A letter from God
I created the universe 14,000,000,000 years ago. It was a trivial thing. It took me barely a click of my finger. I created a singularity, you see, and then everything flowed from that.
I am a patient being. I have existed forever, but only created the universe when I did on a whim. The readers of this document don’t need to know why. Nor what I was doing before. That’s part of my wonderful mystery. Go about your business, do not worry about my intentions, my actions, nor my experience.
When I made the universe, I knew that eventually some intelligent species would develop. One, I knew, despite quantum physics’ implicit uncertainty, would look a lot like me. I knew this even though everything about the structure of the universe I clicked into existence does not allow reasonable predictions of the future. Of course, us wise ones know that I am writing this only to be read by the intelligent beings that do exist. Perhaps there are billions of universes where that evolution did not occur and that the ones reading this are in one of the ones where they do. Of course that’s the case, how else could it have been?
So, you, dear reader, you look exactly like me. When I said I clicked my finger in the first paragraph, you were right to imagine a brown, pale brown, pink, yellow, or red finger that looks a lot like an ape’s finger, clicking against an opposable thumb.
And I waited. I waited 13,999,900,000 years until the apes that could not speak, slowly evolved into ones that look like me. Time for us omnipotent beings is not the same as it is for you mortals. It was nothing for me to wait. Despite this, I can intimately empathize with what it is like to be one of you. It’s surprisingly easy. I like chocolate too, and I hate it when I have a paper cut.
And even after I had waited so long, I spent a lot longer waiting before I got involved in your lives in an intimate fashion. In fact, I waited another 97,000 years before you had started to develop cultures. I ignored the more developed cultures of India and China and instead spoke to a particularly aggressive tribe in what would later be called the Middle East. I let them believe they were the center of the world. But I had a little fun with them. Cut your most sensitive parts up – that will show me that you fear me. That’s what I said to them. They were too scared and too ignorant to disagree. For several thousand years, now, their descendants and others who were influenced by them have been cutting their penises.
I never claimed to be nice.
Then another 1,000 years later, I made one of you quite charismatic. I made him able to walk on liquid. I made him create edible matter from nothing, and I made some pigs run off of a cliff.
Finally, I made him so objectionable to those around him that they tortured him and then killed him in public.
I did it for you. Are you grateful?
It doesn’t affect your life at all, but I made his death seem like it was important. I showed some of those who had liked him, as well as loads who did not, a hallucination of him so that they thought he had come back to life. It’s weird how much import so many people gave that one ghostly sighting. So many other ghost sightings are ignored or written off as tricks of the mind.
I interfered in other people’s lives too. I had particular fun with a man around two hundred years ago. I gave him further information about the earlier man, some of which conflicted with the earlier accounts. That was probably a little mischievous of me, but it made the Americas fun for a while.
I spent so much of the history of the universe ignoring almost all of it and basically twiddling my fingers to pass the time. And then, just as things started to approach the present day, I interfered a lot. It’s weird, when you think about it, isn’t it?
Now there are over 7,000,000,000 of these little animals that think they’re special, teeming around on this one planet. They’re digging up old, dead animals and plants, and burning them. This is changing the atmosphere more quickly than ever before. It’s going to get hot down there. Actually, it already is. Many of them know this, but do not care enough about it to make any changes. Even while hundreds of thousands of them are already dying. And I knew this all in advance.
Such an interesting species.
Well over half of them think that I am able to read their minds. Some of them think they have to make verbal utterings to get my attention. None of these utterings, whether verbal or in their heads, make me change my plans. I don’t interfere too much anyway, but I certainly don’t care enough about any individual to be regularly intervening. It’s weird they would think I care. They look down on insects as if they are nothing and expect me to treat them better just because we look alike. Very arrogant.
When they die, though, that’s when the fun begins. Do you know what it is to be free? Have you experienced it?
Freedom is the knowledge, deep down inside, that you can do whatever you like. Sure, you suffer the consequences of your actions, but you can do it if you want to. These ant-creatures can be kind, unkind, vicious, or tender to one another. It’s really their choice.
Maiming one another has been a regular pastime for them for most of the existence of the species. I wonder if they realize how barbaric that is. Some of them, recently, have seemed to. A few have realized it too – throughout history – but they were often viciously murdered or had parts of their bodies removed with sharp pieces of metal. Very amusing from up here.
But once they die. That’s when their freedom ends. I haven’t given them any credible reason to believe that this is going to happen, but when they die, they will be judged. Those that I, without any judicial oversight, think were ‘good’ will go to a place where they will basically cease to be themselves. They will no longer love their loved ones, and they will no longer know themselves. If they did, then the complexity of existence before death would make the afterlife so messy.
Those that I deem ‘bad’ will not be so lucky. My definition of ‘bad’ is arbitrary – I’ll admit it to you. You’re bad if you question the lack of evidence for my existence. If you so much as look at the evidence, you will be considered ‘bad’. If they feel aroused by other members of their species, that will be enough to be considered ‘bad’.
Hunger is a pretty common experience among all the living species, on every planet. Any species that isn’t hungry tends to stop eating for too long and dies out. Despite this, wanting to eat whenever you feel the sensation – that will be ‘bad’. Also, if you don’t have enough food to eat, working on an arbitrary day once every seven will also be ‘bad’. Why, you might ask. Because.
So anyway, if you’re ‘bad’, or if you choose not to believe in me, despite me never revealing myself to you, then I will take great pleasure in ensuring that you suffer. Not just for a little while. Not just for 14,000,000,000 years, but forever. Forever is an unfathomably long time. And pain is pretty terrible. But I think not believing in me is bad enough that that is justified.
I have noticed that some of you, when getting this far through this letter, have felt that I am being unfair. That’s possibly true. But do you know what? It doesn’t really matter. I am the only justice in the universe. It’s my universe and fairness, truth, and right and wrong are my gift. I get to decide why, how, and whether my creations get tortured.
It’s not very liberating, but it’s not for you – it’s for me.
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