We base much of our atheism on the conundrum of suffering, and how it does not appear to make sense in the context of a Creator with a capital “C”. It seems nonsensical, even, that anyone with the least amount of common sense — never mind an all-powerful, all-knowing deity — would author life that could turn out as it does for so many. I say “we” and “our” because all of us do this at least sometimes, in some ways. When I say things like, “We’re only human,” I am acknowledging that I’ve started off in this world with a personal existential template that is prone to error. When I use a term like “error”, I am conceding with the (now widely considered obsolete) wisdom of antiquity that there is such a thing as a standard by which truth can be measured.
I’ve long said that, given a certain amount of pain, one may reasonably enter into contention on the point of God’s existence (not that I have found myself capable of agreement or concession per se, but I would have uninhibited empathy, at any rate.)
However. The fact of the matter is that we all do die away from this world. Eternal life clearly isn’t here, in the classical “here” sense. It is in some other place, some other way. Scripture implores Christian believers to keep their mind fixed on heavenly things, and to consider adversity of all kinds as beneficial thing which has the potential to foster immense spiritual growth. The Bible treats pain as a catalyst for enlightenment. As such, we are remiss to grow indignant at the necessity of its suffering, and our doing so only further impedes our potential growth.
Shaking our fist at the heavens, and carrying out a life of enthusiastic ambivalence may stand to gain us a small patch of time and space in which to reap a sort of benefit, for a time, but it comes at the risk of our never actually waking up, never seizing the day in the way for which we were intended, and potentially aborting our destiny (paradoxical as that may seem.) We become the clay who says to the potter, “Why have you made me thus?” We believe we are defending our dignity and only doing what any self respecting sentient life form would do, but whatever it is that we actually accomplish in this, it comes at the loss of that which would cause us the most joy and fulfillment our present fragility would ever be capable of enduring.
I mean, I was having coffee again, and accidentally started thinking. I do apologize.