My favorite atheist is out of town for the rest of the holidays, and in her absence, Diotima my muse, let me know if I am losing it, this day after Christmas, due to family stress, separations, partings, deaths, fiscal cliffs and failed prophecies, or am I instead on to something, and should pursue this line of inquiry a little longer. Yes? I would have loved to try this out on her, but perhaps some of you would care to join in then. Not too free ranging though, but please react to the concept I present you.
Consider the following: Everyone here I am sure is familiar with the old Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times.” A modern day corollary of that might be “be careful what you wish for.” I suggest that this maxim actually reveals the nature of G_d, G_d as the force of irony in history. Our G_d is indeed an ironic G_d. For starters, 1,878 years after the fall of the second temple, and a scant three years after the holocaust resulted in the deaths of over 6 million jews ( as well as millions of other gypsies, homosexuals, and mentally impaired children and adults), a new Israel was created for resettlement of European jews and other jews of the diaspora.
Maybe when we praise G_d we are praising irony. If G_d is not a He or She, and most people would surely be uncomfortable with calling G_d an It, then what if G_d is the Sum of the Law? Not the sum of human ethical law, but of all Natural Law? To be feared in the sense that Natural Law could blink us out of existence in a moment? Not capricious- that would be anthropomorphic. Just in the sense that we don’t know enough about quantum thermodynamics to understand what would be the mechanism of said blinking out.
Would such a concept of G_d be acceptable to an atheist? Disclaimer: the only thing I’ve read by Dawkins is The Selfish Gene, so I’m fairly unfamiliar with current atheist literature. I personally find an ironic G_d of history appealing. I note in the Old Testament or Jewish Tanakh one book of prayers and worship, the Psalms ( actually two: I’ll give you the Song of Solomon, but that’s another story ), while most of the rest are stories of G_d interacting in history. Now replace G_d with the word Irony. Irony interacting with history.