupid are we that we can’t see through such a glaringly obvious transparent agenda?

It was during this time–and I say this proud as can be–I officially dropped the label “Christianity” that had reared me into unquestioning obedience for the last 10 years. (16 years when you add “Roman Catholicism” into the equation.)

I can finally say it now–and since it’s January I’ll even say it in MLK fashion: Free at last, free at last. Thank Immortal Technique, we are free at last.

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I write all this because I think it’s necessary that people understand that when I’m religion-bashing, it’s not from some vacuum motive and that I have nothing better to do. (Maybe you can dispute the latter.) I’m 23 years old now; what’s crazy to think is that I’ve only been non-religious for seven years–that’s not even a third of my life. It didn’t get any more “Christian child” than me. They told me to open wide, I obeyed and they forced meal after meal of indoctrination into me, till I could do nothing but shit out bible verses and arranged prayers. BUT, I did it. I escaped. I am, at least in this topical context, a “success story.” I don’t know the statistic on how many people born into their parents’ religion actively renounce, but I’m willing to bet the number is very small.

Quite plainly, my goal is to guide other non-religious folk, or fence-sitting agnostics, to “come out,” and to come out proudly. I want them to actively embrace atheism (which literally is the rejection of “theism”), and here’s why: It’s 20 fucking 13 already. We should be so far beyond superstition, just by measure of how far we’ve come technologically in the last 100 years. How can anyone still actually believe that an invisible man or spirit monitors your entire life, and then sends you above sky or below ground based on the way you lived? Beside the fact that religion causes wars and murder on a daily basis, I’ve yet another reason to combat it: it’s just flat-out stupid. Superstition should be dead, and I’m doing what I can to see to its eventual execution.

So if you’re religious, ideally (and it’s a big “ideally”) I want you to see that you were never a religious child, but a child of religious parents, and that is the sole reason you continue to be religious today.

If you’re non-religious, or if you’re a fence-sitting agnostic, my goal is that you publicly declare your atheism to the world. We are a very real minority in the world and we absolutely need you.