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.
The usual lame excuses given for such suffering on behalf of the innocents is that these are either older souls who have already collected some sins upon them, or martyr souls sent down to teach a lesson of compassion to others, or blessed souls who through a brief period of suffering in this realm quickly earn a pass to an eternal bliss in a heaven. If you, the reader, think either of the three is a legit excuse – congratulations. You’re a monster. For the actual moral beings out there, none of the three scenarios add up. At the end of this piece there is a series of questions that any believer should carefully consider. There is no scenario to make any architect of this universe in the state that it is be good. None. Zero.
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. What if person A is baptized and baby B isn’t? Well I’m sorry but if pouring a little water onto someone gives them a license to then abuse others then any belief system supporting such idea is asinine. Frankly, as ANY belief system is.
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.
To the apologists out there STILL not getting the point, here is a series of questions to keep asking yourselves until you do.
1. Who created everything? (according to your faith, it’s most likely the god. Right? Right. Moving on).
2. Just to make absolutely sure: was there anything or anyone or any force that, according to your faith existed BEFORE your god? (presumably, the answer is ‘nope!’).
3. Is your god according to your faith ALL KNOWING and ALL POWERFUL? (Surely the answer must be ‘yes’, or it isn’t a god we’re talking about – just some lower-range supernatural being at best.)
4. Given premise 3, COULD god have created ANY type of a universe it would want to create? Could it tweak laws of physics so that humans could fly or would have 5 legs or be entirely transparent or just WHATEVER THE FUCK IT WANTED? ANY arrangement of rules and conditions at all? And this, my darlings, is the KEY question. If the answer is ‘no’, then something that restricts a god’s power exists. Then it’s no longer a god. It’s a magic being of a lower order. For most faiths though the answer is ‘OF COURSE IT COULD DO ANYTHING!’ In case of that answer, proceed.
5. Keeping in mind the ‘yes’ answer to question 4, just to make sure: did the god then CHOOSE to create the universe in its current shape and form with the rules that exist in it for all creatures in it? You have to answer ‘yes’ to this if you answered ‘yes’ to number 4.
6. This isn’t a question any more. This is a logical conclusion to your answers. And it is the following: your god CONSCIOUSLY, DELIBERATELY CHOSE to create a universe the way it is, with rules as they are. It CHOSE to crate a universe where pointless suffering was abundant, life short and difficult, resources scarce and where babies get raped or have butterfly wing syndrome or worms eating their brains. It CHOSE TO create a universe where evil is conceptually possible. It CHOSE to create a universe with impossible to follow rules to bail one out of an ETERNAL retribution for a FINITE number of ‘transgressions’. It CHOSE TO.
7. Main question: WHY? WHY did an all-knowing, all-powerful entity CHOOSE to make this universe the way it is and not any better? Answer this.
If you answer starting with ‘because humans disobeyed…’, or ‘because the devil/forces of evil…’ or ‘because free will…’, or ANYTHING that starts with ANY OPTION EXCEPT FOR ‘BECAUSE GOD…’, then go back to answering every question again starting with question 2. Think about it. Explain how in your understanding a yet NON-EXISTENT creature/concept could influence the INITIAL MODEL of the universe created by a god who was alone out there before.
It couldn’t. Or you strip god from its being all-powerful and thus being a god at all.
When you have worked your way through all the other options and finally arrive to ‘because god…’ ones (this INCLUDES your favorite pull-out-of-the-ass-when-left-with-nothing-else-to-say “because god works in mysterious ways” aka “humans can’t understand the mind of god”, by the way), work through them by answering every question above again starting with question number 3.
If you’re an honest human being with half a brain, you can ultimately arrive to one of the ONLY three possible conclusions:
A. God exists and is the cruelest motherfucker in the universe.
B. God exists and doesn’t give a single fuck about this universe.
C. There’s no god. Definitely no god worthy of listening to and/or praising.
If you’re still coming up with excuses, you haven’t thought too hard about the questions. Go back and do it. Spend years on it if needed.
If, on the other hand, you think you can convince me that I’m wrong about the only 3 available options, please be my guest. My only two requirements for you if you want to argue for an existence of a god, who 1) exists and 2) is GOOD are very simple:
1. You lose you argument the moment you reference ANY ‘holy’ text/s.
2. You lose you argument the moment you use a logical fallacy instead of an actual point. (Here, I’ll make it easier for you: list of traps to avoid can be found here. Extra bonus points if you can identify the type of a logical fallacy that condition 1 preempts ;))
Good luck. Something tells me the universe will arrive to its death before an answer differing from the proposed 3 options will emerge.