Of Gods and Men

What is a god? (see paragraph 5)

I love Rick and Morty. It’s easily my favorite show right now, and likely in my top 5 of all time. I love the discussion, nay, whole doctoral theses that can be had from a single episode delving into fate, morality, truth, reality, the existence of gods, of which, Rick is one. More on that in a bit. Even gets into free will, which is what I’ll be focusing on here. I just watched Season 2, Episode 3: Auto Erotic Assimilation (for the 4th time lol) and I see something new every time.

When Rick first met our young hivemind, it had the numbers of a small town. They dated for a while, but it appears Rick was bad for Unity’s growth as a hivemind. Bad in a coked up on fairy dust sort of way. It broke away from Rick and was able to focus and develop.

The main premise of this episode is that Rick runs into an old fling, Unity. It is a being that can assimilate living beings into itself, further growing its capabilities. When at Its potential, It can run a whole planet at peak efficiency, and as we learn in the episode, Its’ achieved world peace in a world riddled with race wars. We learn of big plans in Unity’s future. Upon becoming a Type One Civilization, Unity will be invited into the Galactic Federation, but ultimately plans on assimilating the entire universe. Big Plans for a young god.

What is a god? If you’re of a monotheistic religion, God is of some combination of omniscient, omnibenevolent, and/or omnipotent. If you’re of a polytheistic faith, the gods all have unique character traits and powers. I guess whatever brand of agnosticism I currently follow (because Rick only knows) lends itself to polytheism if they exist.

What separates men and gods? Is it immortality? Rick has the plot armor of a young anime protagonist. Is it unheard of power? Or the lack of empathy necessary to dominate a civilization without losing one’s mind?

My real question is ‘Why can’t men be gods?’

We can already read the thoughts of, clone, and grow living organisms. We can change the evolutionary paths of animals and wipe an entire species out because it got in our way. We can change the atmosphere of the Earth and can devoid an entire continent of life with the click of a shiny red button. We have a sort of limited power of life and death over the Earth. And we’re not even Type One yet. At this point in human history, maybe as an entire species we are the gods of this planet. Perhaps Godhood is on a spectrum.

Rick is a god. To be precise, The One True Rick of C137 is a god. He can travel through space and time with ease, he can alter reality, he can literally leave his own reality and take over another, he can create a universe and be so vain as to use the energy from it to power his car, and see that that universe creates a smaller one to power their civilization, and so on with the dark, twisted fractal of energy spawning the knowledge that if a civilization is no longer of use to their god one level up, they become trash. And cease to exist. Can we forget the meme’d to death ‘Pickle Rick’?

I repeat: Rick is a god. Maybe even the almighty. hm… I’ll use Almighty to refer to the current top god for the rest of this piece.

So naturally, he’s either thrilled or angry when he runs into another god. (Usually angry) Such gods include the scientists in the universe he’s created, the floating heads in the sky, the cumulative ability of the council of Ricks, and of course, Unity. It seems Unity was a low level god, one that was easily manipulated. Rick saw pleasure in this and abused that trait. He’s even suggested that taking over the Universe was too ambitious, and that Unity should slow down. Perhaps he never really like Unity, just the abilities that It had and his ability to manipulate It. Perhaps that’s what an Almighty god is. Manipulating its universe to its own ends. If it destroys an entire timeline, whoops, oh well. There are infinitely more. This one won’t be missed. Perhaps an Almighty is just stumbling around for a billion years until it gets bored and ends itself, only for another god to take its place.

Perhaps that is why gods like Unity arise. They see this bumbling fool with literally infinite power (I don’t know if I can believe infinity exists in nature, but that’s a topic for another day lol) A hivemind god like Unity sees a struggling species (or a thriving one or whatever lol it depends on the ethical makeup of the hivemind) and decides it can make that world a better place. Remember the race wars? There was also poverty and crippling debt. Now the former homeless are neurosurgeons and the skinheads are…not. There is no need for police, global travel, military, civil servants, or even government, because everyone is assimilated into the collective. Life is perfect. The cost?

Free Will.

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