The Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Muslim and Mormon, along with many “spiritual” people, believe EVERYTHING happens for a reason. They all believe that God or the Universe or some sort of divine energy/consciousness orchestrates our lives and that nothing happens by chance or accident.
According to people who think like this, everything that happens in our lives is part of a bigger purpose or plan. No matter what happens to us, it happened because it was meant to happen.
According to this way of thinking…the irresponsible, dumb-ass, youthful driver who pulled out to pass a slow-moving truck on a double yellow line and missed hitting Polly and I head on by a few feet was acting according to some greater purpose or plan. If he had hit us, our death would have happened for a reason.
As I think back through my life, my Mom’s suicide at age 54, my Dad’s death from surgery complications at age 49, my sister-in-law’s death from a motorcycle accident, my wife’s favorite uncle’s death at age 51 from a rare heart virus, my wife’s younger cousin’s recent death from myasthenia gravis…all of these all-to-soon tragic deaths had no positive effect on those left behind and their deaths certainly, outside of releasing several of them from pain, had no positive effect for them.
As I look at the world I see pain and suffering. I see hunger and thirst. I see violence and deprivation. I see poverty, animal abuse, and environmental degradation. Yet, I am told these things happen for a reason. Pray tell, what is the bigger purpose or plan for these things? What reason could there be for children starving, women being raped, and families having no means of support?
A week or so ago a horrific, violent storm ripped though NW Ohio. People and animals were killed, buildings and trees were destroyed, and millions of people were left without electricity for days, all during a time when temperatures were setting new historic highs. Again, what is the bigger purpose or plan for these things?
As Polly and I drove home from SE Indiana we saw widespread devastation from what some describe as the worst drought in decades. We saw fields where farmers had already cut down their corn to use as silage. Again, what is the bigger purpose or plan for these things?
All across the world war rages on. My own country has troops stationed all over the world and is currently waging war in Afghanistan. U.S troops, bombs, and bullets are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths of innocent civilian men, women, and children. Again, what is the bigger purpose or plan for these things?
It is not enough to say that God has a perfect plan and we must not question him. I not only question this God, I charge him with gross negligence and malfeasance. Any human acting as this God does would be considered a manic, cruel, serial-abuser of his fellow human beings. Such a God we would or should not want as family or a friend, yet billions claim this God as their friends, confidant, family member and lover.
I prefer the agnostic, atheist, deist way of looking at life. Shit happens. Good and bad happens to one and all, and often what comes our way has no purpose or reason. It just h-a-p-p-e-n-s.
This does not mean that I can not learn from the bad things that happen in my life. My own physical debility and life of pain has been quite instructive. My past experiences have indeed helped to make me into the man I am today. (good and bad) But to suggest that God or the universe or some divine energy/consciousness is behind how my life has turned out? I reject any such notion…I gladly embrace what my life is and all that helped to make it what it is, but I have no place in my life for some sort of divine puppeteer pulling the strings of my life. Four years ago, I reached up and cut the puppeteer’s strings and from that day forward my life has been my own. My life is an admixture of my own choices, the choices of others, genetics, and random events and circumstances. I need no other explanation, I need no God to make my life more palatable. It is what it is until it isn’t.