Absurdity of Life

Scientists draw conclusions from evidence and facts, a posteriori, while religious teachers rely on faith and imagination, a priori.  Both believe they know the truth about life, but it is more likely than not that neither of them know the truth.  The truth is only known by the Creator, and He is not talking.  Thus, life is absurd because we cannot make sense of it.

Why do we live?  Why do we have free will?  Why do we have a conscience?  Why do we make choices if there are no consequences?  What happens after we die?

After admitting that life is absurd and still puzzling over it, we must logically conclude that life is quite absurd without something after life.  In other words if life were our only appearance in this play, then the play would have no denouement or ending.  This is because if life is to have any meaning at all, then all the choices made during our lives must be analyzed for a full accounting at the end.  Life, which is a test, is nonsensical without death and a grading of our work.  Of course, consequences complete the course.  This completes a design for life in our universe.

And life is absurd for all of us, whether atheists or Christians or agnostics.  We all are tested daily and we all fall short of making good grades.  Christians believe that they are making A’s and B’s, while atheists and agnostics are failing.  The truth is that all of us are failing.  However, the significant advantage for the Christians is that they may lead a better life by following the teachings of Christ.  Unfortunately, there are no guarantees for anybody.  The consequences for our poor choices during life may be dreadful, disastrous for all of us.

I have seen Christians acting as bad or worse than atheists.  There will be no religious shield to protect those who have made bad choices during life.  We must accept our failings and step up to take our punishment, whatever that might be.  By accepting Jesus as our savior, we are in a better position to make good decisions.  But if you read the Bible closely, you will find that there will be consequences for our sins.

I have seen Christians repent of their sins on Sunday and then return to the den of iniquity for the next six days.  Then they return to church on the Sabbath to repent again.  This type of activity shows no true remorse.  It is merely a hope that God will overlook all the misdeeds and erase them because of one hour on Sunday.  This doesn’t even make sense.  It is another absurd myth of Christianity.

So, if there are going to be severe consequences for all of us, what can we do?  Even as a Christian existentialist, I honestly don’t know.  I suppose we can start by doing our best every day that we have left to do the right thing.  Each of us should try to be a better person.  I don’t believe that our judgment day will have a scale with good deeds on one side and bad choices on the other.  I think it will be much more sophisticated and complex than that.

My imagination tells me that we will probably enter a darkness that eliminates our senses.  Our own minds will probably punish us for all the bad decisions we made during life.  The denial of entry into God’s third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2) may be the worst penalty of all.  My guess is that those of us who have made a half-way decent attempt to make good decision will enter the first heaven.  But the subsequent heavens will be exponentially more difficult to reach.

And even though my musings may seem quite absurd, believe me it is much more absurd that we could live in a world of choices without any consequences.

 

 

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

One of the major complaints from atheists, agnostics, and even religious people is that God should not allow bad things to happen to people, especially good people.

Now, I would like to start our investigation into why this is a ridiculous complaint.  First of all, bad things happen to everybody, whether they consider themselves as good or bad.  And why do you believe that you are a “good” person, anyway?  If you consider yourself as being a “good” person, you are certainly less than humble, and most likely your pride has taken you to the “bad” side.  In other words, there may be no “good” person on our planet.

Perhaps, you would like to change the title of this article to “Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen, At All?”  This certainly avoids the difficult proof that you are a good person.  It focuses on God as being the culprit who allows bad things to happen to all of us.  We certainly cannot accept any of that blame!

Well, this takes me to my second point.  God, the Creator, more than likely, does not exist in His creation.  One of the few scientific laws is that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed in our universe.  In other words, creation occurred outside the boundary of our closed universe.  If all this is true, God can only create outside His creation.  And it is likely that God does not want to intervene or interfere in the evolution of His creation.

And my third and final point is that there should be consequences for “bad” people.  Why would God need to change that?  My guess is that God created the universe with “free will” and He allows us to make poor choices every day.  He does not prevent us from making bad decisions and also experiencing “bad things” because of those decisions, and most likely God will provide additional consequences outside the universe, if we are lucky enough to enter His kingdom.

Asking for relief from “bad” things that will happen to you is the same thing as asking for forgiveness for future bad acts.  It is a bit premature to request avoiding consequences in advance of your committing sins.  It is a much better act to thank God for the “bad” things that happened to you, hopefully making you a better person.  And also thank God for the “bad” things that will happen to you, reminding you to avoid those bad choices.

All this is the preliminary stage during your life, leading to the final judgment.  And again if “bad” things happen in the afterlife, then I will accept that as my fate because I was a “bad” person during my lifetime.

Now, many Christians will say that I am not a Christian because I believe that we all will face a day of consequences for our poor choices.  Christians say that Jesus died for our sins forgiving the bad decisions that we made during our lives, giving us safe passage to heaven.  I believe that too, except I must add an adjective… “…giving us safe passage to the first heaven.”

I am a Christian existentialist.  I believe that Jesus died for our sins so that we could enter the first heaven, which probably separates the believers from the non-believers.  Unfortunately, as Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 12:2, there are three heavens.  The Bible is very clear about there being a Judgment Day with consequences, which probably will be associated with one or both of the other two heavens.

Christian Existentialism

Existentialism generally is a philosophy associated with atheism.  The majority of existentialists are atheists because the basic tenets of their belief do not comport with a God who is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and in charge of everything.

How can a stellar existentialist, who is steadfast in his independence, tolerate a controlling God?  How can an existentialist believe that he is making choices if everything is predestined by God?  How can a good existentialist believe that life is absurd and without meaning if there is a God?

Well, these are excellent questions, but there are logical answers for Christian existentialists like Soren Kierkegaard: (1) God gives us free choice and does not interfere with our decisions; (2) God created our universe outside our universe, since matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed in our closed universe;  in other words, God created, but does not control our universe; (3) nothing is predetermined in our lives since we make choices and suffer the consequences;  (4) and life is absurd without God.

So, it is possible to be a Christian existentialist.  You will not have many friends or associates who agree with you, but you can always unite and communicate with the most important entity, God.  Becoming one with God should be your primary goal in life.

The first step in being a true Christian existentialist is to reject other Christians who are not authentic.  Unfortunately, this is a high percentage of modern Christians.  Most Christians go to church for social approval and cannot discuss theology or even basic concepts supporting what they really believe.  In fact, most of them don’t believe in anything other than making appearances and looking good in the community.  Their beliefs and faith in God are only skin deep.

How do you become an authentic Christian existentialist?  Well, it will be a bit controversial, but you need to reject family, peer, and social pressures to think and act a certain way.  Then you can start meditating or focusing on what you really believe.  Let God into your heart and make Him a part of this process.  Become one with God.  Seek harmony with your freedom to make choices and be prepared to accept the consequences from poor decisions.  If God is within you, you will find peace in this process.

God will remove the anxiety and existential angst in your decision making because He will lead you.  Even though you cannot see God and even though He is not inside our visible universe, He can enter your soul as the Holy Spirit and become unified with you.  Your conscience and awareness is heightened with Him inside you.  Your choices may not be perfect, but your attempts to improve your decisions with humility will be all that matters if you fully accept responsibility as one who is imperfect.

And remember: life truly is absurd and makes no sense without God.

Doubts

Whether you are a believer in a Creator or a skeptic, you should challenge your position with doubts.  It is interesting that atheists expend great energy doubting that there is a God, but spend little time doubting their arguments.  It is not logical to require more proof that there is a God than finding evidence that there is no God.

Quite frankly, it requires a leap of faith to justify either belief.  Such a leap by either side requires reasonable doubts.  Doubting is not being a traitor to your belief system.  It actually strengthens your beliefs because it forces you to think about why you believe what you believe and requires you to overcome the doubts.

Unfortunately, the world is becoming polarized by fundamental believers and radical non-believers.  The moderates are being pulled to one side or the other.  The press may indicate that religion is falling by the wayside, but it is not the new religion… it is old traditional religion that is dying out.  The neo-religion embraces groups that are radicalized.  Emotional religion is replacing moderate religion.  The fundamentalists will never doubt their beliefs.  And that is emotional garbage.

Doubting is a form of thinking.  Whenever you have a leap of faith without evidence to support your belief, you should always doubt that leap and constantly challenge it, thus reinforcing your belief.  If you go through life just accepting that belief based on emotion without any thought behind it, there may be a problem when you reach a crisis mode, whether in this world or the next.

If you end up standing before a Creator after being a suicide bomber that killed 50 innocent people, I wonder if the emotion that precipitated that act will please the Creator.  Did you have any doubts before you killed those people?  You probably did not, because your emotions drove you down this path.  Emotions mask doubt.  Emotions destroy thinking.  Emotions lead to bad choices.  Emotions also lead to consequences.  Emotions may make you a martyr who will accept those consequences… unless, of course, they are consequences provided in the afterlife.  Emotions hide those postmortem consequences.  But you killed those innocent people for God, so God should reward you.  The only problem is that God you served is the God of emotion, who some call the Devil.

I believe that the one true God does not countenance murder of innocent people for any reason.  And I want you to doubt that.  But you must also doubt that God wants you to kill for His sake.  I remember when soldiers in Vietnam said, “Kill a Gook for God.”  There may be a God who wants you to kill for Him, but, if so, I believe there is another God who does not want you to kill for Him.  There may be difficult times when I doubt the existence of a good God and think there must be only an evil God, but it is good to examine your doubts.  For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Thus, I believe for every evil deed attributed to an evil God, there is a good deed supported by a good God.

Will the evil God protect you?  Probably not, because He is evil.  Some argue that if there were a good God, He would make everybody safe and secure now.  However, if you believe in a Creator outside our universe, He may be testing us for entry into His universe.  If you don’t gain admission, you will remain in this universe with the Devil himself in control.  I want you to doubt that too.  However, if you are wrong, the consequences will be forever and ever.

Focus on God

Our species appears to be the only animal that thinks about the afterlife.  The majority of humans think that there is an afterlife or there is not an afterlife or they simply don’t know one way or the other.  But most of us do think about the afterlife.

And we think about the Creator or God in the same manner:  there is a God or there is no God or we just don’t know.  But most of us do think about God.  Our focus is on God.

Even atheists need God to believe that He does not exist.  So logically, they must have thought of God first in order to decide that He does not exist.  Because how could you introduce a negative thought about something that you didn’t think or know about?  The concept of God had to exist before atheists could argue that He did not live.

Thus, our focus is on God and the afterlife.  And since we are human, we will do stupid and cruel and mean and horrible things during our lifetimes.  Everybody has something they can feel guilty about and most of us have something we feel guilty about every day.  So, we are sinful creatures who have been given free will to commit sins.

Do we resign ourselves to this sinful nature or do we try to do better?  Those who give in to our humanness and never attempt to improve themselves typically are those who don’t believe in God.  And who could blame them?  If you accept sin as your natural state during life, then you would not want any consequences after death.  You would not want God to be your judge.  Your preference would be to die and that would be the end.  The only problem with this belief is that choices without consequences make no sense.  Life would be absurd without consequences.  Life would be absurd without God.

Yet, those who believe in God are not necessarily any better than atheists.  Many followers of God believe that they will have a free ticket punched, eliminating all consequences for their sins.  This makes no more sense than atheism.  Clearly, the Bible speaks of judgments and consequences based on what we did during our lives.  Of course, believers want their sins to be washed away, typically so they can go sin again.  The only problem with this belief is that there must be consequences or life would be absurd.

And those who do not know if God exists or not cannot win by default.  You have heard the rule of law: ignorance of the law is no excuse.  The same applies to those who say they don’t know if God lives.  When they sin, there will be consequences whether they know God or not.  There must be consequences to prevent life from being absurd.

In conclusion, atheists, believers, and agnostics, who represent the majority of Homo sapiens, all focus on God in one fashion or another.  And that focus is on there being or not being a judge who will provide consequences for all our poor choices made during our lifetimes.  But remember: life is absurd without consequences.

Edge of the Universe with God on the Other Side

I have written many articles on why our universe is most likely closed.  So, if it were closed, where is the boundary?  Well, the universe could have an oval orbit like many objects, large and small, but let’s be more adventurous.  Perhaps, we should think like Einstein and examine a four-dimensional universe.

When you add the fourth dimension, time, you need to be creative since the edge of our universe might be much more different than what you would expect in a three-dimensional object.  So, what if the boundary were flexible like a time bubble that could expand and contract?  What if the edge were not so much a three-dimensional location, but instead a moment in time?

Let’s speculate.  What if the Big Bang were nothing more than the entry point for all the mass and energy, including high-energy neutrinos?  Maybe after several million years, the Big Bang event, which probably was a fireball, started to cool down.  The lights went out.  Quite possibly, there were about 100 million years of no activity that was visible.

The Dark Ages of our universe more than likely saw a reversal from expansion to contraction.  The first stars and ancient galaxies probably were not formed until the hydrogen gases were compacted to the point that the heat was so intense that they ignited, much like stars are created today.

The majority of scientists believe that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate.  I suppose that this is possible if dark energy were drawing the visible matter out into infinity, but that sounds like an open universe with no boundaries.  If you believe our universe is closed, the only theory that makes any sense is that the universe is collapsing at an increasing speed as it races back toward its origin.

Why is our universe closed?  Everything that we know in our universe has design.  Even activities that appear to be chaotic have a reason and lead to a purpose.  God is the Designer.  As an example, electrons, planets, and galaxies move in closed orbits.  God’s world moves in cycles.  Since we cannot see the other side of the Big Bang, there must be a boundary that hides it.  The galaxies in the universe seem to be interconnected within an oval egg shell that expands and contracts over time.  The law of conservation of matter and energy states that matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed in our universe.  This matter and energy that remains the same total amount forever must be encased by a boundary for this theory to be true.

An open universe with only expansion that continues into a Deep Freeze with all matter reaching a final destination that has no purpose does not fit within God’s design.  An open universe theory supports a chaotic, purposeless system that is advocated by atheists.  Large stars would burn out, leaving only smaller stars to burn out, until all the hydrogen was used.  Scientists believe that the Deep Freeze will be the end of our universe.  But it serves no purpose.  It does not fit within God’s ultimate design for the universe.  God did not design a dying universe.

So, if time created the boundary for our universe, which can alternate between expansion and contraction, does that mean that time can go backwards?  It might from our perspective.  In other words, from our position on earth, a reversal might appear to be headed back in time to the ancient galaxies and the Big Bang event.  But if we were outside the time bubble, we might simply view our bubble getting very small as the compaction increased into the Big Crunch.

What in the universe could be driving this time machine, alternating between expansion and contraction?  Well, since our visible universe is only about 3% of the universe, dark matter and dark energy are the likely forces.  God probably designed a universe that could exist for an infinite amount of time.  This makes sense if you consider that time could be a closed fourth dimension perpetually expanding and shrinking or from our perspective, going forward and then backward in time.  Frankly, whether we are moving toward a Big Bang or Big Crunch may not matter since it could lead to the same result, so whether time is going forward or backward may not matter either.

God banished Adam and Eve from his kingdom probably into a universe without end like ours.  The only way to return to God might be to leave this universe.  There appear to be three heavens or judgments that must be passed in order to reach this goal.  2 Corinthians 12:2.  The first heaven, which has been described as being on earth, should be the easiest to obtain through belief and faith.  But the other two might be increasingly difficult.  The first death probably separates believers from nonbelievers based on God’s grace.  The second death is mentioned in the Bible when we are judged based on our works.  Revelation 20:13-14.  If we fail this test, we are cast into the lake of fire.  Revelation 20:15.

As Jesus said, “Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”  Matthew 7:14.  Revelation indicates that only 144,000 will be redeemed from earth.  Revelation 14:3.  The fate of Adam and Eve or humankind probably cannot be reversed without a superhuman effort that counters the Devil’s deceit in the second heaven.  Certainly, turning everything over to God should create the necessary unification with God to enter the third heaven, God’s kingdom.  But anything outside the Bible is just guesswork.  We will not know for certain until we die, but being prepared for anything is not a bad idea.

Even though this article is highly speculative, it is always interesting to ask the question:  why can Hubble see the ancient galaxies?  If the light from that ancient object, which no longer exists, started its race in a straight line toward Hubble about 13 billion years ago wouldn’t it have passed us?  If you believe we have been constantly expanding since the Big Bang at less than the speed of light, how could we see any ancient light?

I suppose you could argue that the universe is curved so that the light from ancient galaxies has raced around and is coming back for a second viewing.  But it seems more likely from our perspective that we are going back in time towards not only ancient light, but also the Big Bang itself.

Again, this is only a somewhat edgy theory, but it is possible that our universe is a time machine that can alternate between a Big Bang and a Big Crunch forever.  In that sense, we are in an infinite prison of our own sinful devise.  God and Jesus have shown us a way out, but how many will actually leave this universe?

What Are the Odds There Isn’t a God?

Many people claim to be atheists or agnostics.  They either don’t believe in God or don’t know if there is a God.  Of the two, the agnostic has a more credible argument.  The ultimate creation is probably unknowable since more than likely the Creator is outside our universe.

The atheists go out on a limb when they claim that they know for certain that there is no God.  That seems rather unlikely since mankind knows very little about the universe.  Only about 3% of the universe is visible and our telescopes only pick up a small percentage of that amount.  In other words, we don’t have enough information to prove that there is a God or there is not a God.  Either statement is rather ambitious with the scintilla of evidence that we can view.

Assuming that there is or is not a God, what are the odds for either being the case?  You might argue that the odds are 50/50, but it really does not matter.  The most important thing is the consequence if you are wrong.

If you do not believe in God, you have to be right to avoid consequences.  If you believe in God, you do not have to be right in order to avoid consequences.  If you believe in God and there is a God, you can avoid serious consequences.  But also if you believe in God and there is no God, you still avoid serious consequences.  You simply die and there is nothing more.

So even if the odds are only 50% that there is a God, why in the universe would you choose to believe that God does not exist?  There certainly is no guarantee that there is no God any more than there is a guarantee that there is a God.  If you are not 100% certain that there is no God, then it would be foolish to invest your future as an atheist.

And even though it is logical that we will never know for certain about God’s existence until death, it makes sense to place your bet on God.  Even if you are an agnostic, your chances improve in any judgment day scenario if you recognize that there could be a God and prepare for this contingency.  Agnostics must ask themselves if they can say with certainty that there is no God.  Even though the same holds true for saying with certainty that there is a God, it does not matter because the consequences are dire if there is a God.

What are the odds there isn’t a God?  Perhaps the odds are 50%, but I would want the odds to be 100% before I bet my afterlife on there being no God.  If I went through life doing anything I wanted, satisfying my carnal needs, completely ignoring any moral code, it would be a sad day indeed if I faced a God on judgment day after my demise.  What would I say:  “Oops!” or “Omigod!” ?

I Wish I Were an Atheist

I truly wish I were an atheist.  If I were an atheist, I would not have to worry about consequences… at least during my lifetime.  If there were no God, then this would be the best thing for mankind for there would be no consequences for all our poor choices.  Even the best of us make poor choices, so every human should hope that there is no God to judge us.

Of all the possible scenarios for afterlife, the best for mankind is for us to die and that is it.  After death, everything is black and nothing happens beyond that point.  Then nobody has to worry about being punished for bad acts and stupid decisions.  Death and then no more is the best case for Homo sapiens.

However, this is not very probable.  Everything within our universe is cycled and recycled.  The famous first law of thermodynamics is that matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed.  In other words, in our closed universe, our body, mind, and spirit are all recycled after death.  In other words, we may still be aware of where we are after death.  That, in and of itself, presents some problems for us.

If we are still thinking after death, what will we be thinking?  If we are not distracted by the daily chores of life, we will probably be thinking about bad decisions that we made during life.  It is natural for us to be hard on ourselves if our senses are not leading us in another direction.  Our senses, as we used them during our lifetimes, may not even be functioning after death.  Our consciousness or awareness may be our primary sense at this stage.

If we have free will during our lifetimes, God cannot intervene.  He gave us a moral compass or a conscience to guide us as we make decisions.  We can’t blame God for our poor choices or for the misfortunes we encounter on earth.  God is the creator, who lives outside our closed universe within which nothing can be created nor destroyed.

If there are no consequences for our choices made during life, then life is absurd.  If I die and there is nothing else, then our conscience and consciousness are absurd.  If there is no creator, then a closed universe sitting in the middle of nothing and surrounded by an imaginary boundary is absurd.  (Caveat:  a creator can be any power outside our universe that created our universe.)

So, the best case for humans during life is to be atheists and believe there is no God.  The only problem is that if you are wrong, then the afterlife will be a nightmare.  Thus, if you are an atheist, you must believe completely and absolutely that there is no God and there is no afterlife.  You must bet everything you own, including your soul, on there being nothing after death.

However, it is more likely than not that there is something after death, simply because of the commonality of cycles within our universe.  So, it probably would be better to suffer the pain of thinking about consequences, so that we will be better prepared to deal with judgment day.  If you believe that there is a God who forgives you, then the afterlife may be more tolerable.