Given the patent absurdity of our fleeting, painful, tenuous existence…
… it is quite natural to submit all our anxiety, pain, doubt, frailty, vulnerability, dissatisfaction, disillusionment, anguish, and terror to the dull hope that everything happens “for a reason”… that we should “let go and let God”… that even the most horrifying facts of life are all part of “the divine plan”… that someday, somehow, somewhere it will all work out in the end… that the righteous will be counted… that we will be reunited with lost loved ones… that all our sufferings, all our noble, but failed efforts, all our grief, all our unrequited loves, all our impotence will be redeemed.
It’s a lovely thought…
… and one that can only come from someone with an innate sense of decency and fairness… from someone who feels the pain… from someone who knows that the universe is patently unkind and unfair… from someone who knows that some afflictions are absolutely pointless… from someone anguished by the knowledge that some miseries really are beyond the reach of all the love and care in the world.
And to those unfortunate, sensitive souls who have nothing left but the desperate hope that all will be reconciled in some ultimate “reckoning”, I get it. I understand, as you do, that life really can be so unbearable that the thin hope in some kind of supernatural compensation, no matter how improbable, may be the only thing that helps you survive the day. For this you have my deepest and most sincere compassion and sympathy.
And so, I feel your pain, and I share your lament, but I do not share your hope.
Alas, my logical and moral imagination has yet to discover a deity, no matter how loving, clever, and powerful… or a karmic vision of a hereafter, no matter how glorious… that can possibly justify so much hell on earth.