Okay, so let me preface this by reiterating, I don’t particularly care what people believe. If it lifts you up, helps you live a better life, and doesn’t infringe on the rights or safety of another, I say go for it, and go for it without shame – doesn’t really matter to me what it is…
… But there is this one particular train of thought, within the Abrahamic faiths, that itches at my brain:
“Everything is according to God’s plan.”
(This is sometimes also said as “God’s will”)
And neither of those sayings make sense to me.
You’ve heard them both, numerous times. People of faith will say it when things go wrong and they will say it when things go right.
(Disclaimer: I know, if used properly, this strange mantra can help people to let go, and I accept that as useful, in a personal/ individual arena. The problem is, I usually don’t hear it in a personal/ individual arena. I usually hear it being offered as a semantically null piece of advice.)
Given that, due to various circumstances which I will not go into, I have been hearing that statement a lot lately, it has made the old itch flare up like mutant poison ivy; on steroids.
So, here are my thoughts on the God’s plan/ God’s will matter…
Okay, I’ll elaborate with logic.
If everything is according to God’s will/ plan, then God, by whatever name you call him, is, and I go with Mark Twain on this: a Malign Thug.
How can anyone look at the many and various forms of intense suffering in the world and think that this is part of some divine plan?
Some religious folk like to talk about suffering as if it were some kind of punishment from God. You did something naughty and the man upstairs in teaching you a lesson.
Okay, but what about the hundreds of thousands of innocent people, many of them children, who die horribly and needlessly everyday? How is this part of some plan? And how can we dare to call it divine?
I have heard people say that the suffering of others, even the innocent, is meant to teach the rest of us something.
At best this makes absolutely no sense. At worst it is absolutely vile and self-centered rationalizing.
Firstly, it is an irredeemably egocentric point of view: someone else’s suffering is meant to better me. That is the least Godly thing I have heard from any religion save for Thelema and the Church of Satan.
(by the way, this notion is perfectly fine within these two belief systems, if you were looking to trade up…)
Secondly, the statement presupposes that some of “God’s Children” are ranked as more important than others.
Does that last one sound right to anyone?
Because that is what that fucked-up rationale about God’s will/ plan is saying. All of us are created in God’s image and likeness, but some are more important than others, so much so that the others are made to suffer for the benefit of the more favored children.
I hate to tell you this, but if you believe this ideology, that is the bullet you have to bite: that some of God’s children are more important than the others.
(Let’s leave aside the tribal notion of anyone calling themselves God’s Chosen people. Since every Abrahamic religion, and every denomination of every Abrahamic religion says that they are God’s Chosen, I think we can disregard that as having no real theological meaning whatsoever…)
At this point, let me take a moment to be thankful that I do not believe in God, any God, from any period in history.
Because if I did, and I took my religion seriously, I would have no other option but to be blindingly, insanely, burn-the-world-down-furious with the entity.
I mean, really people, if one looks at God from a rational lens, one would have to come to terms with the fact that God, as he is portrayed, deserves no amount of worship. None. In fact, if an entity of that nature did exist and did control and plan things, and this is the outcome of those plans and his control, I think we, as a species deeply interested in our own survival and happiness, would have to put all our efforts into doing away with the vicious bastard.
Forget going to the moon, or Mars, or growing the economy, or halting/ reversing climate change. Getting rid of God would have to be our primary goal if we ever wanted to have peace and health and happiness as a species.
Let’s face it, if God exists, (in the Abrahamic sense of God), then he seems to spend a great deal of his time trying to kill us.
I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with that kind of entity hanging around.
It’s like having a stalker that you can never see hiding in the bushes, or have arrested.
But, since there is no reasonable evidence to suggest such a creature actually exists, you and I can sleep peacefully at night knowing that there is no capricious, jealous, murderous, über powerful being lurking in the great unknown, waiting to cut us down to improve the conditions of whoever he seems to be favoring this generation.
It’s just random chance. There’s no credible evidence to suggest any other explanation. I, for one, am okay with random chance. At least in that case, there is always the possibility that things could get better. Not so much the case if this is all according to some plan.
I know logic and reason are not things that religiously minded people take a lot of stock in. More’s the pity. But come on people, if this God created you, and created you with these peculiar faculties, why would you set them aside?
I imagine the people who are okay with the idea that their God favors some of his children more than others – to the point of meaningless slaughter – will have no problem with this particular cognitive dissonance. But a dissonance it is and a dissonance it remains, nonetheless.
Frankly, if that’s the kind of crap you wish to believe, believe it.
You don’t need my permission or approval.
I don’t care.
But for fuck’s sake, will you keep it to your-mother-fucking-self please?!
Here endeth the rant.