Author’s Note: This is Questions I Should Have Asked, a series where I go into ideas I never explored when I was a practicing Christian. These posts are mainly for people who have doubts along these lines, are looking for a secular perspective on these subjects, or are people unfamiliar with Christianity who want a non-participant view.
I grew up believing that an all-powerful deity created everything. Everything. This planet, the star it orbits around, the galaxy, and the rest of an entire universe.
So why all of this effort just to put a few souls through a terrible experience?
Beyond Free Will, or some cliche involving abstract goodness/evil, or a pithy phrase, I have no idea. I believed that this entity could make anything of any nature. Why couldn’t it just pretend like everyone has life experiences until they figure out what it wants us to know?
It sure beats making some people suffer with debilitating chronic disease. Or hunger. Or living in a world where people can enslave them. Why not make it a simulation which will always make people turn out the best versions of themselves?
For the longest time, I was told that life outside faith was meaningless and hopeless. That in order for me to find fulfillment, I had to believe in omnipotence and an arbitrary set of rules given to me by people long since dead.
On the outside looking back in, it seems emptier in that faith than out of it. Sure, I don’t believe in an afterlife. But I also know that if I’m dead, I won’t be in pain. Like the billions of years before and after my life, I will be oblivious to the end of time itself. I didn’t need a prior perfect existence. I don’t need a posthumous one as well.