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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 09:34 GMT
What God thinks of the world
Dr Indarjit Singh
Editor, Sikh Messenger

The modern world's relationship with God is being investigated in the BBC programme, What the World Thinks of God. The leading Sikh writer and broadcaster Indarjit Singh describes his reaction when asked to contribute.

The English language is full of ambiguities. When asked to take part in the BBC programme, "What The World Thinks of God", I took it to mean: how do we rate God, rather than, what is our view of God.

I assumed that the idea was to give God a sort of end of term report with perhaps grades for effort, management ability, compassion and so on.

In short, I felt that that the proposed programme was yet another example of our jumped up view of ourselves. We already talk of playing God, now they want to monitor God's achievements and failings!

Inderjit Singh Editor, Sikh Messenger
As a Sikh, I believe that God is beyond human attributes and emotions
Dr Inderjit Singh

Of course I had got it wrong, but it would be fascinating if we could continue this line of thinking with a programme about "What God Thinks About Us".

As a Sikh, I believe that God is beyond human attributes and emotions. But let us suppose for a minute that God could be pleased, angry, happy, sad or perplexed like the rest of us.

What would he think of us? Probably not a lot!

He would reflect on the fact that he gave us free will to choose between responsible and reckless living. And what have we done?

We have made greed rather than responsibility the motive force that drives our society.

In our pursuit of more and better, we have polluted our rivers, the land we farm and even the air we breathe.

We talk with near reverence of the importance of market forces - the monetary equivalent of the law of the jungle.

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We even express our standard of living, not on indices that measure contentment, decrease in crime and concern for the less fortunate, but on what we can buy.

To enhance this "standard of living", we export arms to poorer countries, forcing their impoverished neighbours to buy additional expensive weaponry to keep up.

Even India, the land of Mahatma Gandhi, boasts that its "defence" industry is a major exporter of arms.

Naturally, God being God saw this coming, even thousands of years ago.

So he gave us religion to curb our baser passions. He sent us prophets like Jesus Christ, Buddha and Guru Nanak to teach us sane, balanced and responsible living.

If God had human emotions, I believe the dominant one would be total exasperation at the antics of our human tribe
Dr Inderjit Singh

And what do we do with those teachings?

We put them to beautiful music, we sing them, we chant them and bow down before them in touching reverence. Anything but live them!

Worse, we play crazed killing games of "my religion is better than yours", and use our God-given books of guidance as offensive weapons to kill and conquer others, without bothering to recognise the essential similarity of their teachings contained within their covers.

If God had human emotions, I believe the dominant one would be total exasperation at the antics of our human tribe, coupled with a determination to keep us isolated from any truly intelligent life in other parts of the infinity of his creation.

What The World Thinks of God will be broadcast as follows:



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