Why Would God Create Humans?

There are only two reasons anyone ever does anything: because they have to, or because they want to.

That means that God either wanted to create humans, or had to create humans. We must be the result either of God’s desire, or of God’s need.

I’m voting it’s God’s desire. Because how could God have needs? He’s full unto himself. Safe to say, God, being absolute, is absolutely satisfied. God doesn’t have needs.

That means we’re the result of a desire God had. He chose to create us.

But why would God make that choice? What’s in it for him? What desire of God’s are we satisfying just by being alive?

Oh, sure, he gets 10% of our money. But c’mon. It’s not like God’s up there sitting at his kitchen table clipping coupons. I’m sure he has someone do that for him. (Okay, on a side note: Can you imagine being an angel, trying to buy a gift for God? Talk about the guy who has everything.)

It’s hard to think of why a perfect, perfectly fulfilled being would want to create humans. What would motivate God to go, “You know what I feel like doing? Creating a race of beings who walk upright, are consciously aware of themselves as separate from their surroundings, and who sense but cannot objectively varify my existence. The monkeys have been fun, but these’ll be even better. Upright, less hairy, infinitely smarter monkeys! Sweet!”?

So here we are.

But why?

What’s in it for God?

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  • An endless source of comic fodder.

  • Leif Sr.

    If you put a gun to someone's head and demand a statement of love, their response will be less than genuine. You can't force love. However, if you date some young girl and of her own free will she says she loves you, and you see that sparkle in her eyes and the enthusiasm in her smile, oh man it melts your heart. That choice makes love real. All the more when it is between you and God, God and you. Real love is a choice. Dying on the cross was a choice of real love. He's our example of how to live and choose.

  • Skerrib: Too fantastic

    Janolan: Your answer first cracked me up; then it cracked up my wife! Score!

    Windy: Um. Thanks! Interesting last sentence.

    Leif: Wonderfully said. Not sure how it relates to my question — and don't care, of course, because it was such a lovely thing to read anyway. Thanks for writing this for us.

  • Sabina

    God desired to make us to worship and praise Him. Yes we in our humaness make mistakes, but God loves us and keeps giving us opportunities for us to come back in His grace, because He is so merciful.

  • Well, I do already have the horns and tail, so it comes naturally.

    But that was a serious question that occurred to me. Not trying to catch you in a trap or trying to convert you or anything.

  • Well, as you can see, I've already ASKED how/why God would have desires, and so create humans. So let's just sit on that singular question for awhile, without (for now) adding to it all the stuff you have. With stuff like this, you have to boil a question down to its core essence, address that question, and then move from there. You've piled up too much too fast, if you see.

  • Sorry about that. I'm just addressing you having said that god had to choose to make us. With the omniscience, it doesn't seem to work, is all.

  • Artists create for the sake of creating something beautiful. God's pretty creative…maybe he was expressing himself as an artist?

    Authors write stories because they have something to say (for one reason or another…or none at all). That helps with the whole omniscience-thing. If you're outside the space-time continuum of the story, you don't have to make sense to your characters. But it does break down when you talk about your characters' free will, and having an actual relationship with them, so whatever.

    Or maybe he's like parents who have the luxury of planning for their kids and creating a family because of their love for each other and the desire to pass it on.

    And then there are the old stand-bys…because he could, because he felt like it, because he had nothing better to do on a Saturday.

    But I still stand by my original answer.

  • Leif: But isn't it weird, to think of God desiring love? Because doesn't it mean that to the extent that God does want to give and receive love, he's lonely? And isn't LONELY about the least likely word you'd ever use to describe God?

  • evanescent

    Hi John, you probably don't want my input but I'll through it into the ring anyway:

    A value is that which one acts to keep and/or gain. One pursues values because one makes a rational choice to keep and/or gain that which one lacks/wants/needs. What is the standard for value? One's own life. A being values something because that something effects one's life or the happiness in one's life. This is why humans value food, love, friendship, money, etc. A human that could not die through starvation would not value food. A human that could materialise any object of desire through an act of thought would not value money. Even love is a human desire for companionship, fulfillment, sex etc. Only a being that lacks can love. Humans paint and create because it fulfills a creative desire and makes our lives mean more. Only a being whose life can be improved and bettered creates art. But god's life cannot be improved or bettered can it??

    God, by definition, cannot die. It is impossible to hurt god or end his life. He has no weaknesses, no imperfections, no susceptibilities. He needs and wants for nothing, by definition. By definition, nothing can possibly affect his life because he is a self-contained "perfect" being. By definition, such a being could value NOTHING. It would not rationally need or want to create anything because there is nothing that could possibly affect itself.

    Therefore, the act of creation was either 1. totally irrational and needless, or

    2. Impossible, ergo god didn't/wouldn't create anything, which means it doesn't exist.

  • Why do we ponder our meaning and our creation so much? It just distracts us from the more important things in life, like food, sex, and love. 🙂 Oh, and world peace. <333

  • Well, I can't speak for others. I only know that I personally expect pondering my meaning and creation to lead me to the BEST food, sex, and love possible. It's all about discernment, isn't it? Can't discern without knowledge. Can't gain knowledge without reflection.

    In the end, we're all philosophers.

  • Here's the scripture for that. Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” Colossians 1:16 reiterates the point: “All things were created by Him and for Him.”

    The short answer is that all God created ALL things for Himself and gave humans the ability to fellowship with Him, for His pleasure. I am not going to try to explain the details, I think they might either be above my pay grade, or my finite brain cells cannot begin to fathom what that means in its fullness.

  • Leif Sr.

    John: Desire doesn't necessarily come from a lack. I can eat a fine meal, okay so I usually stuff myself, what can I say I love my wife's cooking? Anyway, I can be full, walk out on the patio and smell grilled steak in the air and "desire" the meat even though I'm full. I know how good steak is. God knows how good real love is. Either way it is intriguing. As you can see from the responses, it is difficult to squeeze God down to the confines of humanity.

  • He wanted to create something more screwed up than the platypus?

  • This is a big question, and as the responses thus far have indicated, it is difficult to find a satisfactory answer. My two cents (which works for me, I don't know if it will for anybody else) is that God's creation of man is in some ways analogous to the desire of parents to create children. When confronted with the question of "Why?" I tend to wonder "Why not?"

    The reason I subscribe to the paternal notion is that the development of a believer's relationship with God strikes me as very similar to the development of a child's relationship with his/her parents. Many people believe and then become Christians because they fear losing their souls. In the same way, children obey their parents out of fear of consequence. However, as children (and believers) mature, their relationship hopefully becomes one of respect, appreciation, and love. This is where the free will thing comes in. Thus we fulfill our purpose by growing into a full, freely-chosen relationship with Him.

    As I said, this is my line of thinking, and I don't know if it washes with anyone else.

  • windyblue

    God created us to worship him and have fellowship with him. but we decided we were a bunch of know it all’s and figured we did not need him, we could do things on our own, and look what we have done nothing but mess up this world totally. I oftened wonder WHY God when he flooded the world, let us live, he had the right Idea when he flooded the world and destroyed it, with every one except Noah and his family, So in the end it took God himself to come in human form as Jesus, and get beat, whipped, nail’s through is hands and feet, spit at, mocked, in order to fix things so we all would not be bond for HELL, by dying on the cross, naked, but rose again on the 3rd day, if it were not for that, none of us would stand a chance in HELL to go to heaven.

  • I do know and seriously appreciate what you're saying. For sure. But I think desire DOES necessarily come from a lack. You simply cannot desire what you already have. You might smell that meat, and experience the deliciousness of its smell–but that's a reflective, personal, wholly internal phenomenon. You didn't DO anything there. But if you were so moved by the smell of that steak that you actually went next door and ATE some of it, then that means you DID experience a lack–you experienced a lack of that steak you now Officially Wanted. And that lack, that need, is what motivated you to ultimately take action. Nothing else would have. Lack leads to desire (or visa-versa) leads to action. It can't be any other way.

    Which is interesting, because God didn't just think about creating people. He actually did it. Which cycles me back to where I started. You only do something because you want to or have to. God surely didn't HAVE to invent us, so he must have WANTED to. That meant doing so fulfilled some need he had. But that posits a "needy" God–a God who LACKS something. But that's not a God we understand as … our God, who is necessarily whole and complete unto himself.

    So. Interesting.

  • So God created a life form specifically designed to worship and adore him? Does that strike anyone else as a little … thin? You know what I mean? I’m just naturally a little uncomfortable saying that God’s motivation for making people is essentially the same as Britney Spears’ motivation for making a new music video. (No offense to you, Sabina! I deeply appreciate your answer, and your loving attitude toward and understanding of God.)

  • Uh, John, it’s pretty obvious God created us because He needed voters to legitimize government.

  • You know, Mike, if I weren’t sure that only good, solid Christians read this blog, I might have to suspect you of being just a tad cynical about this question.

  • Second Michele

    Why is it hard to believe God needs or wants something?

    If He needs something, he creates it. If he wants something done, He gets it done.

    Being all-powerful, and needing no external source to make give him what he wants, does not equate him sitting around and doing nothing, He has a desire to interact, to make, to GIVE of himself. Because that is who he is.

    God is love, and love isn't love till you give it away. God is infinite love, so he wants to give it to inhabited worlds of intelligent people.

    By the way, there is at least one case of God wanting something and not being "able" (in one sense of the word) to get it.

    God decided that we would be free to love him or not love him. After deciding that, we mere humans are able to deny Him the love that he deserves

    "How I LONGED To gather you, like a hen gathers her chicks, but you were not willing"

    A strong image, God crying over people he cannot save – even though he is about to die for them – because they don't want to be saved.

    I think its safe to say from this, that the one thing God needs, in a sense, is love.

    Not just the love of angels or unfallen worlds, or the saints on this planet, but MY love and yours.

  • John, in your belief is god omniscient? If so, how can he have desires? He knows everything that’s going to happen. He can’t be surprised. He can’t change his mind. He can’t even really make decisions, because he knows ahead of time what he’s going to do.

    So how can a god decide to create humans when, if you hold him to be all-knowing, he always knew he was going to do it?

    As an atheist, it’s a lot of fun playing devil’s advocate. 😉

  • Is it?

  • Leif Sr.

    What’s in it for God is real love. It’s a choice He’s already made toward us and a choice we can make to love God. Like in my example, there’s nothing like seeing that free choice in someone’s face. Extrapolate that out. God doesn’t see just our face. He sees our heart, mind, and soul, our total being.

  • LP

    I think there is a flaw with your most major assumption, John. "There are only two reasons anyone ever does anything: because they have to, or because they want to." Correct! But…is God anyone?

    Consider for a moment a cockroach. Now, what are the basic wants and needs of a cockroach? Food, some shelter, survival, reproduction…that's really about it, isn't it? Now imagine yourself: can you compare the desire to express your opinions on the internet to any faculty that a cockroach possesses? Probably not.

    God is not human. Nor is God really good or evil or even infinite. God is beyond human, beyond good and evil, beyond infinite. The very existence of God defies logic, time, and space. If a God does exist, then we must accept that God's existence is far outside our own understanding and experience.

    By tacking the idea of needs and wants onto God, we attribute human qualities to him. Perhaps it doesn't seem to make sense to us humans that God would create us. After all, why would he need to or want to? Yet this would probably be similar to a cockroach asking "Why does John write blogs?" I don't think there's a way a cockroach could ever know.

  • The finite mind of an intellectual being will never comprehend the devine proclamation of an infinite God. "Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgements, and His paths beyond tracing out" Romans 11:33.

    I know John, that your question is quite legitimate. I wish I had a logical or rational answer for you. God created us humans as an act of His will. I believe that on the long run, there would never be a right answer as to why He did, but assumptions. After it's all been said and done, the right answer will remain with God and God alone.

  • What we can know about God is revealed in Scripture. That is why I referred to Revelation 4:11 and Colossians 1:16. If there is a right answer it is to be found in Scripture. If Scripture tells me that humans were created in His image, we can deduce that we were created to have fellowship with Him. We can look at the account of the first couple in the Garden and see that fellowship with our creator was part of a grand design. We are the only part of His creation specifically designed for that fellowship. He certainly wanted to or He would not have chosen to do so. Whether or not God NEEDS I will leave to the realm of speculation because I have never found anything in Scripture that tells me such a thing.

  • His gift for Himself 🙂

  • God created us just for the hell of it.

  • Nya

    I know there is a scripture that says (paraphrased), He that knows to do good and chooses not to do good, to him it is sin.

    God created life (us) because we are a reflection of Him.

    Everything he made is good for He said it.

    God not creating us would contradict who He is. He is Love and had to create Love.

    If He didn't create Love it definitely would contradict who He is …and we all know there is no Sin in God.

    God is Love!

  • Scott Marshall

    Human life begins with an orgasm. What does that say about God and desire?

  • First time here. I’ve been blog shopping recently. There are some really great conversations going on here…I wish I had found this sooner! Thanks for all the inspiration to keep on thinking and questioning!

  • Dan Cartwright

    Revelation 4:11: "You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created."

    Colossians 1:16 ". . .all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him."

    I still have not found a better answer than from scripture, although there have been some 'interesting' comments in here.

  • LP

    You know John I’ve been reading some of your other posts on this page and I like what you’re doing here. I’ve decided to add you to my own bloggroll. Huzzah!

  • Just the references are fine. I’m probably not interested in debating, just curious what your sources are.

  • mhogue

    If you had the knowledge and ability to "invent" something so brilliant, so intelligent as a human being, WHY NOT? I think anyone who ever invented something is pretty proud of their accomplishment. But humans are the most complex entity in the whole universe. Besides the fact that we have an intricate physical, mental, and emotional makeup which sets us apart each and every human being around us, we also have a soul which is unique to our species, with the capability of thinking and knowing and feeling and all that at the same time!

    Why not create humans? It's like bearing a child, they're part of yourself, you watch them grow up and become like you, with some of the same characteristics and emotions and abilities…but not exactly like you of course. They'll make mistakes but you'll be there to help them and give them the knowledge that you have so they can have it to…

    I don't know…if I created the human being I could pretty much spend the rest of eternity enjoying them and watching them discover me and discover how to enjoy me and communicate that to others. And we would have a relationship so different from any other relationship that I had, and then someday they would leave the Earth I placed them in and finally arrive in front of my physically and that relationship would finally be perfect and complete and I could watch the wonder in their eyes as everything they've ever wondered was finally revealed to them and they just couldn't do anything but drop to their knees and exclaim, "wow! thank you! I love you!" And it would just get better and better from there…

  • evanescent

    mhogue, scroll up and read my post, comment number 18.

    Humans want to have children because we have an emotional and biological need for them that evolution has selected for. Humans NEED to procreate.

    God doesn't NEED to procreate; he has no fundamental choices to make since there is absolutely nothing that can improve him or denigrate him. God therefore cannot make any choice regarding anything that affects him, since nothing can affect him. Therefore, "value" is a meaningless term for god; he can value nothing.

    Like the other concepts associated with god, it reduces to contradiction (you have to treat god as a god but also treat him like a human), this is because the concept of god itself is a contradiction. Contradictions don't exist in reality, therefore god doesn't exist. So the question of why he would create anything is resolved: he didn't.

  • Cheryl

    Evanescent, you replied to mhogue’s analogy that God creating humans is like a person having a child. Mhogue, it’s a beautiful, heartwarming thought, though ultimately it’s flawed as a response to this question because an analogy is never proof. It is a similar set of circumstances, not an exact set of circumstances. And because (pardon the turn of phrase) God is in the details, it will never serve to answer or fully illustrate a proposition other than its own.

    But Evanescence, comparing a human’s biological drive to procreate to God's lack of need to procreate does not, by proof through contradiction, disprove the existence of God. In fact, it’s nothing more than personification … a flawed argument for proving mhogue’s proposition that God created humans in order to love and value them. It’s not a verification of your theory, it’s simply a failure to prove his.

  • evanescent

    Cheryl, you are the one who is guilty of personification; it is, after all, you and your fellow believers who are comparing god to a human in the first place by describing a being that has needs, wants, and desires.

    It is YOU who believes that god has values, whereas I have shown this is a contradiction. Now, humans can love, and find pleasure, and happiness, etc in fellow beings and children, because they can ENRICH our lives and can MAKE OUR LIVES BETTER. However, by definition, God is perfect; nothing can possibly harm him or make him worse, and nothing can possibly make him better or improve him. It is this that seems to be lost on you; because there is absolutely nothing that can affect god, (for good or bad), he has absolutely NO choice to make that can effect him. But since a value is that which one acts to keep and/or gain, and god doesn't need or want to keep or gain anything, he cannot value anything. The concept of love is meaningless with god.

    All your arguments about god wanting to create people out of love etc are exactly what you've just accused me of doing: personification. You want your god to be perfect and untouchable, yet also human and have human emotions at the same time. You want your god to be flawless and unchangeable, but also have weaknesses and able to be changed by human existence/actions. It is a contradiction. The concept of god is a contradiction, and that is why it disproves his existence.

  • evanescent,

    Not to put too fine a point on it – or be deliberately rude – but if you're going to try to use logic in your arguments you might want to toddle home and learn it first.

    "The concept of god is a contradiction, and that is why it disproves his existence."

    That is a ludicrously illogical and unwarranted statement. The only thing that the contradiction comes close to disproving is the framework for the understanding of a god and his possible motives.

    If, as an atheist, you are going to proselytize your faith, learn its tenets first please. LOL

  • evanescent

    Wow, Jono, if you’re going to try and shoot someone down for not being logical, at least try and get it right yourself. LOL.

    Contradictions don’t exist in reality, so if the concept of god is a contradiction, it cannot exist in reality. And if you think differently, maybe you should “toddle home” and learn some logic.

    Nice way to avoid everything else I said though!

    Oh and I happen to be an atheist because I don’t believe in the same sky fairy that you seem to believe in, but *yawn* on the “faith” comment; hey if it helps you sleep at night to believe that those who don’t share your fantasies are just as irrational as you then fine, but when you say this stuff on the internet it makes you look silly.

  • Kj

    I've never written in, but your discussion has kept me up for the past 30 minutes…. and in response to Evanescent #41… God is perfect and he IS HUMAN. He sent His son Jesus Christ into the world. He has experienced every emotion, every pain, every joy and was perfectly sinless. And he took your sins on himself and died for you. That is perfect love. Have you ever read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? After you've done that, come back. You'll be changed.

  • evanescent

    Yeah Kj, I have read the entire bible because I used to be a Christian. I was brought up that way and I believed it with all my heart, and god was my best friend. Funnily enough, I did change after that. How? Rational thought.

    Your idea that someone should go away and read a few books and come back and have their life changed is so insulting and condescending I wouldn't have even said that to someone when I was a christian! You win people over with facts, not rhetoric.

    As for the assertion that god is human, I must protest: humans are not supposed to be perfect immortal transcendent beings that predate time and created the entire universe. You want your cake and eat it. God is human, but also not. God is human and imperfect, but also perfect. He cannot die yet died. He cannot value and yet values. He punishes for non-existent crimes that people didn't commit. The concept is a contradiction. The only way to explain it with a contradiction. This fact is so startling I can only think you can't see the woods for the trees.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    so, you show that nothing exists contingent on the assumption that God exists! It would seem that your assumptions must be flawed at some point–that your definitions might be incoherant. Perhaps you already had the hidden assumtion that God *is* nothing, in which case all you've proven is a tautology.

    There is in fact a problem with your idea of the standard of value. Sometimes one is willing to give up everything, even his/her own life, for the sake of those s/he loves or even for principles on which s/he is firmly convicted.

    My suggestion is to seek a different definition then, whereby instead of God valuing nothing, God would value everything!

  • Matthew Tweedell

    note: In my understanding God is self-created.

    (If you are using a different notion, then you've got even bigger problems, because then maybe God *didn't* create everything, but whatever created God could have, so the argument still doesn't hold water.)

  • Matthew Tweedell

    No, Jono is right. It only proves is that *your* chosen concept paradigm is flawed, and not that the concept of God has no relation to any "real" being. Indeed you claimed to show not that *God* doesn't exist, but that this "concept of God" doesn't exist. You didn't need to go about proving that; we sort of figured that you have no real concept of God—I mean, considering that you *are* atheist and all.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Did you know that there's a word for apparent contradictions that are in reality true? The word is "miracle". Now, God may be the source of some pretty big miracles, but it's not like a Big Bang is anything less than miraclulous, any less in contradiction with our most fundamental laws, such as how net energy increase (or decrease, for that matter) is impossible in a closed system (assuming the universe is one–if it's not, then what's *outside* the universe? Well, whatever it might be, it would have to be some kind of transcendant entity, some kind of god). Yeah, it would be awesome if we could power cars without paying for energy at the gas pump (or off the electric grid or someplace else), but that's as impossible as a god who died, and even more so since it's actually a real law of the universe.

    And is the nature of such laws, and the laws you (sometimes erroneously) employ in your logic, any less than divine? They even fit your own definitions of gods, it seems. They don't have any wants; they don't create; they aren't human; they never die; they contain no flaws; they don't punish. So if you're truly an atheist instead of a polytheist, then you aren't being completely honest with yourself about your concept of god. Perhaps you never really cared to, but simply dismissed religion because you had been hurt by it, perhaps being horribly misled and/or misinformed by it and even *about* it. If so, *that* spirit was not of Christ. (It is a major concern of mine that an antichrist-ian spirit seems so powerful in churches today. It forces people with sound minds and good heats to leave the church, making it easier for his malevolence to consolidate power within the church.)

  • Matthew Tweedell

    We are asking about God's motivation here. It seems to me that motivation is an aspect of the human mind (and the minds of animals with sufficiently complex nervous systems) that serves a biological function. So any talk of motivation (in any sense meaningful to man) becomes quite meaningless (and perhaps even a bit demeaning) in discussing God. God's will simply *is*—no if's, when's, why's, or wherefore's. Not for us at least.

    To such questions I think the apostle Paul would answer something along the lines of Romans 9:20 "But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'"

    The Biblical references others gave above, they appear to be using in an attempt to construct a somewhat contrived and–it seems to me–mistaken argument:

    All things are for God and made by Him for His own pleasure: thus humans exist for God's pleasure. (Fair enough–it's in the Bible.) So in what way would it please God to make man, I understand John's question to ask. The argument seems to go: God made all things that have been made because they would increase His pleasure (wherein they err in assuming that it ever could have been anything less than the fully perfected), for whatsoever did not, that God would not have made since He made all things for his pleasure (which is, it seems to me, a bit of circular reasoning). Ergo God created humans for to bring him pleasure.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    I think I should add to the last line: e.g., by loving Him, worshipping Him, and so on.