Enough a Cynic to Believe

The amount of physical and emotional pain – devastating, life-altering pain – that human beings are capable of inflicting on one another, and do inflict on one another, on a daily basis, is staggering. (If you want examples, read a newspaper; I’m not up to starting a list, because there wouldn’t be a good place to stop.)

I think this is probably the reason most people who don’t believe in God don’t believe in Him – the “How can anyone believe in a God that would let X happen?” argument. The answer – that He gave us free will, etc. – doesn’t pack the same emotional heft as the argument, and so usually fails to convince anyone, sometimes even the person using it.

But if there is no God, if humanity and everything else is the product of chance, how can anyone respond to life with anything but despairing, impotent rage? Some argue that we can create meaning despite the fundamental meaninglessness of the universe, but that’s bullshit. Or rather, the meaning we create for ourselves is as paltry and meaningless as we ourselves are.

If there is no God, the horrors of this life remain unanswered. If there is a God, we can hope and trust that someday all things will be made new, and the horrors of this life will be answered. Until then, we can only ask (again and again), “How long?”


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