Who does god confess to…
When the lord saw how great was man’s wicked-ness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil, he regretted that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was grieved. So the lord said: “I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created, and not only the men, but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air, for I am sorry that I made them.”
Exactly what we’d expect from the source of all goodness…? I have two points to make about this episode. First, if he was looking to punish humans by killing every last one of them, why did he go ahead and kill all the animals and bugs too? It’s like committing a foul in a soccer game and having the ref give you a red card, then your whole team, then the other team, then everybody in the crowd watching, and finishing it off by punting the ball over the highway. Put more simply, it is the punishment of innocent bystanders. God is ending countless animal lives. God has taken away their potential to have future experiences of pleasure and contentedness. Further, he has chosen to make the last moments of these innocent animals ones of terror and pain, as they drown. These choices lack compassion, and they reveal god to be indifferent towards, and out of touch with, mortal suffering.
Second, I am disappointed in gods lack of imagination at solving this “problem” he’s created. It takes less energy to see the world in black and white; to judge people and their actions as either good or evil, or to decide our labors culminated in either success or failure. I would ask more of us, and I’d expect more from god. God is (supposedly) omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-benevolent. This means he knows all that is wrong, he has all the power to fix it, and he is guided by forces of righteousness. I am none of those things, and it still took me only moments to consider better solutions that don’t involve mass-murder. Let’s ponder some. Why didn’t he show himself to these early peoples and awe them with explanations of what they are doing wrong? Why didn’t he give them more opportunities to learn lessons of morality and grow wiser? Why didn’t he simply fill their hearts with love and give them minds that took pleasure in the service of others?
I will use this logic often to demonstrate how evil god is. You should ask yourself, and others, when contemplating gods actions: if you were he, and you had to solve this particular problem, how much better would you have done? How quickly did you find a way to cause less agony…than god did?
When considering what pronoun to use as I talk about god, I first considered “it.” I decided against this because it disassociates his corruption from humankind. God may not really exist, but his example has allowed innumerable evildoers to justify their actions. When I say “he” in reference to god throughout these commentaries, I’m not just referring to the hypothetical being. I want to invoke all of the men throughout history who have done evil in the name of god. And that brings me to why I chose “he” instead of “she.” I originally thought of using “she” because I appreciate the idea of not thoughtlessly defaulting to male placeholders when speaking abstractly. But then I realized how unfair that was to women, who don’t share nearly as much blame for religiously inspired atrocities. If I’m going to call out the guilty as I rail against god, then he must be a he.