God and Raptors
Don't love this one myself but what the hell...
“Hello, my good friend how was your day?”
“It was not the finest of days for me.”
“And why not?”
“Raptors? But I should think a raptor would be far past the state where it could cause you any misfortune.”
“A raptor assaulted my wife.”
“Shameful!” John, the man who initiated the conversation, continued on his way to work.
Bill, the man whose wife was assaulted by dinosaurs, is the one we shall follow.
Bill had gotten a flyer in the mail about a local church that would be giving a seminar that reconciled Dinosaurs and the bible. He was on his way there right now. He wanted to know why god would allow his wife to be harmed by a raptor. He didn’t really have a wife, but Bill knew that in the whole vast expanse that covers the cosmos, it was possible that he could have a wife and said wife could be killed by dinosaurs, had the right circumstances existed. This simply wasn’t a pleasing thought to a man like Bill.
Bill can run fast. He couldn’t beat a cheetah in a race, but he could beat a reasonably fast child. This may not seem like much, but Bill’s social circle consisted entirely of morbidly obese triple amputees. He worked at a train station entirely staffed and populated by this type of person. He himself was in average shape and of average physical skill. This made him a god among them. He enjoyed his situation.
He got to the church, and went in side. The people were all sitting with their heads down in prayer. “Oh god, most mighty. We are humbled before you and ask nothing of you but your love. For we sinners are not worthy to look upon your mighty and godly visage. We require no words from your most glorious mouth, for your eternal and everlasting understanding and patience is more than we ever could have hoped for in a million years. We are getting such a good deal here. Amen.”
“I don’t think he’s even listening.” Bill said.
“Hello Bill.” Pastor Xiu said.
“Hello Xiu.” Bill said back at him.
“What brings you out to our congregation on this fine Sunday?”
Bill stepped forward and raised a big meaty finger to Xiu’s chest.
“I got some questions for your god.”
“Nobody has the right to question god Bill. He is all that is, and all that ever shall be.”
“Well according to him he is.” Bill retorted
“What else have we got to go on?” Said Xiu
“Nothing and that’s hardly fair. What if he’s lying?” Bill replied.
“I don’t know. Why would God lie?” Xiu asked.
“I’ll get to that. Let me ask my question first.”
“My wife-“ Bill started.
“Wife Bill?” Xiu asked
“Yes my wife. She was recently ravaged by Velociraptors, and God let it happen.”
“God doesn’t control the velociraptors Bill. He gave us free will, and all that is bad is the fault of humans.”
“It’s hardly any humans fault my wife got ravaged by raptors. God could have saved her. He’s supposed to love her and he let something terrible happen to her.” Bill said.
“It is because of his great love that he has given us free will. He created the world as perfection; because of the sins of man we have been doomed to this existence of pain and torment. In his love he sent his son to redeem us, and allow us passage into heaven.”
“That doesn’t sound like something someone who loves us should do.”
“Please try not to blaspheme too much Bill.”
“It’s how I feel. Where is god’s mercy? One mistake and forever we’re banned from paradise?” Bill asked.
“Were not banned Bill. You have to earn it.” Xiu.
“But what’s the point? Why set it up like that at all? My father loved me. He would have given me a second chance, why won’t god? Why would he create a system were a velociraptors by its nature would wish and need to eat my poor wife?” Bill asked.
“Bill what wife? Your being ridiculous!”
“Well it could have happened!” Bill said.
“How do you figure your wife, which you do not have, could be eaten by a raptor which no longer walks the earth?” Reverend Xiu calmly asked.
“If Raptors had survived whatever killed them-“
“The flood Bill.”
“If they had survived the flood then, and had I met someone I’d wanted to spend the rest of my life with and after a reasonable courtship period I’d asked her to be my wife. Now suppose she goes out for a quick walk down to the store to pick up some tangerines for a recipe she got from a friend of hers and a pack of velociraptors jump out from behind a fruit cart and chomped her into little bits. Why wouldn’t god stop that?” Bill said.
Xiu stood thoughtfully for a moment. He loosened his reverends collar. “Well Bill in a way he did stop that from happening.”
“That was just chance. He didn’t lift a finger to stop it.” Bill said.
“And this upset you enough to come down and rant at me like this.”
“Yeah! It chaps my fucking hide!”
“Bill, please watch your language.” Xiu said
“Well c’mon! He doesn’t love us! That’s fine, I understand, why would someone that much more important than us even bother with us? Why does he want us to keep worshipping him?”
“It’s really not necessary.” God said.
Xiu and Bill both looked at God. God was wearing a long flowing robe of gold and white. His eyes, which were bigger than all of existence but could also fit into the tiniest atom infinite times over, shone like dying sons. His hair came out of his big glorious head in such abundance and with such power that no hairdresser could even fathom how to copy the style. He had some really flashy looking sunglasses perched above his forehead.
“Hi God.” Xiu said.
“Hello Xiu.” Said god in a voice like something that sounds really fucking awesome.
“How do we know your god?” Bill asked?
God turned his godly attention in all of it’s glorious holy godliness towards Bill.
“I could kill every first born son of Egypt.” Said god, whose very presence can cause the most powerful beings of this universe to cower in fear and reverence.
“Do it.” Bill said.
“That won’t be necessary God.” Said Xiu.
“If it is not your wish that I should do so Xiu, I will not do so.”
“You already knew he would say that.” Bill said
“Yes.” God replied.
“Then why even go through the process of saying you’ll do it?”
“I don’t know” God said.
“Yes you do!” Bill said.
“Yes.” God replied.
“Then why did you say you didn’t know?” Bill demanded.
“I have a lot of time to deal with here Bill.” God said, “Why shouldn’t I say I don’t know? Why tell the truth? Why not lie?”
“You commanded us not to ever bear false witness!” Bill said.
“I did say that I know. I’ve had time to think about it you know. On that day I felt that bearing false witness was very bad. Or did I? I know what I felt of course and I’m not wrong. I just do a lot of things, but I’m never really fully occupied. I’ve done everything, seen everything. I know everything because I made everything. There is so much, I’ve made so very much. So very much to you, so very little to me.”
Bill felt very much like he was dealing with god. There was nothing else like it.
“Why though would you allow my wife to be eaten by raptors?” God asked
“Why shouldn’t I Bill? Because it would hurt her I know. Make a universe where everyone lives together in harmony, and nothing need suffer? I did that. I said not to take the apple. You took the apple. I knew you would. I knew you would take the apple before I even existed.” God said.
“What do you mean before you existed? What was before you?” Xiu asked visibly shocked.
“No I have always been here. And if there was anything around before me I would have noticed it. You should have let the apple alone but you were doomed.”
“But why?” Bill asked. “Why did you forsake us?”
“The apple. I asked for one thing, and you couldn’t do it.”
“You knew we couldn’t do it! You trapped us! YOU, YOU, YOU!” Bill yelled
“Of course me. But I gave you free will and you could have chosen either way. It was how it had to be, unless I had decided something else. I knew I wouldn’t.”
“What was so great about your bleeding apple? Because of one stupid fruit, one measly little piece of reasonably tasty fruit, for all eternity you have banished us from the paradise that you created for us? Why do you hate us? No. It’s not that. You don’t hate us. You don’t care. None of this matters to you.” Bill knew at last.
“The apple was mine. I gave you everything.”
“Everything belongs to you!” Bill said.
“That’s correct. It’s all mine, and I do what I do.”
“You can’t fault him for that Bill.” Xiu said.
“Or anything.” God said.
“Property rights Bill. He owns it he can do what he likes with it.” Xiu said
“No! He has certain responsibilities! You can’t just make something and then let it go to hell like that! Not when the thing that you’ve made can feel! He gave birth to something and left it to rot! If any human had done this he’d be locked away forever! The justice! Where’s the justice!”
“It’s there Bill. It’s around.” Said God.
“Really Bill, who are you to judge he who canoe be judged?”
“Who’s gonna judge me? What can they do to me? Anything if they knew how of course. They don’t know. I will not be judged.” God said
“I’ll judge you if I want to!” Bill shrieked at God.
“Ok.” God said.
Bill stood in angry silence glaring at the billion-mile face of god that was fitting perfectly fine into the reasonably sized church.
“What’s the use?” Bill finally said. He hung his head down defeated. “He’s just going to do whatever he wants to anyway.”
“I really will.” God admitted.
Just one questioned remained. Bill had been trying to avoid outright asking it. The answer might just be too much.
“God, you tell us you have infinite mercy, infinite love and infinite compassion.”
“I am very infinite yes.”
“Why do you have us live like this?”
“Is nobody happy?” God said.
Bill hesitated. “Some are. But so many are poor, dying, and miserable. What about them? Don’t they matter? Doesn’t the good of the many outweigh the good of the few? Don’t the losers deserve happiness as much as the winners?”
“You all deserve anything about the same. I will say that humans are more interesting to an intelligent entity such as myself, but that’s it. Intelligence matters only to other intelligences. Your worth no more to the grand design then a brick Bill. I’m not sorry for what I’ve done. You have been wronged you say. Perhaps it is so. I know that perhaps you have a valid point. But I know all things.”
“You just don’t care.” Bill accused
“Meh.” Said God. “Whether I care or not is irrelevant to you. I do what I do. If I didn’t you wouldn’t be. This would be how it is either way. Try to see it from my point of view.” God said
“Umm…” Bill stammered.
“Yeah, you never will be able to. I advise you to go find something to do so you won’t have to think about it, but you won’t ever be able to stop.”
Bill knew that there was no argument to be won. God wouldn’t argue with someone like him, or anyone or anything else. What was the point? God didn’t worry about it. Why do people? It’s a question.