Suppose there was a mystical place where time as we know it did not exist, and the beings there never had to worry about anything. Everything they needed was given to them, and everybody was happy. Additionally, these beings never felt any pain, death did not exist, and nobody ever grew old, fat, or bald.

Here was a magnificent Utopia, but it wasn’t a lazy person’s dream world. There was still work to be done. Fortunately, work was never a burden. Since they didn’t feel pain, nobody ever got tired. These beings gladly did whatever was required.

Even so, these beings were blessed with their own minds and individual personalities, so eventually they started to wonder about something. There was a higher being who loved them, but only He decided who did what. Why should that be? These lesser beings started thinking they should be given the right to decide for themselves what tasks each of them would do, so they put together their arguments, and then they approached the higher being to ask permission to decide things for themselves.

The higher being patiently listened to their requests, but after everybody was done
making speeches, the higher being simply said, "No."

"No?" they cried, "but why not?"

"That’s easy. You’ll mess everything up. If you were allowed to run things yourselves
some of you would try to take control, some of you would resist, and most of
you would just go along with whichever side seemed to have the most support
behind it. You would constantly fight because nobody could ever take control
without others trying to take it later. Therefore, the struggle for control
would never end. The problem for me is while the majority of you will try to
avoid getting involved in these struggles, you will also be so busy switching
to whichever side you think is strongest you won’t be doing anything useful.
Trust me, things are better just the way they are."

"Oh, no!" They declared, "We would never do that! We’d still do everything you
needed; we’d just be deciding for ourselves what each of us would do."

"If you were able to do that by yourselves, without fighting, you wouldn’t need me, and I would go away. This is a thing I would gladly do, if you could be trusted enough to get everything
done properly, but you are not yet ready to do things by yourselves."

"That’s not true! We are ready, and, besides, you can stay as long as it takes to see
for yourself how well we do things."

"No, that would not work." the higher being responded, "You will never learn how
corruptible your souls are if you always know I am looking over your shoulder. Now
that you know what I’ll be looking for, you will avoid doing those things until
after I go away. Tell you what, let’s build a temporary world where I will
rarely interfere, and we’ll create mortal beings similar to the beings you are
now. Each of you will cycle through this world as a mortal being, and your personality
traits will be developed in that life from how strong your spirit is now. What
you won’t have is any memories of this existence. That way you’ll have enough
of what you need to prove you can handle things without me, and I’ll have
enough to prove afterwards you couldn’t."

"Oh, that’s perfect! We’ll take that deal, and you’ll see. We won’t let you down!"

What none of them heard was the higher being’s sad response, "Oh, yes you will."


I’m not saying I believe this scenario, and I’m certainly not going to develop a
doctrine around it because religion isn’t the point. The main point is the personalities we are now could never pass such a test, in this or any other world, and just about every single one of us would behave very differently if we were certain there was a God looking over our shoulder. Let’s face it, if by chance our existence actually turned out to be a test then most of us have failed or are going to fail, at least on
an individual basis.

Even if you believe your sins will be forgiven, and you will get into heaven just because you have faith in the correct religion, it won’t mean you passed the test. All it will mean is you earned a ‘participation’ trophy. For all you know, getting into Heaven this way might earn you a graduation certificate from kindergarten while Mother Teresa is awarded a doctorate.

Concerning humanity as a whole, we failed the test a long
time ago. The history of mankind is nothing but groups of people struggling to
take control, and usually it’s over things a lot less consequential than the
saving of one’s soul. (Personally, I occasionally wonder how well we’d do if after our lives were over we were handed a list of the promises we made before our souls were sent to earth. I suspect if that ever happened most people would be extremely surprised).

As far as the possibility of a higher power watching over us goes, and no matter what religious belief we hold, the big question is this: what business do we have judging whether or not God exists merely by looking at the mess we humans have made on earth?

That question isn’t as unrelated as you might think. If there really is an almighty God, and He needed to either prove a point to us or test us for some reason, an earthly existence where nobody could remain forever is exactly what He’d create. The downside is our temporary selves would necessarily be given enough free will to mistreat our fellow mortals, and it’s obvious, by the sheer amount of suffering mankind has produced, a significant chunk of us have chosen to indulge in that type behavior during our short time on earth.

Atheists proclaim they don’t believe in God because they think no God worth worshipping would have ever created such a world, and they also vehemently reject the possibility mortal life could be just a test to see who qualifies for Heaven. This is because they can’t understand how so much
suffering could be tolerated by a heavenly being who professes to love us, and they can’t imagine any heaven good enough to make the suffering worthwhile. What they don’t see, with or without a God being in the background, is most of the blame for this suffering can be laid at the feet of other humans. Sure, some misery can be blamed on nature, but even there mankind bears some responsibility. There are things we can do to protect ourselves, and all too often we choose not to do those things.

Whatever you decide to believe or not believe, the one thing you should never do is blame God for the troubles on earth. God didn’t create murder; mankind did. God didn’t create war; mankind
did. God didn’t create Communism, Fascism, Nazism, or rap music; mankind did.
These things might make God cry, (and God knows rap makes me cry*), but His tears won’t be from guilt over anything He allowed to happen. They’ll be from disappointment over all the things we allowed to happen.

I understand the way He feels. I’m feeling it now with the American-style of human being. There was a time when I was proud of the way American values had given us a wonderful country the rest of
the world wanted to emulate, but now I’m disappointed with the way the majority
of its people, especially amongst the young, are eagerly seeking reasons to hate America. Nobody bothers to actually look into history; they just thoughtlessly accept whatever
nonsense they hear. Even more damning, they blithely ignore the fact virtually all the faults in the past were corrected, at some considerable sacrifice, and they continue to use those bygone faults as justification for every hateful thing they want now.

The unpleasant truth is none of the sins in the past could have gone on so long had the majority of people back then resisted, or at least ignored, the loud voices saying such atrocious behavior was acceptable. Furthermore, the folks who are currently complaining about the crimes of the past don’t even realize they are just as guilty now as anybody was back then for tolerating immoral things. All they’ve done is replace old detestable behaviors with new ones, and, no matter how heroic their public protests make them feel, they’ve never figured out simply following the herd is neither brave nor righteous.

I’m also disappointed with the way Americans keep changing what they say they believe. Too many of them hold no firm values at all, and they don’t mind destroying the world around them as they search for
the next new idea. We spend more time these days trying to implement any goofy notion
the rest of the world comes up with than we do in reinforcing our traditional
values, and in the process we are throwing away all the things that made life
in America so wonderful.

Most of all, I’m disappointed with the way people make decisions not based upon the use of research and common sense, but merely based upon how much fear is generated by any of the various
groups trying to establish control. Very few people have the courage to disagree openly with crazed fanatics. Who and what the majority of people choose to support
is almost never based upon such old-fashioned methods as seeking what’s true;
it’s all based upon following whichever crowd you are most afraid to resist. Bah! (Or should I say, "Bah, Baa, Baaah"?)

If you are a hater of America, you should be putting your hatred more upon our country in its present form than upon what you believe it was in the past. America’s greatest fault now, and one well
worth hating, is a large number of its people are irresponsible, self-absorbed and weak. Unfortunately, it’s these types who are causing all the problems. These rather loud and obnoxious voices believe they are entitled to all the things other people have earned, and they don’t want to do anything harder than whining to get them. Too bad for you, but such people do not a good country make.

One thing’s for sure, looking at the way society has been corrupted, I don’t blame atheists for hoping no God exists. If I wanted to indulge in all the destructive behaviors going on now,
of which any divine being might frown upon, I’d be hoping there’d be no God to
face later, too.

PS: Life to America! (Let’s just hope it someday pulls its head out).

* For those inclined to feel offended over the remark about rap music, let’s just say most of it can be described as ‘catchy tune, horrible message’. Mankind has long known some music "Hath charms to soothe the savage breast" but it has also known other forms of music can be used to stir up people’s emotions enough to make them willingly go into battle. Which category do you think rap fits? I’m pretty sure no music strong enough to make your car rattle as if it’s getting ready to fall apart will ever qualify as soothing.

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