On the one hand, god gives us everything we need, all good gifts, life and love and peace, dude. All you have to do is ask and you will receive. Pray without ceasing. God is so powerful and awesome, he can do absolutely anything. He created the whole universe and every speck of everything in it. We are so blessed with miracles in every direction. God is the best possible guy, most loving father, etc. So easy! Just believe. (Read in Keanu Reeves voice.)
But when we ask the kind of basic questions (that anyone of them would ask of any other religions) we start to get a much
more complicated picture of this god. Like, why do some people seem to get way more than others of the good gifts, while others get what we can call negative gifts, like being born with no legs or losing a child to a terrible disease? And, assuming that all things come from god, why do some people try to live very good lives serving god and get jack, while others do whatever they please and get lots of god's gifts unfairly. And what exactly is a miracle, if some things just never, ever happen (people getting new legs, eyes, brain, etc.)
Some god-believing folk say that we have no way of knowing what is good and bad, fair or unfair, from god's perspective. We cannot judge anything. So, why did god make us unable to tell good from bad? Isn't the conscience the voice of god talking to us, telling us what is good and bad? And, if we cannot tell what is good and bad, how can you decide that anything god does, like creating the universe to begin with, is good? Because the bible says it is good? How do we know that what the bible says is good, since we cannot judge what is good? And how can anything happen if it is not god's will-- isn't that impossible? How can we decide that slavery or killing all first-born babies is bad, if it is good when god does it? Good and bad have no real meaning if everything that happens is actually god's will and therefore good. (It all starts to sound pretty Buddhist.)
Others say that god could just wipe us out at anytime, so if we get anything short of that we should be grateful. God could decide to d!ck around with you, just because. Be thankful to god for whatever you have, regardless of how horrible life is for you. If you lose a child to disease, be happy that god left you with two still alive. It could all be a test to see who is really faithful. Remember Job. Things could be worse. Much, much worse. Wives turning into pillars of salt! Bears mauling children! Plagues of frogs! Global floods! Gahhhhhh! This is your loving father, dammit. Deal with it. (God is a scary d!ck-tator. Starts to sound very Islamic. And Judaic.)
So to account for the things that seem pretty damn bad, while keeping god pretty damn good, we have to introduce the ideal of a powerful evil character
, who messes up god's perfect plan. Satan is temporarily in charge, while god is out for a few millennia getting his beard trimmed or something. And then we have to complicate the story even more with god's slacker skater-dude son showing up to run interference for god. To patch up the perfect plan that god made. Because sin. Or something. (Sounds very Microsoft.)
And if all else fails, there is the promise of a reward in heaven. The afterlife will be where the real rewards are passed out to the good people. Yeah, that's it. Then the amputees will get legs, and babies who died from malaria will be reunited with their grieving parents. Old people with dementia will get their young brains back. Unless science figures out a way to heal these folks first. Then we will thank god for it. And the bad people-- we are somehow able to judge good and bad now-- will finally get theirs. Justice, baby! (Sounds very Hindu.)
God will even everything up. Eventually. Gandhi and that Muslim girl who got shot trying to go to school go to heaven and Donald Trump and the Taliban go to hell. Or, wait. Gandhi and that girl will not go to heaven because they were not Christians. And Trump could repent on his deathbed and make it into heaven.
Unless god decides to go all hippie and kumbayah and let everyone in who tried to live a good life. In which case belief in god does not matter at all
. So why are these people still coming to my door and passing out literature, and trying to change the laws of my country to reflect their religious views? I wish all the religious folk would have a big meeting and get the final ret-con version of their story straight before taking it on the road.