Last December, I exhibited an artwork entitled Forty-two Questions for God at Kaleid Editions, London. The work was a strip of red paper 168cm long, posted on the wall with a nail- check out the picture below. But look at it with the hand-held UV light I provided, and it revealed my forty-two questions. (Of course, God shouldn’t need a UV light to read them, but us humans only see over a narrow band of light wavelengths).
Two events this month made me think that these questions were worth another airing. First, Stephen Hawking has made public his case that there is no need for God to explain the creation of the Universe- the laws of physics are wholly sufficient. (I thought that he’d effectively reported this in 1988, in A Brief History of Time, but then he kept referring to ‘knowing the mind of God’. We can now see that that was a metaphorical expression. But that’s by the by).
Second, the Pope visits London this weekend. (Can’t help thinking, what would Jesus make of a man who likens females wanting to be priests to paedophiles?) If God has had his attentions elsewhere this year, perhaps He may focus them around London and so I’m giving Him another chance to offer me some answers.
Incidentally, the original work’s nail referenced Martin Luther, but I had to stick it into Blu-tak so as not to damage the wall!
Here, without further ado, are those…
Forty-Two Questions for God
1. What use are You to a good person who doesn’t believe in You?
2. When machine intelligence reaches a state indistinguishable to consciousness, will You offer salvation to robots or computers?
3. What is Your funniest joke?
4. Why are the different books said to be Your Word all mutually incompatible?
5. Why are You so touchy about criticism?
6. What were You doing on Earth during the Cretaceous period?
7. Do You activate the Unidentified Item In Bagging Area message randomly at supermarket check-outs just to get a reaction?
8. Are You a resonance in a folded dimension of String Theory?
9. Is there a futures market in indulgences?
10. Why not try Your Word in graffiti to reach people with short attention spans?
11. Why did you tell Adam to go forth and multiply on a planet with limited resources?
12. How come the Buddha held that belief in creation by a supreme being would get you nowhere?
13. Why did you not take the chance to prove Your existence by revealing clues to, say, DNA, plate tectonics, galaxies or quantum mechanics before humanity found them?
14. Can sex be less sinful by adjusting light levels and mood music?
15. If Christianity is Your true path, why are two thirds of the world not getting the message?
16. Do you deliberately launch up to five Wimbledon trains through Earls Court when we’re waiting for a Richmond or Ealing?
17. Is global warming Your punishment for materialising the rhythms of rosary prayer into physical industrial engines, as suggested by the artist Thomas Bayrle?
18. Have women always just had bad luck with men, or are You the misogynist?
19. When exactly is the Judgement Day?
20. Why are so many of Your greatest fans dangerous psychopaths?
21. When You brought the plagues on Egypt, wasn’t that a racist act?
22. Does everything have to have a meaning?
23. Do you share people’s suffering because You enjoy it?
24. Why can’t You sort out the Devil?
25. Why don’t You issue warnings about Acts of You such as tsunamis, earthquakes etc?
26. Isn’t eternal life in Heaven boring?
27. 42 may be the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, but what is the question?
28. Why have You let things get in such a mess?
29. If You are all-powerful and merciful, why is life so cruel for uncountable innocents?
30. If Islam is Your true path, why aren’t three quarters of the world getting the message?
31. What exactly is Your problem with gays?
32. Is the GOD gift card at god.com.hk really so stylish and practical, it is always the perfect gift?
33. Do You see that the Writing on the Wall is for You?
34.When do You quit?
35. Is it insecurity, vanity, or what, that makes You demand constant praise?
36. Why avoid empirical scrutiny?
37. Whither thy splodgy operands in all areas, terms and conditions notwithstanding?
38. If Hinduism is Your true path, why aren’t four-fifths of the world getting the message?
39. Have You not doubled entropy by being all-knowing?
40. How many have died in Your name?
41. Prayers are one thing, but do You get spam email as well?
42. How about some straight no-nonsense answers?