Did God make a Mistake?
15-20 billion years, give or take a few since the dawn of the universe, seems an awful long time to turn out creatures who appear to be largely at the mercy of the caprices of a nervous system which allows feelings to range across the whole spectrum from ecstatic happiness to suicidal despair; from dedicated loyalty to cynical betrayal; from outstandingly courageous deeds to despicable, cowardly acts and these are only a few of the disparate behavioural characteristics experienced by members of that which we term humankind.
At first glance it would seem far more sensible for a Creator to turn out beings that are constructed from more reliable material. Possibly some kind of biological robot who's programming would not indulge feelings of fear, sadness and joy. Or, if such feelings were allowed then they would be strictly limited in their intensity so that only a modicum of joy could be experienced and conversely a very low level of sadness permitted. Certainly this would rule out the emotional highs and lows experienced by much of humanity, as well as better controlling many of the baser instincts that have remained with us since we first emerged from the primordial soup.
Instead of a tightly controlled emotional make up, we have been given feelings that are able to run the whole gamut. The adrenaline that pumps into our bloodstream during times of stress, induced by the excitement and anticipation of danger, prepared our ancestors, as indeed it still does us, for flight or fight, and the naturally occurring neural depressants triggered, and still trigger, rest and relaxation. Being biologically based and instinctively controlled, both these functions can either over or under stimulate the system and thereby become the precursor of the severe mood swings that have always plagued humanity.
In addition to possible genetic malfunctions, there are the behavioural difficulties caused by faulty programming of the biological computer we call the brain. Programming, or, as it is more popularly known, learning, is acquired by inputting into the brain through the five senses, literally billions of experiences of sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing and many since pre-birth.
Many perceived behavioural problems are the outcome of a particular combination of genetics and environmental conditioning that results in actions that are termed either good or bad, brave or cowardly, prejudiced or impartial, according to the current climate of thought, or the dictates of the culture of the time. Behaviour is frequently and rightly referred to as being the product of nature and nurture and is a response of the genetic structure and sensual programming of an individual to outside stimuli. The extent, to which an individual controls that response will depend on their physical, psychological and spiritual capacity to first desire, and then apply, restraint.
Why did God choose organic life as the medium? Presumably only reproducible organic life is able to evolve to the point where sensualistic experience of a high order can develop and it is therefore likely that only such creatures can, for example, possess a sense of smell that allows the organism to revel in the heady perfume of a rose. It also requires organisms with taste buds to appreciate food flavours and those with eyes to enjoy the many rewards of sight.
Constructed beings, (angels, presumably?) would have no nervous system and would possess only erudition. Not for them an exquisite olfactory reaction to the fragrance of a perfume, and neither could their mouths water at the smell of cooking food. It is the delicate interplay of sensory perceptions via sensitive nerve endings which gives rise in the human mind those ecstatic experiences that contain some element of the numinous: thus enabling us to experience an aspect of God that is beyond the reach of angels. Through the mixture of intelligence and biological sensations we are better able to experience a little more of the divine presence than we could by the use of intellect alone. Maybe, therefore, it is only a begotten as opposed to a created creature that is capable of beginning its spiritual development whilst still alive on earth.
According to the Apostles, Prophets and Saints, God is Love, and so it follows that He had no choice but to allow beings to develop freely within a suitable framework if it was His hope and desire that they would offer themselves back to him in Love.
Certainly the whole exercise must mean a great deal to God, for He surrendered some of His omnipotence when He gave mankind the unfettered option of either loving or rejecting Him and, equally, the choice of refusing or accepting the Love He offers.