Posted by: Mike P. | September 24, 2013

I Created a God


A friend recently posted a revelation about herself that she had not thought about in many years.  I have been thinking about how long I “might” have been an atheist as part of this thinking back.  I also posted a minor criminal scam I had going when I was very young.  Maybe I should delete that.  Anyhow.  I remember coming to terms with the idea of atheism about 3-4 years ago.  But then I remembered how I created God about 30 years ago.  Anyone who creates god is either god or an atheist.  Sadly, I have to go for atheist.

So, what’s this “I created god stuff”?  In the early 80s, I worked as a programmer on a “Plato ™” system.  When you logged on to the system, those of us who were programmers were presented with a prompt.  At this prompt, you could type the name of a program to execute.  It was more graphical in nature that a typical Unix shell prompt, and not nearly as powerful as a bash prompt, but the basic concept is the same.  Run the program.

Well, predictably enough, there was no program called “god”, so I created it.  And hence I created “god.”  This would be a stupid story if it ended here.  It may still be a stupid story, but at least it does not end here.

The main reason I felt that the program should exist is that I didn’t feel an operating system should be able able to express the opinion that “god does not exist.”  I decided that the users should get to decide.  So, I created an interactive program that allowed you to change the state of whether god existed or not.  If any user changed the state, then the displays changed for anyone running the program.  In 1982 or so, this was cool, believe it or not.

People went batshit crazy over this program.  It was by far the most popular program on the system.  The state was changed tens of thousands of times.  And remember, this was pre-internet.  I would guess only 25-50 people could run the program.  Maybe a few more.  It was very interesting to watch people log on to two screens.  One to work on, and one to change the state of god.

One day, I got mad, or maybe I just needed disk space, so I deleted god.  No one else ever created god, either.

 

P.S.

I changed the title to “…a God.”  I like that better.

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Responses

  1. I love it. Like a Schrodinger’s god. At one point, he exists and does not exist at the exact same time.

    • … and we can never know which the current state is. Well, without a sharp knife. On a lil twitter break. I’ll be back.


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