Why We Can Taste


Did you ever stop and wonder why we can taste? No? Well, you’re probably wondering now. It’s weird, isn’t it? Tasting doesn’t really serve any major purpose like other senses do. Seeing, hearing, and touching help you get around the world without hurting yourself and enable communication. Even smell can warn you when you need to take the trash out. But taste? It has no real “practical” quality to it that smell can’t already do (i.e. this food is rotten and you should not eat it). So why taste?

In fact, one could argue tasting is pointless. I’d eat my veggies every day if I couldn’t taste them. I wouldn’t gorge on cookies because what’s the point? If it all tastes the same, the logical conclusion would be to eat the things that strengthen your body and leave the junk. Taste only makes some foods more enjoyable than others.

So, why did God give man a sense of taste if it has no practical function? Because he’s awesome, that’s why.

God is ridiculously creative. Have you ever really observed an elephant? or a duck? Or a butterfly? Would you have come up with something so strange and awesome as these? Much less millions of species worth? And that’s not counting the massive varieties of plant life, rock formations, and celestial wonders. But as a creator, God is also an artist, not just a scientist. Not everything has a perfectly deadpan practicality; some of it is just because!

What does a dog’s playfulness have to do with survival or ancient pack instincts? Why are there billions of stars if they don’t do a lot? What’s the point of music? Some things exist for art, beauty, or enjoyment. Taste, I believe, is one of those things. As I said, there’s very little, if any, practical benefit to taste. That leaves only enjoyment.

Savory chocolate. Tangy oranges. Creamy icing. Smoky steak. Juicy tomatoes. Sweet sugar. Spicy peppers. Sour apples. Tart blueberries. Homemade bread. Is there any benefit in tasting any of these things? Differentiation can be done by other sense, but taste is purely for enjoyment.

This idea might rub you the wrong way because you think God is not a god of enjoyment. The Bible, however, never says this. In fact, it says he wants us to delight in him, his creation, each other, lots of things. And a close look at his creation shows us that he did things he didn’t have to do simply for our sake.

Don’t believe me? Okay, let’s talk about sex.

Taste 2

Why does sex feel good? Surely if it didn’t, rape wouldn’t be so common, would it? And while rape is a bastardization of it, sex was designed to be beautiful and wonderful (read Song of Solomon and blush a little). Heck, the Bible says “rejoice with the wife of your youth…may her breasts satisfy you at all times…” (Proverbs 5:18-19). If breasts were only for feeding, they’re only appear when a woman got pregnant or at least pop off when she hit menopause. The female body wasn’t designed just for procreation, but for its transcendent beauty, also.

Speaking of the female body, let’s get even more R-rated (you have been warned). Why do women have a clitoris? It offers nothing in procreation or waste disposal. In fact, it doesn’t really do anything. The only thing you can do with a clitoris is give a woman intense pleasure. And God created the female body, so…yeah. My theory is that God knew sex was pretty much just pleasure for guys, but women had pregnancy to consider. Thus, he gave the woman a pleasure only she could have. Maybe I’m off, but my point is this particular body part has no “logical” function. It’s just for funzies.

(Exiting mature content now.) What’s the point of this article? The point of every Christian’s life: to show you how freaking awesome God is. He could have built a robotic race of people without any pleasurable sensations, but he opted for artistry and enjoyment instead because that’s who he is: an artist concerned with joy.

So the next time you bite into a hamburger, a grape, or even a Twinkie, rejoice in God’s sweet love because you can taste it. As Bill Waterson’s Calvin once said, “Life is so, so sweet.”

2 thoughts on “Why We Can Taste

  1. I somewhat agree…to a point. You could also argue taste has a logical point of ensuring our survival – if we couldn’t taste if something is rancid, off or bitter, we would probably die of food poisoning. Pleasure is only part of the picture. Just like sex is not just for pleasure, it is also to ensure God’s Kingdom grows and we experience servitude first-hand in bringing up our offspring.

    God is clever enough to create things which are BOTH functional and pleasurable at the same time. That is why He is an awesome God.


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