Belief in a Just World

Crushed by the countless absurdities, injustices, and pointless sufferings that define this fleeting, tenuous existence…

…it’s no wonder that billions of tortured souls sweep all their anxieties, fears, doubts, disillusionments, and sorrows under so many rugs of desperation…

… that “everything happens for a reason”.

… to “let go and let God”.

… that even the most horrifying facts of life are all part of “the divine plan”.

… that someday, somehow it will all work out in the end—that the righteous will be counted, that all will be reunited with lost loved ones, that all our miseries, all our noble but failed efforts, all our impotence, all our unrequited loves, and all our grief will be redeemed someday.

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 “God’s perfect creation” is anything but… from someone who knows that some afflictions are nothing more than that… from someone anguished by the fact that some sufferings really are beyond the reach of all the love and care in the world.

And so I say to those unfortunate souls who have nothing left but a desperate hope that every injustice will be reconciled in some ultimate reckoning: “I get it.” I understand, as you do, that life can be so unbearable that belief in some future supernatural compensation may be the only thing that helps you survive the day. For this you have my deepest and most sincere sympathy and empathy.

Alas, I feel your pain, but I do not share your hope. For my logical and moral imagination has yet to discover a deity, no matter how brilliant or a karmic vision of a hereafter, no matter how glorious, that can possibly justify so much hell on earth.

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