So last night I was thinking about the lengths some Jewish people go through to obey their religious stricture against doing work on the sabbath. This can involve elaborate set ups with lights on timers and pre-prepared meals and all manner of things that I don’t remember. And all of it hinging on great philosophical musings over what counts as work and what doesn’t.
I thought I’d get God’s opinion on this so I brought the subject up. I figured there were two ways he could go on this. The first is that it’s a lot of silliness and the world would be better off if they spent that time and effort on things that actually matter, on things that would improve the world. The second is that at least they’re spending time on trying to be spiritual, that spending all that time and effort on things at least ostensibly religious brings them closer to God and helps them to be better people.
God, being his usual whimsical and mysterious self, wouldn’t commit to either tack and wouldn’t even tell me if there was maybe some third way that I hadn’t thought of. He just told me again that we have free will and if we choose to spend our time trying to decide if flicking the light switch counts as work but the energy expended by the light being on doesn’t, well that’s our choice. I finally just told him, look, if he didn’t spend so much time being mysterious we probably wouldn’t spend so much time coming up with ways to commit atrocities in his name.
Then he asked me to turn on a light.