suffering

My Letter to God: Assuming One Exists.

Dear God-Elohim-Adonai-Yahweh-Jehovah-Lord-Almighty-Creator-etc.,

If you are there, I hope you get this. Considering my current state of belief regarding the issue of your existence, this feels kind of masturbatory – and not in a good way – but I think I would like to write to you anyway. I have to ask you a couple of questions and no, I am not expecting answers, so I guess that makes them rhetorical. As you might know, I also have complaints and, considering they have to do with you, I figured I might as well discuss those too. Consider this a way of clearing the air between us. Of course, this is assuming there is an “us” and I’m not just writing to myself.

To start, I would first like to address the hypocrisy and general insanity of your followers. I admit, to start with such a topic is a bit heavy handed, but I would like to start with one with which I am the most vexed. I am going to concentrate mostly on the fanatical and most pious because the moderates in all of the religions that worship you function quite well in your average society. It is the egregious actions and, so-called, moral standards of the fundamentalists that really need a lesson on the proper way to conduct oneself around others. Most of them are not violent, but the ones that are, really are and they start wars and spread havoc, and have used their hateful doctrines (which you gave them, I might add) to justify rape, murder, oppression, war, discrimination, segregation, genocide, slavery, molestation, harassment, and civil injustice, just to name a few. This is not to mention the countless numbers who have slaughtered each other because they happen to believe a different version of a book that you had someone write or listen to what a different prophet of yours had to say. Come to think of it, why did you have to send more than one prophet? Do you know what trouble you’ve caused [see: above]? I don’t think you do, because if you did, you would fix it by sending another one and ending this incredible mess you have made. Just make sure to have this new one have a little fun and make sure to let everyone know that he is it: the last one. Also, be sure he makes us legalize pot and like gay people. Trust me on this, he will be well received and you will make life here much more enjoyable.

Speaking of this whole “life” thing that you gave us, why did you even bother with it in the first place? What could I possibly learn here among people like me that I could not learn someplace else among people like me? The only thing I have gathered from it, is that you are waiting for us to do something that you have deemed wrong so that we will get sent to that bad place all those men in funny hats that we listen to tell us about. I am just not convinced there is anything I could not do here that I could not do as a little ball of spirit stuff somewhere else. I have heard that you are testing us, but what is the test? Especially considering that failing the test results in an eternity of suffering. Even someone like Hitler should not receive an infinite amount of suffering for a finite crime. For someone that is supposed to essentially know everything, you have seemed to miss this tiny flaw in your own logic.

That is another thing, logic. It just seems to get in the way of things and the fact that you would create us with such an ability is astounding. If I were to create beings that I wanted to believe, follow, and trust me, I would never instill the ability for logic in them. I would hope that they would never be able to use such a thing as logic to ask me, their creator who, like you, would tell them I was all powerful and all knowing, if I could make a stone large enough that even I could not lift, create a law that I couldn’t break, or make a decision that I was not aware of my already making. Our basic ability to use logic also gets in the way of the whole faith thing, too. Since we have logic to work with, we like to use evidence in order to support our claims and make a clear distinction between what is part of reality and what is not. It is why we do not buy that whole “Eden” thing, and rightly so, when we look at fossils, geology, carbon dating, tree rings, and the process of natural selection. Your requirement of faith simply asks us to abandon this. What is it with faith and why now all of a sudden? The people of your many holy books, including the bible, not only heard you speak, but were witness to both your wrath and occasional blessings. Why make us abandon basic logic and accept something with which there is seemingly no evidence for? It seems sort of cruel, if you ask me. Especially, since all you have to do is say, “hi”.

Let us talk about the aforementioned “Eden” creation for a second, and why you would create a universe so vast and magnificent only to place us on a tiny little sad insignificant microscopic chunk of rock somewhere near the outside of a massive galaxy at the end of an arm of a massive supercluster and make the laws of the universe such that it is near impossible to navigate. I could not possible imagine the purpose of making so much “stuff,” especially when you consider how we are never going to see most of it. Also, why claim to care so much about life if we are the only [known] things you have created?

I mentioned your cruelty before and I wanted to get back to that for a second. In all of your texts you seem to obsess over the mundane and redundant. You chastise us for ridiculous things like eating the wrong kind of dead thing, not slicing off a chunk of our penises, and forgetting to cover our hair, among so many countless others. What’s the point? Why would you make a species in your image and tell them to chop, cover, remove, replace, stitch, and cinch themselves in ways that make them uncomfortable, because you just don’t like them the way they look otherwise, anyway? It seems easier to just make us the right way to begin with so you don’t have to bother with all the nonsense.

Speaking of nonsense, I cannot forget to mention the ridiculous way you have chosen to speak to us. I understand that what we have has been translated several hundreds of times and that we do not even have the full version on account of some early Christians voting out some text, but why speak with such indetermination, especially when addressing incredibly important topics? Do you know how many years we’ve spent trying to figure out what it all means? If you mean to say something, just say it. Don’t use ridiculous metaphors or those parables that your son was so fond of using all the time.

Lastly, I just have to mention the large mammalian in the room because it’s old and it stinks: What is your issue with gays and women? I can’t help but notice the way you’re constantly putting men on a raft and leaving women out during high tide. It’s like a girl dumped you in high school and you just can’t get over it so now you have to make everyone else miserable. I’m not going to dwell, because you know what I’m talking about, but it is really annoying to me. Oh, and about us gays, do not make us if you do not want us, and if you do, rewrite those books of yours –  they still seem to be in a rough draft [see: above].

So, if you really are out there listening, I hope I was not too much of a bother for you, God-Elohim-Adonai-Yahweh-Jehovah-Lord-Almighty-Creator-etc. I mean that sincerely and I know that you must be really busy at the moment, so it is here I will let you go. Thanks for your time, among a few other things.

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Suffering for Revenge for Suffering

The proceeding is a response to the general consensus of comments posted to the article, CHILD RAPIST RAPED, Stitched By Medics, and RE-RAPED BY 20 PRISONERS.

The difficulty with language is that sometimes it fails to capture the essence of one’s emotions. Every word , being defined by other words, leads to a circular reasoning, which only serves to become more abstract and meaningless the more you try to understand it. It is no wonder why words, as deep as they cut, cannot draw as much satisfaction as actual wounds. It seems natural for us to desire justice akin to the suffering endured by the victims because, “talk is [just so] cheap” and sitting around all day having your needs met by the law-abiding tax payers hardly seems like justice anyway.

Let’s reflect on that last, often overlooked,  statement – a tired point raised by those who never bothered to think about what it is they’re actually saying. Yes, we strive to make the prison system as comfortable as possible with three meals (and snacks!) a day, gym facilities, activities, religious service, therapy, healthcare, education, etc. The reason we try to treat hardened (and not so hardened) inmates like this is because we are not punishing them – we are rehabilitating them. We have moved from the vengeful torture and suffering days of old to the enlightened modern era where we now have a better understanding of why people do the things they do. The purpose has always been the same, which was to change bad behavior, but now we realize that there are different, more successful, and more humane ways of getting there. As a victim, I realize this would not satisfy me, but this is why victims of crimes do not get to decide how justice is best served. Closure for the surviving victims of all crimes come in all sorts of different forms, but it should not fall on the suffering of the convicted. Bad things happen for all sorts of reasons, most out of our control. If we are always reliant on the suffering of others who may have caused us anguish to gain closure, what then of the things caused by things without people to blame? I just think that we are better off with a shift in our thinking when it comes to our emotions; they should belong to us and not have to rely on the well-being (or lack thereof) of another.

The last point is a quick one on suffering itself. There is no benefit to the suffering of others. None. There will be nothing gained by anyone. That satisfaction one might feel from seeing another in pain is nothing compared to the humanity they loose as a result and the never ending desire to want to see more. As long as they are wreaked by the pain of their loss or enveloped in the cloud of their own suffering, they will never be satisfied.