Who gives us that authority? Why should we get to decide who does or does not get food, water or medical care? Why should we get to choose who lives and dies? Is it because we have money? Is it because we have political power? Is it because we have military strength? It certainly can’t be because we are wiser or morally superior. We are just human beings, nothing more.

We are not qualified to play God, and yet we assume that role everyday. What criteria do we use to help us decide who we should save and who we should let die? Is it totally random or is there a methodology to our decisions? The consequences of the actions we take as a society and as a nation have far reaching effects on those who are desperate for our help. Do we really believe we have the intellectual capacity to make such important judgements without bias or prejudice? What if the roles were reversed? How would you feel if people on the other side of the world had the ability to save your child’s life, but they decided material things were more important and that made your loved one expendable?

We are playing God even when we decide to do nothing. Not taking action can have devastating consequences. Playing God means we can harm people just by ignoring them. We don’t have to do something to hurt them. We can literally kill them by not doing anything. When we choose inaction over action we are, in effect, making the decision to end people’s lives. We are deciding to allow children to die simply because of where they were born. If they lived in our country we would not let them starve to death right in front of our eyes. But because children living in extreme poverty are out of sight, we turn away and ignore their suffering.

We are not wise enough as a species to have power over who lives and who dies. But when we play God we actually wield that power constantly. Each day we have the opportunity to save 30,000 lives and we choose not to. Thirty thousand men, women and children will die today because we let them. We decide they are not worth saving. We decide material things are more important. We decide that their children are not as precious as ours…We are hardly Godlike.  We want the power, but we don’t want to accept the responsibility that goes with it.

Playing God is incredibly dangerous. Throughout mankind’s long and violent history, individuals, as well as nations, have tried to gain power over who lived and who died. This has never worked. This mindset is extremely harmful because it is premised on the erroneous belief that all people are not equal. We fall into the trap of thinking that this group is expendable while this group must be saved. That is wrong. No one is expendable. Everyone should be saved. Playing God gives us too much power, and when we have that kind of power our mistakes are amplified. Our misjudgements cost innocent people their lives.

Playing God means we automatically place ourselves above others. We assume a role of superiority. This is an irrational point of view that causes us to make inherently poor decisions, because our perspective is totally at odds with reality. When so many lives are at stake, it is imperative that we are operating with the proper perspective.  We simply do not have the right to make life or death decisions. Everyone has the right to live. There can be no other humane point of view. Anything less leads only to suffering and misery.

Playing God is not a game. It is not right that the less fortunate are forced to be pawns in a life and death match played by those who enjoy lives of privilege.




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