The World is a Video Game. How Do We Win?
by Brian Forbes (c) 2016
Let's set the
baseline. You don't know very much about your great great great
grandparent's neighbors. In fact, you probably know nothing about
them. You can assume some things, but you can't know anything about
them, because, for one, they were in the past and you can't test the
past, and for two, they're dead. The people that knew them are dead.
The paper that contained their thoughts and objectives is dust.
Realize this. You will be as forgotten as they are in ten thousand
years. Someone should find interesting lyrics to substitute in the
last verse of Amazing Grace. “When we've been [dead] ten
thousand years...” What could you possibly add to that line?
Without faith, there is no value. Mud flows down a hill. That is happening absent faith. It just happened. You're rushing (by faith) to get your mother (by faith) down the mountain to the hospital on a road, and it's overflowed by mud. You accept the concepts of road, mountain, and mud by faith, and find yourself irritated by faith that you can't get around the mountain. You realize by faith that you might lose your mother to death. The misery is stemming from faith, the defeat and fear you feel about the situation is by faith. If there was no faith, there would be no value. It would just be mud on a road and a stopped car, a mass making less and less movement in the capsule... even describing the situation is introducing faith, because not judging any part of it would mean a light hitting the indescribable eye, sound hitting the ear, and biomass in the passenger seat, none of which can be defined. Without faith, life is a leaf blowing in the wind, a rock being pushed down a river, a star burning. We add value by faith.
Some people choose
to believe in the scientific method. Others choose the revelatory
method of spiritual insight. Some people trust anyone around them
who is smarter than them. Others choose to only accept things that
feel right to them in their “deep down” (wherever that
is). All of those are a choice. All of them are by faith.
Faith is the conduit. Faith is the glue. Faith is the motivation. The things we choose to believe that are beautiful, valuable, and worth dying for, those are all determined by faith. Is there an objective truth behind it? Sure! There's always something out there that could diminish or destroy faith in things that aren't true. But unless we believe something, we will not do anything. From whether we eat to stave off hunger, to whether we build up the courage to talk to a stranger, it's all decided by our faith. Our inclinations filter the information, whether we choose to accept it and build it up or if we choose to tear it down. It is the very thing that tells us if we should accept the anecdotal miracle or spiritual revelation. It's the very thing that tells us to accept things of science and doubt the things outside of science. Our faith is subject to our loyalties. We serve our goals, our teachers, our bosses, our parents. We serve our impulses. Everyone expresses faith. If there is value in this life, something that will last after we've been dead for years, it has to stem from faith.
I, personally, don't see any value in accepting on faith that there is no point to existence. I don't see value in accepting science as a tool to test the supernatural. That's like using silly string to tighten a bolt. By faith, I choose to play the game to win. I choose to look into what the rules might be and play to the end goal. But what is the end goal?
There are many competing theories out there. Buddhism says that the goal is to get out of suffering by becoming indifferent. If life is a game, doing nothing is a sure way to lose. Hindus say that you keep improving so you can level up every time your character dies… not remembering anything from your previous game, not giving anything toward your next game. That may be useful, but there doesn't seem to be a boss in that game layout. It's like Minecraft in developer mode. There are other manuals out there, but only one seems to make sense of why we're here. So let's think about it.
God gave us life,
bodies, thoughts, and dominion. Those are the parameters. But what
did He hope to achieve by it? Other views don't make sense of this
question. But if you think a little while about it, it's possible to
see, as is clearly expressed in Job and Ecclesiastes that we don't
know very much about the greater things of life. We have no clue
what's going on. So the choice in the garden was, do we believe God
and remain in ignorance, or do we elevate ourselves and leap without
logic? God gave us the choice of death with knowledge vs. trust with
life. Why? The answer is obvious. Without choice, there is no
love. How can love exist without a choice? Without love, we're
So we chose death through knowledge. But the curse wasn't instantaneous. We live a while before we die. Why? Obviously there is another test here. We have again, the choice of faith with ignorance, or we choose knowledge of applied evil and death. Every time we act in love, we get closer to finishing this game and beating the boss. Every time we gratify or glorify ourselves, we get a little closer to losing the game. Deut. 28 lists the manual of how you ought to play. If you obey God, you gain favor and blessings. If you defy God, you start to die a little more than you did before. Every time any of us choose one way or the other, we demonstrate our faith, show our love, and demonstrate if we have the stuff to engage in the next level of the game. That comes after death.
See, God is smarter than we are. And if he set up this video game world with a death tree in the middle, a sign on it that says, "Do not eat from the death tree," and you have a choice, to play the easy game or the hard game, I wager that you, like Adam, would have entered the game by eating the fruit, to gain knowledge and be leveled up to godhood. You wouldn't have chosen faith in God's commandment. So here we are, millennia into the game, and there are people out there who spend all of their gameplay on looking at the realistic artistry of the map, to smell the flowers and check out how many pixels each square inch of screen contains. They never realize that this game was set up to test one thing in particular. Will you trust God? Put the fruit down, son, there's a faster way to win this game.
I found this video after writing this paper, and it might help you to see the futility of spending life as you would on a video game.