There is no god. But let’s think for a second about a scenario where there would have been an architect of the universe of some sorts, whether a magical god of any type, or simply a higher form of physical intelligence. Thus, for the sake of the argument in this post, let’s presume some form of a higher power exists. Would it be warranted to try to please and praise and listen to such a being? The short answer is no way. The longer argument is as follows:
Any maker of our universe could either completely not give a damn about it, in which case it is fully irrelevant, or have some vested interest in stuff that’s going on inside it. According to many people, the ‘interested’ higher power is exactly what there is. And insofar as it is interested (although it’s a bit difficult to conceive of the highest form of intelligence in the universe that would give a damn about what some amoebae that we are compared to it may be doing or saying…), people go out of their ways to try to second-guess what may please such a being and tickle its vanity… Why all this is absurd in and of itself is covered in my other post “Nothing Personal“, so let’s move on to the current subject at hand, which is the following: even IF there had been a higher power, it is unworthy of regard, let alone obedience and praise.
ANY ‘interested’ or capable of empathy higher power (magic or not) who would have made such a universe as ours is a psychopathic sadist. That is ANY architect of the cosmos, even if it’s aliens. Most people’s version of a god is claimed to be ‘loving’ or ‘caring’. Any of their gods ‘loves’ everyone SO friggin’ much that it couldn’t conceive of creating any other type of universe for its ‘dearly beloved’ than the most inhospitable, cruel and difficult one to exist in. As a special token of boundless adoration, it made sure that the vast majority of life forms, including sentient apes called ‘humans’, who’d ever exist and would be self-aware enough to experience suffering definitively WOULD suffer. Most of them for absolutely no wrongdoings of their own and in manners that would serve absolutely zero purpose. For example, there are babies who are born with a genetic disorder that causes the butterfly wings syndrome: they lack proteins that bind different layers of skin. As a result, any touch to them causes blisters and bleeding – even ingesting food is torture. They suffer excruciating pain every minute of their lives and die quickly. Examples like this one are countless.
In addition, in many versions of an architect of the universe there exists some sort of a cozy retreat that is also designed by such an architect called ‘hell’. People suffer there eternally as a ‘punishment’ for limited in time and scope (and mostly profoundly mundane) ‘transgressions’. It’s a bit difficult to conceive of such a collection of wrongdoings, no matter how violent and cruel and numerous, that would warrant any form of an eternal retribution… In fact, it is impossible – that is, if you are a sane, moral human being. But I digress…
So here’s that higher power who decided upon creating that model of the universe where such stuff happens routinely… It’s created the universe, and now is watching all the horrible things happen and (if you believe in that) poor punished ones writhe in eternal agony in hell, maybe even feeling sad about it but doing fuck all to change the situation. In psychology it’s classified as sadism and psychopathy. In the framework of any type of a belief, it is classified as ‘benevolence’ and ‘working in mysterious ways’ and ‘non-interference with ‘free will”…
Neither of those excuses is anything but a lame attempt to somehow justify and absolve of fault of the greatest asshole imaginable. Let’s see about benevolence: I, a ‘lower’ life form, am far better than any god can dream of being. Because in 10 minutes time I can brainstorm a far better, fairer universe than it came up with. In the words of a wise man,
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? -Epicurus. There truly is no squaring that circle, no matter how hard one tries. If even I can think of a universe that, let’s grant even, WOULD include some degree of hardship and suffering and death, but won’t include abundance of all of the above that serves no imaginable purposes of any sorts (like the mentioned butterfly wings syndrome) – why didn’t the all-powerful architect of the universe manage to create a better model?
The ‘mysterious ways’ argument is very well addressed by Jim Jefferies and needs no further mention on my behalf:
As to the (non-existent) ‘free will’ thing… It doesn’t cut it. Here is why: take person A being the perpetrator of a violent crime and person B being that crime’s victim. Person’s a ‘free will’ is to execute that violent crime on person B. However, what the ‘free will’ proponents forget about roughly 100% of the time is the person B and their free will. Incidentally, person B’s free will is NOT to be a victim of a violent crime. Now what? Now it’s a standstill between two free wills that happen to be for opposing events. How does the all-powerful entity most often resolve that issue? By rooting for person A’s free will – because violent crimes on fully innocent victims happens ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Some may wish to begin arguing that no one is without a ‘sin’, of some sorts. Even if – what about violent crimes against little babies and kids? Oh, go ahead, push it: the ‘original sin’ that every newborn is already born with. Let’s take a baby/child that hasn’t been ‘absolved’ from that ‘sin’ through baptism or what not: the MAJORITY of human babies will never be dipped into water to ‘cleanse’ them off that – that’s a pretty bad model in and of itself. But even if one assumes the equal ’guilty cuz of Adam and Eve’ standing: that means all unbaptized humans start off at an equal ground: Person A’s standing sin-wise is no better or worse than baby B’s standing, if they’re both unbaptized, right? Right. Then it’s irrelevant. It’s a moot point and we’re back to trying to square person’s A ‘free will’ desire to commit the violent crime against the baby B, and baby B’s ‘free will’ to stay safe from it… It just simply doesn’t add up.
So there’s that interested higher intelligence, who not only couldn’t do any better than create a rather fucked up universe like ours with rather fucked up things happening in it routinely to completely innocent victims, but for the entire duration of existence of this universe watches it all unfold… Here’s a generic example. Take a little kid getting raped. The claimed god/higher power stands by watching a little innocent kid get raped (probably jacks off to that, too) and only THEN (in some versions of god-related beliefs) reminds there MAY be punishment (in other versions you get reborn as a cockroach or something else happens, but the main point is, retribution is for the done deed and it’s delayed in time). In many cases there doesn’t even have to be a punishment – the rapist only needs to repent or pray or follow through with some silly ritual and boom – full forgiveness and heaven. Unlike such a joke of a deity, I, were I in that position and power, would never ALLOW for something so sick, twisted, pointless and harmful as child rape to ever happen in the first place. But a higher power does. All the time…
All this is exactly the reason why it confuses me that some people insist on singing praise to a dick infinitely worse than all violent criminals and wrongdoers of all sorts in the whole history – combined. In fact, no matter how one tries to twist and tango out of the fact, the creator of the universe is, ultimately, by selecting the grounds and framework of that universe, fully responsible for every single death, misfortune, occasion of pain, grief, sorrow, for every crime and every other reprehensible act and occasion in the universe. Because the architect could create any different model of the universe – but chose to create such that contains all that bullshit. Praise and obedience is the last combo such an architect would deserve – it instead would deserve a strong kick in the nuts and a spit in the face – at best.
According to many, such an architect is eternal… An eternal power responsible for an eternal array of pain, crime and woe of all kinds… This sounds to me that, if there was an eternal hell, such an architect would, in fact, be the only creature fully deserving of an eternal vacation in that hell for all it’s done.