Alien Ant Farm

After watching this video, I had some thoughts on what the overall message could possibly be.  I was slightly confused, mainly from the portrayal of the “god” and why he hoped he could connect with the ants.  Was the message a “the popular concept of a caring god is wrong because we can’t understand it and it can’t understand us” or more of “your basic understanding of life and living can piss off your ‘creator’ if you don’t pay amends”?

Whatever the point was, I was drawn to it. I felt as though I could understand the feelings the “supplier” had when he realized his ants depended on him, I felt pity for him when he couldn’t communicate with them and I felt regret and remorse for the ants when they were being punished for not making their gratification, if there was any at all, known to the one that is supposed to care for them.

I found it funny that I would want to associate my own thoughts with such a disturbed notion of a god like this one, but soon realized that it wasn’t that I was trying to find common ground with it, but more that I wanted to understand why it wanted to be understood by the ants.  The god character is shown as loving, caring and, honestly, lonely.  The god character in America is shown as loving, caring, compassionate, and content.  It isn’t said that “God was bored one sunny afternoon and set up a farm in his apartment,” but, if you read the texts, that’s pretty much what happened.  The concept Christians and Muslims and Jews have of their god is a lonely god that NEEDED comfort.  So he created what he thought would give him just that, only, things went horribly wrong.

As in the video, the idea of Gods hand in our lives is just as improbable.  If there is Great Landlord watching our every move, what could it possibly hope to gain from it?  We do what we need to do to survive, to make our short lives as enjoyable as we can before we die and the game is over.  This is exactly what the ants are doing, except that we can’t tell that they’re enjoying anything about it.  They don’t know they have a god, the god doesn’t know that they don’t know they have a god, and because of it, one side is left wondering what it did wrong, even after all the provisions and care and love it showed for the other.

Growing up, I had my own ideas on what God was and did.  I was afraid to ask the questions I wanted answered for fear of being told the simple, “Because God is perfect.”  I HATED that answer.  If God was perfect, what need did he have of us?  Perfection means nothing more can be added to that thing to make it better and nothing can be taken away.  It is absolute.  Creating the world and the cosmos and the little tiny insignificant carbon-based creatures that run around and fuck and yell and murder and destroy and cry and love and hate and invade and appreciate and convert and build and and and… there’s no need for any of this if God is perfect.  So my mind started to shift.  I started to think, maybe, if there is a god, what if it’s a pathetic, lonely, miserable thing that just NEEDS and desires companionship? Why is it that humans have created a god that dictates that WE need IT?  We have so much going for us, so much that we accomplished all on our own.  Natural selection brought us to what we are by weeding out those that couldn’t contribute to the human species.  We domesticated animals for food and when that wasn’t enough, we learned how to farm.  We learned how to build towns and cities and infrastructure around those farms.  We harnessed fire, we made alcohol, we learned how to save men from death by way of medicine.  We no longer fear night and the predators it brings because we’ve moved inside, discovered electricity, heat, warmth.  We no longer die when the earth moves away from the sun just enough to freeze our plants because we’ve learned how not to.  Everything that we’ve gained from learning about the world and what goes on around us we’ve done on our own, with no help from an external source.  So, why do we adhere to an imaginary all-powerful being that could have, but didn’t help us out?

Going back to the video, I think the “god” touches on this, but in a different way.  He sees that the ants are perfectly capable of doing so much without his help, but he gets mad that they’re not saying thank you when he believes himself to be the source of their lives.  He’s not understanding that they won’t ever see him.  He’s simply too big for them to conceptualize in a way that both him and the ants can benefit from. What does he do with this anger?  Hurts and maims and tortures the ants.  He chooses the ones that are doing what he feels is evil, or sin and destroys them.  But that isn’t enough.  He has to send them to Hell.  To really make them see the error of their ways.  Yet… nothing works.  There is no tangible communication going on.  He can’t talk to the ants and they can’t talk to him.  He simply does not exist.

At the end of the video, he sees himself in a reflection as he loads another tray into his ant oven.  It’s as though he can visualize how demonic he’s behaving, but feels that he’s in the right because of all he has given them.

This video was a shock to me because of how brutally honest it was, even though it was no doubt a work of fiction.  It made me think about what my concept of a god was, about what my country’s concept of a god was and why we as a population feel we need it so badly as to inject it into our daily lives.  I wondered why we have the endless urge to devote ourselves to such a negative image of something that may not exist at all, but we’ve convinced ourselves it does, because, like the god in the video, we don’t like being alone.

But then the bigger question came up, how would we move away from this, if it’s even possible to do so?  The implications we shove into our societies stemming from a beastly god cause so much hate and anger, yet we cover it up with ancient message of peace and love, and my question is why?

Well?

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One response to “Alien Ant Farm

  1. I suspect it’s because belief in a god has always fulfilled human needs and wishes. I’m a little biased, because I’m an atheist, but I think people realize they’re quite alone. We all are. If people are anything like me, they build relationships like crazy as a way to create an illusion that we arent really alone. But imagine if we had someone who was ALWAYS there, no matter what, no matter how alone you felt. No matter how bad things get, someone’s always looking out for you. If you really believe that, it’s a comforting thought. And I think that’s the goal. It’s why people need to believe so badly that there’s a perfect being out there. He’ll be there to listen when you need him and he loves you no matter what you do and he has this glorious plan for everybody, so even when things are going horribly wrong, they’re going wrong because they need to in order for things to go right . . .

    You can see how when the thing is imaginary it’s easy to give whatever attributes to him you want. It’s easy to believe a comforting lie when you want to believe it. Just as it’s easy to believe something you hear when you want to hear it. The nature of the God myth is to provide comfort and direction and answers. And excuse the pun, but by God, that’s what it’s going to do if the perpetuators of the myth have to contradict themselves to get it.

    That said, and to be fair, I think you’d get a better answer from a reasonable Christian.

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