One of the most interesting YouTube programs I have watched is one with the hypothesis, What would it be like if, all of a sudden, all humans would disappear? The video is worth watching for its profound implications for Original Sin and the natural law (physics and morals). Look it up on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of1NS66Wn14
I don’t know how, but this topic resonated from my Lectio Divina this morning. (Philippians 2:5). I share what came my way with you, and you draw your own conclusions.
What if there was a world without God? What if God got so fed up with all the calumny, detraction, envy, duplicity, hatred, jealousy, lack of faith that humans have that God said, “I can’t take this anymore, and made the choice that humans would have no God anymore?” Here are the thoughts that are part of my answer, in no order of importance.
NO GOD ANYMORE
There is no resurrection from the dead anymore. Jesus is not the Son of God, merely a fiction writer (although he wrote no books).
The followers of Jesus believed his message to love one another as He loved us. If there is no God, we have no destiny other than the grave. Here today, gone tomorrow. Get what you can of life.
If there is no God, only the strong prevail. The weak and the poor do not have a message of hope.
Being a Lay Cistercian is a waste of time because there is no God for me to sit down next to on a park bench in the dead of winter and just be thankful to be an adopted son (daughter) of the father.
Only special interest groups fulfill the soul’s longing for belonging to something meaningful.
There is no mortal sin, nor any sin. There is no target for me to aim and make or miss shooting my arrow.
What has been the exception is now the rule. There is no God and no afterlife, no humility and no obedience to a higher power than myself.
Religion is worthless. Only politics defines morality, and those that shout the loudest get the worm.
While there are societal norms, such as public safety, and rules, there is no choice to follow what God has taught us all these centuries because there is no God, only the personal god of my choices.
I can still help and love others, but this love is based on the corruption of time and space and is not permanent.
People descend into the Hell of living without hope, in the dissonance of cosmic chaos, of never fulfilling what is in the human heart.
We have only the Nobel Prizes of Peace, Science, Literature with no other dimension than to fulfill our destiny on earth.
A world without God looks a lot like the one we live in right now. What you see is what you get, and what you don’t see, you don’t get.
There is no spiritual universe.
I can’t communicate with a God that does not exist and is condemned to be god within my lifetime, accountable only to my whims of good and evil.
No one can tell me what to do because there is only one choice I can make, “I am the center of the universe.”
There is no Eucharist or Penance for me; Church is not relevant because, without a head, there is no dynamic body.
I get my morality from the vagaries of my human nature and what makes me happy right now.
Pleasure, for the sake of pleasure, is my center. No one does anything that they think is bad for them. If I want to steal and justify it, then stealing is not immoral. Adultery, prevarication, fornication, debauchery (I had to look that one up), and all those mentioned in Galatians 5, are the norm and not the exception. There is no God, but the devil still exists to reign over the world’s kingdoms, and we have no energy (grace) to help us resist the lure to be selfish.
8Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,9and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”*https://bible.usccb.org/bible/matthew/4
No one gives us enlightenment, such as the Holy Spirit.
There is no purpose outside of myself, and no one can tell me what to do with my body.
There is love in the world and even service to others, but they can and will not propel me to a higher level of existence if there is no God.
God becomes a god.
I don’t need to fast and pray lest I fall into temptation. The choice is taken away, and God as a choice is no more.
The destiny of humans is destined for oblivion.
There is no reason we evolved reasoning, no reason to have free will, no need for any power higher than me.
Each person is their own god, their own church, their own pope, their own source of energy.
I don’t have to deny myself, take up my cross each day, and follow Christ. There is nothing to follow.
There is nothing beyond death.
Jesus was just a dreamer wanting to be god, and so he made up all these ideas, and his followers wrote down some of his thinking.
There is no Trinity of three persons and one nature, and all of this is a fairy tale.
There is no such thing as a spiritual journey or heaven or hell.
The devil doesn’t exist.
Temptations are fairy tales, and there is no corruption of matter. People commit crimes against the state, not God.
Humans can create their own god; their political parties, religions that worship power and seek to dominate the world, ways of thinking that are racially biased and exclusionary of others, hate groups of both the left and the right political persuasion.
There is no coveting riches, other women or men.
Suicide is socially acceptable and eventually the moral norm of societies.
Looting the property of others is acceptable as long as you don’t get caught. Power to the powerful.
Without God, the choices we make depend on what I think is just. Society makes laws that I must follow, and who makes those societal laws can be either good or bad, depending on what philosophy of life they hold at their center.
Euthanasia becomes socially acceptable and then eventually morally acceptable without God.
Abortion of any kind depends on the individual’s morality, and there is no other norm against which humans measure themselves.
No one can tell you what to believe, what to do with your body, what is right or wrong if there is no God. Life becomes relativistic, with the strong or politically powerful becoming the moral imperative.
The center of morality is the state or highest authority with power.
There is no marriage other than what the state says it is. Two people can marry, both female, both male, one male, one female, multiple partners because everyone should have the right to marry as their choice.
God is no more, so adultery and fornication are okay if you don’t hurt someone.
Rape becomes normative, depending on human society and its norms of behavior. Societies change, so morality is relative.
Original Sin does not exist and is made up to scare little children.
No one can prove anything about a god that does not exist, so why the argument?
HUMANS NATURE AND THE ABSENCE OF GOD
What will life look like without god? Actually, it is much like it is right now with god. Human nature is neither good nor evil without God, for there is no measuring stick to measure ourselves against. There is no power outside of ourselves greater than the individual or as a society (a collection of individuals).
What is good, and there is bad as defined by society. There is no God for society to take for its center.
There is good in the world without God, and there is bad. The battle depends upon human nature that has been wounded. Without God, the world and its future become a crapshoot.
SOME PERSPECTIVES ON LIVING WITH THE FRINGES
I do not consider myself living on either fringe of the road of life. My goal is to “Have in me the mind of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5), which is down the middle of the road. The fringes are not necessarily progressive Socialist Democrat or Ultra Conservative Republican, nor left or right. Fringes to me mean dropping off the path created for me by Jesus so that I could weave and wobble down life’s challenges and try to overcome the “reside of sin” left from Original Sin. What complicates things is that each human has a road they must follow. This road consists of our choices along the way, both good and bad. Even if we do fall off the road completely (due to loss of Faith, loss of perspective that there is such a thing as a spiritual universe), those baptized in the blood of the Lamb have a way to get back onto the path of righteousness once again through the Sacrament of Penance. Jesus tells those who believe in Him to take up their cross daily and follow Him. In addition, we must take our roadsigns in life from those left by Christ for us to follow. Christ does not take up our cross for us but says we must deny ourselves and choose what God tells us to do rather than interpret the roadsigns of life as the world sees them.
The choice I make is where I don’t want God telling me what to do (the sin of Adam and Eve) or the difficult path of the cross that Christ challenges me to make. Don’t kid yourself; we are not baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit with the sign of the cross for show. We bear the marks of Christ in his life and death in that path we walk down. At the end of our lifetime, we should be bruised and hobbling down our pathway, having fought the good fight with many bloody encounters with the residue of sin (some wars we win, while others we lose). Christ tells each of us that if we are faithful to his teachings to love one another as He loved us, we will win the war (even if we lose some of the battles).
Using the Genesis moment as my guideline to decipher the mystery of human nature, I develop archetypal answers to the fundamental questions about why it is evil in the world. Here are some of my thoughts:
There is no evil with God, nor is He the author of what we consider evil on earth. What is evil comes from our choices collectively and individuals that make us happy.
Like the evolution of matter, these choices accumulate, and they are also subject to the residue of sin or the corruption of everything in the physical and mental universe.
Christ came as our savior to give us the option (belief) to have a life beyond death or this corruption of matter. This is an invisible universe that can only be entered by invitation. The invitation from God is for all humans to have a chance to live in this universe begins on earth with the baptism of water and the Holy Spirit and ends with God as His adopted sons and daughters…forever.
If humans only live in two universes (the physical and the mental), they will not be able to look in the one place where we can meet God and seek to fulfill that next dimension of our evolution– adoption.
It is not without a reason that the Church on earth is called The Church Militant.
The prayer of Thomas Merton (Father Mary Louis Merton, O.C.S.C., comes to mind at the conclusions of my thoughts.
My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though
I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
“The Merton Prayer” from Thoughts in Solitude Copyright © 1956, 1958 by The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani. Used by permission of Farrar Straus Giroux.