Posted by: admin on Tue, Jun 2, 2009
FROM a view of a younger man by Vic WarrenWhy, God?: Philosophic Rambling. Read ‘em and debate ‘em.
Category: Religion and Philosophy by Vic Warren
Many people look at the world, at the atrocities, the pain, the suffering, the heartache, and they wonder, "Why?" Why would God allow such things to happen? Well, here's my personal opinions, my attempt to understand that universal question, and my foolish attempt to understand God's reasons. A wise man knows that he knows nothing, so maybe this makes me a fool. Or maybe it means I've actually learned a thing or two during my years on this planet; I sure hope so!
Why is there evil? Why must evil exist? Why must so many atrocities and injustices be allowed to occur? Because without evil there would be no choice. In order to choose, one must have at least two different things to choose from, and one will invariably be a better choice than the other. If there were only good to choose from, then we wouldn't really have a choice; we would have a lack of options. And by having evil and bad things exist, the pure and good things seem all the better; they are all the sweeter, and have more meaning.
Why are we given a choice, when so often we clearly seem incapable of making the right choice? Because if we weren't allowed to make our own choices, our own mistakes, if we weren't allowed free will, then our choice to do right wouldn't mean anything. It's only after we're given the freedom to make our own choices, good and bad, that our good choices have any meaning. And it's the meaning of our good choices that give our lives meaning. The ultimate choice is love. To love is to choose to love, to choose someone. So without a free choice, there can be no true love. Without the free ability to choose to love someone or not, love has no meaning. It wouldn't be love, it would just be all one ever knew. One must be able to choose NOT to love someone if they don't want to in order for their choice to love that one to carry any meaning. And that's the underlying principle with God. He wants our love for Him to have meaning, to be REAL love. So He must allow us the choice to not love him, if that's what we want. Then if we choose to love him, that love will have meaning.
Why does God require so many sacrifices from each of us? We all have to make living sacrifices all the time; we have to let go of things we would rather keep. But maybe God just wants us to understand sacrifice, to understand how much it sucks, to understand how much love and strength one must have to make a true sacrifice. Only then can we understand the love and strength God has to make the sacrifices He's made for us. After all, I doubt God likes to see us suffer; I'm sure He hates it, and that it pains Him greatly. But He does it for us, so we can have the freedom of choice.
Loss of Love
Why must we love someone, only to lose them? Why must those we love die? Why must we each lose a true love? Again, this is to understand God's own loss in us. He loves us all, yet some of us choose to leave Him. He loves us, and he loses us, and it pains Him greatly. He just wants us to understand that pain ourselves, so we can more fully appreciate His love for us, and love in general.
Why must there be death, when it brings so much pain? Death is part of the natural cycle of life, and since everything in the universe breaks down eventually, there must be death in order to cleanse life. Without death, all life would stagnate. Of course with humans, it's a bit more complicated than that. Humans are here to learn and to choose, and once that learning process has been completed, our purpose on in this world is also completed. But why must young people die, those who never get the chance to learn and choose? Maybe their deaths are for someone else, to teach a lesson and grant wisdom to someone close to them. Maybe those young people aren't given the chance to learn and choose because their souls aren't really mortal to begin with. Maybe their souls are angels, granted temporary embodiment so that a mortal can learn from their death without having a mortal soul lose its ability to choose. Or maybe they are mortal souls, and God already knows that their choices would have been good ones all the way, so there's no point in them living through the pain that most of us must endure in order to learn how to make good choices.
Why do we fear? What are we afraid of? Most of us are afraid of what might be, of how we could mess things up by making a wrong choice, by doing the wrong thing, or by doing nothing at all. So we do nothing out of fear, which gets rid of our choice. But we do it to ourselves. God doesn't do it to us; He wants us to face our fears, and to learn and grow from them. If we give in to fear, we choose to take away our own choice. Then our choices are made for us by others. Usually if one fears, one does nothing. But things still happen to that one, and if one doesn't have choice, usually those things that are thrust upon that one are far worse than any bad choice that one could make.
Why are we allowed to make mistakes when God knows what's best for us? Again we come back to free will. If we weren't allowed to make our own mistakes, we wouldn't really have a choice or a will of our own. The key is to learn from our mistakes, to not repeat them in the future, and to try each day to make the best choices we know how to make. If we learn from our mistakes, it gives meaning to those mistakes, and makes our good choices all the brighter.
Why is it so easy to get addicted to so many things, when clearly those things are bad for us? Again we come back to choice, and to sacrifice. Choosing to overcome an addiction is choosing to do right, and it's very, very hard. It requires a sacrifice, for those addictive things are often soothing to our frayed minds and bring us some comfort in small amounts. But overcoming those addictions brings us more comfort still, because a wise choice is comforting.
Why are so many people stricken with horrible afflictions and ailments? Why is there so much pain? These things help to shape us into the people we were meant to become. Even if it sucks, they are ultimately tools to strengthen us, as well as a negative incentive to keep us on the right path. Of course there are so many seemingly random afflictions that strike people for no fathomable reason. But they still make us who we are, and there must be a reason for that, because it's all part of God's plan for us. Maybe that pain helps strengthen our spirits, because if we learn to live with the pain, then we learn to overlook the bad aspects of life and focus on the good. And that makes the good seem even better, and will help us appreciate a time in the future when the pain will be gone. Then the bad won't seem bad at all compared to the pain we've already endured.
Understanding: A Two-Way Street
God does all these things to us so we can better understand what He goes through; humans have got to be a major headache to Him sometimes. And likewise, He tries to understand US better, to understand the mortal concerns listed above. Why else would He come to Earth in a physical body, if not to better understand our suffering? He wanted to be able to say, "Yes. I was there. I felt your pain, your loss, your suffering. And I understand." And He wants us to be able to understand Him too.
All of this draws us closer to God, and Him to us. It makes us realize what true love is, the kind of love He feels for us, and the kind of love that He wants us to choose to have for Him. Ultimately, everything that happens to us in our lives leads us to a better place, so long as we do our best to make the right choices, and we don't blame others for our mistakes, including God himself. If we strive each day to make good choices, we will eventually end up in a happy place, a place of love, a place where He wants us to be, a place that He's had picked out for us all along, but only if we want to go there. He wants us to want Him, not to need Him because of a lack of choice. In the end, or should I say the beginning, maybe God was just lonely, and wanted to be chosen, just as each of us wants to be chosen by a very special someone. And He couldn't be chosen or loved by a bunch of robots with no free will to choose NOT to love Him. Of course God is much greater than any of us, so He wants to be chosen by all of us; He wants us to choose to love him, just as each of us want one other person to choose to love us. Without that choice of love, we're each alone on this planet, and without that choice of love, God is alone in the universe. And being alone just plain sucks!
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