The comfort of the void

Some atheists say they wish there was a God. It would be comforting and all, and so on.

Not me.

Think of noma; think of droughts and ichneumon wasps and nature red in tooth and claw. Think of all the ills we humans have made and are prone to.

If there is no God, that just is the way things are: blind pitiless indifference. Nature isn’t cruel; Nature isn’t kind. Nature just is, and mostly it is things that are not purposeful or meaningful but just good in sticking around.

However — if there is a God and this is His creation, He is an irredeemably evil, callous, cruel, cold bastard: noma is allowed by His designs, droughts and horror-insects could not exist without His permission, His approval. (Neither could the Devil. And introducing the horned fellow, or casting this world just as a gauntlet for Heaven or Hell really doesn’t help any.) If there is a God, there are Reasons and Purposes for everything, and things are the way they are because He wanted or allowed them to be so. To disagree would be to reduce Him to a powerless, bungling imp.

We live in a world with such fucked-up horrible aspects mixed in with all the beauty that any Designer of such a thing would be a monster. Indifference and lack of intention and purpose, and also of cruelty and malice, are a million times more comforting wards against sorrow than any cackling Noma Architect wanting to be your buddy would be.

Such a void might be unsettling to some; I say it is good for it is a license to make up your own purposes and meanings of life; so take up your own colors and run with them, and dodge as you best can the flaming chunks of random shite the blind universe happens to fling your way.

That’s my opinion and my comfort, anyway. The comfort of others might not include great flaming chunks of shite. (Also, there’s something charming in noticing that the answer to “Why me?” really, actually, and with all possible depth, is “Shit happens.”)

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