Kanye the Shelter Dog

If a being that is all powerful, all knowing, and all compassionate exists, whence came such misery, but if it doesn't, why worship it?

My first church held to a literal interpretation of the Biblical account in which God made the world perfect. The first two humans were innocent of the knowledge of right and wrong, and it was to them that God gave the very first thou shalt not. As soon as these childlike humans were tempted by Satan, they disobeyed God, and God was forced by his perfect sense of justice (God's inviolable virtues are often in unavoidable conflict) to place an everlasting curse upon all of his living creation and their descendants forever. Everything that is painful in any creature's life is attributable to that curse. When, as pubescent, I argued that this was unfair, I was told that that my human sense of fairness was flawed; that God's sense of fairness is perfect; that I was never to question or doubt God; and that I was to "live a Godly life" (whatever that means).

Because I found it impossible to accept what I was told about God, I often asked other people how they explained suffering. Some said that we couldn't appreciate health and happiness unless we were exposed to disease and misery (why we couldn't, they couldn't say), and this meant that God had to make the world imperfect. I then wondered how a perfect God managed to get himself boxed into a corner from which he was forced to create imperfection in order to achieve his goal; why there has to be so much suffering; and why the suffering is unevenly distributed. I was told that some people suffer more than others because they are too proud and stubborn to ask to God for relief, yet I've known people who begged God for relief without getting it.

I was also told that it's our responsibility to end suffering, because it's not God who failed us but us who failed God, but how was it that we, the perfect creation of a perfect being, were able to choose imperfection, and what of creatures like babies and puppies that don't even know what the word means; would a God of perfect justice allow them to suffer? It's also true that even if millions upon millions of we humans worked together, we couldn't possibly end all of the misery inflicted by our species, and then there's the evil that's not inflicted by our species, things like tornadoes, earthquakes, cancers, Alzheimer's, birth defects, mosquitoes, freak accidents, mental illness, and so on.

I was often told that I "think too much" or that I "ask too many questions," but I could easily turn the criticism back upon my critics by arguing that the main problem with religion comes from thinking that one knows everything that's necessary to know about God despite being unable to answer even the most basic questions. Religious people form their beliefs based upon what someone else says is true, and they commonly persecute anyone who disagrees with what that someone else says (or at least with what they think he says), but why should they believe this someone else in the first place? There's a hymn that goes, "Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey," but if the existence of the very being that forms the foundation of a person's trust can't be substantiated, why have "faith" in Jesus instead of in some other god? 

Yet another "answer" regarding why a good God runs a bad world is that God really isn't all powerful, so he needs our help in making the world safe and happy. Really!? The God who made more galaxies than there are earthly particles of sand needs our help to make one little planet a fit place to live? Couldn't he at least put an end to some of the most obvious sources of suffering? For instance, he could remove the earth's entire stock of explosives, or he could make it so would be murderers would feel faint when they tried to hurt someone.

Look at it this way, when God made Adam and Eve, he walked in the Garden with them "in the cool of the day" (paradise being hot the rest of the time), and they knew him face-to-face as a friend, yet they chose Satan over him, so if he couldn't make a relationship work between himself and the world's first two humans back when he had everything going for him, how can he make it work for billions of people now that he's nowhere to be found, and when a big problem for those billions of people is that millions of them want to kill one another because of him? Couldn't he at least tell us all how he wants to be worshiped?

I regard earthly reality as an ocean of greed and hatred interspersed by islands of goodwill, like the one in the video. I'm told that ours is a back-forty solar system in a second rate galaxy amid billions of other galaxies, so maybe we are ruled over by a back-forty god who lives in fear of being judged by his betters. When I see a puppy screaming in terror before a loving hand, I have no choice but to deny the existence of any being that is worthy of being called God. Puppies deserve to be safe, happy, and loved, and if God can't even get that right, what can he get right?