Humanist Voices in Verse: The Mind of God

This week’s poem is by Ian Robinson. He is a free-lance writer and editor based in Central Victoria. He is a leading Australian freethinker, Life Member and President Emeritus of the Rationalist Society of Australia and a former editor of the Australian Rationalist journal.

If you’d like to contribute original poetry to Humanist Voices in Verse, write to with “Poetry” in the subject line. Please send no more than three poems for consideration per week.


The Mind of God
by Ian Hayward Robinson

If we find the answer to [the question of why it is that we and the universe exist] … then we should know the mind of God.

Stephen Hawking

let us see, said God,
to himself of course,
because as we all know there is only one God
(though many have claimed to be his prophet),
let us see, He said,
using the plural pronoun despite the fact that He was alone,
because He was unity in diversity, three persons in one,
and thus could talk to himself without being certified,
let us see, said He (or She? –
in this poem the masculine embraces the feminine,
although as Saul, later Paul, still later Saint Paul, pointed out:
it was the woman who was deceived),
let us see:
here I am
(or We are?)
all good
in fact, fucking perfect.

(there’s always a ‘but’)
But, said God,
what’s the point of being everywhere
if all there is is Me?
what’s the point of being all-powerful
if there’s no-one to have power over?
what’s the point of being a know-all
if all you can know is you?
what’s the point of being outside time
if there’s no time to be outside of?



I know
He said
without fear of contradiction
because of course He did know everything
and because there was no-one there to contradict Him anyway
I know
I’ll create a universe in time and space.


I’ll start it off with a bang
He said
not just any kind of bang
but a Big Bang
and time will start
and in time will evolve
sub-atomic particles
and atoms
and molecules
and gas clouds
and galaxies
and stars

(you gotta be impressed!)

And some of the stars will have planets
and on some of the planets
if I set up the initial conditions right
sentient beings will evolve
carbon-based bipeds
who will be over-awed by my creation
and will worship Me
and glorify my good works
(you can’t put anything past this guy)
hang on
carbon-based bipeds
most of whom will live lives of quiet desperation,
short, nasty and brutish
will suffer from terrible diseases
will be decimated by natural disasters
will die slowly from starvation
at the rate of one thousand a day
and will go around killing each other in My name

said God
(because He was nothing if not decisive)
I am benevolent, not to mention all good
I cannot create a universe like this
it is not my nature
I cannot cause so much gratuitous pain and suffering
forget it
I’ll just exist here by Myself
enjoying my own perfection
for all eternity
might sound boring, but after all
if you take a moment to think about it
eternity is not all that long a time
if time hasn’t been invented yet

(there’s always a ‘but’)
according to highly-placed sources within the universe
evidence has been steadily mounting
that strongly supports the hypothesis
that for reasons best known to himself,
or  should I say only known to himself
since He is inscrutable
God may have gone ahead and created the universe anyway

Who would believe something like that?