Thinking About God

Much of what I will offer here has been percolating through me since I was a child. Its refinement - to the extent that it is more so - is owed to a significant extent, to scientific facts I have learned through John Walker and his offspring, Fourmilab, Ratburger and Scanalyst. I am also very grateful to Roxie Walker for preserving these unique and wonderful resources; they represent what the internet is capable of being and what it ought to be…

Chief among the things I’ve learned here are the works of Stephen C. Meyer and Bernard Haisch. Both may be found in book reviews as well. Many other people have also contributed to my worldview. These two men stand out however. I also extend gratitude to the many unnamed individuals whose works and words have molded the variegated, un-homogeneous stuff that I am - the physical, emotional, spiritual and maybe even some, as yet unknown, facets of the whole.

Growing up in a secular Jewish family in the suburbs of NYC in the 50’s and 60’s, the existence or nature of God wasn’t much on my mind; only occasionally in the small hours alone in bed. I don’t recall ever having any discussions with either of my parents, whose own parents - immigrants from eastern Europe - were also mostly secular. I never had any such talks with any of my grandparents either. I had a Bar Mitzvah as a rite of passage when I was thirteen. Even that, in a reform temple, included no real discussion of God or theology that I recall. To me, Bar Mitzvah was a performance I had to act out. Nonetheless, I had independently begun to develop some vague longing for purpose or belonging or meaning beyond my mere existence and beyond earning the approbation of those around me - especially I needed my parents’ approval. I was under the mistaken belief back then, that my worth as a human being was measured by my outward and visible accomplishments. At the time, I didn’t recognize such musing as being possibly related to God.

Importantly, much less was known back then about the nature of the universe or of how it began. The sub atomic world was a mystery - at least to me as part of the general public. DNA, though discovered in 1953, was as yet largely unknown and there was as yet no intelligent discussion about the origin of first life - only limited-by-dogmatic-materialism guesses. The process of evolution which by definition applied only to complex biological organisms, was incoherently applied to chemicals believed to exist in a hypothetical “pre-biotic soup”. That passed for science and was “settled science” of the cognoscenti.

When I went to college in 1962, in my mind reality was divided in two: it was either religion or science with no middle ground (or maybe a DMZ). I believed reality existed as only scientific facts; the rest was bullshit. In an attempt to bridge this gap, TPTB at F & M college caused me to read The Two Cultures by C.P. Snow for college orientation. Things have changed rather dramatically in each of those regards - certainly insofar as I understand the nature of reality in my dotage.

I suppose you might say that, today, humility ought to reign, as we occupy a minuscule middle space in the range of the size of all things material, which far exceeds our mind’s ability to encompass it. Existence, we now know, extends from the quantum level to galaxies 13 billion light years distant. Phenomena at the smallest end of the spectrum are all-but incomprehensible in terms of the physics woven into our experience of reality at the human size range. It’s downright weird down there at Planck distances.

Even at our familiar level of physical reality, things are not quite as they seem, now that understanding of physics and cosmology have progressed. For example, were the proton of a hydrogen atom represented as the size of a baseball, the electron shell would be about two miles away! The same principle applies to the sizes of all atoms. The volume of an entire atom is 15 orders of magnitude larger than the volume of the nucleus! This means that all of the oh-so-solid physical reality, any of which could smash our bodies into mush - literally - is actually mostly empty space (with a vanishing probability of encountering a fleeting electron at various specified distances)! Familiar (to humans) physical interactions, therefore, are almost entirely in the category of electromagnetic forces exerted between atoms and molecules, rather than collisions of particles; even billiard balls or trains colliding. And then, this size discrepancy is tiny when compared to the space between planets and then that between stars.

These distances are quite literally beyond human ability to even imagine them. Though strangely jaded in my youth (probably as an emotional defense against the speed with which knowledge was accumulating), I stand in literal awe of these facts. Would that TPTB of today possessed some shred of this natural humility which arises in normal human beings when brought face to face with the profound knowledge of the context of our small existence.

Almost as though by reflex, a mere glimpse of our tininess and vulnerability evokes in normal, social creatures, a sense of simple care for other such creatures who are similarly situated. Though it may seem odd, I think of this whenever I see roadkill - flattened to mere two dimensions - yet reminding me this is a potential end of my two beloved cats. Who has not thus once loved a pet, not to mention some other human being, so as to not dread their careless or unnecessary, violent killing? I am forced to ask, then, whether our “leaders” see anything beyond their own self-righteous, preening pomposity as they go about the business of making roadkill of us all. I only acknowledge this satanic awfulness here in this essay on God (which is not usually part of my lexicon) because of the very real threat that NATO’s longstanding and unnecessary, premeditated aggressions may - at any moment - bring civilization to an end via a nuclear WWIII.

Long before these facts as to our relative puniness were known and long before mathematical notation existed to even attempt to quantify it, the Psalmist wrote: “Who is man that thou art mindful of him”? This very wonderment, this curiosity, may actually represent deep insight into human ontology. Those who have long believed man is created in God’s image, might well say it is the essential reflection of God’s curiosity as fleshed out - as it were - in running what just may be His one experiment - this Creation. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My earliest musings, maybe in my teens, were of a God whoso powers somehow resembled my dad’s; visualized as the father figure so stunningly portrayed on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I existed in his shadow and I saw him as the ever present judge, before whom I was usually guilty. Insufficient. Lacking. His love was entirely contingent and I was not enough to merit it. God the disapproving father. Unsurprisingly, I grew up an overachiever, in a single-minded effort to earn the love and acceptance I so desperately craved. The outward and visible letters after my name - A.B. M.S. M.D. J.D. Commercial Pilot - never delivered either the approbation or the fulfillment of believing myself “good enough”.

What I have been thinking recently, as I approach my 80th year (where did the time go? It seems to have been contained in a single flash of a strobe light), is very different from the God as dad-like. I have actually evolved toward the ancient Hebrew practice of declining to even name Him, lest He be blasphemously circumscribed by the contours of a name; He is, rather, scrupulously referred to as “hashem” - “the name”. In writing, Observant Jews write G-d, for similar reverent reasons. As I consider the matter, I find it rather silly as a matter of philosophical/cosmological truth-seeking to refer to God with any pronoun signifying sex.

I’m pretty certain the God of my ever-evolving understanding as of this moment, does not have sex organs. Nonetheless, here, I will follow the long tradition of using male pronouns in deference to the written tradition from the Torah to the King James Version. These and other texts, like Cranmer’s stunning Book of Common Prayer, are insight into the way human beings wished to speak with God as they made the intellectual and material progress history teaches us they made over the millennia covered by those writings. A good bit of what I hope to explore here, in contrast, is the nature of the spiritual progress we may have made in our newly-augmented humility, based in large part on understanding both our place in the universe - our tininess - and simultaneously, what may turn out be our centrality to it - our possible role in the universe becoming conscious of itself!

Perhaps the best way to undertake this one man’s exploration of God’s nature is to describe the changes in my own conceptions over the years. It began as raw, unfocused curiosity about the nature of things in my youth. For as long as I can remember, I had a deep need to observe my surroundings at every level and figure to out how it all fit together - I always needed to know context. Understanding context has, without doubt, been my main psychic mechanism and driver of my very consciousness. This need likely has its roots in survival skills - today called “situational awareness”. Context, curiosity, causation; these were the pulleys and levers of reality - a virtual jigsaw puzzle - and it was my job to find as many pieces as possible and fit them into the whole. This has been a singular motivation of my life, with many gaps and incompleteness of course. Nonetheless, a blurred and incomplete image has begun to be revealed. I find myself saying I long for a “God’s eye” view of all existence.

Consistent with the nature of God, that “God’s eye” view is difficult to describe. Maybe some vignettes may help. When I see a grand geologic formation like the Grand Canyon, for example, I wish I might see a time lapse video of its formation, complete with simultaneous information from all the senses of everyone who has ever had any experience of any part of the entire process. I would know how every rock and particle of sediment got there and what was its individual history. Similarly, when I consider an historical figure or event, I would know all the surrounding events and persons. Where did each fit into the chain of causation; what was the inner experience any conscious observer of it at any time throughout its history?

With an impossible level of granularity, I would know the experience - physical, emotional and spiritual - of every person involved or with awareness, before, during and after every event - right up to the present. It’s rather like asking to view and comprehend the rings, ripples and waves created in every body of water, resulting from every pebble thrown into it for all time. I.e. to know the chain of causation of every historical event which ever happened - both proximate and remote - along with the inner experience of everyone, however distantly involved. I wonder about the vast majority of humans who ever lived, but about whom nothing is remembered due to their ordinariness and/or non-involvement in the events we know about and which history has recorded. There, after all, lies the greatest “reservoir” of human consciousness; the “silent majority” of all history, everywhere.

As time passed and factual knowledge of the nature and extent of material reality grew - literally exponentially - my concept of God similarly expanded - to the extent I was able to become aware of it - as we became better at sharing what we learn. Lest it be a “spoiler”, I must say at the outset that I no longer believe my above-average human mind is anywhere near capable of formulating, understanding or containing the nature of the God I now believe must exist. I will also jump ahead to my present conclusion that I have no idea whether or not God’s consciousness is anything recognizable to us as such and thus I have no idea whether He attends to us or intervenes in our lives or the universe at any level. I plead not only ignorance, but more importantly, incapacity. If He indeed does these things, I may simply be incapable to seeing them by virtue of my human nature.

Though David Hume, patron saint of modern atheists, argued there was no rational basis for belief in the existence of God, his conclusions, such as they are, via his, similar, human nature, were rooted in 18th century ignorance of the scientific facts (and many more!) summarily mentioned above. In light of these facts, applying the scientific technique of inference to the best explanation for them, one may reasonably conclude that the action of mind - a rational intelligence separate from and outside of the material universe - is the only rational explanation for the scientifically-determined facts which are reliably and reproducibly observed using the scientific method.

Given our far greater knowledge of the material universe, life and the statistical impossibility of their origins through random processes or self-assembly, materialism simply lacks the explanatory power to justify itself. It lacks the explanatory power to account for existence of all those things we now observe scientifically, especially observations with modern instruments, which seriously undercut Hume’s epistemology. Reality at many levels is amenable to observation by means which extend those of our meagre biological sensors. Neither the beginnings of matter nor of life can be explained by random, unguided processes - without the kind of faith usually so discounted by modern atheists. including those adherents who promiscuously apply the rubrics of scientism.

I now write on Tuesday, having begun this effort Friday past in the morning, shortly after which I was struck down that Friday afternoon with shaking chills and fever. These symptoms have come and gone several times. There is no option other than to get into bed with lots of blankets when they hit. All thoughts of God left me, even as my teeth chattered and my mind searched diffidently for possible causes. Because of my wife’s cancer and consequent immuno- suppression, I go out only for necessary shopping. I wear a mask at all times. I use hand sanitizer after leaving places where I handle any items. In short, I can’t figure where this came from - unless it is not infectious and rather a harbinger of one of the several diseases of old age which could present this way and proceed to end my life. At first blush, I thought it strange that my train of thought on God had been interrupted by illness. This morning - after sleeping later than I had in years, until 09:30 - I awakened feeling quite weak, soaked in sweat, but mentally much better than last night; at least I could think straight. This, too has recurred several times over the past five days. As a doc, I know I’m not continually sick enough to go to the ER - yet. If it becomes continuous or worsens, I will be forced to reconsider.

With the ups and downs (I actually felt well enough to exercise for an hour yesterday, before it recurred last evening). I wondered: why, when I thought I might possibly be at the beginning of the end of my life, did I not think of God? Maybe because - as is my wont - I only wanted to “figure it out” to find the context - to find something to relieve my discomfort. Do I only think on God when I am feeling well and fit to philosophize or else when I am certainly in extremis, as in the foxhole - with “God, save me”? I don’t know, but I am back at it this morning, even as I worry whether I will be able to continue taking care of my wife, Gigi, who may be having a relapse of C.diff with the absolute torture of constant diarrhea. Not long ago, she had a full month of that >20 times/day! - including 6 days hospitalization - during which she was offered zero help (and several inane impediments - to physically getting to the bathroom!! For me, the physician, it was yet another lesson in powerlessness. I could do nothing to help, until near the end from the eventual correct antibiotic treatment, I prescribed the old standby symptom reliever, paregoric, which did help a bit.

By way of digression, I want to say that in 1965, I met and quickly married my first wife, lest she get away (she looked like Brigitte Bardot and a few years later, she did get away, nonetheless - but that’s another story). The point is that she was a musical prodigy, precocious in the fullest sense of the word. She became organist and choir director of her family Methodist Church at age 11. She was 18 when we met; I was 21. In addition to her, that ever-lurking part of me which longs for meaning was attracted to the music and I became the most faithful member of the choir. I was drawn and warmed by the words and melodies. I found the Christian theology similarly beckoning. Though it is beyond what I hope to say here, given my evolving humility as to all things spiritual - referenced above - it still seems to me that even were it merely allegory and not strictly factual history, the New Testament story of Jesus of Nazareth just might be the best way to to permit Man to approach and understand God the Creator. This is so given both God’s ineffable nature and Man’s incapacity to grasp it. The mind of God is too ‘big’ and the mind of Man is too ‘small’. This inequality required a timeless ‘retail’ allegory relatable to the most ordinary of us.

Based on the 90th Psalm and written by Isaac Watts in 1708, the hymn O God Our Help in Ages Past is set to the tune Saint Anne by William Croft. I have never failed to be stirred - brought to transcendence - whenever I have heard this hymn. I refer to hearing it because I am actually unable to sing it, as I am so moved - to tears - that I just can’t get the words out. Such is the awe - the overwhelming, inspiring power of word and tune over me; and the feeling is awe or wonderment. It is surely what “art” is when word and melody combine to encompass the emotional reflection of what is the essence of the human condition - the complete context within Creation in which human ontology exists. Hume says the five senses are all there are, and that they are insufficient to this kind of knowing. Through this example (and others) I believe our senses and ken may be expanded - at least in some perhaps, mystical moments by what I can only see as the grace of our Creator.

O God our help in ages past,

our hope for years to come,

our shelter from the stormy blast,

and our eternal home.

A thousand ages in Thy sight

are like an evening gone,

short as the watch that ends the night

before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream

bears all its sons away;

they fly forgotten, as a dream

dies at the op’ning day.

O God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Be thou our guard while troubles last,

And our eternal home.

While Hume could see the limits imposed upon human knowledge by our five senses, he did not foresee the extent to which technology would extend them. Neither did he account for the synergy resulting from their combination, as here in the form of melody plus logos. Such is art, then, where the human intellect - limited though it is by biological constraints and bounded inputs - sings and thereby catches a glimpse of the mind of God.

The best guess I can make - assuming the universe we experience is not merely a computer simulation and we all player/characters or NPCs - derives from the tension between spirit and flesh. In much literature, we see that each longs to become the other. Numerous others have written at some length to say that creation of biological life may have been God’s way of making the universe conscious of itself. One early expositor of such a theory was Peirre Teilhard de Chardin. A Jesuit priest, his work, The Phenomenon of Man was written in the 1930’s but only published posthumously in 1955, because it had been silenced by the church (and you thought de-platforming was new!). Maybe the best evidence de Chardin was onto something is the book’s characterization by Richard Dawkins as “the quintessence of bad poetic science”.

The thesis of that book is that consciousness is a fundamental component of all matter; that through increasing complexity (“complexification”), consciousness becomes more concentrated; that the universe has a direction and a goal: the “Omega Point”, at which consciousness is maximized and shared by every individual and everything - yet each individual remains, nonetheless, aware of self as a separate entity. In this way then, greatly shortened and oversimplified, God’s consciousness expands as to Himself is joined the consciousness of all matter in the universe - both living and inanimate. Theologically, this may be seen by some as a means of God receiving maximal praise from his Creation. Of course, this analysis suffers from anthropomorphism - but at some point - we have to go with what we’ve got. It works for me as an operating premise I can live with… . and die with.


Thank you, dear CW.
I often think: I’ve pretty much lived without religion(except for gratitude, which i cannot do without!) but I don’t know whether I can die without it.


Organized religion and matters of the spirit aren’t coextensive. Maybe in the past, that was necessary, but with communication and knowledge being as extensive as they are, curious individuals have the power to find God ( or the spirit or the ‘force’ ) or the mind of the universe, in small groups or for themselves.


Well…gratitude. Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life (so far).
A Catholic priest once told me suffering is “salvific”. Now that’s a lot to deal with, beginning with “salvation”. From, or to, what? God created this universe and everything in it. He made our physical beings. Why, so we could experience pain? Which would save us from seduction by pleasure?
Who knows? “Have thine own way, Lord…” I revel in my pleasures, bountiful as they have been and are. … I won’t think beyond that till I have to.

“There is room in the halls of pleasure
for a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.”,
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox


@Hypatia - This is just what I mean. Things like what you just wrote. Though, yes, the problem of pain and suffering is hard to reconcile. What I need saving from is my own imperfection (sin, if you will) and the awe-ful knowledge of my impending death (even when much younger) and the deaths of everyone I love without me there to comfort them.

I do know that in my own life, it has only ever been pain which has forced me to try alternatives (to substance and behavioral addictions from which I now abstain). When addicted, I was spiritually asleep. That’s why we say spirituality (seeking God) is the answer to addiction. Or we say, addicts aren’t afraid of going to hell. They’ve already been there.


I think those that earned a degree will say they suffered. A business founder often has to suffer in the early stages. A musician suffers perfecting their craft as does an athlete. In order for a muscle to grow it must suffer.

In most things, if you examine it, suffering leads to improvement or a form of salvation. I often read that artists will say that they had to get it out. I am not an artist, but that sounds a lot like some sort of salvation.

I mentioned a friend of mine that died at 46 from Alzheimer’s. That is not completely accurate. I believe he actually starved to death and my understanding is that Alzheimer’s caused a condition where he could not swallow. I am fairly sure he had to make a choice between being fed with a tube or to not be fed.

His dad had early onset Alzheimer’s also. He died at 52. This form of Alzheimer’s is genetic. I suspect my friend feared that he would be a victim of this terrible condition. Maybe that choice freed him of fear. I don’t know. My mother was a nurse and she said that often before terminally ill people die, they would become calm and relaxed. As if the acceptance of death threw off our deepest fear. Maybe that is what my friend found when making the decision. Maybe he learned he was as courageous as anyone that ever existed. I don’t know.

All of us want answers with certainty. This is especially true for people like myself that are trained engineers. Sometimes you have to look around and realize that there appears to be a law that suffering is most often a requirement of the reward. Just as a painter or writer doesn’t know the reward for suffering through learning their craft, none of us know the reward for what appears to be unnecessary suffering. Both require faith.

It isn’t a coincidence (at least to me) that Gen Z lacks faith and find themselves feeling hopeless.


Science can be intensely spiritual:

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”

― Carl Sagan

Universe isn’t all that different of a concept as the G-d. And it’s important to remain humble and to respect the mystery.


Carl Sagan also gave an enduring image, which is part of the humility I cite. He pointed out that all the life that we know exists in the universe is found within Earth’s atmosphere and (relatively) shallow depths of the crust and in its oceans. Compared to the diameter of the planet, it rather resembles a soap bubble! All of life in that thin, fragile membrane!


It’s also interesting what kind of talks they listen to at ASML who create the machines that make chips:


I suspect there is a fundamental misconception of God among us. Hypatia speaks to who as a Father, would send his son to die such a horrible death as Jesus did. The problem is that it wasn’t “the Father” that sent “the son”. It was God, in a human form, come among us to redeem us, to teach us, to give us hope. THAT is “the mystery” of the Trinity - that it can be three “people” if you wil, who are simultaneously one. They are equal yet not so. Our human brain has trouble understanding the whole concept. WE have no such relationships, so we can’t easily grasp them when they appear before us.

Consider Stephan Meyer and his book. He goes about logically destroying the atheist position of there being no God, by demonstrating there HAS TO BE a God! There just has to be, because no one could possibly explain all the anomalies present in our universe. Scientists have known this; they are just too much in awe of all the ramifications of this whole line of thinking to admit to it. (Usually.) To me, that book puts the final nail in the atheist coffin. One cannot escape the evidence laid out before you. This universe would not exist as it does, were it not for an absolutely enormous number of anomalies of such proportion that any ONE of them would be neigh onto impossible - yet we have a whole host of them. There are so many things the probability of existing is so astronomically against as to exceed the total number of atoms in the universe.

?What could have done that. ?What “power” is there that was able to influence the whole of creation in such a way. I don’t believe we mere mortals have any comprehension of such an entity - so we call him God. And if you are a believing Christian - or even an orthodox Jew - you have a 5,000 year history of a “relationship” with this entity. Hypatia rightly quotes Job, one of the earliest books and highly instructive of the “mind” of God. It demonstrates that God is so far beyond us that all we can do is bow down before Him and worship Him.

That is hard for some to grasp and do. It goes against their basic human instinct. Thus we come up with these discussions about “the nature of God”. ?What the hell do we know about “the nature of God. We can’t even comprehend the vastness of His power; surely it’s hubris to be discussing His “nature”. ?What exactly are the terms of the debate, and how do they even apply to Him. It’s a bit like a dog contemplating Schroedinger’s Equation - what the heck would he even consider in such “contemplation”. ?How does a dog even conceive of an electron. Consider John 8:58. Jesus says, “Before Abraham was born, I AM”. Think on that - ?how do we relate to such an entity, except in a subservient way. As God says to Job in the end segment, man’s place is not to question God, not to “demand” anything of God, but merely to submit to His will. It is so superior to ours that there is no room to argue.

Sorry if this seems to ramble after CWs well laid out piece. He has thought about this for a while, and organized his thoughts nicely. I, OTOH, am simply “reacting” to what seems to me to be plain, but probably is not. But I have faith and others may not.


You DO know you just messed up my prayers, don’t you?

In my prayers, especially after receiving communion, (I’m Catholic), I address my thoughts and prayers to Jesus. Why? Well because he was human for a while and I feel I could communicate with him that way. As for “God the Father”, well in another way of putting it, in my thoughts “He” is just too important to bother with my petty prayers.

But, not out of disrespect, but to get a chuckle or make someone’s day better…



I like the cartoon. Makes fun of us, now,doesn’t it.

Sorry if I truly messed up your thoughts. But contemplating God is a weighty thing. I am ever reminded of that when I read the bible and find another passage I had either forgotten was there or now has new meaning for me. And I am also constantly impressed by the accuracy of the history presented there. Makes all it says so much more important, at least to me.




Science can be intensely spiritual:

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”

― Carl Sagan

Universe isn’t all that different of a concept as the G-d. And it’s important to remain humble and to respect the mystery.

You are, I am sure, aware that “science”, at least as we have come to know it, was invented by Boyle. He was a deeply religious man who considered God to be orderly and logical, so studying His creation ought to give us some insight into God and His thinking. All the early scientists were very religious. It is only with the Brit academy rebelling, using Darwin’s findings, that science stepped away from religion and became the secular being it is today. Yet its greatest findings only reinforce the concept of God.


Don’t be sorry, it’s something that just expanded my awareness of the Trinity.
Thank you for doing that!


I didn’t know that, thanks for bringing it up. I’m personally mystified by how angry, self-righteous, over-confident, and outlying the atheists are – and by how easy one gets agreement between very different religions.

The countless strawman arguments used by secularists fail once you learn a bit about religion. At the same time, the benefit of most religions on performance, health and quality of life among believers is pretty much an empirical fact.

The critics of colonization are diminishing their own nations’ past wisdom in adopting religions: and neglecting the impact of native traditions on, say, Christianity. The art and tradition in Catholic churches in Mexico maintains deep connections to pre-Christian traditions.

On this note, since it’s a weekend: Vatican's list of films - Wikipedia


What a superb list!


Lovely essay, CW. For many, the desire to know God and understand the meaning of life is sufficiently satisfied by the many revelations of God that you mentioned, and the experience of living and loving on our little place in the universe.

For me personally, that was never enough. I wanted that, and more. I had big plans as a child. I would dedicate my life to expanding the human understanding of God and the universe. But the childhood dream was shattered in my late teens when a friend pointed me to The Urantia Book, and I realized that there already existed in a single book more conceptual breadth and depth, along with actual revealed knowledge about God and the universe, than my meager brain could ever have conjectured or even imagined on its own in a single human lifetime. But oh, what a glorious ride it has been!


Just to clarify, dear Dev, it wasn’t I who asked “how could the father sacrifice the son”; it was Richard Dawkins, in that debate with Ali we were discussing in our HSAMU, who called it a “ridiculous” idea that God couldn’t think of a better way to save the world.

I did read some theologian once who explained it in terms of the feudal code. We, lowly commoners, offered God a terrible insult when we noshed the FF. But atonement for an insult can only be offered by someone of the injured party’s own rank. We couldn’t possibly satisfy His honor, so He had to come down here in the Second Person, and yield up His own life so He could forgive us. (This of course is an example of man making God in his own image.)
But I, personally, don’t have an opinion as to the risible or divine action of the sacrifice.

(I’ll tell ya, though, it has often struck me funny that the early Church, formulating orthodoxy and surrounded by and trying to distinguish itself from polytheistic religions, shoulda come up with the doctrine of the Trinity. I dunno, it just seems to lend itself to fostering unnecessary confusion. And of course there are many Christian sects that aren’t trinitarians. )