Hello hello. Welcome to CYOA Theology Love Tester, the simple game of choices where you can find out the character of your God!
(Set in very small type: May not work with all Gods. May cause atheism and hair loss. Not for children over eighteen or others incapable of self-examination. Do not operate heavy machinery; it is dangerous.)
1: Is there a Heaven, i.e. an afterlife which is better than this world?
- If yes, go to 2.
- If no, go to 3.
- If you are uncertain, make up your mind.
2: So there is a Heavenly afterlife. Do the people in Heaven have free will, or are they puppets? (Don’t worry about high-faluting philosophy; I won’t get all Plantinga on you.)
- If there is free will in Heaven, go to 4.
- If not, go to 5.
3: So there isn’t a Heaven. I’m going to assume there’s no Hell either, because a Hell without a Heaven is a bloody depressing concept. So what happens when one dies?
- If one just ceases to be, dies for real, go to 8.
- If there’s a different world like this, or if we reincarnate, go to 12.
- If we are absorbed into God or some such thing, go to 13.
4: So there is a Heaven, which is a better place than what we have right now; and the people there are still people.
That is to say, there is a place which is better than this of ours, and which still has freely living people in it. Riddle me this, Seeker: Why didn’t God bypass this vale of tears, and create us or the nice enough subset of us straight into Heaven?
- If God wants only nice people in, and couldn’t know which of us would be worthy of Heaven and which not, go to 7.
- If God is a malicious rat-bastard, go to 6.
5: What have you been smoking? There is an afterlife which is better than this, but the people there are just puppets? Is it a Heaven if the people there have no choices to make? Not even the flavor of their sno-cones?
- Go back to 2; you don’t have free will in this choice.
6: So God is evil? Congratulations; you have hit on the theology which is both the most plausible, and the utterly most terrifying of all possibilities. Sleep well.
- THE END.
7: So God couldn’t know which of us would be nice enough for Heaven. Okay, so even God cannot create “nice” (saintly?) beings with any certainty (in large numbers?). Explains why even a portion of the angels fell. So, next: what does God do with those of us that aren’t good enough for Heaven?
- If reincarnation; try and try until you are good enough, go to 9.
- If Hell, go to 10.
- If those souls are just snuffed out, go to 11.
8: So when you die, that’s it.
Have fun until then.
That is all.
- THE END.
9: Reincarnation? Are you high? What kind of a theology is this anyway?
Or maybe you meant a purgatory of some kind. Some kind of an arrangement where God doesn’t waste souls, but tinkers until they are good enough. God doesn’t give up on people. He don’t give up until people give up and behave.
You could stop now, but just for shits and giggles go back to 7 and ask yourself, instead of mankind, about the ultimate fate of Satan and his fallen angels.
- THE END (if you want it).
10: So there is a Hell. You should really go back to 7; this is not a good choice.
Oh, you stayed. Luckless you.
Do you realize that Hell, whether it involves pitchforks or some eternal version of Alzheimer’s, is eventually worse than anything else you could do to a person? Worse than anything any of those in Hell had themselves done?
Congrats, cat. Your God is more worthy of Hell than any burning down there.
- THE END.
11: So some get to Heaven, and the rest are put down like dogs.
Is this better than a Hell?
Your God is one of genocide, then, is He not? He is a murderer of souls worse than the worst killer of bodies. Depending on how big a fraction of us get into Heaven, and how you feel about capital punishment, curl into a ball of some size and shiver in anticipation.
- THE END.
12: So life’s just a sequence of worlds, basically? Or this world over and over. Mmm. I assume there’s some continuity in dying and being reborn, because otherwise you hardly could speak of rebirth. So how much continuity?
- What you do here, will determine your luck in the next world; that is, karma. Go to 14.
- There is a mystical continuity of the soul, which the thinking mind cannot grasp. Go to 15.
- One can, with some work, recall her or his past lives. Go to 16.
13: So we are absorbed into God. I have to say that a) I’m not entirely sure what that means, and b) it doesn’t sound like something to look forward to.
But who knows; maybe God-absorbation looks good to you. To me it looks like a particularly unappealing combination of lobotomy and death; but hey, that’s just me. Have fun.
Well, fun until the “you” dissolves into something and becomes, uh, the “non-you”. Which will then have fun, I assume.
- THE END.
14: So there is karma. Very well, but that’s not really the question. The question is how much of a connection of memories, personalities and the like there is between the you of this world and the you of the next. Because otherwise this karma doesn’t really mean anything. I mean, it’s not much of a karma if it’s a different person being punished or rewarded for your actions!
- Go back to 12.
15: So the next you isn’t you in any way you can see.
So the you that you are is the only you there really is.
So when you die, that’s it for you.
- THE END.
16: I admit I don’t quite know anymore what this tells of your god, but maybe I can say something about this dimly recalled cycle of lives.
Maybe the next one is better if you spend this one well.
And maybe the next you never goes to the trouble of finding out who she or he had previously been. Then where are you?
Maybe finding out what you were that future you won’t much like the present you, won’t feel much of a connection to whatever shade you then are.
Anyway, remembering or not, that line of future beings will probably not share your taste in ice cream; they will not have the same favorite book as you do. If they recall you, you’re just one life in a dizzying line-up of lives, each with different opinions, likes and dislikes: how would that future being be anything like you, of all those past lives, and not just a different being on the same string of fate?
- THE END.