And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Genesis 11:1-6
Like so many stories in the Bible, especially the Old Testament, the story of the Tower of Babel portrays God as an absolutely unforgivable dickhead. God didn’t want the people building a tower, because if we did, we might realize we’ve got the power to do anything. Which is true. We’ve got brains which can imagine things that don’t exist, we’ve got hands and fingers to build them, and we’ve got language to plan out and communicate how. We’ve got all the resources of the Earth, we’ve got the energy of the sun, the wind, and the rising tides, and we’ve got manpower aplenty. (figure of speech, gender police. I could have said people power, but that has connotations of rioting in the streets, whereas manpower has connotations of labor, which is actually what I am talking about at the moment)
So, God split us into different languages so we couldn’t communicate. Now, I’m not a believer at all, but particularly not in anything found in Genesis, the Book of Magic. As a metaphor, though, the meaning is clear. We have different languages, different cultures, and so we fight with each other when we could be building towers up to the stratosphere (I think the Space Elevator could be a nice modern example of the Tower of Babel). We also have something we didn’t have 6,000 years ago: a universal language. No, I’m not talking about English, although that is an important international lingua franca for day to day activities. I’m talking about science, and math, and architecture and engineering, which are universal languages just as much as sex and music are.
Forget about God. He’s not going to stop us again.