Anytime there’s a disaster of any kind, man-made or natural, I see a lot of exhortations to pray. I am going to be callous here and call bullshit on that.
I don’t believe in prayers because I don’t believe in God. If there is a God though, I don’t think He has a plan for us. God is like a kid and we are like ants in his ant farm. I don’t think He is benevolent because bad things happen to good people all the time. However, I don’t think He is necessarily evil either in the sense that a kid that uses a magnifying glass to burn the ants does not know that what he is doing is evil. For example, shitty and catastrophic weather is not evil – it just happens.
Whilst He may be fascinated by our freewill, one that He has so generously gifted us I don’t think He cares one way or another if any individual one of us lives or dies. But somehow He cares who gets to enter heaven? This brings up another bugbear of mine with monotheistic religions.
If good people die early so that they can join God in heaven, then God is selfish because surely a good person can do a whole lot of good amongst the living, right?
If good people, along with the bad, the not-so-bad and the occasionally naughty ones die together in the same random events, then God is not a just God.
And if babies and children die before they can even be deemed good or bad, and if they die in the womb or if their mother dies in childbirth, how is that a plan?
How are people being born into, and living and dying in war zones through no fault of their own a good plan?
No, there is no plan. If He exists, He doesn’t care. There is just chaos and randomness and whilst we all spin around together on a little blue planet in one of many vast universes, we have only each other. We try to enforce structure and order where we can and live the best that we can, and if we are good and most of us are, we try not to be evil assholes who ruin someone else’s life along the way. If we are really good, we go beyond that and actually help others live a better life too.
The natural state of the universe tends towards increased entropy, ie. randomness. Like all life on this planet, we live and then we die. Some of us are lucky to die old, whilst some are taken away too soon. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Where we do have control is how we live the life that we are given, once we are able to comprehend the difference between being a good person and a shitty one. Don’t do something because you think God would approve and you will get to go to heaven. Do it because it’s the right thing to do.
So next time there’s a disaster, don’t pray – do something more practical instead.
He sure has inspired a lot of awesome art though