Death will prove this to us. A broken tooth will prove it. We control very little. Our own minds muster up armies of thought against us. We are multiple inside, one part taskmaster, one part rebel, another part mysterious, balancing between divine and hellish desires. We cannot bend time backwards. We cannot force immortality. We cannot make corn grow, hurricanes turn around, or moons turn full days before they’re due. Poppies will not open on our command. We cannot read, much less control the minds of those around us. We cannot fathom the depth of being behind one pair of eyes. We may have souls, but we do not possess them.
If we are not gods, if follows that we are poor objects of worship. I champion the human being; we are glories of ingenuity and design. Our capacity to do great things is undeniable. Civilization’s emergence is a testament to our mental and physical capabilities. The arts of humans are wondrous; architecture, music, painting, literature, theatre, and dance. We have discovered the invisible workings of quantum mechanics, sent space probes on missions of discovery that have now left our solar system, and unlocked the secrets of many diseases that used to kill routinely.
Our accomplishments can barely be counted.
But we are not gods.
We are petty, jealous, liable to thieve and lie and murder. We are cruel, even in common interaction, determined to keep our place at the table of power. We are capable of carrying out atrocities against humanity on a near-global scale. We are prone to pounding those weaker than us with fists, clubs, and missiles from drones. And frankly, we are still largely ignorant about how to live so as to bring about justice and equity. We cannot yet believe that skin color has nothing to do with worth and dignity, or that all people of all skin colors are worthy of respect, honor, and full human rights to dignity. We betray our loves, obsess over sex, and sell children and women into sexual slavery. We exploit the poor and the weak for profit.
We age, we get sick, and we die. We fail to love, we fail to keep our promises, we fail to see the problem with not keeping promises. We fail.
Some say we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible for humans. I would not argue. But I would argue that no matter what we accomplish, how far we travel, what wealth we acquire, and what goodness we muster up, we are not now, and will not be then, gods.
If not gods, then what?
Human creatures, fighting for survival, wondering how in the world we got here to begin with.
It’s another thing I know.
We are not gods.