December 18, 2011

Religious Questioning

First thing that came to mind when I did a Google image search...

Not long ago I had a random question about God being omnicient: if God is all knowing and knows what a person will do, what a person will be like and what will happen to a person before that person is even conceived, if God creates a person knowing full well that this person will be bad and will not repent or change his ways at any point during the person's life, why wold God make such a person?

As a Catholic I was raised to believe that all people have free will, and that's why bad things happen to good people, but that even the worst sinners can repent at any time, call Jesus into their hearts, and be saved and welcomed into Heaven with open arms as long as the repentance was genuine- even if it's on a death bed and likely fueled by fear of Hell (which, to hear many Catholics and Christians tell it, is a perfectly acceptable reason to believe in God). So Hitler, who lived with such hatred for a very large number of people, could have called out to God, sorry for the way he lived his life and sorry for the atrocities he caused, and God would have happily called his soul to heaven (I'm going to leave out the fact that most sects of Christians, including Catholics, are supposed to believe all other faiths are damned to Hell, so in that sense Heaven would actually be the perfect place for Hitler).

But there's a huge problem with that logic, if God knows what's going to happen to every person then He should know whether or not a horrible person would eventually repent, and if He knows if a person wouldn't repent why should that person be created in the first place?

Additionally, and this is my mere human logic, why not just not make a bad person, repentance or not? What if Hitler had a moment of clarity before his death and repented to God for his actions? What if Hitler is in Heaven? Leads me to believe, if repentance and turning to God at the last moment no matter what the sins is so important, that God is pretty selfish. Seems pretty human.

I've also been going through some Jehovah's Witness literature (not because I sought it out, because it's been sitting on my boyfriend's table after they talked to him, and he asked so many questions they ended up leaving). The material is supposed to explain why you should want to be a Witness, why it's best to devote your life to God/Jehovah, and what it is the Witnesses actually believe. Sex before marriage is a big no-no (it will undoubtedly lead to disease and an empty, vapid life), everyone should definitely get married, and all married couples should have daily prayer time. The booklet I read had a true life account from someone who grew up in a bad neighborhood (in an impoverished country), got caught up in gambling (he was "passionate about horses") and led a life filled with alcohol, women and bad decisions. He turned to Jehovah's Witnesses and is now married with a daughter. Ta dah! What a great life. Except in the story he says he doesn't hide anything from his daughter and tells her about his past in order to show her what a life outside the Jehovah's can be like. I'm not a parent, but I'm not so sure that's a great idea- all those "I used to be on drugs and was in jail but then I got clean and now my life is fantastic" presentations throughout school only shed light on the possibility that you can do whatever the fuck you want until you decide to adult-up and then everything will be ok.

These things just shed more doubt and uncertainty on the whole religious idea. I know it's the whole point of faith, but having blind faith without real or solid answers is a little difficult. Even when I was a kid I asked "why?" and "because I said so" never cut it. Why would I be different now?

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