Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Egg

I read the above short story a few years ago and liked it, I re-read it recently.

Do you ever find yourself hoping there is a God, an afterlife, all that stuff... but simulatenously hoping that it is a little different then established religion prescribes? Me too! Lets be clear, I am a romantic, and hope that there is a God. Rationally, I don’t really believe it, but I hope that it is true nonetheless.
I have said that I am agnostic since I was 12 or so. When I was young, I had a friend who was quite religious. He disagreed with my break with faith (not that it was ever all that strong). I told him that if I died, and found myself burning on the floor of hell, I would cry tears of joy knowing that there was something “more” to all this. That there was a God, an afterlife, and (hopefully) a reason for everything. It is a wonderful idea.  Unfortunately, I just have difficulty rationally accepting it.

I have thought about it quite a great deal, and one of my biggest breaks with the idea of God was understanding why he would allow suffering in this world. I needed to make up a reason that there could be a God AND suffering. I spent some time thinking about it. The only real solution I could dream up was that God is not in fact all knowing. Perhaps he never said he was, we just assumed. Once I groked this, I found the idea that God may not be all knowing to be a great relief. I am quite uncomfortable with the idea that God might actually be all knowing, and still choose to let humanity suffer in the fashion it does. If he did know everything, understood the ramifications of all his choices, had full comprehension of the breadths and depths of... well... everything. Well, I mean really, that would just kind of make him an ass in my book. What purpose does it serve to make us suffer, other than to pleasure him?

However, what if God is not all knowing? He may be very smart, and very knowledgeable, or whatever, but not COMPLETELY all knowing, then I suddenly get it. I understand why there is suffering. I believe he is doing  the best he can, I believe in him because he is the best qualified to lead us. I know that he is not always right, but he does his best, and he is our best. That would be a comfort. That is a God I could really get behind, it would make sense to me. I made up this idea (I am sure others have as well) about how there could be a God and suffering more than a decade ago, it is my personal story for why things are as they are (other than the great void :] ).

Warning: Spoilers Below (Why don't you read the story first?)

Ok, so back to this story. I like this story because it is a completely different explanation of the ethical problems with a all knowing God allowing suffering. One that explores a possibility I had never even imagined. In this story, there is suffering in this world because God is not in charge of it, we are. We are “fetus” Gods that are going through the lessons in life necessary to become God in our own right. God is our father, all of humanity is the God child, life is the training necessary to become as wise as our father.
A new idea! In short story form! You can’t really ask for more. A new explanation about how a all knowing God would allow suffering. You do not run across that every day. Regardless of whether it is true or not, worth reading, worth remembering.

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